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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Alabama race unleashes swamp creatures’ insane fury against Roy Moore

It goes without saying today could loom large in the ultimate success of the entire Donald Trump presidency. In the coming hours Alabama voters go to the polls to choose the duly-elected replacement for former senator (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions, a decision that could have implications well beyond who heads to Washington tomorrow to work alongside Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and the rest of America’s senators.

With the Republicans’ razor thin two-seat majority hanging in the balance the party simply cannot afford to lose Trump tweet Moorein ruby red Alabama. The president himself realized the urgency and pulled out all the stops in the final days leading up to the contest to try and push Judge Roy Moore across the finish line in first place.

Alex Isenstadt and Henry C. Jackson of Politico reported over the weekend, “It took him a while, but President Donald Trump eventually used a Friday-night rally [at Pensacola, FL] to forcefully endorse Roy Moore, the embattled Alabama Republican running for the Senate…

“The president blasted Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones, as a rubber stamp for his party’s leaders, argued that Republicans couldn’t afford to narrow their majority in the chamber, and cast doubt on one of Moore’s accusers.

“’The future of this country cannot afford to lose a seat,’ Trump said. ‘We can’t afford to have a liberal Democrat who is completely controlled by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. His name is Jones and he’s a total puppet.’”

For those concerned Trump wouldn’t be “Republican” enough, he’s certainly proving to be quite the partisan. In typical Trumpian fashion the president went on to hit other 2016 campaign themes as well as included an obligatory broadside against the vanquished and now disgraced Crooked Hillary Clinton. Trump is terrific at being Trump. Hopefully the magic will work once again.

The dynamics of the Alabama race are driven by several widely divergent and unique factors. Of course the first is the multiple unsubstantiated contentions of Moore’s alleged inappropriate advances on teenaged girls in the late 1970’s when the candidate was in his early 30’s and reportedly had a preference for much younger women.

The media would suggest the sex issue is dominating the race but by now the matter has been so thoroughly litigated (for and against) that voters must have moved past it at some point. It’s highly unlikely Moore’s final vote tally will have been influenced to a great degree by the “he said/she said” claims of women whose faded memories and non-existent physical evidence would be insufficient to convict anyone of anything in a criminal sense, much less completely ruin the career of someone like Moore.

Nevertheless the sheer volume of coverage of the issue could potentially slightly dampen Moore’s turnout, though the Alabama GOP establishment was never behind him to begin with – so it’s hard to predict how it will balance out. A case could just as easily be made that there will be an electoral boomerang effect where marginal voters react to the media’s “witch hunt-like” nature of the whole spectacle and emerge to vote for Moore when they might otherwise remain on the fence.

The second factor is Doug Jones himself. As Trump amply pointed out in his Pensacola oration, Jones is not exactly the epitome of a Bill Clintonesque moderate “new Democrat” (does such a thing even exist anymore?). Unlike some politically self-aware Democrats Jones doesn’t equivocate on his liberal beliefs, most notably his championing of abortion on demand up until the moment of birth.

Such a view is not just out of the mainstream these days, it’s a radical position that will motivate evangelical voters to turn out in droves to support the unapologetically pro-life Moore. It could be said if the Democrats had bothered to nominate an old-style blue dog southern Democrat that Moore would be in trouble, but that certainly isn’t the case in today’s contest. Jones is the liberal real deal – making the differentiation between the two is easy for Alabamians.

A third factor is the contest’s center point in determining the course of the government policy. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out President Trump’s agenda could be at risk if Jones wins today. Thanks to several wishy-washy Republican establishment senators (McCain, Collins, Murkowski, Flake, Corker, etc…) it’s common knowledge the whole shebang could rest on the deliberations of a single senator. Therefore, Alabama residents have a massive responsibility today, similar to the one facing Massachusetts folks in early 2010 when filling the seat of the late Teddy Kennedy (Republican Scott Brown won but Obamacare passed anyway).

The margin for error couldn’t possibly be thinner. No wonder Trump has put such emphasis on the race in recent days. One single vote could mean the difference in passing tax reform, funding the border wall, confirming conservative judges or finally repealing Obamacare.

Lastly, there’s the intangible “McConnell” factor. Though it hasn’t gotten much mention of late,  Moore’s presence in Washington could signal the start of an inevitable leadership purge at the top of the GOP. This is yet-to-be-determined, though with the damage inflicted upon Moore’s reputation in the last month it seems unlikely he’d be able to get many to follow his lead in a “ditch Mitch” effort now. We’ll have to wait and see.

The leadership of both parties promised some sort of ethics showdown is waiting for Moore should he win today. The special election ends in a matter of hours but by no means have we heard the last of this topic one way or the other.

The Democrats appreciate the stakes as well; that’s why they ruthlessly dumped poor Senator Al Franken’s lifeless political body over the side of their decrepit ship last week. In a showy sob-fest fit for a Hollywood production Franken said he’d be resigning “in a few weeks” and proceeded to hit Trump again for the president’s own past sexual harassment allegations – and to touch on the Alabama race as in addition.

