By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Roy Moore is running for US Senate.
Moore announced his plans to run for the seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the steps of the Alabama Capitol building, an audience of a few dozen supporters cheering him on.
And because Roy Moore is Roy Moore, he didn’t disappoint the group.
He bemoaned the State of the God-denying country, promised to fight the Federal government’s attempts to force education on our Alabama children and told everyone that in order to make America great again, we have to first make it good again.
Did you catch that? He managed to one-up Donald Trump. Not only is America not great anymore, it’s not even good in the eyes of Moore.
It would all be quite comical – the scene of this tent revival preacher who’s twice been booted from the State Supreme Court for breaches of judicial ethics promising a return to goodness – except that this is Alabama. And in Alabama, for some reason, that message still plays.
It still plays well enough that Moore and all of his baggage is a viable threat to win this Senate seat.
He wouldn’t be, obviously, had the guy currently holding the seat not screwed up so badly. Former Alabama AG Luther Strange could have danced into that position and held it for life, but then he went and made a deal with former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.
And, well, you know the rest.
So, that opens the door for Moore, who can do what he’s good at – claiming the moral high ground even when he has no claim to it.
And there’s not a thing Strange can do about that. His actions, and the subsequent fallout, have left him in this position. Losing to Moore – a candidate who could never hope to beat him in any statewide race a year ago – would be a just punishment.
Unfortunately, it would also be punishing the rest of us, who would be forced to endure years of Moore grandstanding on the national stage with that little “R-Alabama” tag beside his name.
That’s where the rest of the people in this field could possibly help us.
So far, only Rep. Ed Henry and Christian Coalition heady Randy Brinson have formally jumped into the pool. Both would be chasing the same sort of conservative voter that Moore would be after.
Rumored to be joining the race soon is Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh. He’s not much more well known statewide than Henry, but he has two major advantages: he’s loaded like a Rockefeller and he has a history of not doing really dumb stuff. In fact, I don’t think he’s pushed a single Jesus-in-public schools bill (However, I’m unclear on whether that’s a plus or minus in this race).
Marsh is tied to the failing Alabama Accountability Act, which has done little to aid the impoverished children in poor schools in the state and has needed continuous changes to make viable. That could hurt, but then again, we’re talking mostly about the GOP primary, where the plight of the poor has never been a big factor.
But you know, maybe none of us should automatically assume that a Democrat in this race has no chance.
Because I think the right one could. In fact, I think the right one not only has a chance, he has a very, very good chance.
Hear me out.
Let’s say Moore, who on Wednesday went full-in on comparing himself to Trump, edges out Strange or Marsh in a GOP runoff. And waiting for him in the general election is a guy like Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Or Rep. Chris England.
They can’t win?
Keep in mind, Moore didn’t exactly dominate in his last election for chief justice against a little-known Democrat who had little time to set up a proper campaign.
And the climate back then was a lot more Republican-friendly than it is now. In its current state, the guys who have promised to inject Jesus into every aspect of governance have instead injected greed, corruption, embarrassment and an utter disregard for the common Alabama citizen.
Are those same Alabama citizens going to continue to ignore those realities, continue to vote down a party line instead of for the best candidate?
If so, Roy Moore will most likely be a US Senator.