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Opinion | GOP campaign ads are a hoot

The campaign advertisements for the top three candidates in the Republican Party primary for the U.S. Senate are a hoot.

Former football coach Tommy Tuberville, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, and former U.S. senator and disgraced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions are scrambling hard to get the nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November’s General Election.

The trio are now elbowing each other in the face on television and radio to see who loves Donald Trump the most. Tuberville may have won that contest, declaring that God himself sent us Donald Trump because God knew we were in trouble.

If God sent Donald Trump, he’s playing a very un-God-like joke on us. God bestows grace; Trump bestows insults. God is love; Trump is lust. God is life; Trump is orange.

My God didn’t send Donald Trump anywhere, but Tuberville must believe that if he says it, the Trump loyalists – especially those weird Evangelicals who also believe Trump is “godly” –will vote for him.

Then there are those strange commercials by Bradley Byrne, sitting by a campfire, insinuating that his brother Dale died fighting for the First Amendment rights which the so-called Squad uses to attack America, for Colin Kaepernick to take a knee, for a Muslim to serve in the U.S. House. Byrne’s brother was a military hero and did serve for many years with special forces, but he died of a heart attack in 2013, at the age of 62, following a lengthy respiratory illness the Byrne family links to Dale’s military service.

About the First Amendment, “Dale fought for that right,” Byrne says in the ad, “but I will not let them tear our country apart.”

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Byrne never explains what he can do to keep those five people (I’m sure, by coincidence, five people of color) from saying whatever they want. Like Byrne, the four women of color in the U.S. House were elected by the voters in their district so, in effect, Byrne is insulting those voters. But that aside, one has to be pretty desperate to use one’s deceased brother as a prop in a political campaign ad.

And then there’s Sessions. Alabama’s junior senator for two decades, he wants his old job back. Sessions never stood tall anywhere, but especially in the Senate, where he was just a person who stopped stuff from happening. But he was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Trump, so Trump rewarded him by appointing him U.S. attorney general.

Trump quickly suffered buyer’s remorse because Sessions recused himself from the Department of Justice’s Russia investigation, as he should have done. But doing the right thing isn’t a big selling point with Trump. The president hounded Sessions on Twitter, then fired him right after the mid-term elections in November 2018. Still, Sessions even now still sucksup to Trump even though Trump recently gave his opponent Byrne a shout-out.

Besides making their outrageous claims, Sessions, Byrne, and Tuberville are also running attack ads against each other. This is fun. They each want to appear more godly, more Republicanny, and more Trumpy than anybody else.

That position is usually held by constant-candidate Roy Moore. I don’t think we can expect much from Moore, the disgraced former Alabama Chief Justice who at one time had a thing for teenaged girls. In this round, Moore is flat out of gas and moneyand reputation. At least we have that.

There’s no doubt who is best qualified to keep representing Alabama in the U.S. Senate: Doug Jones. We’ll have to wait until November to see if Jones can pull it off, but only a fool would count him out.

We’ll find out which Republican gets to take on Jones either Tuesday or after a runoff later in March. I’m hoping for the runoff. These Republican commercials are just too, too funny.

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Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected].


Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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