By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter
Ah, the Christmas column.
Alabama residents love to light up their homes, many elaborately, often with yard ornaments synced to Christmas carols.
In our drive-arounds, my wife, Veronica, and I love to pass those Nativity scenes that have Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, various farm animals, the three wise men and, of course, Santa Claus.
A former colleague who covered outdoors for the newspaper I worked for told me a number of years ago that he was on a December hunting trip in central Pennsylvania. His hunting party drove by a mobile home in a rural community that was lit with seemingly thousands of lights and featured all sorts of Christmas yard displays.
He told his companions that it looked like an Alabama display. My colleague stopped, knocked on the door, and sure enough the mobile home was occupied by Alabama transplants.
Somebody once told me that in Pennsylvania, the area between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia was really just Alabama.
We’ve already received our big gift for Christmas – Democrat Doug Jones being elected to the U.S. Senate by defeating disgraced former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, the Republican accused of child molestation and fondling teenaged girls while he was in his 30s.
Moore was never able to credibly refute the clearly credible accusations, but even so, the election was close.
The narrow victory – about 21,000 votes – is mainly due to an impressive turnout of African-American voters, and particularly black women.
Score one for Alabama.
Moore, always the Grinch, has refused to concede the race and is, instead, using outrageous claims of voter fraud to do what he does best – raise money from naïve people who fall for his tent-revival, fundamentalist Evangelicalism that denies Jesus’ command to love your neighbor. Moore hates just about anybody who isn’t white or girls in their mid to late teens.
For its part, the hypocritical, Republican-controlled U.S. Senate refused to seat Jones before it took its historic, steal-from-the-poor-and-give-to-the-rich tax vote this week.
In 2010, before the historic vote on the Affordable Care Act, Democrats delayed they vote so they could seat a new Republican senator just elected so he could have his say on Obamacare.
Merry Christmas, America. Deck the Halls with bows of folly.
Still, there is much to celebrate in Jones’ victory. And Jones’ triumph, along with other Democratic Party victories in other parts of the nation this fall, should send Republicans a loud message: Next year’s vote could throw many of the Republican tax-scammers out.
Midterm elections in 2018 could flip the Senate or House or both, and then, perhaps, a more sane Congress can undo this terrible budget-bleeding tax plan that adds at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit. This, passed by the party that, while Barack Obama was president, claimed to be deficit hawks and blamed Obama for the nation’s growing debt.
Also, a different Congress could give Republican President Donald Trump even more grief, and that’s always good for Twitter.
OK, that’s just a Christmas wish.
Too, Trump could get an even greater Christmas (or New Year’s) surprise from the special prosecutor concerning his love of all things Russian
OK, that’s also a Christmas wish.
At no time during my many years of covering politics, under Republicans and Democrats, has our nation’s future seemed so grim.
But, then, I don’t want to be the Santa who puts coal and ashes in your stocking just before Christmas.
Remember the reason for the season. Remember, unlike that brand of Christianity preached by Roy Moore and his followers, to love your neighbor – your white neighbor, your black neighbor, your LGBTQ neighbor, your immigrant neighbor, your Hispanic neighbor, your Muslim neighbor. All your neighbors. All of them.
They’ll usually love you right back; diversity makes us a stronger nation and state, and if you disagree, you might ought do a self-examination of your beliefs.
Merry Christmas, Alabama. And may all your Christmases be bright.
Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]