Erick Erickson, on his The Resurgent website Monday, told Alabama voters that the best way to send the Washington establishment a message Tuesday is casting a vote for Rep. Mo Brooks because the race’s real conservative, Judge Roy Moore, is already sure to make it to the run off. This is awful advice.
Erickson makes the case that by voting for Brooks, Alabama voters can make sure that Sen. Luther Strange– the establishment-favored incumbent– does’t make it on the runoff ballot. This, the pundit said, will keep Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from raining “down money all over the state of Alabama to destroy Roy Moore” in the runoff.
If Mo Brooks is in the runoff with Moore, McConnell and his lobbyist friends will sit out the race. The McConnell team only wants Luther Strange and they’ll do whatever it takes to get him. Moore is probably not going to be able to withstand the massive air war and ground war against him. McConnell and his thugs are ruthless and will do anything and everything to stop him. Look what they did to Chris McDaniel in Mississippi.
You want to rebuke McConnell and you want to ensure a conservative fighter gets the seat? Vote Mo Brooks tomorrow. Roy Moore is going to be in the runoff, but who gets in the runoff with him will decide whether the GOP establishment gets a strong message or affirmation.
That’s dead wrong. First of all, these little games with voters are what causes the sort of electoral dysfunction so many Americans are tired of seeing. Alabama conservatives have a clear choice in tomorrow’s Senate contest– it’s Roy Moore. Telling people who’d otherwise vote for Moore to vote Brooks gives the increasingly desperate establishment Strange campaign far more credit than it deserves.
Secondly, if you say McConnell and the Washington establishment minions are going to back off just because their boy Strange is out of the race– you’re either woefully misinformed or actively trying to mislead voters.
Strange isn’t the big government favorite because the establishment just loves the guy. Strange is the favorite because he’s already demonstrated his willingness to trade political favors for power– such as his involvement, or conspicuous lack thereof, in the Gov. Robert Bentley fiasco– and promised to continue licking the boots of the establishment’s string masters once elected by the people.
For the establishment, it isn’t about keeping Strange in– it’s about keeping a conservative stalwart like Moore out. And given the choice between dealing with Brooks– whose legislative style they already know from his time in the House– or a conservative like Moore, you can bet they’d take Brooks any day.
But here’s what’s most important to remember. There isn’t much the Washington establishment can do or say, no matter how much they spend, to sour Moore’s devoted voter base. He’s proven himself to Alabama’s most conservative voters time and again over the years. And if this is about sending a strong message to Washington, having Moore whoop both of his challengers Tuesday– anything over 50 percent of the vote would do it– and head to Washington without a runoff would be ideal. Next best is letting Moore battle out with Strange in a runoff, so the Washington establishment sees just how useless its spending is against a principled candidate.