Next Tuesday, voters will go to the polls to cast their final votes in the Republican primary runoff. Voters would also be going to vote in Democratic primary runoffs, but this is Alabama, so those are few and far between and there isn’t one in Mobile County.
Though most folks are busy counting down the days to their vacations, ushering kids to various summer camps or trying to invent bold new ways to stay cool or prevent excessive perspiration (might I suggest Degree MotionSense Spray), there has been quite a bit of mudslinging and nastiness, even in races in which you would not really expect to see such behavior. There have been overt, outright attacks and some pretty intense whisper campaigns, most containing highly salacious allegations that are difficult to prove, so therefore they remain just that, whispered allegations.
But I guess this ugliness shouldn’t be all that surprising. As they say, all is fair in love, war and politics. I am not really sure if “fair” is the appropriate word. Maybe “predictable” and “disappointing” are more apt.
And it’s understandable. It’s hard to put yourself out there, open yourself and your family up to personal attacks, and spend months and months going to every chili cook-off, Rotary Club meeting and quilting bee from one end of the state, county or district you are hoping to represent to the other. Emotions naturally run high. I would rather have a root canal, sans anesthetic.
But it’s always interesting to examine the strategies employed in these campaigns. Some are downright comical, while others are pretty disheartening.
Trumpiest, Jesus-iest, gunniest?
I think the silliest part of all of this is the contest to prove who loves President Trump the most. I get why they feel they have to do this. It clearly plays well with the Alabama Walmartian voter, even though loyalty to Trump really has absolutely zero to do with the issues affecting the state of Alabama. But political consultants have obviously determined Trump purity tests play well with the base, so by God and Trump, we’re getting them.
And nowhere is the “Trumpiest” contest being played out more than in the race for Lieutenant Governor between Will Ainsworth and Twinkle Cavanaugh.
Twinkle has shown us her dirty tennis shoes she wore campaigning door-to-door for Trump, and told us Ainsworth called Trump a “con artist” at some point. Ainsworth put special emphasis on “Pro Trump” in his celestial-themed ads attacking Twinkle, who clearly will get the votes of people who are only voting for her because her names sounds cool. Don’t underestimate the power of a cool name, just ask Young Boozer (best political name ever!).
Again, I get why they are doing it, but it’s disappointing we don’t get to hear more about what they would do if they should have to take over as governor for some reason. Remember, that actually happened, oh, just 15 months ago.
Second and third only to who is Trumpiest is who is the biggest Christian and/or Pro-Lifer and biggest lover of guns. I get why these issues would factor into your decision regarding national races, but it’s really sort of ridiculous for state and local races. And just about every single person running on the Republican ticket is peddling this same message — even in positions where they have no power to do anything about these issues. I’m sure if the dogcatcher was running we would hear how pro-life he was, except in the case of pregnant cats and dogs, of course — just euthanize those suckers!
Has anyone ever thought for a second the Alabama Legislature or any other governing body in this state was going to take their guns away or suddenly make abortions legal on every street corner? Come on.
I am way more concerned with our education system, funding Medicaid (without robbing things like our BP money) and our court systems and ethics reform. But sure, just tell me how gun totin’, God fearin’, abortion hatin’ and Trump lovin’ you are. Because that tells us so much about how you are going to address the very real problems our “sweet home” faces.
Judge not, lest ye be judged
The race for circuit judge between Harry Satterwhite and Brandy Hambright has been particularly heated. Lagniappe does not endorse candidates as a paper. Our writers each have their own opinions on various races. And in this contest, I feel like Hambright is the clear choice next Tuesday.
I don’t know Mr. Satterwhite, but some of the gutter tactics employed by his operatives have been particularly dirty and off-putting, especially to women. So off-putting, in fact, I felt compelled to speak up. The campaign will say they had nothing to do with these attacks, but I’m pretty I sure I didn’t fall off a turnip truck yesterday, so spare me the denials. At the very least, they didn’t ask the “supporters” who are slinging this extra slimy brand of mud to knock it off.
I am no super feminist, I vote for the candidate I feel is most qualified no matter what they happen to have between their legs. But I feel she has been mocked for being a wife and a mother, with a social media page referring to her as the “wife, mother candidate,” among other things, and has been subjected to criticism no male attorney/candidate would have ever endured, including saying don’t let her “twang or sugar sweet demeanor fool you.” Would they have ever described a male opponent like that? Absolutely not. It’s so sexist and demeaning.
And even after facing these and other highly personal attacks, she has run a completely honorable campaign, which speaks volumes to me.
Again, all is fair in love, war and politics, but “all” of this nastiness should tell you “all” that you need to know when casting your vote next week.