Alabama Voters Have To Pick Between 3 Truly Horrible Candidates-- The Worst Anywhere

Alabama is hopelessly red at this point. Trump beat Hillary there 1,318,255 (62%) to 729,547 (34%). Even the one "Democrat" in the congressional delegation, Terri Sewell, is a conservative New Dem with an "F" rating from ProgressivePunch. There'll be a special election December 12 to fill Jeff Sessions' seat but what's important in beet red Alabama is the primary, specifically the Republican primary. Primary day is in 3 days, Tuesday (August 15) and if there's a need for a run-off (almost certain) that will be September 26.

There is a plausible Democrat running, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones (who's been endorsed by Joe Biden, Terri Sewell and John Lewis) but he'll probably be beaten by a silly candidate with a famous name, Robert Kennedy, Jr. (who was likely put up to it by the GOP). It probably doesn't matter. Like I said, the GOP primary is what matters. Of the 9 Republicans running, 3 are polling in double digits, appointed incumbent Luther Strange, crackpot ex-state Supreme Court chief judge Roy Moore and Congressman Mo Brooks. There is no good choice, no moderate, no mainstreamer... just three far right-extremists, although I suppose a case could be made that Moore is the worst. So, naturally, he's ahead in the polling.

A Cygnal and L2 poll this week shows Moore with 30.7%, Strange with 22.6% and Brooks with 18%. (The same poll shows Moore winning a runoff against Strange with a double-digit lead.) The new Fox News poll has Moore at 35%, Strange at 29% and Brooks at 19%. And the third poll released this week, from JMC Analytics has Moore with 30%, Strange with 22% and Brooks with 19%. It also shows Moore with the highest favorables and lowest unfavorables. 74% of voters say they are conservative (46% very conservative) and 70% identify as evangelical Christians.

By the end of July Strange has raised $3,220,749 and already spent $2,286,479. Brooks had spent $937,132 and Moore had raised $459,807 and spent just $286,421-- two million less than Strange! McConnell has been pumping money into Strange's flailing campaign-- $569,896 on positive ads about Strange and a massive $1,337,634 in a vicious smear campaign against Brooks, claiming he isn't Trumpy enough. Another PAC-- the Swamp Drainers Foundation, which doesn't disclose its sources of cash-- spent $85,178 against Strange and the NRA spent $126,792 running pro-Strange radio ads. Strange's biggest hope to turn things around was a tweeted endorsement by Señor Trumpanzee of Bedminster the other day.

Moore downplayed the endorsement during an interview with a neo-Nazi website while pointing out that crackpot Chuck Norris had endorsed him (so did the lunatic from Duck Dynasty). "I don’t know if there’s anything I’d say about Trump’s endorsement. Trump’s got every right to endorse who he wants. I don’t know what kind of deals are made behind the scenes in Washington, DC. I don’t know. He doesn’t know me and I don’t know what he’s been told about me and probably if he’s been told about me what they’ve been saying-- I don’t know. I don’t know why he did what he did or what he said... Chuck Norris isn’t running. They’re not voting for Chuck Norris. He’s a recognizable figure, but they wouldn’t vote for me because of Chuck Norris. They’re going to vote for me because of who I am and what I’ve done... We’ve been out campaigning and they know what we stand for and not only what we say we’ll do, they know what we’ve done. That’s very important for all of us." People outside of Alabama may not be aware of what the radical right appears to be ready to elect to the U.S. Senate.

Moore was first elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001 and was removed from his position 2 years later for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments despite orders to do so by a federal court. Alabamans elected him Chief Judge again in 2013 and he was suspended in 2016 for directing probate judges to continue to enforce an unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, after the ban had had been overturned. Moore appealed and lost and finally resigned 4 months ago. In the middle of all that, in 2010, he ran for governor and came in 4th in the Republican primary with 19%. When Moore was suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court there were 6 charges:

Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for disregarding a federal injunction.
Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for demonstrated unwillingness to follow clear law.
Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for abuse of administrative authority.
Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for substituting his judgement for the judgement of the entire Alabama Supreme Court, including failure to abstain from public comment about a pending proceeding in his own court.
Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for interference with legal process and remedies in the United States District Court and/or Alabama Supreme Court related to proceedings in which Alabama probate judges were involved.
Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for failure to recuse himself from pending proceedings in the Alabama Supreme Court after making public comment and placing his impartiality into question.

He was found guilty of all six charges. He writes a pro-faacist column for right-wing propaganda website WorldNetDaily where he writes things like a demand that Keith Ellison (D-MN) shouldn't be allowed to sit in Congress because he practices the Muslim faith. Moore has an imbecile son named Caleb who works at the family business, a scam operation to separate dull-witted evangelicals from their money, the Foundation for Moral Law. Recently Caleb was arrested for selling marijuana and prescription drugs and was convicted-- his 4th conviction for peddling drugs. He's been arrested 8 times in all and blames everyone but himself, having told the family's cult followers that "the media and crooked police officers and critics of my dad try to not only destroy his career for what he stands for but will go as far as trying to destroy his family." A few months ago he was arrested again, this time on weapons charges. Perfect family to represent Alabama Republicans!

This week, ole moral pillar Roy Moore indicated he thinks "the focus of evil in the modern world" is not, as Reagan was quoted as saying, Russia, but is the U.S. Like many on the extreme fringe of right-wing politics, Moore is pro-Putin and an outspoken America-hater. He does like Trump though and said "it was the providential hand of God" that gave Trump the election (rather than Putin's interference and Wasserman Schultz's cheating).

Thursday Seung Min Kim, writing for Politico reported that "none of the three main candidates in the increasingly nasty Senate GOP primary in [Alabama] are taking the majority leader’s side." Brooks, who's been demonized in McConnell's ad campaign told the press that of McConnell that "if he's not gonna get the job done, needs to resign so someone else can try to get the job done."

Even Strange, a member of McConnell’s rank and file, noted that he himself has also said, “Mitch, get back to work.”

“We all need to get back to work,” Strange told reporters after a county GOP meeting here Thursday night. “I was part of the group of Republican senators who said we shouldn’t even take a vacation. I don’t know why we’re taking a vacation. We should be working to pass the president’s agenda and deal with the problems we failed to address last time.”

When pressed about Trump’s apparent lack of confidence in the majority leader, Strange noted that “he’s frustrated like I am, and this is no secret.” The incumbent senator added, however, that he didn’t believe the Senate GOP conference needed new leadership.

“We all talked about it,” Strange said. “Said, if we failed to do what’s promised, we’re going to look silly and rightfully be criticized. And so I have no problem with the president saying that at all.”

...In an interview, Moore declined to comment on Trump’s Twitter attacks on McConnell, saying the spat is “between them.” But the former justice made it clear he is no fan of the Kentucky Republican.

“I’m not going to say anything good about Mitch McConnell, who’s running the fund that’s attacking me with ads. Now, I won’t do that,” Moore said. “But I won’t say anything bad out him... I won’t judge that. That’s between them.”

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