Ann Althouse May be the Only Commentator Who Understands the Alabama Senate Election (Update: The Federalist too)

Because this is it, in a nutshell:

Why can’t it just mean that the voters of Alabama — deprived of these allegations (about old events) until after the primary — were stuck with a choice between a particular, possibly morally flawed Republican who would represent them in Congress by voting for the policies they want and a Democrat who might be less morally flawed but would vote against the policies they want, and they voted according to their policy choices and not as a judgment on the morality of the man?

Update: Hold up, The Federalist is doing a pretty good job too:

Politics, especially the increasingly pervasive politics of all-out culture war, is for these voters a straightforward extension of their religious convictions. The mainstream media paints these people as without principles—or worse, as hypocrites, given their support of Moore in the face of his alleged sexual misdeeds. But the opposite is true. They take their principles so seriously that they’re willing to make hard choices with their eyes wide open. In this case, they will not vote for Doug Jones because Jones supports abortion—no matter what Moore did.

Whether you think the accusations against Moore are credible or not, these are not unreasonable arguments. They are also not necessarily borne of ignorance, bigotry, or populist fervor, as so many Washington pundits like to claim. Even if you aren’t convinced by his supporters’ arguments, they must be reckoned with and answered, not dismissed or scoffed at, precisely because they are so prevalent. That CBS/YouGov poll found that 71 percent of Alabama Republicans don’t believe the allegations against Moore, while just 17 percent say the accusations are true. The poll also found a majority of likely voters believe that other things matter more in this election than the accusations against Moore.

For many people outside Alabama, especially the Republican establishment and the mainstream media, this is a big problem. Their general consensus is that the allegations against Moore are credible, and that he is therefore unfit for office. Their lack of curiosity about why so many Alabamans nevertheless support Moore, and their instinct to dismiss his supporters out of hand, is one of the reasons America got Donald Trump last year—and why almost no one saw it coming.

The professional class that’s supposed to understand American voters never bothered to ask why Trump’s message might resonate with tens of millions of people, in part because they never bothered to ask those people what they cared about or treat their concerns as legitimate. For the most part, the mainstream media and Washington elites would rather pretend these people don’t exist, or dismiss them as backwater rubes and racists.

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