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Assault on America, Day 106: Easter, American politics and the hope of resurrection & recovery

White House tulips
Perhaps it’s fitting that during the Easter season we should spend time talking about death, resurrection and revival. The horrible fire that nearly consumed the Cathedral de Notre Dame de Paris was one example of a “death” whereby the French governing authorities swore they’d rebuild (is it even possible to do justice to an 800 year-old building with the stature and history of the storied Gothic church?) and hence, restore a little life to a grieving Christian world.

American politics hardly fits in the same category, though there are signs in one particular state where we could witness the second coming of a politician’s believed-to-be-flatlined career. It’s still early, but a recent Alabama poll suggested Judge Roy Moore would have a good shot at taking the senate seat he lost in December, 2017 (to now Democrat Senator Doug Jones). Conservative stalwart Moore was the obvious victim of a Democrat-inspired smear campaign at the time igniting its own kind of conflagration with the full blessing and encouragement of the Republican establishment.

No matter how much the elites might wish it otherwise, Moore appears to have as many political lives as a proverbial cat.

Reid Wilson reported at The Hill, “Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore leads the field of potential Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D), a year and a half after Moore lost what was supposed to be an easy election in a deep-red state.

“A new poll shows Moore leading a still-evolving field of Alabama Republicans competing for the nomination. He is the top choice of 27 percent of Alabama Republican voters, according to the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc. survey.

“The state’s three Republican members of Congress finish well behind Moore: Rep. Mo Brooks would take 18 percent, Rep. Bradley Byrne clocks in at 13 percent and Rep. Gary Palmer would take 11 percent.”

Before the ruling class collapses into a heap it should be noted Moore hasn’t even indicated he’s running again (though he revealed he’s strongly considering it) and the state primary is still a year away. Thus far only Byrne and former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville have officially declared their intended candidacies, which leaves room for loads of speculation on who might attract the preponderance of the Republican vote. The field could conceivably even include former senator and first Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions (though Sessions said he’s not doing it).

What’s most striking about the poll, therefore, is the level of anti-establishment fervor that still grips Alabama almost a year and a half after Moore’s special election failure. For those with short memories, Moore defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange in the September, 2017 GOP run-off, which at the time was thought to be a slap-in-the-face to President Donald Trump. Trump endorsed Strange -- no doubt at the urging of Mitch McConnell and other establishmentarians scared to death at the prospect of needing to deal with nonconformist wildcard Moore’s unpredictability on a regular basis.

Moore attained national fame by refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument and unashamedly wears his Christian faith on his sleeve, an unforgivable “sin” to a political world chock full of secular prejudices and politically correct disqualifiers. Perhaps for that reason, Moore was immediately deemed an outcast and dangerous to the swampy status quo.  

Shortly after Moore’s run-off primary win, multiple allegations surfaced of his purported inappropriate (and unsubstantiated) overtures made to underage girls forty years ago while he was still single and before his political/judicial career commenced. Local folks-in-the-know said the rumors of Moore’s shaky reputation had been around for a long time -- and it was curious how they emerged out of nowhere just ahead of a very important election with national consequences. (And creepy behavior only gets a pass in Democrat-land. Look at Joe Biden.)

Whatever the reason, Moore narrowly lost to Jones, a defeat the media placed squarely in the lap of Trump (who had campaigned for Moore and stressed the importance of keeping the seat in Republican hands). As would be expected, Jones campaigned as an “independent” Democrat who would assess matters one at a time and do what was best for Alabamians if he won the chance to represent them in the senate. Once he got to Washington, however, Jones became a reliable anti-Trump vote for Chuck Schumer. Big shock there, right?

The post-election blame game was intense, with conservatives pointing to the GOP elites’ refusal to help or defend Moore against the liberals’ onslaught. The establishmentarians clearly preferred losing rather than working with the controversial but reliably liberty-loving man to advance the conservative cause and Trump’s MAGA agenda (especially immigration, which the former Alabama Chief Justice promised to devote special attention to).

This isn’t to say Moore was a perfect aspirant; he was not. Objective observers admit he wasn’t even a good candidate in many respects, but there was one thing certain about him: he’d outperform Jones in the ways that mattered most -- on federal spending, religious liberty, preserving constitutional freedoms (like the Second Amendment), confirming Trump’s judicial nominees and just about everything else of importance to conservative Republicans in Alabama and elsewhere.

Would Moore have been a thorn in McConnell’s side? Absolutely. Not necessarily a bad thing for a GOP ruling class that could use a good kick to the backside on many occasions. Moore would’ve called out the leadership for every act of feckless cowardice they partook in. What’s worse, Alaska RINO Sen. Lisa Murkowski siding with Democrats on every momentous vote or Moore drawing attention to the inaction of the leaders? You decide.

At any rate, should Moore opt to run again it appears he’d have an excellent chance of at least forcing another run-off (if Alabama rules require it) for the GOP nomination. And if Moore was on the November, 2020 ballot along with President Donald Trump, he’d almost certainly make up the point-and-a-half he trailed Jones by in the last election. Then we’d all be saying “Senator Moore” in 2021 (no, not Senator Moore-Capito), two years after he should have been there in the first place.

That being said, Republicans would be best served to nominate someone like Rep. Mo Brooks next year. Freedom Caucus member Brooks ran against Moore and Strange in 2017 but got lost in the Moore vs. establishment title bout. Moore’s probably the only Republican Jones could hope to beat, though again, Moore would almost certainly prevail in a presidential election year. With Brooks there’d be no question of victory or defeat. It’s a safe bet… and Brooks is solid.

For his part, Trump also believes Republicans can take back the House when he’s on the ballot next year. Steve Nelson reported at The Washington Examiner, “President Trump said Monday that Republicans ‘can retake the House’ next year by vowing asylum restrictions, calling a surge of Central American migrants a ‘big con job.’

“’Congress has to get smart,’ Trump said in Minnesota. ‘The Republicans want to do it but you need the votes of the Democrats. You need 60 votes in the Senate, and we are a little bit short in the House. We can retake the House, I think, over this issue.’

“Trump said he believed many asylum-seekers are not actually victims of persecution.”

The facts back Trump up on the issue, though the open borders-favoring media wouldn’t report it and the cheap labor loving GOP ruling class won’t back him up on it either. With Democrats stonewalling Trump at every turn they’re assuring immigration will be at the forefront of national attention, a reality that plays straight into Trump’s hands.

Americans are ambivalent about certain immigration related topics -- like whether to grant some form of consideration to the so-called “Dreamers” and the possibility of establishing a guest worker program -- but strong majorities want tighter enforcement of laws and doing more to guarantee national security.

Trump’s right; if House candidates pound the security/enforcement angle, they’ll win. It’s a no-brainer.

Easter reminds us of the power of redemption and second comings, particularly relevant this year with the tragic near-destruction of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral. American politics could see some surprising comebacks of its own next year, in Alabama and in nationwide House races. Stay tuned.

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