Moore's Defeat in Alabama is NOT a Bellwether
The Washington Post wants you to think so, but it will be only if the Post repeats its political bushwhack.
We’ve been through this before, but the setup is key. One month before the Alabama Senate election, The Washington Post published a politically timed hit piece detailing 40-year-old allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore. The allegations were well reported and corroborated, and Moore did an ineffective job of refuting them, which, among other problematic aspects of his candidacy, cost him the election. (Note: We consider these allegations entirely separate from feminist charlatan Gloria Allred’s follow-up publicity stunt, which is far less believable.) In other words, contrary to Moore’s refrain of “fake news,” which absolutely is a problem, that wasn’t really the issue with these Post-reported allegations.
The core issue is that it was a political bushwhack. Clearly, the Post sat on the allegations until after Moore won the primary so as to do maximum damage to Moore, the GOP and President Donald Trump. It was clever, professionally done, and it worked.
Which brings us to the latest Post headlines: “Alabama results remake 2018 election playbook for both parties” and “Democrats see road map for 2018 in huge turnout among black voters in Alabama.” The stories are all about the bellwether Alabama supposedly represents.
What the Post is trying to do is spin Tuesday’s results as evidence of some overwhelming surge in favor of Democrats and, especially, a rejection of Trump. To be sure, every president faces headwinds in midterm elections — especially when his party controls Congress. But remember: While Democrats need just two seats to retake the Senate, they’re defending 25 seats to Republicans’ eight, and several of those races are vulnerable Democrats in states Trump won bigly.
In short, to extrapolate the incredibly unique case of Alabama to a nationwide trend might be considered fake news … unless the Post has plans to similarly bushwhack Republicans around the country four weeks before the election. Don’t rule that out.
The truth is the Alabama election means almost nothing nationally. Most of the sexual miscreants being outed so far in the #MeToo stampede are supposedly feminist Democrats and leftist Hollywood or media types. Republicans clearly aren’t immune, but this isn’t primarily their problem.
No, the real problem Republicans face is their own abysmal failure to repeal ObamaCare — which they promised to do for seven years before winning the White House. The GOP has in fact done quite a bit this year to advance a conservative agenda, from deregulation to judicial confirmations to pushing (however imperfect) tax reform. But Republicans should not underestimate the anger grassroots folks feel for a party that doesn’t keep its promises. The swamp will be drained if Republicans don’t learn the right lessons.