Monday, September 25, 2017

Republican establishment is clutching its pearls as Luther Strange appears on the ropes in GOP runoff with Roy Moore for Alabama seat in the U.S. Senate

Luther Strange and Donald Trump
The White House and establishment Republicans are concerned about Luther Strange's chances in tomorrow's Alabama GOP runoff for a seat in the U.S. Senate, according to a new report at Politico. Meanwhile, Breitbart called Donald Trump's endorsement of Strange "tortured" and quoted Trump admitting that he "might have made a mistake" in getting involved with the race.

Strange and Roy Moore square off tomorrow in a runoff that has become the nation's No. 1 political story. The winner will face Democrat Doug Jones, who is as shallow and ethically compromised as either Republican, in the Dec. 12 general election.

Polls have shown Moore as the front-runner in the GOP runoff, and that apparently is causing furrowed brows in the Republican hierarchy. Perhaps Strange should adopt the No. 1 GOP electoral strategy of the past 20 years or so: Keep the race close enough that Karl Rove and his minions can steal it at the 11th hour. Roy Moore and his supporters would be wise to keep an eye out for that one. From Politico:

Top administration officials and allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have spent days poring over public and private polling that shows Moore consistently leading Strange, though the race has tightened, say those familiar with the numbers.

On his way to Huntsville on Air Force One Friday to campaign for Strange, President Donald Trump was joined by a small team of aides that included Rick Dearborn, a veteran of Alabama politics, and Bill Stepien, the White House political director. Both aides, as well as a number of other administration officials, have privately expressed apprehension about the state of the race. Stepien brought a sheaf of the latest polling data.

Are McConnell, Rove, and the Trumpistas getting desperate? It's looking that way:

With Strange on the ropes and time running out, the party has launched a coordinated, scorched-earth campaign to take down Moore. The sheer breadth of the anti-Moore campaign has stunned Alabama’s political class: It includes non-stop TV ads, a meticulously-crafted get-out-the-vote effort, and detailed, oppo-research-filled debate prep sessions for Strange.

Moore, a 70-year-old former state Supreme Court chief justice who rose to national fame after refusing a federal order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a judicial building, is a staunch social conservative who has called for McConnell’s ouster and lambasted Republican leadership. If he comes out ahead on Tuesday, mainstream Republicans worry it would instigate a broader offensive by the activist right to unseat other GOP incumbents in the 2018 midterms.

"Winning here means we'll be able to focus our energy on defeating Democrats next year, instead of fighting useless and divisive intra-party battles," said Steven Law, a former McConnell chief of staff who serves as president and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, which has spent millions of dollars in Alabama.

Republicans could wind up coiled and hissing at each other, like the snakes so many of them tend to be? Gee, wouldn't that be fun?

Moore has hammered Strange for receiving support for national Republicans, casting him as a pawn of the party establishment and especially McConnell. He has framed his campaign as a David vs. Goliath battle that would provide momentum to other insurgents if he wins.

“Everybody in Washington, as I said tonight, is watching this election,” Moore said at a post-debate rally in Montgomery with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. “The 2018 senatorial elections are coming up, and they see this could bring a change in our direction for the country. So this is a very important election.”

Moore’s side is gearing up, too. Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, has cut a robocall that's expected to go out to voters starting Monday. And that evening, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who has broken with Trump in the race, will join “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson and Brexit leader Nigel Farage for what is expected to be a raucous pro-Moore rally in Fairhope, Alabama.

Speaking of Bannon, his Breitbart sites says Trump is less-than-enthused about his support of Strange. Polls are showing that Trump's visit to Huntsville, AL, did little to help Strange's chances:

If Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) was hoping for a full-throated, straightforward endorsement from President Trump, he will have been disappointed with the somewhat tortured thumbs-up he received from the president at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday night. 
Strange, the establishment favorite in the Alabama Senate primary, is trailing in multiple polls to conservative opponent Judge Roy Moore and has clung to Trump’s endorsement as he seeks to sell himself as a candidate who will help drain the swamp and help Trump pass his agenda in Congress. 
Yet Strange’s history as a D.C. lobbyist, his wobbly stance on DACA, and his big-money backing by the establishment GOP has not warmed him to deep-red Alabama Republicans, and he needed a big win from Trump on Friday to get him back on track. 
But while Trump praised Strange as a “real fighter and a real good guy” and a “tough cookie” who “doesn’t deal and kowtow to anyone,” Trump also admitted he may have made a mistake getting involved in the race.

