Will Republicans learn the right lessons from their Roy Moore disaster?

It's time for some soul-searching

Roy Moore.
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On Tuesday evening, Republicans managed to perform a seemingly impossible task. They took a state that has been one of their most reliable bastions, a state that had elected Republicans to the U.S. Senate without fail for decades, and coughed it up to the Democrats. The Alabama seat that Doug Jones won in the special election had been held by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions since 1997. He had won his latest term in 2014 without Democrats bothering to field a challenger. The other Republican senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, won re-election last year with 63.9 percent of the vote against Democrat Ron Crumpton.

The stunning special-election loss will no doubt spark a heated debate over who gets the blame for the debacle. That starts with the choice of Republicans' nominee, but goes beyond that to a perhaps dangerous conclusion from the results of the 2016 election: that character no longer mattered in politics.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for HotAir.com. His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.