My name is Ashley, and I am a recovering junkie. Political junkie, that is.
I used to overdose on cable news, Sunday shows and a wide variety of columnists who reliably offered up their own clever smack (talk) on a routine basis. I liked the sport in it, the gamesmanship.
But at some point around the middle of the Trump presidency, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Watching cable news hosts and their guests (which were usually the columnists I once really liked) lighting their hair on fire over and over and over again, just got boring. And watching someone light their hair on fire should be interesting. Amirite? (Although stinky.)
But it just got so predictable. Depending what “team” they were on, you knew what they were going to say before they even said it. It all just felt so contrived and, of course, designed to keep viewers constantly all whipped up into a frenzy. Which makes sense. More eyes, more advertising dollars. Gotta keep the junkies hooked. But at some point, it’s just got impossible to get high on that junk anymore.
So it was pretty easy for me to go “cold turkey.” And I was not alone. According to information collected by the online advertising company Taboola, pageview data from October 2020 to October 2021, saw a rapidly declining interest in politics, with sports taking the front burner. Play ball!
While detoxing, I did watch plenty of sports but also a lot of “Guy’s Grocery Games” and HGTV, and it was fantastic for my mental health. (That sneaky Guy, with his 3,2,1, Go!)
But with the midterms looming and some exciting statewide races, I have to admit I am starting to need a little fix again. (OK, that’s probably enough with the junkie references – you get the point and it’s been so long since I watched the movie “Rush,” I am probably screwing up the lingo anyway. Apologies.)
But the race I am finding the most intoxicating (OK, I swear that’s it) is the Alabama Senate race, specifically between Republican frontrunners Mo Brooks and Katie Britt.
Why is this one so interesting? Well, because it actually seems competitive.
Often the races in this state seem to be foregone conclusions. Speaking of foregone conclusions, it’s probably a foregone conclusion whoever wins this primary race will be our next senator, but, hey, at least some part of the race is interesting.
At the beginning of this campaign, I must have heard the phrase “Mo Brooks is the prohibitive favorite” from conservative commentators across the state a million times.
I don’t think they are saying the word “prohibitive” at all anymore and “favorite” may even be a stretch.
And it’s easy to see why.
Katie Britt is out there doing the work and campaigning, pressing the flesh and kissing the babies in the meeting room of every Western Sizzlin’ from Mobile to Moulton.
Is Mo Brooks even campaigning?
I certainly haven’t seen much of him in South Alabama.
I know his supporters would say, “Well, he has work to do in Congress.” But even still. You have to do something. It’s like he’s just taking this for granted. That’s pretty risky.
And too, I just think Mo Brooks has a pretty narrow appeal.
If you want the guy who wants to throw bombs and literally burn down Washington, or as he said, “start taking down names and kicking ass,” then yeah, he is your guy. And yes, there are people who want a “firebrand.”
But at the same time, it’s also a huge turn-off to a lot of people too, especially women. I predict Britt will end up with a double-digit lead among females. She is just more likable and relatable than Brooks, who comes off as the guy who thinks he is the smartest one in the room. Nobody likes that guy, even if he is.
And also women like to see sh*t get done. In his 10 years in Congress, what has Mo Brooks done exactly?
Of the entire Alabama congressional delegation, Brooks has sponsored less legislation than any of his colleagues — save the two who were sworn in last year. And he has passed almost nothing. I think renaming a post office and an airport is about it.
Some will say, “Well there are more important roles in Congress than sponsoring a bunch of legislation that probably won’t make it through anyway.”
And maybe so. But if that’s the case, he needs to be out on the stump telling people what he has been doing on every other day aside from January 6, 2021.
If there is anything playing against Britt right now is that she may be getting too many endorsements, which could turn Brooks from the “prohibitive favorite” into the “underdog who will stick it to Britt and the establishment,” which of course, would really energize his base.
There is still a lot of time before the primary on May 24, and anything could happen. But one thing is for certain, ladies and gentlemen of Alabama, this one is going to be interesting.
Better get your popcorn poppin’!
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