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

Look, do your stomach and your blood pressure a favor, forget the damn polls on the s/enate race in Alabama. Those polls are basically worthless. One reason is that nobody polls Alabama. Why should they, there hasn’t been a meaningful race between a Republican and a Democrat down there since Christ was a carpenter. They have no analytical data to provide a fair representation of the voting population. There’s only one poll that you need to pay attention to.

And that poll is the Republican leadership poll. And what that poll tells you is that Roy Moore is still in deep shit. While the media may not bother to poll Alabama races, the GOP in Alabama sure as hell does, if for no better reason than to see how the message is playing. And right now, the message must sound like it’s coming from a 1960’s telephone answering machine.

Here’s why I think Moore is in real trouble. Roy Moore is a PR nightmare for the Republican party. The entire country is not Alabama, and appearing to back and support a credibly alleged toddler coddler is not good for your brand. After the charges broke like a dam put together by a 7 year old, Republicans recoiled. Almost every sitting GOP Senator, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Moore every kind of asshole they could think of, and demanded that he step aside. They even threatened to expel him if he showed up. The GOP Senate funding arm cut ties with him, and eventually so did the RNC. Trump himself was coy. If there’s one thing ex predator hates to do, it’s to turn his back on a brother offender, so Trump walked between raindrops on the subject.

Polling showed that Moore had made up the ground he had lost and was back int he saddle again. So, problem solved, right? The GOP could sling righteous mud on Moore, and the idjits in Alabama would send him to the Senate anyway and save McConnell’s ass. But apparently not, judging by the events of the last few days.

The GOP Senate and the party as a whole was getting crucified over Moore. They were happy to slap him around like a tetherball. But suddenly, the strategy has changed. Trump finally came out and gave Moore a full throated endorsement, after satisfying himself by just lying his ass off about Doug Jones. The RNC has resumed its coordination with and support of moore. And all of those pious pricks in the GOP Senate are now limiting themselves to mumbling about letting the ethics committee take care of it if he wins. Wby are the Republicans suddenly changing course, and risking once again universal condemnation for snuggling up next to an accused child molester?

I think that there are two things. First, I think that the GOP conned themselves. Alabama is such a deep red state, and went so strongly for Trump that national GOP leadership took for granted that they could afford to take the safe road, condemn Moore publicly while whispering in his campaigns ear that everything was fine. The GOP tribe in Alabama would support Moore because there were no other options, voting for a Democrat was treason. But I think that the national GOP is starting to get some in house info that shows Moore is in trouble. There actually are some GOP voters who want their vote to count, and are willing to cross the line and vote for Hones rather than a filthy pervert. More importantly, I think they’re hearing rumblings that large numbers of GOP voters are considering this one out. They won’t vote for Jones, but they won’t vote for Moore either, they’ll sit at home and watch FOX News. With the Alabama Democrats showing more enthusiasm than a high school cheerleader tryout, and maybe bringing independents along with them to the party, a basement GOP turnout for Moore could swinig the election.

The second thing I think is wrong is that McConnell is in trouble on the tax bill. Trump wants it by Christmas, year end at latest. And getting the damn bill passed took too much time, and it only passed by 51-49. If  the bill was going to come to a vote before the holiday recess, McConnell should be in fat city. Luther Strange will be there until after the first of the year, there should be his vote in the “yes” column. But the reconciliation committee hasn’t even gaveled into existence yet, they still have to pass a CR by Friday, and there’s only about 7 days left in the year when both chambers are in Washington at the same time. I think that McConnell can read the tea leaves that the bill may not be ready until after the first of the year, and if he has to swear in Jones, his margin of error just got thinner than a flour tortilla. And he made sure that Trump understands that his only possible legislative accomplishment for his first year may well be hanging in the balance of the Alabama special election.’

If anybody out there has any better ideas, please let me know in the comments. But otherwise, I simply can’t find another reason wny, after almost 5 weeks of publicly pillorying  Roy Moore, they suddenly decide that he’s born again hardcore, and rush to defend him from the Philistines. And if this is true, then maybe next Tuesday night is going to be a rather ling and exciting one for Democrats. Don’t touch that dial.   

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