The Art Of Conceding An Election Not Understood By Rep. Adam Jarchow

I deeply respect the handshakes and quick banter that two professional tennis players allow each other following a mentally and physically punishing game.  It is an honorable way to conclude the contest regardless of outcome.  When it comes to the end of a political campaign I also desire to see the best of one’s character shine.

Over the years I have been able to see in real time how a concession is handled, while more often reading or watching such a happening through the media.  But in each case a concession following a hard-fought campaign shows the mettle of a person perhaps better than any other facet of seeking office.

This comes to mind as State Assemblyman Adam Jarchow was reported to have tweeted his concession last week to the victorious Patty Schachtner following the special state senate election. I grasp the fact that everything these days is seemingly done on the gadget people carry around like aged smokers do their oxygen tanks.  But when it comes to concessions there is a need to be personal and more forthright.  Surely the phone number for the opposing campaign was available.  Call me old-fashioned but just pick up the phone and place the call!

The morning following the 1988 election victory of State Representative Lary Swboda the phone rang in his Kewaunee County home.  I had worked in the district often that fall on the campaign and as I stood in the kitchen as Lary answered the call I was privy to one of the gracious acts of politics.  Bob Papke, then Door County Clerk, had run, up to that time, the most expensive race for the state assembly.  He had been condescending and rather mean-spirited during the months leading to Election Day.  But on the phone as Papke spoke to Lary there was a gentlemanly quality to the conversation and though the two would never be friends, an air of good sportsmanship was most apparent.

That type of concession was missing in the special U.S. Senate race this year as Roy Moore refused to understand his role as to why concessions matter.    And to show that I have no partisan stake regarding concessions let it be shown I also had words for not only a Democrat–but one I know and had supported–Kathleen Falk.  

I was very disappointed to have read that she did not show up on Election Night to greet campaign workers and countless Democrats who worked so very hard for her over the past many months.  On Election Night she did not need to concede, (given the closeness of the race) but did need to say thanks.  To stay at her home and watch the returns come in was not what many expected.

It is Saturday afternoon as I write this post, and I am unhappy that Kathleen has not conceded the race for Attorney General.  Being defeated in an election after a well-fought effort should not be an embarrassment.  But not being a better sport in the arena of politics is much worse than coming in second place.

The gracious nature of Vice-President Al Gore following the grueling legal wars of a recount in 2000 demonstrate the reasons character matters when it comes to our elections.  The same rules of the road apply in local elections, too.  Being graceful with concessions makes for a strong mark of character.

Roy Moore And Francisco Franco

You might recall–if you are of a certain age–a funny continuing event on Saturday Night Live.

“Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead” was a catchphrase that originated in 1975 during the first season of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. It was a mockery of the weeks-long media reports of his impending death.

Now we may have to resort to a new such phrase in the light of Roy Moore failing to concede the election he lost on Tuesday.

Moore, who lost by 20,715 votes, is not in a position to ask for a recount. Alabama law does not trigger a recount unless the margin between two candidates is less than 0.5 percent; according to the latest count by the Associated Press, the margin between Jones and Moore is 1.5 percent.

“Roy Moore still just a diddler” might be a new line for contemporary viewers to laugh at each weekend until he stops his antics.

Vestal Goodman Vs. Modern-Day ‘Christians’ In Alabama

Let us be mindful about what happened in Alabama on Tuesday.

It was first, and foremost, a stunning upset and rebuke of the way the Republican Party presented itself and operated in the Alabama senate race.  Had there been a credible GOP candidate that dark red state would not be the reason Democrats are rejoicing today.  But due to the truly unbelievable way today’s Republicans conduct politics Democratic candidate Doug Jones secured a senate win.  He allows every person who knows the road we are on under the Trump Administration to be dangerous to have a bit of faith that the nation can be reclaimed.

But at the same time let us not forget that over 600,000 people in Alabama did vote for Roy Moore in spite of the credible accounts of his actions in malls as he preyed on teenage girls.  The exit polls show 80% of the evangelical voters who showed up at the polls went for Moore.  That so many of these voters claimed to be ‘Christians’ can not be forgotten.

Let us not forget that those who attend all-day singins’ with chicken dinner on the grounds, shook off their pious go-to-service clothes and wore their partisan jeans and baseball caps to the polls where they showcased who they really are deep down.  With their ballot cast for Roy Moore, the twice-ousted state Supreme Court chief justice, these so-called followers of Christ gave public approval to a man accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s.

But that was just fine with these folks who shout out the name of the Lord in services and wave about in rhythmic timing to their songs.   After all, Moore is just like they are.  He, too, opposes the rights of gay Americans, Muslims and women.  So what if he likes girls who still need pimple cream?  Moore had their back when it came to the ones who they think need to be hated.

I have known many sincere and Christ-centered people over the years.  In the past election I was struck by some of them who spoke candidly with me about their beliefs, and how even though they were conservative, they could not in good conscience vote for Trump.   I think of the famed ones who grew up in Alabama, such as Southern-Gospel singer Vestal Goodman from Sand Mountain, and can only imagine what the look on her face would be if she knew how hundreds of thousands acted in her state on Election Day.