“We have to be loyal in life,” Trump said. “There is something called loyalty, and I might have made a mistake and I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake.”


Anonymous said...

I bet there is a plan in place to steal it for Strange. The crooks might get cold feet, but I bet they have a scheme set.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it "strange" that being aligned with a president who sold out his country to Russia is seen as a positive to many Alabama voters?

legalschnauzer said...

@3:27 --

A great and profound question you raise. Here are a few others: How do these white "Christian" voters support a "president" who was caught on tape discussing his tendency to grab women by the p---y? How do these "patriots" support a "president" who clearly has the backing of Russia and essentially is Putin's puppet? Aren't these the same people who hold Ronald Reagan as an almost God-like figure?

Anonymous said...

No wonder Charles Barkley is embarrassed by the people of Alabama. That's Barkley's home state, and it sounds like he's ashamed to have any ties there:

Appearing on "The NFL on CBS" pregame show on Sunday, Barkley said: "The president of the United States should never use the word SOB. That's just 100 percent inappropriate. I'm embarrassed because he said the speech in Alabama and got a rousing reception when he said those things. So it hurts me that those ignorant folks in Alabama would applaud something so stupid."

Anonymous said...

Is it funny, sad, or both that Charles Barkley is so much smarter than the president of the USA?

legalschnauzer said...

Gotta love Charles. When I was a sportswriter at Birmingham Post-Herald I covered Charles as he was blossoming into a star at Leeds High School, near Birmingham. I remember when Charles came downtown to our newsroom to have his picture taken as Player of the Week. He was a big boy then; he's a big man now. He was a great interview, even in high school.

Anonymous said...

Wish Charles Barkley would run for Senate. He would kick some ass.

Anonymous said...

Why is Donald Trump seen as an asset by conservative, Christian voters, who might be expected to reject an avowed pussy-grabber? Here is my simple answer: The power of racism is a frightful thing, especially in the post-Obama world, where many white folks are terrified that another one of "them" might get elected president. Racism overwhelms reason, religious beliefs, verifiable facts, science, and just about anything else that stands in its way. Many of these people know, or have reason to strongly suspect, Donald Trump sold out his country to Russian to gain the White House. Racism overwhelms even that.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:23 --

Thanks for some sobering thoughts. I suspect you are right, and it means racism is almost existential in its power, that it resides at the very core of the human soul. Seems it is based in an outsized fear of "the other."

e.a.f. said...

Those who support Trump aren't "true Christians" in many people's books. On the other hand, who is in greater need than these people to be seeking religious guidance. It does seem though that many of these "Christian leaders" aren't keeping with the teachings of the Bible. They can't even seem to get with the agenda of the 10 Commandments. Oh, well, if there is an after life and all that stuff, some of them are going to be in for a great big surprise.

My sense is that a lot of American Christian activity is almost like a social club more than a Church where they worship their God and jesus.

There is nothing in the bible which says sexual assault is an o.k. thing to do. It does say to not covet another man's wife, etc.

Trump is a Christian of convenience. Those supporters of his at these rallies aren't Christians, they're simply rabble looking for the kill. They remind me very much of the pagans at the "circuses" put on by the Roman emperors which involved killing Christians.

Strange, lets hope he looses. it will signal to Trump he isn't as great as he thinks he is. it maybe a lesson he has to learn and fast. It may make him think about going to war with N. Korea. He could loose. Its interesting to watch Ken Burn's documentary right now on Vietnam being shown on PBS. Not much has changed since the 1960s. The U.S.A. still at war with nations they don't need to be and still at war with their own citizen. Won't they ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Roy Moore will win this election and the people in Alabama who vote for him care nothing about GOP loyalty. He sits at the right hand of Jesus and there is no way Strange can overcome that. Politicians in Alabama love to out Christian each other. It is how racists and others justify their hate. They voted for Trump because no matter his sins...he isn't the evil devil Clinton. If Strange wins....well, it is rigged. Sad but true