Republicans were a study in cowardice during the Roy Moore campaign, and now they want Doug Jones to abandon the voters of Alabama.
After virtually every Republican sat idly by and watched an accused child molester try to win a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama with the explicit endorsement from Donald Trump, the party is now beseeching Doug Jones to “do the right thing” and switch parties, or at least to “vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”
Sorry, GOP, but that’s not how elections work.
The people of Alabama have spoken, and they delivered a jaw-dropping rebuke of the Republican Party. This, in a state that Trump won by nearly 30 points just 13 months ago.
The idea that Jones — a pro-choice Democrat who believes in climate change, supports Obamacare, wants to pass the DREAM Act, and opposes the Republican tax scam — should now fall in line with Republicans just because a represent a traditionally red state is absurd.
Yet that’s the message from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who chairs the National Republican Senate Committee:
Cory Gardner is already recruiting Jones to switch parties pic.twitter.com/rQecr8ozw7
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) December 13, 2017
Ronna McDaniel, the party’s chairwoman, also said that because Alabama voted for Trump last year, Jones should support Trump’s agenda in the Senate.
What makes these suggestion even more insulting is the fact that very few Senate Republicans flashed much integrity over the course of the campaign and forcefully denounced Moore’s candidacy. The silence became even more pronounced after Trump stunned Republicans by endorsing Moore.
Indeed, lots of leading Republicans got caught on the wrong side of the scandal, because they never thought Trump, the leader of the Republican Party with his own dark history as a sexual predator, would endorse an accused child molester.
When news of the allegations first broke in early November, more than one dozen Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called on Moore to drop out of the race.
But when Trump made clear he wanted Moore to win and that having a Republican accused of molesting children was more important than having a Democrat win, most of those GOP voices went quiet.
Suddenly, McConnell stressed that the voters of Alabama should have the final say and that outside opinions, and having moral standards didn’t matter.
Even supposedly moderate Republicans, such as Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins, suggested that the party wasn’t going to do anything to stop Moore from serving in the Senate.
Only one senator — Arizona’s Jeff Flake, who is retiring next year — openly supported Jones.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s self-appointed morality cop, Vice President Mike Pence, couldn’t bring himself to denounce a man who was reportedly banned from a local shopping mall because he spent so much time there cruising teenage girls.
Pence’s stone silence confirmed there was nobody within the administration willing to stake out the moral high ground with regards to Moore.
And now they want Jones to vote with Republicans? Nice try.