Mike Licht / Flickr Roy Moore Gadsden x27 s Gift...
Mike Licht / Flickr

You know, this just keeps getting better and better. As if the Republican side of the race for Jeff Sessions’ open Senate seat wasn’t already toxic enough, with an alleged toddler coddler on the ballot, and with Trump putting his already tattered street cred on the line again in Alabama by tacitly Twitter supporting Moore after he got his head handed to him in his support for Luther Strange, it just got even weirder. And much more dangerous for the GOP.

The announcement yesterday that a retired US Marine Corps Colonel Lee Busby announced a write in campaign for the seat on Monday as an independent. Funnily enough, Busby actually has more street cred than Trump does, having served as John Kelly’s chief of staff when Kelly was a general. To say that it’s a long shot would be generous, write in campaigns are almost always doomed, and Busby has neither the Senate service or name recognition that Barbara Murkowski enjoyed when she successfully ran as a write in in Alaska a few years ago. But this cold be a political head shot to the Moore campaign.

Almost since the start of the scandal, political observers, along with almost anyone else with two firing beurons have been amazed at the base of Moore’s support in the face of the allegations. Long before His Lowness started tweeting it, everyday Alabamians were being quoted as saying that they would vote for Moore even is he did it, because they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat. It qas quite possibly one of the things that has been keeping Moore as close as he is in the race.

But guess what? Those people just got “one from column C” to choose from. People who were uncomfortable about the allegations against Moore can now still not vote for a Democrat, but not vote for the child molester on the ballot either, they can vote for a patriotic American Marine colonel.

Busby is swearing on a stack of bibles much cleaner than Roy Moore’s that he is not getting into this race as a spoiler. Uh-huh, sure, right buddy. He is saying he thinks he’ll pull supporters from both Moore and Jones. This doesn’t make a lot of sense. People who vote for Busby will do so for one of two reasons, either to vote for him instead of Moore when they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Jones, or they will vote for Busby instead of just staying home. Republicans who have said they are voting for Jones are making that choice of conscience rather than just staying home and sitting this one out. 

Busby is not going to pull votes from Jones. Democrats in Alabama have a candidate they can support, and strong reasons to come out and support him. Alabama independents are in the same boat. And GOP crossovers to Jones did so for a reason, they could have just sat it out, but they wanted their vote to count. I can’t see many people like that who will choose to spend that vote on a long shot write in candidate. Besides, ost people are too damn lazy to go through the trouble of writing in a candidate, they’ll either stay home or pick one of the top two.  I think the ones that vote for Busby will be GOP voters that have too much self respect to vote for Moore, but can’t vote for Jones, they’ll write in Busby as a way of expressing their displeasure with Moore

Will Lee Busby help to hand Doug Jones the Alabama Senate seat? We’ll know in two weeks. But either way, wouldn’t it be spectacular if Roy Moore came in third in the special election?

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