Despite perfectly reasonable predictions to the contrary, it turned out that the Republican Roy Moore rather than the Democrat Doug Jones who blew a perfectly winnable Senate seat in Alabama. Any other Republican would have won running away by double digits. Why was Roy Moore defeated?

To put the matter bluntly, Judge Moore was a crazy, bigoted religious fruitcake who is likely a sex offender. Even in a deep red state, all of those dubious qualities were too much for the majority of the people of Alabama. Thus, Moore is an also-ran and Jones is the first Democrat from Alabama to go to the United States Senate in almost a generation.

The bright side

Of course, a bright side exists in the results from Alabama. Senate Republicans will not have to deal with Senator Moore, who would have been a punching bag for Democrats eager to preen about their new found regard for women. It is as if people like Bill Clinton and Teddy Kennedy never lived. Al Franken will really have to follow through on his promise to resign.

It goes almost without saying that Doug Jones is a half-termer unless he decides to moderate a number of his positions. Jones is a down the line liberal Democrat, with a few exceptions such as military spending. If he turns out to be a 49th reliable vote for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to obstruct everything, Jones will be wiped out in 2020.

He barely won against the seriously flawed Moore.

What happens next?

The Democrats, understandably, are exultant. Many are already talking about a wave election in 2018, seizing both houses of Congress, then immediately proceeding to the impeachment and removal of President Trump. Something like that may happen. Midterms are notoriously bad for the party in power.

On the other hand, the economy has started to take off. Democrats will be hard pressed to sell a reason to put them back in control as a result.

Republicans need to take note of the lesson that was just beaten into them. Do not nominate Crazy People. The results are never satisfactory. They need to recruit solid candidates and get behind them to be competitive next year.

Republicans need not get wobbly and pass tax reform to provide an argument for keeping them in power.

Democrats should not get cocky. A lot of loose talk of, for example, knocking off Ted Cruz in Texas is silly beyond belief. Alabama was a fluke and will, in short order, be rectified. Nothing works to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory than that kind of overreaching.