There has been talk over the last few weeks about Roy Moore taking his seat and then being expelled from the Senate. There was, at one point, talk about running a write-in candidate with a big name, even whispers of Jeff Sessions. All of that in an effort for the GOP to distance themselves from him.
That’s over now. There is no distance.
It’s bad enough that the Democrats are getting rid of their dead weight, making themselves nimbler and more lightweight to fight as the supposedly morally cleansed party against a GOP that elected Trump and is probably going to elect Moore, but now we have a new wrinkle.
He has been tweeting his support for Moore, going as far as to say America “needs” him, and he was boostering for Moore in his Pensacola rally on Friday night. Assuming he goes through with the call, it will be an even further, a much further step into the morass.
Donald Trump has agreed to record a robocall for Alabama Republican Roy Moore ahead of next week’s special election, the president’s most direct involvement in Alabama on behalf of the embattled candidate to date.
The call, according to a source close to the Moore campaign, is expected to go out to Alabama voters on Monday, a day before the election. Moore, a former state Supreme Court justice, is facing allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct with teenagers when he was in his 30s.
I have seen a certain type of pundit argue that getting Moore elected is politically smart, and he can be dealt with later. Nevermind the fact that this type of pundit said the same in 2016 about a certain Presidential candidate and then, after the election, never “dealt” with anything but instead jumped all the way on the train. That is beside the point. Or problem.
The problem is that you can’t claim something to be out of necessity or expediency if, in practice, you frame it as a great and tremendous thing you fully support. “Vote for Moore so we can replace him with a better Republican later” is not the same thing as “this is a wonderful great guy America needs and you should vote for him plus also that lady lied.”
But that is where Trump is putting the GOP. It’s an affirmative support. A declaration of Moore as suitable and one of us. It’s not a candidacy endorsement, in other words. It’s a Moore endorsement. There will be no expulsion should he win. There can’t be. He’s Trump’s chosen.
The bigger question is … why? Conventional wisdom among Republicans is that Moore will win. Even Democrats are edgy and desperate about abortion enthusiast Doug Jones’ chances. The race will probably turn on Democrat voter turnout. Is this robocall even necessary to push him over?
I don’t think so. Unless, in addition to securing the seat, you have some other motive. Bannon has his. He is playing this card as a coup against the “elites.” Trump’s angle is either the same or different, and probably closer to “same.”
All of Trump’s decisions can always be viewed as an effort to please or strengthen the MAGA base, and this is no exception. Whether it hurts the party next year, or the American conscience now, it certainly helps Trump maintain folk status with the rabid and angry mob. Which is exactly who are supporting Moore.
To put it more succinctly, Roy Moore is the GOP’s to have and to hold, in December and next November, in sickness and in poor mental health, for riches, for Breitbart, to be mentioned in every campaign forever and ever, never to part.
By agreeing to record this call, President Trump has gone all in with Roy Moore, and everything he stands for. There’s no going back now. The GOP owns Moore. A gift from POTUS. Merry Christmas.