There is an unpopular Republican tax bill now to echo the unpopular Democratic health care bill eight years ago, but policy is a much smaller part of what was repudiated last night in Alabama. It was not so much a rejection of the Trump agenda as it was a rejection of the whole Trumpian mode of politics, which since our president’s election has consisted of a trebling down on the most unattractive features of his campaign style, a fervent commitment to “triggering the libs” shorn of any populist substance, and a cocksure assumption that any Republicans who aren’t in it for the liberal-triggering care enough about judges and abortion or their tax cuts or the soaring stock market to swallow hard and go along.

Roy Moore, in this sense, was Trump’s Trump — the man who took this mode of politics to 11 and beyond…

So while Moore’s defeat is, yes, specific to him, specific to the statutory rape accusations and all the rest of his problems as a candidate, it’s also a pretty clear foretaste of what you get when you distill white identity politics to a nasty essence and then try to build a coalition around it. You get massive Democratic turnout, black turnout in particular, slumping Republican turnout, and a whole lot of write-in votes from people who should be your supporters. You get Democrats winning elections in the most unlikely places. And you get, quite probably, a Democratic majority in the House and perhaps even the Senate.