President Donald Trump has been beating a dead horse in Congress for almost a year now, trying to pass his agendas legislatively through a Senate that’s dominated by Republicans yet consistently falls to Democratic Party will because of an ever-looming threat of filibuster.
It’s only going to get tougher for Trump.
Prepare for the stalled and even dropped legislation.
With newly elected Democrat Doug Jones on the way, the White House is in for some real fuhgettaboutit times — unless, of course, Trump can do a 180 on the whole cooperation thing and learn to work with the establishment-minded of the party. That means John McCain.
Right — fuhgettaboutit, here we come.
The Alabama election results won’t be certified until Dec. 26, and Jones won’t be sworn and seated until at least Jan. 3. Until then, Sen. Luther Strange will finish his term. That’s a boon for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s smartly trying to quicken a couple of funding and tax measures across the finish line. The Republicans, bluntly put, can sure use this extra GOP time.
There are optimists, of course, who point to Jones‘ geography and say that any Democrat from Alabama is sort of like a Republican by the rest of the country’s standards.
Don’t be fooled. Jones is not a conservative.
Seriously, Jones may hail from the Deep South, and from one of the most conservative states in the Deep South — one which hasn’t elected a Democratic senator in about 25 years, and one which went for Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 62 percent to 34 percent margin.
But that doesn’t mean he’s going to go to Washington, D.C., and be the next Zell Miller — the 2000-2005 U.S. senator from Georgia who rocked Democratic circles by supporting George W. Bush over John Kerry for president.
No, Jones is liberal, through and through. And he’s about to widen the circle of the so-called moderates in the Republican Party in the Senate, a.k.a. “RINOS,” by joining the likes of McCain, Susan Collins from Maine, Rob Portman from Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
He’s about to become Sen. Chuck Schumer’s best friend.
On the Second Amendment, Jones has called for “limitations” that include more background checks.
On immigration, Jones supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
On health care, Jones is pro-Obamacare and has expressed being “disturbed about repeated efforts to repeal the bill or weaken it.”
That last — the anti-Obamacare repeal stance — already sets Jones in direct opposition with the Senate version of tax reform. Schumer knows it; that’s why he called for the Republicans to delay votes on the tax bill until after Jones is sworn into office.
Jones is also about as pro-LGBTQ rights as you can get, on record with resisting both Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military and with Trump’s overturn of Barack Obama-era Department of Education guidelines on transgenders in the schools.
What a joy for Democrats Roy Moore turned out to be. Moore lost one of the most reliably Republican seats in the Senate to an upstart Democrat who’s never sought political office — and why? Because he thought God had appointed him to run this race, and he couldn’t believe voters would feel so squeamish at the dark cloud of sexual misconduct that hovered above his head that they’d actually try to bypass him and send in 22,000 or so write-in ballots.
He was arrogant. He was wrong. He never should have stayed in the race.
But he did. And now Jones is in office.
And now Trump’s agenda — the border crackdowns, the Obamacare repeal, the reel-in of environmental radicalism, the common-sense national security measures — is going to become one more Democratic vote harder to achieve.
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