As many of my readers know, I am a very proud “Alabaman by Choice.” My journey from being an itinerate Army Officer, moving from one military installation to another over 37 years, was finally brought to a halt by my retirement from the Green Machine back in 2013. How I ended up in Alabama is a story in and of itself, which you can read about in this little piece called Sweet Home Alabama. And…YES, it’s all true…mostly.
In short, I really like my adopted state. The people are great, the weather is nice…well, except for July and August. Even our politicians tend to be fairly decent…now that we’ve run off most of the Democrats that dominated the place during the KKK and Jim Crow eras. That brings us to the subject of this epistle.
One of our more stalwart conservative political warriors is Congressman Mo Brooks, from Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, United States House of Representatives. Brooks was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, after previous service in Alabama’s House, and as an Assistant AG under Jeff Sessions, back when Sessions was Alabama’s Attorney General. What caught my eye, wasn’t his stellar service in State government or as a Representative in DC. It was his Senate run in 2017, specifically the primary fight.
The 2017 Alabama Republican Party Senate Primary was my first view of politics in my adopted state and how that politics could be suborned by nefarious characters from up North, sticking their noses into our business. Contrary to what establishment operatives or leftist pundits might say, the result of that primary was pure machination on the part of the GOP establishment (GOPe). To see that, you have to look beyond the obvious. First of all, Alabama is ordinarily ”safe” for Republicans running for statewide office. That is, it’s safe when elections and primaries aren’t subject to outside interference…interference enabled by Republican establishment pusillanimity. How does that work?
Here’s the short version. I’ll follow up with more detail in another article. Bottom line, the GOPe supported Luther Strange for the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. He was seen by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as somebody who would be a team player, meaning, he would do what Mitch told him to do. The people of Alabama pushed back on this perceived interference by the DC swamp and in the first primary, failed to give Strange a majority. In fact, Strange, who was the incumbent, was forced into a runoff with the second-place finisher, Judge Roy Moore. At the time, Senator McConnell thought that was just peachy. He had always been concerned that in a head-to-head contest, Mo Brooks would beat Luther Strange, 6 ways from Sunday, and saw Moore as a radical firebrand that most staid conservatives would shy away from. If you look at the math, McConnell was right to be worried. In the first primary, more Republicans voted for Moore and Brooks than did for Strange. Put a simpler way, more voted against Strange (and DC) than for him. Given the temperament of the voter base, it is virtually certain that if this had been a matchup between Strange and Brooks from the very beginning, Brooks would have wiped the floor with Strange, thus avoiding a runoff.
Here is the point. The GOPe, led by (then) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had absolutely no desire to see a strong conservative like Mo Brooks in the Senate. They wanted somebody much more malleable, like Luther Strange. McConnell’s interference so angered the Alabama electorate that they chose Judge Roy Moore over Luther Strange, and it wasn’t even close. Moore ended up losing to the Democrat nominee because of unproven charges of misconduct that were supported by Mitch McConnell in public statements— ”I believe the women.” In short, Mitch McConnell would have rather had a Democrat Senator from Alabama than a conservative Republican like Mo Brooks, which is exactly what happened.
Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican and Alabama’s other Senator is going to retire. Representative Brooks has yet to declare his candidacy for that soon-to-be-open seat. In hopes of securing such a declaration, I attempted to set up a short interview with him at CPAC in Orlando. Unfortunately, it appears that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had other things for Rep. Brooks to do during CPAC weekend. However, Congressman Brooks was kind enough to grant a telephonic interview, which covered a wide range of topics from illegal aliens, rights of gun owners, to the security of supply lines for strategic resources. We’ll get into those in subsequent articles. For now, and based on his previous achievements, current allies, and perhaps most especially, who his enemies are, I’m inclined to like this guy…a lot. More to follow. Stay Tuned.