An interesting thing came to my mind as I watched the December 12 special election in Alabama for former Senator Jeff Sessions’ [now Attorney General] seat go to a Democrat — Eliza Doolittle’s [Audrey Hepburn’s] wistful song Wouldn’t It Be Lovely in the 1964 musical My Fair Lady. In that song, “Eloyza” [as she pronounced her name before her metamorphosis under the direction of Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison)] expressed how “lov-e-ly” it would be if [in so many words] she could live a more affluent lifestyle.
This election presented me with numerous sub-themes to write about, mostly around the general theme of the Major Paradigm Shift Well Underway not only in this country but in the world [i.e., more evidence of the shift, and what we can glean from this particular component of it]. I chose my “Eliza Doolittle epiphany” because it looks forward to what could be rather than backward-to-now to confirm what has been and is taking place.
Back To The Alabama Election …
That imagery in my mind caused me to think “Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely if Doug Jones, the newly-elected Democrat, would realize how much of a change agent he could become in the three years he has until he will surely be unseated by a Republican if he does not become that change agent?”.
Think about it. … Jones, who if he simply plays by the Current Paradigm rules and falls in line behind the Democrat leadership is a “lame duck” Senator from the get-go, has the potential to almost immediately become one of the most powerful people in our elected leadership. And if he rises to that challenge and “plays his cards right”, he could have a bright future ahead of him.
Unfortunately, Doug Jones doesn’t appear to be one of the sharper knives in the drawer, but heck, there are many examples in both parties of people about whom that could be said. So for a moment, let’s forget the fact that Jones is beholden to the Democrat Party because they poured millions into his campaign and brought in party “big guns” to voice their support of him in ads and rallies [which means the Current Paradigm will no doubt prevail, and he will just fall in line and play by the rules]. Let’s just indulge ourselves and fantasize a bit here on what could be if Jones wakes up and smells the coffee. …
What Could Jones Do If He “Sees The Light”?
Overnight, Doug Jones has removed 33% of the Republican margin for any action that requires only a simple majority in the Senate. That margin has dropped from three to two, meaning that before Jones’ January 2018 swearing in, three Republicans can defeat an action promoted by the their leadership, whereas beginning in January only two can kill it — assuming, of course, no yea votes from Democrats and a tie-breaking yea from the Vice President.
If Jones realizes that the money and support he got from Democrats this month is history, and that it is likely that no amount of money or support from them in 2020 [when Sessions’ seat is up for regular re-election] will propel him to victory in that election if he is “just another Democrat” between now and then, he will benefit greatly from voting the way all legislators from both parties should vote — as he believes most of the people in his state [whether they voted for him or not] would want him to vote.
Think about what that could accomplish. … Envision an atmosphere in which he is “in play” [as the media pundits say] in every piece of legislation coming to the Senate over the next three years — i.e., an atmosphere in which he is never a shoo-in nay vote like all the monolithic automatons under Chuck Schumer. Legislation that a Jones yea vote helped pass could no longer be branded by Democrats as purely partisan in 2018 and 2020 election campaigns. Better yet, a yea from a single member of one party can often embolden others to vote with that “renegade”, breaking the “nobody wants to be the first to step out of line” mold. Building on the momentum of that latter thought, what if that one “ice breaking” action by Jones ended up getting the Senate back into truly bipartisan discussion, with nine or more Democrats potentially opening up the possibility of multiple bills passing with 60 or more votes?
Back To Reality
Sorry, I got carried away there. I won’t hold my breath until I see this scenario unfolding. My guess is that it’ll be business as usual after Jones is sworn in — business as usual meaning that regardless of which party has a majority as thin as 51-49, the majority brings its bills to the floor and the vote is [at best from the majority’s view] 51 yea, 49 nay [or 51 yea, 50 nay if the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote is required]. This brief moment of fantasizing was uplifting, though!
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Charles M. Jones