Goodman was aware of her icon status among many gay people and never made any demeaning statements as her first calling was to serve her Lord and not the political class. Too many in Alabama this election cycle failed to grasp that teaching from their front row in the church where come this Sunday they again will be perched with pious heads held high.  They embraced the rancid culture of their political party while undermining the very teachings that many would claim to hold dear.  In so doing they marched in exactly the opposite direction of Vestal.

The 600,000 plus who put their partisan tribe above reason and logic at the polls Tuesday thought they were making way for tax cuts, and smaller government.  The fact is the tax cuts that get passed by the GOP are always serving the rich to the detriment of the ones with the baseball hats at the ballot box.  The cuts in government always undermine their best interests, such as when it comes to health care.  This February it was noted out of the top ten states with the highest number STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) Alabama ranked number nine.    When it comes to buying hook, line, and sinker the Republican talking points the voters in Alabama bite like crazy.  But they are also the ones hurt the most by conservative governing, and the majority of Republicans there are not informed enough or able to discern that fact.

The Republican Party dodged a bullet with the defeat of Moore.  The last thing they needed was a pedophile as an anchor around their neck for the mid-terms and beyond.

But the national citizenry also received something of a gift from the 600,000 who cast a ballot for the losing candidate.  From coast to coast Americans can look at the hearts of ‘Christian’ voters who claim to live one way but proved they really reside in a very dark place.  Never again do we need to pretend they have a moral message we need to heed.  They are just as power-hungry and craven as others.

Vestal would have prayed long and hard about all that is now happening in this land.  I applaud those who use their faith for such positive purposes.  Too few, however, fall in her camp.  The proof is in the pudding with the 49% who cast a ballot for Moore.

Meanwhile the rest of us need to double and then triple down on reminding every voter, every day that President Trump and the national GOP endorsed and worked to place a pedophile in the United States Senate.

Can I hear an Amen?

Roy Moore Should Heed The Words Of Richard Nixon

(I know there are often lessons from history on this blog which features Richard Nixon.  With over 70 books on my shelves about the man and having been a Nixon history buff for decades I simply ask that we step back in time one more time…..)

In 1961 it was the first time in 100 years that a candidate for president had announced the result of an election in which he was defeated, and thereby needing to announce the victory of his opponent.

But that was the case as Vice-President Richard Nixon found himself in the awkward position of formally certifying the election in Congress of Jack Kennedy.  It was then as the presiding officer over a Joint Session in the House chamber that Nixon made the following statement.

“In our campaigns, no matter how hard fought they may be, no matter how close the election may turn out to be, those who lose accept the verdict and support those who win.”

On Tuesday night Roy Moore made an error that Nixon never did.

Moore in a most ungracious and sore-loser manner refused to concede the Alabama Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones.  Earlier in the evening, Jones declared victory, and all news outlets–even FAUX News–declared Jones the winner.

Moore told supporters he may seek a recount despite the vote tally showing that he is simply dreaming–perhaps of pre-teen girls.  “It’s not over,” Moore said. “That’s what we’ve got to do, is wait on God and have this process play out.”

It seems God already let it play out too long with Moore and is now calling in his cards.

Another wining hand from the Lord.

Watch Votes County By County In Alabama Tonight

Watch the votes county by county in Alabama tonight. With a mouse click the state is at your command.

Archie Bunker Had A Sammy Davis Jr. Album, Too

Kayla Moore, the blond-haired wife of Alabama’s Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, tried to defend her husband from accusations of anti-Semitism, and instead stained herself with utter embarrassment.    She made a most pointed reference that one of their attorneys is Jewish.

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all and I just want to set the record straight while they’re all here,” Moore declared in a speech.

She added, “One of our attorneys is a Jew.”

Ouch. Wow.  Is Archie Bunker back and writing campaign scripts?

Alabama Will Define Itself In Senate Election

The President and National Republican Party have endorsed and committed to supporting a man who was not just a serial child molester but who also says that homosexuality should be illegal, that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in political offices, and that the last great age in American history was when Americans still owned slaves.

Let’s pray that Alabama is better than this when they vote tomorrow.

What Does Alabama Senator Richard Shelby Have To Say About Roy Moore?

Senator Shelby said that his home state “deserves better” than to be represented by Senate candidate Roy Moore (R), Politico reports.

“I’d rather see the Republican win, but I would hope that Republican would be a write-in. I couldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I didn’t vote for Roy Moore. But I wrote in a distinguished Republican name. I’d rather see another Republican in there and I’m going to stay with that story. I’m not going to vote for the Democrat, I didn’t vote for the Democrat or advocate for the Democrat. But I couldn’t vote for Roy Moore.”

I wish to note that there are only a few rare cases in which party elders within the same state disavowed the party’s nominee for the Senate. The most cited example by political experts is the 1990 Louisiana Senate race, in which Republicans united in an extraordinary effort to defeat Republican David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who still clutches tightly to those same rancid views.

Another case comes to mind more recently when Republican Missouri Senator Blunt urged his party’s nominee, Todd Akin, to drop out of that year’s Senate contest.

I am under no illusions about the outcome of Tuesday’s vote in Alabama.  The under-educated along with the ones who sit so proudly in church will vote for a sexual predator to sit in the senate.