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Opinion | A rubber stamp or a thinker? Pick the thinker

Tuberville is nothing but a rubber stamp for Republicans. And rubber stamps are not thinkers.

Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

Time and time again, Congress has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, without success. One reason the efforts in Congress have failed is that unlike Jeff Sessions, U.S. Sen. Doug Jones refuses to support a repeal. Even so, Donald Trump has taken the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to get the court to declare the health care act unconstitutional.

“If the Trump administration, Mitch McConnell and Tommy Tuberville have their way, it would all go away,” Jones said in a story published Thursday by Alabama Political Reporter. “I am very concerned about the loss of the Affordable Care Act as it faces a Supreme Court test in a few weeks.”

That’s another reason we need to re-elect Jones. Many Alabamians depend on the ACA for their health care. If the act is repealed or overturned in the Supreme Court, millions of Americans, and more than a few of them in Alabama, will lose their health insurance.

Not only that, they’ll also lose protections from pre-existing illnesses.

Then there is the question of Alabama never expanding Medicaid under the ACA, as Jones and other Alabama leaders have urged.

“Alabama lost out on billions of dollars, and it would have helped people in this state so much had they put their politics aside, had they put the Republican power politics aside down in Montgomery, and expanded Medicaid and given good health care coverage to so many people in the state — over 300,000 people,” Jones said. “14.8 million people across this country have benefited through expanded Medicaid. Alabama is not one of them. And it’s a shame.

There is a good chance the U.S. Senate will swing to Democrats in November’s election. Should Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court not be confirmed before the election, Jones’ vote will carry extra power.

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But we know what former Coach Tommy Tuberville would do: Anything Trump tells him to do. Problem is, it’s even more likely that Trump is going to lose the presidential election. As badly as he has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, and had federal law enforcement agencies attack peaceful protesters, he’s a long shot to get re-elected.

Alabama will need a strong voice in the Senate, and Tuberville has clearly demonstrated he hardly has any voice at all. He has refused to debate Jones. He has offered few ideas on what hewould support, other than what Trump wants him to support. Coach Tubby is just looking for a cushy position, and has decided Alabama voters are the suckers to give it to him.

There are plenty of Republicans who support Jones. In that case, they must make sure they don’t vote straight Republican ticket without also voting for Jones.

In 2018, about 60 percent of Republicans voted lazy; that is, they just blacked in the Republican bubble, not thinking at all who they were actually voting for. Republicans who want to vote against Trump (and there are many) and who also want to support Jones (there are many) shouldn’t fall for the straight-ticket scam.

Few states even offer voters a straight-ticket choice anymore, but of course Alabama is one of the states that does. That’s what helps keep Republicans in power.

But with Joe Biden as president, a Democratic Party Senate and House, Jones’ clout will increase substantially.

Even now, it’s Jones who is most likely to cross the aisle and find Republicans to help him pass legislation. He’s shown many times since being elected in 2017 that he can do that.

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Tuberville is nothing but a rubber stamp for Republicans. And rubber stamps are not thinkers.

If Alabama wants an independent U.S. Senator who does what’s best for the state, Doug Jones is really the only choice.

Written By

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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