Elder Patriot – At first glance President Trump’s endorsement of establishment favorite “Big” Luther Strange in Tuesday’s special election, to determine which Republican would be Jeff Sessions successor, would appear to indicate he has been swallowed by the swamp. That may be a bit premature, here’s why.
Swamp monster Mitch McConnell has directed his PAC to direct over $8 million to Strange’s primary efforts so it is easy to fear that Trump has caved. However because Trump always seems to be four steps ahead of his opponents, it’s probably smart to give it a second thought.
While President Trump’s supporters are rallying around outsider Roy Moore we shouldn’t feel threatened by Trump’s campaign appearance in Alabama last night on behalf of “Big Luther.” Quite the opposite is likely true, in fact.
Trump chose the win-win option and left it to his army – Sarah Palin, Steve Bannon, Seb Gorka, Ben Carson, et al – to carry the anti-establishment Moore across the finish line. If Trump had openly supported Moore and McConnell’s cash tilted the election to Strange the president’s growing political clout would’ve been neutered.
Big money and the swamp would’ve won and fortified the establishment for future primary battles.
The fact that Trump chose to back Strange, who was trailing Moore by double digits when Trump endorsed him, would leave the president’s political clout even more impressive and provide him with greater influence over Congressional and Senatorial candidates in order to advance his legislative agenda as we approach the 2018 midterms.
If Trump had gone all in behind Moore and Moore then lost, the president’s agenda and his movement would be severely diminished.
Now, on the other hand, should Moore win – and it is more likely than not that he will – Trump will be able to point to Moore’s win as proof that the movement that brought Trump to power is alive and well and as strong as ever. That will give Trump a mandate as he returns to Washington to fight for his agenda.
Last night Trump’s endorsement of Strange was tepid at best. He also confirmed that he’d be back to campaign for Roy Moore if he were to win on Tuesday. Of course he would. Moore is anything but an establishment favorite and has promised to vote to end the 60-vote filibuster rule that serves no purpose except to preserve the status quo.
Whereas Strange was a lobbyist and later the Alabama Attorney General before being convinced not to prosecute Alabama’s governor in exchange for being appointed to replace Sessions in the Senate, Moore is 100% committed to the president’s agenda. This may be another reason that McConnell was willing to go in so heavily for Strange.
Significantly, the Washington Post is openly fretting over, “A Strange defeat, [that] they worried, could prompt some GOP senators to retire to avoid facing the wrath of anti-establishment voters and the likes of Bannon’s Breitbart News.”
Wouldn’t that be magnificent? The drain at the bottom of the swamp would be open. But, daydreams aside, Trump has to prepare for whatever may come.
Trump smartly chose the strategy that ends with his hand being strengthened no matter how Tuesday’s primary turns out. It’s not ego that’s motivating our president or a sudden turn to the dark side, it’s increasing his power base so that he can fight for us.
Now it’s up to the people of Alabama to carry Moore, and the freedom movement, across the finish line.