Franken’s “sorry, not sorry” resignation speech didn’t go very far in terms of the Democrats’ acknowledging he did anything iniquitous. They’re emphasizing it only appeared there was wrongdoing despite the existence of a photograph showing Franken actually groping a female accuser. Such tangible proof is absent in virtually all of the other sexual harassment cases of late, -- including Moore’s -- still, Franken made it sound like he was being banished unfairly.

The Franken affair also demonstrates the lengths Democrats are willing to go to try and build a case against Moore should the Republican win as expected. Democrats seem to think casting aside a creepy comedian-turned-politician would set some sort of moral precedent for Republicans to arise and string Moore up to the nearest tree.

The McConnell-led ruling class may indeed try to do just that, but it won’t take long for them to gather they need Moore’s goodwill and cooperation if the “big” agenda items are to pass. Citizens feel a tad bit better about the GOP congressional leadership now that it appears they’re going to pass something meaningful (tax reform) and the management can’t afford to let something fail because they’re distracted by a grandstanding ethics show over Moore’s old dating habits.

So it could be asserted Democrats have just as much at stake today in Alabama – a lot more than just the prospect of picking-up an unexpected seat in a deep red state. If Moore wins Democrats are likely to stay in the minority until 2020 at the earliest.

Josh Kraushaar of National Journal observed, “To have any chance of winning back the Senate majority [in 2018], Democrats would need to successfully defend five senators running in solidly Trump states, hold Al Franken’s unexpectedly vacant seat in Minnesota, pick up two swing-state seats in Nevada and Arizona—and then find their red-state unicorn. That’s a tall order. Moreover, Missouri and Indiana remain promising GOP pickup opportunities, even in a dismal year for Republicans.

“Exploiting Moore’s ethical baggage is the easiest path to finding that third elusive seat. But absent that, Democrats will need everything to go their way—and still pray for an unexpected development in an unlikely place.”

Kraushaar’s piece helpfully explains how difficult it will be for either party to make inroads into territory that isn’t already red or blue in 2018. As the last several elections have showed, the country is becoming increasingly divided by partisan preferences. Democrats can’t realistically hope to compete in the deep south any longer just as Republicans are getting progressively edged out in places like the people’s republic of California.

The National Journal reporter did write the House is looking ripe for Democrat takeover because they currently enjoy an 8-point advantage in the generic ballot. It even has them scouring for more possible seats to contest in typically conservative districts like Rep. Tom McClintock’s in the Golden State. We’ve seen it all before; there’s a lot that can happen between now and next November in terms of swaying public opinion. For today, Alabama is the focus.

Of course there are members of the elite “conservative” media who have already given up on the GOP, claiming the party is “rotting” because of Trump and Moore. Old establishment windbag David Brooks wrote last week at the New York Times, “The Republican Party is doing harm to every cause it purports to serve. If Republicans accept Roy Moore as a United States senator, they may, for a couple years, have one more vote for a justice or a tax cut, but they will have made their party loathsome for an entire generation. The pro-life cause will be forever associated with moral hypocrisy on an epic scale. The word ‘evangelical’ is already being discredited for an entire generation. Young people and people of color look at the Trump-Moore G.O.P. and they are repulsed, maybe forever.

“You don’t help your cause by wrapping your arms around an alleged sexual predator and a patriarchic bigot. You don’t help your cause by putting the pursuit of power above character, by worshiping at the feet of some loutish man or another, by claiming the ends justify any means. You don’t successfully rationalize your own tawdriness by claiming your opponents are satanic. You don’t save Christianity by betraying its message.”

All of this because of Roy Moore, David? Have the Democrats similarly suffered because they’ve championed proven abusers like Bill Clinton and Anthony Wiener over the years as opposed to a guy who says he didn’t do it (Moore) and yet was dragged through the ringer by people with a grudge? Are Americans so obtuse they can’t recognize the distinction?

Brooks concluded by writing, “More and more former Republicans wake up every day and realize: ‘I’m homeless. I’m politically homeless.’” With the lack of value in Brooks’ contributions to the public discourse, he should be homeless.

The GOP establishment has been backed into a corner in Alabama, just as they were nationwide with Trump’s campaign last year. The American people no longer take the ruling class’s word at face value and they’ll likely be sending another message to the swamp today by electing Roy Moore.

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I believe that the establishment Republicans, the ones who supported Luther Strange, were the people who paid the women, who came out of the woodwork, to disparage Roy Moore. The minute we heard from Leigh Corfman, and the Johnson woman, then Beverly Young Nelson, you were hearing cries of colluding disgust against Roy Moore. All major TV News started running with the narrative, including Fox News. Mitt Romney, a Globalist and Bush surrogate, were attacking Roy Moore while the body was still warm. Roy Moore will not concede, as there were huge inconsistencies and plenty of chicanery identified at lots of precincts. We'll see what can be divulged. The lesson here folks is pray harder than you've ever prayed before because Hell has been unleashed, and the Prince of darkness is ruling a great majority of Americans.