The above is a quote attributed to former football coach Bill Arnsparger, who’s most famous for his time as the head coach at LSU and as the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins in their glory years in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it’s the response to the smattering of Establishment Republicans who are emerging from the floorboards this week to micturate on Roy Moore, the GOP candidate in today’s Alabama Senate election.
National Review and the Weekly Standard both have pieces castigating Roy Moore as unfit to serve in the United States Senate based on allegations of ancient sexual misconduct – allegations which though voluminous, haven’t been particularly convincing to the voting public in Alabama. It seems fair to assess, while filtering out the most scurrilous of the charges made against Moore, that in his 20’s and early 30’s as a young single assistant district attorney in Gadsden, Alabama Moore pursued a young wife – and in so doing made something of a practice of courting teenage girls of the age of consent.
That he engaged in such a romantic strategy opens him up to current charges of child molestation, but all but one of the recent polls of the Alabama electorate show those charges to be relatively ineffectual among voters who think they’re being manipulated by a dishonest and politically partisan media in cahoots with the Democrat Party. Alabama is a deep red state, after all, and while Moore isn’t a particularly popular politician there he’s been around for a long time without any of this material surfacing until now; the voters appear to discount it as a last-minute Hail Mary by the Left and their candidate Doug Jones.
From an outside perspective of a more traditional conservative bent, Moore’s nomination by Alabama Republicans as the party’s Senate candidate is a good example of the first part of Arnsparger’s quote. He shouldn’t have been the party’s nominee, and it took an enormous amount of failure by the party’s standard bearers both in Alabama and in DC to produce him. There were three candidates in the primary race, and the best of the three finished third – that was Rep. Mo Brooks, who is a decidedly anti-establishment conservative with a strong record of voting on principle. Brooks probably wins in a straight-up race, but he was dealt a rotten hand in that Luther Strange, the state’s attorney general who had been appointed to the Senate seat (it opened up when its former seatholder Jeff Sessions was named Attorney General in the Trump administration) by former governor Robert Bentley before the latter resigned in disgrace, was backed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and, in a peace offering to Mitch McConnell, by President Trump.
When the party lined up behind Strange, who was seen by Alabama’s voters as compromised by his involvement in Bentley’s sex and corruption scandal, the race became a binary choice between the crooked political establishment and the grassroots conservatives. As Brooks is a current officeholder he was all of a sudden the wrong guy to bear the grassroots standard and that meant Moore was the outsider despite a history of having said stupid things and a record on the Alabama Supreme Court of acting more as a politician and less as a sober jurist at times.
It’s unquestionable that the GOP has played like s**t where this election is concerned. McConnell and NRSC chairman Cory Gardner, the mediocre senator from Colorado, would be asked to surrender their leadership roles were the Senate GOP caucus worth its salt for the uncommonly stupid and destructive role they played in attempting to add another compromised, ethically questionable and politically malleable pawn to the caucus. Moore might be the proverbial turd in the Senate punchbowl, but at this point it’s arguable whether that’s worse than having one more preening dunce like Jeff Flake, Bob Corker or Lindsey Graham to a caucus jam-packed with them.
But if you’re going to play like s**t, at least win the game. Surrendering a safe Republican seat when your majority is a scant 51-49 because your candidate is a jackass is the stuff of losers and idiots, and the folks at National Review and the Weekly Standard look like just that in their demands Moore be defeated by Doug Jones, a leftist Democrat who would impose a set of political values more at home in Massachusetts or Minnesota on that Alabama Senate seat. As an example, Jones takes the monstrous position that abortion should be legal five minutes before a child’s birth, which is infinitely more immoral than anything Moore might have been accused of, and he’s a down-the-line Democrat vote on all the major legislative issues likely to come before the Senate in the remainder of the term. For Jones to win would be for the GOP/Trump agenda to die in the Senate – no more Obamacare repeal, no more tax reform, no hope for eventually reining in federal spending (not that the people in charge of Congress have shown any fiscal discipline to date), nothing.
Trump, in order to get anything done on Capitol Hill, will have to go to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi hat in hand looking for a separate peace, and that means wide open borders teeming with Third World immigrants pledged to alter the country’s electorate permanently to the Left, and it means climbing aboard the climate change crazy train.
One of the chief complaints against Trump made by the people at National Review and the Weekly Standard was that he has no core principles and he’d govern as a Democrat as often as not. Well, that GOP Senate majority, for whatever it might be worth, is likely the only thing keeping the president from fulfilling that prophecy – especially when the Democrats have been slowly following the path toward attempting Trump’s impeachment by conducting a purge of their donors, celebrities and even politicians over sexual harassment allegations they’re now flogging in Trump’s case. If they can secure the votes to impeach Trump they will; if not, they’ll trade that chip away in return for owning him for the rest of his term in office.
Politics is the art of the possible. Roy Moore and Doug Jones are what’s possible. You can have a tainted win or an ignominious loss which carries bad consequences for the American people. The preeners in the Establishment seem to prefer the latter, which is one reason why their influence over the American people is at an historic low.
Better the jackass who’ll vote for the right things than the jackass who’ll flout the will of the people of Alabama. Were I a voter in that state today I’d cast a ballot for Moore with neither pride nor reservation. At this point, just win the game.