Alabama Republicans are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure no Democrat ever goes to the Senate again.
The Republican Party is still smarting from its humiliating defeat in Alabama last December, when Democrat Doug Jones beat alleged pedophile Roy Moore to assume the Senate seat once held by avowed racist Jeff Sessions.
Donald Trump wholeheartedly endorsed Moore, briefly went silent after multiple allegations emerged that Moore was infamous in his Alabama town for preying on teenage girls, and then even more enthusiastically re-endorsed Moore.
Republicans in Alabama, on the other hand, never wavered in their support for the man accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s. Gov. Kay Ivey unapologetically said they'd rather have a child molester in the Senate than a Democrat.
So now, in a flagrant rebuke to the democratic process, the state's Republican-controlled legislature has decided to try to ensure that no Democrat ever beats a Republican pedophile again.
The House of Representatives voted Tuesday night, largely along party lines, to end special elections for the Senate. Instead, under this bill, the governor would be allowed to appoint a replacement, in the event of a vacant Senate seat, until the next general election.
While Republicans insist this has nothing to do with trying to avoid another special election in which Democrats might have a better chance of winning Democrats have been flipping deep red seats across the country ever since Trump's inauguration depriving voters of the right to choose their own senator is still a shocking affront to democracy.
Youre taking away from citizens the right to vote, said Democratic state Rep. Louise Alexander. Democrats filibustered the bill for two hours, but in a legislature dominated by Republicans, that effort was doomed to fail.
It's not likely that Alabama will soon find itself in the same situation, where the Republican Senate nominee is so undesirable to most people that Democrats are actually able to win a statewide seat. But 2017 was an amazing year of unlikely special election victories for Democrats, and 2018 is looking to be another incredibly bad year for Republicans.
And while it seems absurd to think the party would ever rally around an alleged pedophile again, perhaps the GOP wants to keep its options open, just in case.