Republicans repeatedly said that the will of Alabama voters should be respected when they thought they would win, but after black voters powered Doug Jones to victory, they suddenly changed their minds.
After weeks of asserting that the will of Alabama voters was the final word on the state's special election, Republicans are now insisting that since they lost — thanks in large part to black voters — the results don't quite count anymore.
Soon after it became clear that Doug Jones would defeat Roy Moore, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, released a bizarre statement calling on Jones to switch parties.
The sentiment was echoed by Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who tweeted, "Doug Jones now answers to Alabamians, who overwhelmingly support President Trump’s conservative agenda, not Schumer & Democrat party bosses who prioritize obstruction over tax cuts & economic revival for Americans."
This notion is absurd.
Jones ran on a platform supported by millions of Democrats. He opposes efforts to gut Obamacare, noting, "I am disturbed about repeated efforts to repeal the bill or weaken it, leaving as many as 32 million more Americans without insurance."
Jones supports a living wage, and slammed the Republican tax scheme. He told reporters he was "troubled by tax breaks for the wealthy, which seem to be, in this bill, overloaded." He also called out the provisions that would raise taxes on the middle class.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rushing to pass a tax hike on the middle class before Jones is seated.
Jones opposed Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, and asserted "I believe in science."
He has called for reform on prison sentencing, criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions' regressive and punitive policies.
Jones ran on a pro-choice platform, and said he is a "firm believer that a woman should have to freedom to choose what happens to her own body."
The voters of Alabama did not elect Jones to enact the agenda backed by Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. A surge of voters, especially black women, exercised their right to vote in support of the progressive policies that Jones ran on — and as a U.S. senator, Jones intends to represent those who voted him into office.
"The people of Alabama expect me to do the right thing and vote for the people of Alabama," Jones said Wednesday afternoon, in response to a question about Gardner's statement calling on him to vote with the GOP.
Before the race was decided by these voters – despite Republican efforts to suppress the vote – the GOP heavily favored respecting Alabama's decision.
Trump wrote that "the people of Alabama will do the right thing" and vote for Moore. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders asserted that "the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their senator should be." Deputy press secretary Raj Shah also told the press, "This election is for the people of Alabama to decide."
The people have decided. They rejected Trump, his chosen candidate and his history of alleged sexual assault, and the Republican agenda. They voted for Doug Jones. Now, Republicans want to change the rules after they've lost the game.
That's not how this works.