With the Republican runoff for the United States Senate less than a week away, it is evident Luther Strange is becoming exponentially more desperate each day.
The current placeholder for Jeff Sessions’ old seat is running behind former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in all the polls, so the Republican Senate Leadership Fund is trucking money down to poor ol’ Bama so Big Luther can further flood the airwaves before the polls open Sept. 26. Suddenly Luther is fighting for term limits and crowing about how he drained the Montgomery swamp, and making sweet political love to Donald Trump.
If there’s one thing Luther and the Senate Leadership Fund have made clear, it’s that they truly believe the people of this state are idiots.
First of all, would anyone possibly believe Strange really wants term limits? He’s wound up so tightly with Mitch McConnell and other multi-term U.S. Senate leaders that someone’s going to start chafing pretty soon. Strange simply comes off as the insider Washington lobbyist he is. His new affection for term limits is nothing more than pandering.
Right now it’s hard to imagine anything Strange wouldn’t do if he knew it would keep him in the Senate seat he so clearly believes he deserves. Hold on, let me correct myself. There is one thing he wouldn’t do, and that’s explain the actions that led to the Luv Guv appointing him to fill Sessions’ seat in the first place. During this whole campaign, Strange has remained a moving target when it came to any situation that might lead to him being put on the spot about “the job interview,” as I like to call it.
As for his efforts in Montgomery, Luther was the biggest frog in the pond. Or at least the second biggest after Robert Bentley. As Strange praises himself for going after Montgomery corruption, he must be hoping nobody remembers he was so tangled up in the system there that he had to recuse himself from the prosecution of disgraced Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard. So he was on the sidelines for the biggest ethics prosecution of the past decade.
In the other biggie — the case against Bentley — Big Luther deftly manipulated the situation to put himself in position to be appointed senator once Sessions left to become U.S. Attorney General. He told the state House of Representatives to back off on impeaching Bentley because his staff was working on “something.” Then Luther went to see the Guv about that empty Senate chair, and — voila! — he was headed for D.C.
It’s pretty hard to see what Strange did to “drain” the Montgomery swamp. He appears to have mostly just made it made it swampier.
All of the amphibian behavior displayed by Strange is probably why — despite millions poured into the state by the Senate Leadership Fund on his behalf — he trails Moore badly in just about every poll that has been conducted on the race.
Well, there are a couple of polls that have Strange within striking distance of Moore. Of course they were conducted by the very Senate Leadership Fund that has done everything short of having Moore assassinated in order to help Big Luther win.
Yes, Luther Strange and Mitch McConnell think we are idiots.
The last credible poll, released Sept. 11 by Emerson College, has Big Luther down Big Time — 14 points.
Of course polls are polls and subject to being wrong, but the trend seems to be that Moore has a decent chance of pounding Big Luther.
Still, for the life of me, I can’t exactly understand what it is about Luther Strange that Mitch McConnell and President Trump believe the horrible, failed Washington system can’t do without. Trump is on his way down to stump for Big Luther even as the Senate Leadership Fund blasts Moore hourly for being crooked and a “Trump hater.”
The simpleton logic, of course, is that by picking Trump up and cradling him like a sweet little baby, the robotic Alabama voters will completely forget Strange’s unethical behavior regarding his handling of the Luv Guv. Doubtful. Even though Trump enjoys more popularity in the Yellowhammer State than he might in other parts of the country, he’s far from being able to wave his hand and make Big Luther senator for life.
At this stage of the game, Luther losing has more meaning than simply not having a greasy, anything-for-a-buck guy like Strange to do McConnell’s bidding. It’s really become more about McConnell, the SLF and establishment Washington winding up with egg on their collective mugs.
If Luther loses they will have wasted millions and millions in trying to beat other Republicans. Worse yet for them, their antics have opened the political door for Democrats to at least have a sliver of hope they can send a senator to D.C. Doug Jones may serve as a palatable candidate for many Alabamians who generally vote Republican but find the idea of Moore or Strange unacceptable. Imagine the heads rolling if that scenario plays out.
While Roy Moore is a deeply flawed candidate in his own right, a Luther Strange victory next Tuesday would more than anything signal that Washington is indeed as bad as most of us think. The fix has been in ever since Luther went to see Bentley, and Strange and McConnell fell in love. There has been little that is organic or even Alabamian about this contest. Everything has been tainted by the powers in Washington trying to pick Alabama’s senator for us.
Given the polls and the general attitude expressed about Strange, it looks like the D.C. swamp is going to be losing the services of the Big Frog before he even really got his webbed feet wet. I can just imagine a single tear rolling down McConnell’s cheek next Tuesday night as he talks about what a truly great swamp creature Luther could have been.
Hopefully Alabamians will reject the type of cynical intervention Strange has received and welcomed in this race. Roy Moore may turn out to be nothing more than a backbencher if he ultimately wins, but Strange does not deserve to be rewarded for his unethical behavior and obvious disdain for the citizens of Alabama. If he wanted to be worthy of the job, he should have stayed in Montgomery and prosecuted Bentley instead of selling his soul.
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