Get it? “Rolls?”
Full disclosure: I’m composing this before the race is called. Or at least I’m starting it. With the latest exit poll to barrel in over the bunny tube, it looks like it may not take very long to declare Judge Moore the winner.
This probably isn’t the tiebreaker for Alabama voters, but I do note that Moore rode to the polls today on horseback, wearing a Stetson.
— Pastor_Bob_Celeste (@Rev_Bob_Celeste) September 27, 2017
No John Kerry-type hangtags dangling from his apparel, so that’s a plus. (Moore’s riding seat could be a little better. Side note: for me, the question about Kerry and his huntin’ jacket was always whether he left the tag on because he planned to return it after the one wearing. Hey, points for city-boy thrift, right?)
On the other hand, this may have been the tiebreaker for a few voters.
— Proud Conservative ???????? (@CruzinAhead) September 27, 2017
Now, that’s the way to flash a pocket pistol.
Here’s the first substantial update on the vote tally:
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 27, 2017
Moore’s lead will probably tighten a little. But all the polling in the last week indicates that he’s going to win decisively tonight.
That will be a blow to the GOP establishment, which as you know is backing Strange. Trump’s one-time advisory team turned out in a big way to back Moore, and by doing so confront the establishment, with both Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka making keynote campaign appearances in the last few days. Sarah Palin made a rare political outing to campaign for Moore as well.
We could keep inspecting the politically incorrect utterances of Judge Roy Moore as we wait for the race to be called. We could gossip about the former Trump team.
But the real news tonight isn’t so much the penny-ante meme moments that no one will remember 48 hours from now. It’s the energy in the air for the cause of breaking from GOP establishment politics.
That’s the long and the short of what’s going on. Voters are galvanized today by the prospect of shedding the Republican establishment carapace. As is usual with his base, Trump supporters in Alabama haven’t turned away from him due to his endorsement of Luther Strange. But neither has his endorsement made a difference. Trump’s supporters say that Moore – not Strange – is the one who can go to Washington and help do what they elected Trump for.
No one outside of Alabama, meanwhile, even knows the name of the Democrat Moore will face on 12 December. (It’s Doug Jones: formerly a Clinton-appointed U.S. attorney, and in private law practice over the last decade and a half.) It’s more than two months to the senatorial election, and things could happen. But as of today, the energy on the Democratic side is low and tired, spiking only for the laundry list of approved – divisive – grievances. Jones himself seems like more of a Rotarian, community-service type than a political tough.
OK, the major media are calling it, with 35% of the vote counted:
Retweeted Nick (@9Joe9):
— Jeff Miller ???????? (@JMillerCongress) September 27, 2017
This one can’t be a surprise to the GOP politicos. I don’t know if it will be a wakeup call either. They have seemed for some time to be driven by a mesmerizing fate, like flies in molasses slowly relinquishing movement and hope.
But it’s better that way, without a single leader or a single political cartel bringing off the fresh victories. The genius of the Alabama election is that Trump didn’t set up or manage this one. While Moore’s campaign got a boost of encouragement from portions of the old Trump team at the end, the Moore win has been brought off by the voters of Alabama.
They’re not being led around by the nose from one preselected pick to the next. They’re energized, engaged, and they are the ones driving the train.
It’s a different day and a different game. 2018 is going to be one interesting year.