From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
Trump Pushes His Chips to the Center of the Table, Endorses Roy Moore…
President Trump must feel pretty confident Roy Moore is going to win the Senate special election in Alabama.
This morning he declared on Twitter, “Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!”
(There’s something German about Trump’s capitalization habits, isn’t there? Germans capitalize all nouns. Just this morning on Twitter, Trump has capitalized “Witch Hunt” “Tax Cutting” “Republican Agenda” and “Highest Stock Market.”)
Even by Trump standards, there’s not much logic or advantage by jumping on the bandwagon of an enormously controversial candidate like Moore if he’s about to lose.
On the other hand… how confident should anyone be about the outcome right now? It’s a special election, which usually means much lower turnout. It’s a special election just a few weeks before Christmas. Then again, this special election, and in particular the allegations against Moore, have been huge news, it’s hard to believe too many Alabama voters will simply not notice the special election going on. As Allahpundit observes, the polling is probably even more suspect that usual, with everyone guessing how many Republicans don’t want to tell a pollster that they’ve voting for Roy Moore, and how many Republicans don’t want to tell a pollster that they’ve voting for a Democrat.
Had Doug Jones looked or sounded at all like a moderate on abortion, you would probably see more open defections from the Republican nominee. But right now he’s asking pro-life Alabamans to vote for a candidate who declares, “I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose” and who’s declared he doesn’t support any changes to current laws on abortion. There’s your choice, Alabama pro-lifers: abortion on demand or the creep who kept pursuing teenagers when he was in his 30s (and perhaps did more than merely “pursue” them).
Interestingly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be coming to terms with seating Moore if he wins the election. Asked yesterday if he believes Roy Moore should be in the Senate, McConnell said, “I’m going to let the people of Alabama make the call.”
Back on November 14, McConnell declared, “He’s obviously not fit to be in the United States Senate, and we’ve looked at all the options to try to prevent that from happening.”
How many senators are reluctant to begin the process of refusing to seat a legally-elected senator over serious, but unverified allegations of criminal behavior? If the Senate refused to seat Moore because of this… would there be an effort to refuse to seat or unseat another senator facing slightly-less-horrific allegations? Maybe Roy Moore isn’t fit to join the chamber where Ted Kennedy served 47 years… but if he isn’t, is Al Franken?
If Moore wins, Republicans keep the Senate seat, with the minor complication that Democrats will argue that they “welcomed” a man facing allegations of statutory rape. There’s also the minor problem that Roy Moore tends to make Donald Trump look like a disciplined, focused speaker, going on about “reds and yellows,” not knowing what the Dreamer program was as recently as this summer, and contending that Illinois communities are under Sharia law. (This isn’t even getting the conspiracy theory right, which contends that majority-Muslim communities in Michigan operate under de facto Sharia law.)
If Doug Jones wins, Republicans are down to a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and President Trump will have managed to back the losing candidate in the primary and in the general, in one of his strongest states. Before today, Trump could have at least claimed, “Moore always struck me as a loser, that’s why I never explicitly endorsed him.”
If Jones wins, can we all agree to never listen to Steve Bannon again? Just think, Senator Luther Strange could have been cruising right about now.