Doug Jones Will Accomplish As Much As Scott Brown: Nothing.
When he’s done doing nothing, he’ll slink back off to whatever rock he chooses to hide under.
This isn’t an attack on Scott Brown, but let’s be realistic for a second. Scott Brown’s tenure as a Republican Senator from Massachusetts was a failure. He accomplished nothing and sacrificed everything. By the end of his years as a senator, Brown was an anti-gun Republican pushed to the political “center” of the liberal swamp and the only credential he had to offer as a “conservative” was that he drove a truck.
Brown won his 2010 special election against Democrat partisan Martha Coakley, sure. But who went on to be more successful? Who made decisions that actually had efficacy? Not Brown. Martha might have lost her race but she was in a low risk, comfortable scenario. In the crooked Massachusetts political sphere, she was able to return to her fiefdom as the Attorney General. Under Deval Patrick’s dingbat leadership she sunk her teeth into all sorts of issues. By 2012, Brown’s time was running out and he was facing another election to retain his seat. He had already sacrificed his principles on the Jobs Bill vote alienating members of his own party. The only genuinely “conservative” thing he did (after getting a Democrat ally) was pass a bill that audits the Department of Homeland Security.
This isn’t to criticize Brown for the sake of criticizing him. He’s a loyal supporter of the president. He’s just the perfect example of what happens to a politician when they are squeezed into an uncomfortable position and facing expectations they would otherwise prefer to avoid. The conform, they shape-shift, and they find ways to adapt.
After Brown lost his 2012 election he spent his last days in the Senate advocating an Assault Weapon Ban. He then limped back to New Hampshire (he was carpetbagging Massachusetts) with his tail between his legs and tried to run there. Unfortunately for Brown, who probably would have made a good senator for New Hampshire had he not sold out his principles in Massachusetts, he was rejected. His loss to New Hampshire’s senior senator Jeanne Shaheen made him the first and only politician to lose to senate races to a female opponent. That’s a bit of a baseball statistic, I know. The more salient point is that Brown was born in New Hampshire and lost to a candidate that was born in Missouri–the Massachusetts carpetbagger had met his match.
Enter Doug Jones. Jones now faces an election in 2020 and he won’t have much of a chance when the day comes. It’s easy to forget that Jeff Sessions carried every single county in the state during his 2014 election victory.
It’s worth noting that Sessions ran unopposed. There was no challenger because “resistance” was futile.
So what happens next? Jones can enter Congress and do absolutely everything he can to piss off his constituents by being led through the motions of Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren. Alternatively, he can alienate all that outside money he relied on from west-coast Democrat donors and shoot himself in the fundraising foot. Either way he’s screwed. When the midterms roll around and Republicans pick up a couple more seats stretching out their control to 53 or 54 senators, Doug Jones becomes an insignificant moral victory won by desperate manipulation.
In 2020 Democrats will have more important races to pool money for and Jones will be left hanging out to dry.