The media wants us to think Trump took a beating in the Alabama Republican primary on Tuesday because Trump had campaigned for Luther Strange and Strange lost. Roy Moore won in near blowout 55-45. Was this a setback for a Trump? A poke in Trump’s eye by Republican voters? No way. It was no such thing. In fact, it’s a big positive for Trump. I’ll explain why, but wait. What about Mitch McConnell, who has seemed lately to be the head of the NeverTrump movement. The Strange loss was a terrible blow for McConnell. I’ll explain that too, stay with me.
Strange was the Chamber of Commerce candidate. McConnell is the Chamber of Commerce Senator. The Chamber of Commerce wants amnesty for illegals. Not out of any concern for poor Mexicans, mind you. They just want the cheap labor.
Trump won the Presidency on his promise to stop amnesty for illegals. Stopping illegal immigration is the issue Trump supporters care most about. Moore is against amnesty, Strange was probably for it or at least wishy-washy on it. So why did Trump back Strange?
It may be hard to know for certain but people smarter than me say he was trying to reach an accord with Mitch McConnell on his Presidential agenda. If so, it didn’t work. McConnell doesn’t like Trump. McConnell is set in his attitude toward Trump. It won’t change, ever. He and the other establishment senators don’t want to let Trump succeed on his agenda. At least they aren’t interested in helping him. That’s why Obamacare repeal, tax reform, and building the border wall are bolloxed up in the Senate.*
But as of Wednesday morning, it’s a new day in Washington and in McConnell’s position in the GOP establishment. He lost some of his power with the Roy Moore win, assuming Moore goes on to win the general election in December. There’s really not much chance Alabama is going to elect a Democrat for that seat. No worries there I don’t think.
Mickey Kaus has found an intriguing similarity between the Strange loss in Alabama and the Eric Cantor upset in Virginia back in 2014:
…the Alabama revolt will make a difference in the eventual legislative outcome. Remember when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat by an anti-amnesty outsider in 2014 sealed the doom of the massive, heavily hyped “Gang of 8” amnesty? The bill had already passed the Senate, but when Cantor went down House Republicans who valued their job security didn’t want to go anywhere near it.
Luther Strange is Cantor II. Which House Republicans want to try out for the role of Cantor III by backing the Pelosi/Trump amnesty? Not many, I suspect. The pundits may tell them the Alabama race was all about vague anti-Establishment anger, or the failure to repeal Obamacare, or about “local dynamics.” Elected Republican legislators, with their careers on the line, know better.
McConnell’s stock value has dropped as well. He may end up in a senate position a little different than the one he holds now as Majority Leader. Trump, on the other hand, has won by losing. Moore is fully on board with the Trump agenda. His win shows that GOP voters are on board with the Trump agenda.
This was Trumpism without Trump. The voters in Alabama did not reject Trump. In fact, by voting for Moore, they had his back.
This is something you just have to love. Trump sets out to gain some respect from McConnell. It doesn’t work out, but Trump wins anyway because McConnell was dealt a setback by Trump’s seeming loss which turns out to be a win.
Oh yeah, the contemptible Chamber of Commerce loses too.
*You may think I’m reaching to quick to conclude of Trump’s agenda being bolloxed up in the Senate because only three senator appear to be stalling it. Senators McCain, Collins and Murkowsky seem to be the only Senators right now who are holding up the Trump agenda. After all, you may say, all the other senators seem to have been on board with the last two Obamacare repeal attempts. If that’s you, hold on there a minute. The other senators know how that gang of three are going to vote and that makes it easier for them to appear to be supporting Trump. If two of those three could be brought around I’d expect to see some other defectors stand up to take their place. At least before last Tuesday I’d have expected that. Now, maybe not.