By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Maybe we’re expecting too much from our politicians.
On a day when the president of the country called a group of white supremacists “fine people,” a guy who has been twice booted from his chief justice job beat the Republican field and forced a runoff against a guy who sold out his attorney general office in order to get a political appointment from a governor he was investigating.
The bar was too high.
So, we’re going to set it on the ground.
That’s the only way you can end up with Roy Moore v. Luther Strange in a runoff to see who gets to beat Democrat Doug Jones in a December special election.
That’s right, I said beat Doug Jones. Spare me the Rocky-like tales of “oh, he’s got a chance against an unpopular Republican.”
Oh yeah? Which unpopular Republican would lose this race in Alabama?
Because it sure isn’t Ol’ Roy or Big Luther.
The Republicans had over 400,000 votes in this primary. The Democrats had 160,000. This ain’t pessimism, it’s math.
Don’t get me wrong. Doug Jones is a heckuva human being. In a decent state, he would clearly be our choice. He’s had a distinguished career, prosecuted the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers, has reasonable, educated positions on all of the most important issues. He’d never embarrass us on the national stage and would back legislation at the federal level that would benefit an overwhelming majority of this state’s people.
Hell, it should be a no-brainer that by Christmas, we’d all be calling him Sen. Jones.
But this is Alabama.
And here in the heart of Trump Country – where people cheer the reality TV star’s hateful rhetoric – we place less emphasis on competency and far more emphasis on whether or not the candidate will back our God, our race and our beliefs – no matter how stupid and misguided they might be.
Never mind that this way of thinking has left us last in all things good and first in all things bad, as our former, resigned-in-disgrace governor once said.
We just keep whipping that dead horse.
Speaking of horses, Roy Moore showed up to vote today riding a horse. It was named – and I’m not making this up – Sassy, which is the least likely name for a Roy Moore horse. I was expecting it to be named something like Testosterone or Chainsaw.
Anyway, Sassy’s owner will now face off against Mitch McConnell’s rented mule in a late-September runoff.
That’s a two-man race right in the heart of college football season in Alabama. Everyone would probably be OK if we just let Coach Saban choose one so this election nonsense doesn’t distract the team.
I have to make a confession here: I’m pulling for Roy Moore.
Trust me, I never thought I’d say it either. But hear me out.
Moore, for all of his hateful, detestable positions on gay marriage and LGBT issues, is at least not a crook. He also doesn’t bend to a dollar, and he sure doesn’t bend to pressure.
Removed from his social causes, Moore would actually support a host of measures that would improve life in Alabama for the state’s poorest citizens and he would be a corporation’s worst nightmare.
When it comes to those feelings on gay marriage, what can Moore really do at that level? The fight is over. Let him scream about the immorality of it up there in D.C. and give us a break.
Is it the best option? Of course not. Doug Jones is, but again, math.
But Moore’s much better than Strange, who has proven over and over again that he’ll sell out anyone and any office for his personal gain. And he put fake mud smears on his fake truck in a campaign commercial. Who could trust that sort of person?
So, that’s where we are – hoping the guy who’s bat-guano crazy but at least not a crook will win a seat representing Alabama and governing our country.
In other words, we’ve started to bury the bar.