Democrats were looking forward to spending the next year wrapping Moore around the necks of Republicans. They were gearing up for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation that would keep Moore in the spotlight for months and preparing to demand public hearings where his accusers could be paraded before the media.
They were waiting with bated breath for the cavalcade of bigoted gaffes Moore would have made. They were looking forward to seeing Republicans squirm, as they were forced to court an increasingly toxic Moore for his vote in a narrowly divided Senate. And they were ready to pummel Republicans when, in the end, the GOP-controlled Senate would fail to expel him - knowing full well there was no precedent for removing a senator from office for actions he allegedly committed decades ago, before he was a senator, and that voters knew about before electing him.
"Sen. Roy Moore, R-Ala.," would have been the greatest Christmas gift Democrats could have wished for. Instead, Santa left them with a lump of coal. Moore isn't coming to Washington after all. There will be no investigation, no public hearings. The voters of conservative Republican Alabama, in their wisdom, decided that Moore was not worthy to represent them in the United States Senate. Roll tide!
Of course, the idea that Democrats could have claimed moral superiority when it comes to the sexual abuse of women was laughable to begin with. Just last year, Democrats gave Clinton - who faced credible allegations of rape and other sexual misconduct - a hero's welcome at their convention in Philadelphia. They nominated Hillary Clinton, who rather than believe the women stood by her husband through the allegations, as their standard-bearer. And just a few years ago, they named a Senate caucus room for Ted and John F. Kennedy, both harassers as well.
Watching the party of Clinton, Kennedy, Franken, Conyers, Weiner, Condit and countless others excoriating anyone over sexual misconduct would have been rich indeed. But Moore's election would have given Democrats a credible pretext to do just that.
Instead, they got Doug Jones. Democrats never intended for Jones to win. After all, if they were serious about competing in Alabama, they would not have nominated a pro-abortion extremist in one of the most pro-life states in the country. Indeed, Jones would have lost easily Tuesday night if any Republican other than an alleged sex predator had been on the ballot. And he is virtually guaranteed to lose his seat in 2020.
Democrats will take the unexpected benefits of his victory, which narrows the GOP's Senate majority from 52 to 51, complicating President Donald Trump's ability to pass legislation and confirm judges (including a possible Supreme Court pick) next year. They will try to spin it as a repudiation of Trump, which it was not.
(Trump maintains a 59 percent approval rating in Alabama.) And they know it means they have one less seat they need to win in order to regain control of the Senate in 2018.
But all that pales in comparison with what Moore would have done for the Democratic Party as a Republican senator. That is why so many conservatives in Alabama either wrote in another candidate or stayed home, giving Jones the victory. And it is why Alabama's senior senator, Richard C. Shelby - possibly the most astute political mind on the Republican side of the aisle - came out publicly against Moore the Sunday before the election. They knew that Moore is the Democrats' caricature of a Republican come to life.
Democrats are glad to gain a Senate seat, but with a Moore victory they might have gained a whole lot more.
Thank G0D for the people of Alabama.