I would be remiss if I did not first consider briefly the relevance and impact of the November 7 Virginia election outcomes for the Alabama election on December 12. Let’s toss out the obvious differences in the political geography of Virginia and Alabama. Between now and December 12, the constants will remain Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. What the Virginia elections clearly indicate, up and down the scale, is that the snarling, preening, and punitive rhetoric and policies of the emerging hard-right wing of the Republican Party frighten, dismay, anger, and outrage a large and growing swath of the American electorate.
Whatever beefs Americans may have with political elites and with “liberalism” (whatever that is), they ultimately do not want to be international pariahs and gothic destroyers. Alabama will author its own story on December 12, but there is much demographic evidence that Alabama is becoming more like the rest of the United States, not less so. Roy Moore might therefore have reason to regret selecting Steve Bannon as his prom date.