This is an opinion column.
Drama? You wanted drama?
You shoulda gone down to Georgia, because there is no political intrigue in Alabama these days. At least not on election night.
It says a lot that the biggest news the hapless, hopeless, Democrats made in Alabama was the election eve release of a letter by Randy Kelley, chair of that sad excuse for a political party, complaining that vice-chair Tabitha Isner was trying to do too much work.
It was essentially the only messaging the party did before this election, and it made those famous words of Will Rogers ring truer than ever:
“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
But Alabama Democrats aren’t a party at all. They are a lead weight, bickering among themselves, fighting over pretend power, and assuring that Republicans get more votes, more money, and more real power, which they use to get even more votes, money and power.
Rogers had that covered, too:
“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats,” he said before most of us were born. “If they agreed with each other, they’d be Republicans.”
It’s like he could see the future. Alabama’s future.
Just look at Alabama’s gubernatorial race. It should have been a moment of triumph for a state like Alabama, when a Democratic woman took on a Republican woman for the highest office we have.
But Yolanda Flowers, bless her heart, got nothing from her party but a spot on the ballot. She spent more than $12,000 in this race, which isn’t even enough to buy a 2014 Ford Fusion with 84,000 miles on it. Gov. Ivey spent more than $9.3 million this year alone, and left six figures in the bank. For every dollar Flowers spent this year, Ivey spent more than $751.
Like Rogers said, “America has the best politicians money can buy.” Then and now.
Hats off to Flowers for giving it a go. But that wasn’t a campaign. It was an inevitable beatdown. The Associated Press called that race before the Secretary of State posted a single result.
But the ineptitude of Alabama Democrats can’t be the news of the day. Hell, the ineptitude of the Democrats shouldn’t be news at all, for it surprised no one.
Perhaps the real news, the only news, is the women themselves. For they made history in Alabama. Ivey’s win in that two-woman race for governor was expected, and effortless, but it kept her at the helm.
Republican Katie Britt dominated her race – also expected – and was proclaimed the winner within minutes of the polls closing. She became the only woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate in Alabama, though others have been appointed to that position.
Congratulations to them both. It was indeed historic.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, the 7th District incumbent and the lone Democrat with any real clout these days, appeared to be headed for re-election. And she faced a GOP woman in her race as well.
Congratulations to them all. Women are a powerful force, a powerful voice in Alabama politics.
I suppose ol’’ Will Rogers had something to say about that, too.
“We always want the best man to win an election,” he said. “Unfortunately, he never runs.”
Maybe not. But maybe she does.
John Archibald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for AL.com.