By Attacking Democratic Challenger Doug Jones, Trump Thumbs His Nose (Again) at the Establishment
He did it again. With President Donald Trump supporting Republican senate candidate Roy Moore amidst an avalanche of allegations, Trump has once again placed himself in the mainstream media crossfire. It’s almost like he’s comfortable being there, given his persistent anti-establishment positions. The recent developments are music to the ears of conservatives, to whom the ideals of “innocent until proven guilty” are values worth protecting.
The latest Roy Moore election salvo affair came on November 26, when Trump blasted the Democratic senate candidate Doug Jones in a quick series of tweets. This set off a predictable triggering in the mainstream media, with panelist after panelist smearing Trump with all sorts of nasty descriptors. Here’s Donald Trump on Doug Jones:
The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2017
I endorsed Luther Strange in the Alabama Primary. He shot way up in the polls but it wasn’t enough. Can’t let Schumer/Pelosi win this race. Liberal Jones would be BAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2017
It was a cunning political maneuver insofar that Trump stayed away from supporting Moore explicitly. Instead, he loosely cloaked his intentions in the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” technique, practiced so commonly on Capitol Hill. Even for a political survivalist like Trump, directly supporting Moore isn’t an option.
Conservatives may be wondering why Trump is sticking his neck out, when the path of least resistance is to stay silent. I think it’s ultimately driven by two distinct motivations.
The first one is driven by political survival. Trump needs every potential senate vote to better his odds of advancing his legislative agenda. If Moore loses to Jones in the special election in Alabama in December 12, the Republican Senate majority would lessen from the current 52–48 to 51–49. That means only one dissenting Republican senator would need to break ranks to deadlock the Trump agenda for the majority of 2018.
The seriousness of this scenario became evident recently as Senator Ron Johnson (Republican, Wisconsin) broke ranks on support for Trump’s tax bill. He became the first Republican senator to do so, saying that the current proposal in both chambers is imbalanced in favor of large corporations. “Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions.” (Source: “Republican Sen. Ron Johnson comes out against tax bill,” CNN, November 16, 2017.)
Fair enough. Johnson certainly has a perspective and valid points worthy of consideration. But if Moore loses to Jones next month, senate Republicans simply won’t have the luxury of withstanding any dissenting voice, justified or not. Considering all the “Never Trumpers” and centrist opposition to Trump’s platform, Congress could become the proverbial graveyard where all bills go to die. At least, until the November 2018 senate elections, when Republicans may or may not lose their power advantage anyway.
The second reason for Trump’s support for Moore is likely sympathetic. Having gone through the accusation ringer before, Trump understands that many (if not all) accusations again Moore are likely dubious. Why? Because, at best, the allegations are a well orchestrated campaign primarily designed to discredit Moore’s senate bid. That won’t sit well with Republican voters, especially with Democrats refusing to pressure Al Franken and John Conyers to resign. Why should Alabama voters abandon Moore when Democrats can’t even abandon their own – even with smoking gun evidence involved.
Whether the accusations are true or not is almost beside the point. Voters have become desensitized to well-timed political hit pieces. It’s a shame because, if Roy Moore is truly guilty, he should be disqualified from U.S. Senate consideration. But coming on the heels of the Fusion GPS story, who can trust establishment “investigative” media anymore?
Ultimately, Donald Trump has seen this movie before, and he’s not buying it. While the senate vote may be his driving motivation, sticking it to the Washington Post might be a close second.
Ivanka Trump on Roy Moore
It comes as no surprise that Ivanka Trump has taken an opposing viewpoint to her father. The liberal-leaning daughter and White House aide of Donald Trump has done so on plenty of occasions, most notably with her father’s “Muslim ban” and his “Paris Accord” dismemberment.
The Roy Moore saga is no different, with Ivanka Trump telling the Associate Press “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ account.” (Source: “Trump was in disbelief over Ivanka’s condemnation of Roy Moore: Report,” Washington Examiner, November 25, 2017.)
Donald Trump, a pragmatist who values evidence over hearsay, was not amused. According to three White House staffers who spoke to the New York Times, Ivanka’s comments left President Trump is a state of disbelief, prompting his rebuttal of “Do you believe this?” (Source: Ibid.)
Considering the generation gap (Ivanka is 36 years old), I certainly can believe it. Like the second president of the United States, John Adams, once said, “If a person is not a liberal when he is twenty, he has no heart; if he is not a conservative when he is forty, he has no head.”
I’ll give it a few more years for Ivanka to come to her senses. Unless, of course, Ivanka has it right and the presumption of guilt over innocence is all that’s needed to convict someone in America these days. Somehow, I don’t believe most Americans will view it that way.