Last night, Alabama had their Republican primary runoff election to fill the senate seat left by demonic house elf Jeff Sessions. Trump and the GOP had backed Sen. Luther Strange, pouring nearly $11 million into his campaign. Normally, the defeat of anyone backed by Trump and Mitch McConnell would feel like a victory, but Strange’s opponent and now Republican candidate Roy Moore is so much more terrifying. How terrifying? His biggest supporter in the race was Steve Bannon.
Here are a few other things to know about Roy Moore:
Since leaving the White House, Steve Bannon has made it clear he harbors a lot of hard feelings. Just as he did with Trump, he’s dedicated to bringing about a political “revolution,” challenging the GOP establishment and driving the right far into full deplorable territory. (Sarah Palin, in fact said during a campaign rally that “Roy Moore was deplorable before it was cool to be deplorable.” I assume that was meant as a compliment.)
Despite the fact that Trump supported Luther Strange, Bannon repeatedly told voters that a vote for Moore was “a vote for Donald J. Trump.” Given everything we know about the role Bannon played in the presidential election, it’s not surprising that he seems to have more control over Trump’s narrative than Trump himself. And because Trump hates being on the side with the lowest
ratings votes, he quickly deleted a number of his pro-Strange tweets, replacing them with this:
He has deleted endorsements like “Big election tomorrow in the Great State of Alabama. Vote for Senator Luther Strange, tough on crime & border – will never let you down!” and “ALABAMA, get out and vote for Luther Strange – he has proven to me that he will never let you down! #MAGA”
Trump’s deleting of tweets might be illegal, but it’s definitely embarrassing.
Bannon has said that the GOP establishment’s “day of reckoning is coming.” He has now put his weight behind two terrible, dangerous candidates, presented as alternatives to the existing Republican party. Their big appeal seems to be that they support the supremacy of white/Christian/bigoted voters.
On Monday, Trump said that if Moore got the nomination, Democrat Doug Jones would have a better chance of winning the seat because the Democratic Party would fight so much harder. I would love to believe that in a race between a proud bigot who doesn’t respect the law or the Constitution, and a regular, sensible person, that that would be an easy race to win. But we’ve thought that once before, and we were wrong.
Moore has run for governor twice, and never came close to winning. The last time, he only got 19% of the vote. But as Republicans get pushed farther and farther to the right, and as white/straight/Christian entitlement takes precedence over actual policy, this looks to be the rise of what is essentially the Steve Bannon Party.
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