The Case for Hope

Figures I’ve seen from the exit polls in the Alabama election should give us some renewed hope in the capacity of the electorate to see through the propaganda to the truth about the modern Republican Party. Among the most telling data are these: Although white women overall favored Roy Moore over Doug Jones, when the evangelical women and the non-evangelical women are considered separately, the non-evangelical women overwhelmingly preferred Jones. Moreover, I’ve read, if the percentage of evangelical voters in Alabama were the same as the percentage nationwide, Jones would have taken the election by double digits. The Republican Party, lead by Trump, has alienated so many voters outside a cultish core that the probability of a rout in 2018 has increased substantially.

Vote Suppression

Once again we have credible evidence that the dominant political party, in this case the Republican Party, deliberately has thrown roadblocks in the way of those who might be expected to vote for the opposition’s candidates. And there are lingering questions about the accuracy of vote-counting. This is intolerable and must be remedied. If the people cannot trust the voting process to be fair and accurate, the Republic will be in big trouble.

Yearning for Theocracy

I don’t think there can be any real doubt that a sizable fraction of Roy Moore’s supporters in Alabama would embrace enthusiastically a government that lacked the most basic features of our Republic, but enforced as law the tenets of their distorted view of Christianity. Moore himself, as a judicial officer, has flouted the Constitution and laws of the country to advance his religious agenda.

The Real Effect on Corporate Taxes

Goldman Sachs has run the numbers. Over the coming decade, the GOP’s proposed reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent would reduce actual corporate taxation by around 3 percent. That’s because there’s a big gap now between the statutory rate and the effective rate. Corporations tend to have top-drawer tax lawyers and accountants. Why haven’t we heard more about this? Politics, I’d say. The GOP wants to get maximum credit for cutting taxes to goose the economy (despite the lack of evidence that putting big bucks in corporate coffers now would do that), and the Democrats want the GOP’s gift to big corporations to look as enormous as possible.

The Women, the Speaker, and the Majority Leader

Are we to understand, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Majority Leader, that you can’t figure out any way to investigate the women’s renewed charges against Trump, given that he continues to call the women liars? You two and your party are so far below the bar of political decency and regard for the Republic at this point that you really ought to consider resigning your positions. Where is it written that Trump, who holds our highest office and should be held to our highest standard, instead gets a pass for behavior that we’ve come to regard as offensive enough to justify immediate and serious consequences?

Alabama’s Wall

There’s a wall in Alabama. Alabamians built it awhile back — centuries ago — without any help from the government in Washington. Inside the wall, Jesus rules. Not, mind you, the Jesus the rest of us of all religions embrace as the author of the Sermon on the Mount. The Alabama Jesus. The Jesus who consecrated slavery and rode with terrorists in the night after Lee lost and blessed Jim Crow and thought the races shouldn’t mix and huddles with his flocks in sanctuaries where straight and white and like of mind are welcome. Some say the wall is coming down. And maybe it is. Maybe I’ll be surprised today when the voting’s done and the numbers show that Roy, the good ole boy, didn’t win. It is a consummation devotedly to be wished. But I’ve lived a life cheek by jowl with the folks behind the wall. The Alabama Jesus will be driving them to the polls.