Tuesday will finally see the end of the special election primary runoff for Senator between Republican interim Senator Luther Strange and Judge Roy Moore. The winner of this race will face Democrat Doug Jones December 12, 2017.
This entire race, the words and optics, reminds me of the annual rivalry in the great state of Alabama known as “The Iron Bowl.” It’s the annual game played between the two schools (started in 1893) and everything comes to a halt in that state when THE GAME is played. Actually, I found that almost everything comes to a stop in the state on Saturdays once college football season begins. One dare not even schedule their wedding during either an Auburn or Alabama game; half your invited guests won’t be able to attend, or you’ll find them gathered around the obligatory television screen in the lobby where the reception is being held.
My husband is from Alabama so this is how I’ve learned these set-in-stone facts. Alabamians take their football seriously. In the midst of this football season we find a political contest being waged – and it’s a fierce rivalry too.
From what I know about Auburn University and the University of Alabama, I conclude they’re both good schools, but you’ll never find one saying anything good about the other. The Strange/Moore contest reflects this same kind of attitude. Both are good men, with negatives and positives residing in both, but neither of their supporters will acknowledge the other’s strength or their own weaknesses.
I don’t have a dog in this fight, but there are a few thoughts to share regarding how this race has shaped up to be one where President Trump gave his support (and presence to one candidate) and the other candidate has strong support from an entirely different faction, more along the lines of tea party folks, the common folks, the anti-Establishment folks.
Roy Moore has been criticized for being a religious zealot…well we could use a few zealots in this country, and being based on Judaic-Christian values would be a nice start. He at least has stood for principles the Republican Party has long since thrown out the window decades ago.
Luther Strange has been portrayed as a President Trump supporter, the argument being that he has voted for everything President Trump wants. Somehow that’s an oxymoron in that he was late to the Trump support meme. What does stand out is that Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell supports Luther Strange. I’ll come back to this sticking point later.
Regarding supporting everything President Trump wants…not to be snarky, but it’s been easy as pie for “he has voted with P45 on every vote he has taken!” Easy. There have hardly been any votes.
All of the Republican Senate critters have had cover from the McCains, Collins, Murkowskis et al. There hasn’t been any true character test for anything. It’s easy to vote with P45 when nothing is on the line. The Republicans and Mitch McConnell have had the entire legislative agenda under their control and nothing positive or productive has come out of their time in session. In fact, they’ve spent more time being on vacation than getting the President’s agenda and the people’s work done. And then Mitch McConnell throws up his hands and says they haven’t had enough time…Mr Excuse Man, that’s a better moniker than Senate Majority Leader.
Basically, there hasn’t been any action in the Senate that required a man to stand up and be a man (or woman), so I’m not taking much comfort in how many “votes” Luther Strange has supported the President on. It’s been easy for him; Congress has a game they play so everyone but one or two have cover, then they run home and tout that they voted for the bill (all the while doing McConnell’s dirty work).
I’m a strong Donald Trump supporter, but one doesn’t have to agree
with President Trump on everything. Right now, I’m not thrilled he hasn’t EO’d Congress onto Obamacare coverage. That, and his DOJ “appearing” to let the previous administration get away with their corruption. For now, we have to take things as they are.
If Mitch McConnell wants Luther Strange, I look askance at this support. No one should forget the Republican “7 Year Lie” regarding Obamacare repeal. It’s a matter of trust. I trust President Trump, but not Mitch McConnell and his minions, so I’d have trouble going with McConnell’s man. The taint and stench of Rove and McConnell is so great (I remember what they did in Mississippi, re: Cochran vs McDaniel), anyone they want, I don’t want.
The hysteria about Moore is over the top. Strange or Moore winning in Alabama isn’t going to make a bit of difference in the Senate, and that’s where our anger should be focused. THE SENATE.
Remember, after what McCain/McConnell pulled for the past 3 months on Obamacare, there isn’t anything left that’s going to be worth voting on. McConnell isn’t going to do anything so the “vote” issue is worthless as regards the strength of a Luther Strange vote.
One could make the analogy that this might be about “class” – the Establishment (who don’t really want to brush shoulders with the working class) and the hard-working, believe in conservative values and America tea party type folks. Much like that Alabama vs Auburn rivalry. Alabama likes to think they’re the classy school, and Auburn is the working man’s place. We’ve got the same attitude in Virginia – seen between the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. Every state has this distinction among their state universities.
Roy Moore isn’t evil. Luther Strange isn’t either, but if I was voting in Alabama on Tuesday, I’d pull the lever for Roy Moore.
Frankly, the kabuki theater of Mitch McConnell’s Senate has grown tiresome; right now a good college football game is better entertainment. Oh, and President Trump doesn’t lose anything regardless of Tuesday’s outcome. He gave his support, maybe thinking McConnell would get something done, (Art of the Deal) and since McConnell has thus far failed to deliver, there is no loss here. President Trump will find another way…I’m sure of it. He knows the Establishment’s stench is unacceptable to We the People.
PS: My husband did ask the question, “I wonder which team Strange and Moore supports, Auburn or Alabama?” Told you, they take their football seriously in Alabama.