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In American politics, the only people more important than those who support you the most are the people quickest to condemn you when the opportunity arises. The Washington GOP establishment’s treatment of Senate hopeful Roy Moore
provides a good example of why this matters.
Barring a competent investigation which finds him legally culpable, American justice dictates that Moore is innocent of all the allegations against him until proven otherwise.
Until that happens, and as long as Moore continues to fervently deny the accusations, there isn’t much more to discuss about the allegations being made against the candidate in national media.
Unless, of course, you’re a Democrat or a member of the GOP establishment. It’s obvious why the Democrats hate Moore– but the GOP establishment’s dislike for the candidate, which was evident long before the Washington Post accused him of being a pervert, is a little more complicated.
I noted after Moore beat the GOP establishment’s candidate, Sen. Luther Strange, in the primary earlier this year:
race wasn’t a referendum on Trump, despite his endorsement for Strange. But it should certainly serve as a reminder to the administration of the danger in setting aside the fiery campaign promises Trump made before entering the Oval Office for a more business-as-usual style of Washington politics.
Moore’s campaign, aided by ousted former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, spoke directly to supporters of many of the president’s key campaign proposals. And the Alabama politician is promising to maintain a prickly relationship with members of the political establishment on Capitol Hill.
In other words, he just might represent the beginning of a big voter-driven swamp draining in Congress.
In short, the GOP establishment in Washington couldn’t have a Moore victory because it would signal that the current Republican power players are all vulnerable to strong populist candidates in coming elections. Following the recent allegation– whether real or manufactured– against Moore, that’s even more important now than before.
If Moore wins, it means Alabama conservatives would rather hazard sending someone accused of major misconduct to Washington than put up another establishment lawmaker.
That’s why the national Republican Party apparatus has joined the left in affirming Moore’s guilt without sufficient proof.
Right now, national Republicans are desperately trying to figure out how to replace Moore with Strange or to force a new special election in the state.
“We’re about to give away a seat that can determine the future of Trump’s agenda, and I hope the good people of Alabama on the Republican side will try to find a way to pick a nominee that can represent the conservative cause in an effective way,” Graham said recently on Fox News Radio.
That’s why you have folks like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) now saying that there is absolutely no chance Moore can win in Alabama. They want conservative voters to doubt themselves, much like when Graham and his ilk said President Donald Trump was unfit for office.
The problem for Graham is that Alabama Republicans still have big questions about the national party and national media attacks on Moore.
Like, why didn’t an Alabama newspaper stumble upon any of this information about Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct sometime in the past 40 years? And why has every local GOP organization in the state continued to back Moore in spite of the national GOP’s insistence that he must be dropped from the election?
Graham contends that Moore is going to cause Alabama to lose a GOP seat that’s “almost impossible” to lose to a Democrat. Yet, he contends that the only way to stop that loss is by doing the one thing that ensures Moore can’t win: fracturing the GOP vote.
If Trump hadn’t won the presidency, Graham and his GOP establishment cohorts would’ve been able to continue doing nothing while embarking on an “I told you so” tour. If they can force Moore to lose, they’ll get their tour and the ability to warn voters against outsiders in every race to come.
Alabama voters ought to follow their instincts. We can sort the rest of this stuff out on the other side of next month’s election.