Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama's Biggest Loser

Post-mortems aren’t always fun. Yet, one can excuse those Republicans who rejoice over Steve Bannon’s humiliating defeat in yesterday’s Alabama senate race. It takes strategic political genius for a Republican to lose a senate seat in Alabama, but Roy Moore did it. And, he did it under the aegis of that great political strategist, Steve Bannon.

Roger Simon has this to say:

The big loser in Tuesday's Alabama's special Senate election was not the Republican Party. They had already lost weeks ago, the moment the Washington Post wrote their (carefully vetted, in this instance) exposé of the thirty-year-old sexual proclivities of Judge Roy Moore.

It was checkmate from the start.  In this #MeToo era with politicians flying out the window as fast as you can say Conyers and Franken, the Republicans were damned if they did and damned if they didn't -- support Moore, that is.  And Moore didn't do himself any favors with an execrable performance during an interview with Sean Hannity shortly after the allegations. He was, to put it mildly, not ready for prime time. To be honest, Moore sounded pretty dopey, even if he was innocent, which he didn't come close to proving.

In many ways, the Republicans are lucky not to have Moore to deal with in Congress.  They can face obvious White House aspirant Kirsten Gillibrand and her merry band of hypocrites with a straight face.

No, the big loser Tuesday is Steve Bannon, the sometime movie producer cum finance expert cum political strategist that some claim put Donald Trump in office and then left the White House to better support the president from without, or so he said. In this instance -- purportedly to do that, I guess -- he went against Trump, who originally backed the more establishment candidate Luther Strange, to back one of Bannon's own, Judge Moore.

The only real difference between Luther Strange and Roy Moore was that Strange would surely have won. And, Strange appeared to be a decent human being.

One understands that Moore and Bannon supporters will be out in force blaming it all on the Washington Post, but, as Simon explains, some of the charges against Moore were highly credible. Besides, for all his Bible talk, Roy Moore did not strike very many people as a moral individual. Accusations were not proved in court, but people get an impression of a man and that impression counts. Roy Moore seemed sleazy and indecent. Keep in mind, Sen. Richard Shelby said he could not vote for Roy Moore. He knows the man better than most of the rest of us.

In fact, if Roy Moore had been as moral as he claimed, he would have known that: Pride goeth before destruction. His refusal to drop out of the race was prideful. A little humility, taking one for the party, would have shown him to be a man of character. He wasn’t. And he lost.

The Daily Caller piled on:

“This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running,” Steve Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, said in a statement. “Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco,” Law said.

It quoted a number of conservative commentators.

Ben Shapiro:

Bannon’s sure showing those establishment cucks a thing or two right now.

Rich Lowry:

Steve Bannon's campaign to depose Mitch McConnell takes a big step forward, by throwing away a seat in a ruby red state.

Josh Holmes:

Before we get the results, I'd just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union and Governor Ivey for the opportunity to make this national embarrassment a reality.

Dana Loesch:

Next time maybe Bannon will won’t fight Trump’s primary endorsement out of ego and cost the GOP a senate seat.

Roy Moore lost. No one is crying for Roy Moore. As of now Steve Bannon looks to be the biggest loser. That might turn out to be a blessing for the Republican Party.

If you want to take the measure of Bannon, see whether he can show any humility at his loss or whether he tries to scapegoat someone else for his failure. 


Jack Fisher said...

at least the GOP gets this trash out into the gutter where he belongs.

whitney said...

I'm relieved he didn't win. The controversy over him would never, never have ended. We know that for a fact by realizing that the controversy over Trump has never, never ended. It would have just been all distraction, all the time. It is a shame about Luther strange though.

sestamibi said...

Luther Strange was dirty for different reasons, and would have had to deal with the same withering attacks from the MSM as Moore did.

Don't blame Bannon; at least he was on the right side. Blame the senate scum that did Moore in--particularly Richard Shelby and Jeff Flake.

And do not think that the GOP will win this seat back in 2020. These guys are hard to dislodge.

Ares Olympus said...

I see Moore got 81% of the white evangelical voters (by exit polls). That's something for which he can be proud.
Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at Clemson University in South Carolina who studies Christian nationalism, said evangelicals are the religious group most likely to identify with Christian nationalism. Alabama has one of the highest percentages of white evangelicals, .... "The view is that God can use anybody as long as they're promoting Christian nationalist or ideals or values," Whitehead said.

It's a small victory for the Democrats, given how many seats they have to still defend in 2018. I also see Moore's votes plus write in votes was in the majority, so the GOP can take it back in 2020 by running a slightly more humble candidate next time. I see Jeff Sessions got 97% of the vote in 2014 (unopposed), and 63% in 2008, so maybe he'll be back in the senate for 2021?

trigger warning said...

"Whitehead [...] said evangelicals are the religious group most likely to identify with Christian nationalism"

"Whitehead was quick to note that political ideology and party affiliation remain the most powerful predictors in the survey for how people voted in 2017." isn't the best source for scientific facts, Ares. Besides, his study had a 13.6% response rate. Hardly classifies as "authoritative". But I'm sure it works for you, what with your science and math background and all.

Ares Olympus said...

If we want some solid, all we really can see is votes among voter turnout, although this was special election, while 2008 highest, was a presidential year.

1996 - Sessions 786,436 52.45%, Democrat 681,651 45.46%
2002 - Sessions 792,561 58.58% Democrat 538,878 39.83%
2008 - Sessions 1,305,383 63.36%, Democrat 752,391 36.52%
2014 - Sessions 795,606 97.25% (unopposed)
2018 - Moore 650,436 48.4%, Democrat 671,151 49.9%, write in 22,819 1.7%

Its less clear that I like, but shows much lower turnout, possibly as a special election, or possibly many republicans were too disgusted to care to vote at all, and not voting is a default vote for whomever wins.

BobJustBob said...

Try this view of the election...RINOS sacrifice Senate seat to put upstart trash in their place...

One thing you can say for Trumps election is that it exposed the Republicans in Congress(and especially the leadership) for what they really are...and it's not our elected Representative.