I delayed any attempt to analyze the recent Alabama Senate race until most of the comments came in from the Republican leadership and conservative press. I was appalled at their unrelenting vitriolic language heaped on Judge Roy Moore. After reading many of these opinions I wondered exactly what race they were all analyzing! With few exceptions their reports had two glaring omissions:
- Who was Judge Moore’s real opponent?
- Who was responsible for his loss?
First, though his visible political opponent was Doug Jones, the Democrat, his real opponent was Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. This Alabama Senate seat is one of the safest in the country which is almost impossible to lose, unless the candidate was in daily defensive mode against the Republican Majority Leader and his own party’s intrigue, distracting him from running a normal and rather easy campaign against a far left Democrat?
Second, the most obvious omission of the Establishment and conservative press was the non-existent coverage of the real reason why Moore lost. The Establishment followed the repeated mantra that Moore was a “flawed or the heavily flawed candidate.” None seemed to mention the fact that Judge Moore could never overcome the McConnell/GOP Establishment’s defamation crusade involving the orchestration of slanderous accusations by false witnesses which in the end destroyed the chance of a Moore victory.
When a statewide race is lost by 1.5 percentage points, there are always dozens of things that could have been done differently to eke out a win. The same could be said for this race.
What was commonly understood was that the Judge was not a natural campaigner. He wasn’t a particularly polished interviewee. Neither was he an experienced fundraiser. However, those campaign abilities are not necessary for a Republican to win in conservative Alabama.
What the Judge has is an impeccable record of Christian character, his Viet Nam military service after a West point graduation, and a history of courageous stands for conservative and constitutional issues in his state. This was more than enough for a landslide victory.
However, putting the secondary what-ifs aside, the fact remains that if the Republican Establishment had not carried out their character assassination campaign against Judge Moore, he would have easily won, possibly by 10 plus points. Yet, both the liberal and conservative press in their analysis writes as if the GOP take-down against Moore never happened. The major news of the campaign, the GOP subterfuge, is now totally ignored.
In the end, the GOP smear against a good man was tremendously effective in suppressing the Republican turnout in Alabama. It was a vote that didn’t show. Postelection stats show that some 600,000 Republican voters declined to vote in comparison with other recent general elections.
UNPRECEDENTED GOP ATTACK
The savage attack on Judge Roy Moore has all the making of a classic Karl Rove “seek and destroy mission.” Three days after the Washington Post hit piece, Roger Stone, long time conservative insider, in an interview stated the following:
“My sources tell me that the attacks against Judge Roy Moore which are almost 40 years ago. Listen these are not convictions but merely accusations, looking sketchier and sketchier the more they are examined. I am told this was cooked up and packaged by the diabolical Karl Rove at the behest of Mitch McConnell. This is the payback for the pasting of their handpicked candidate Luther Strange. Ah, they are endangering a seat for the Senate and don’t seem to care.”
Then later in the campaign, it was revealed through series of published text messages that a Republican Establishment operative was involved in giving the scandalous disinformation on Moore to the Washington Post reporter, Beth Reinhard. The operative was Tim Miller, Jeb Bush’s 2016 communications director and co-founder of a Mitt Romney super PAC. Miller boasted to Charles C. Johnson of Gotnews.com that he was responsible for the Washington Post hit piece on Moore.
What’s clear is the fact that the GOP leadership did not hide their dislike for Moore or their involvement to destroy his candidacy. They announced openly what they were going to do in case Moore won and how they were going to keep him out of the Senate. The GOP even had operatives in Montgomery the Monday before the election searching Moore’s previous financial disclosures for irregularities to be used against him if he won.
The whole GOP takedown of Judge Moore, a fellow Republican, is unprecedented in modern politics. In the 1964 presidential election when Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney and the GOP Establishment abandoned Barry Goldwater they didn’t stoop to planting false sexual assault charges against him but withdrew their support and let him die politically.
In the Alabama race, the D.C. Republican’s and Alabama’s other senator Richard Shelby did the unthinkable: worked to elect a liberal, socialist, pro-abortion Democrat over a solid conservative. They were willing to jeopardize the Supreme Court and the whole Trump agenda because they didn’t like Moore’s Christianity and brand of conservatism. These RINO’s, (Republicans in Name Only) would be willing to put their nation at risk by losing the Senate majority thus handing the country over to the destructive policies of the Democratic Party than to have a true conservative patriot serve with them.
What the GOP did to Judge Roy Moore in Alabama and Republicans nationwide is nothing short of political treason.
EVANGELICAL LEADERS ABANDON JUDGE MOORE
What was unexpected and extremely disappointing was the widespread abandonment of Judge Moore by his fellow evangelical Christian leaders. Abandonment by a politician is one thing, but when it happens from those of a similar faith it is more difficult to accept. Many leaders stayed silent while others felt they had to add to the condemnation of Moore.
Christianity Today (which many now view as Christian publication co-opted by the left) published numerous articles with absurd conclusions. The most ridiculous one was entitled “How Black Women in Alabama Saved Evangelicalism.”
The Christianity Today editor in chief Mark Galli in his article “The Biggest Loser in the Alabama Election” left the reader wondering what exactly was his religion. His reasoning and conclusions strayed far from orthodox Christianity and its Bible.
The same could be said of three other prominent Judge Moore attackers: Rev. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine.
Mohler and his close associate Russell Moore, both outspoken and unrepentant “Never-Trumpers”, piled on with the Establishment and attacked Moore. Mohler stated, “I do find those charges credible…” Mohler added to his condemnation;
“On the other hand from a Christian worldview perspective, the election of Roy Moore would also have been a disaster; it would have been a moral disaster for the state of Alabama. A moral disaster that would have taken the form of having a United States senator, against whom such accusations had been made, but also when it comes to Roy Moore a candidate, and, if elected, a senator in the United States Senate who would’ve supported some of the most outlandish ideas far outside of any traditional pattern of American conservatism.”
Wow, what a statement revealing Dr. Mohlers compromised epistemology and Biblical worldview. What exactly is outlandish with Judge Moore’s honoring of Gods Law and his conviction to reign in a runaway judiciary? In Mohler we have a picture of a trained theologian who can’t seem to understand the basic Biblical requirement for the prosecution of the crime of sexual assault which requires both witnesses and evidence. Instead of defending Moore against the criminal act of slander found in the Ten Commandments, Mohler gives a pass to Moore’s false accusers.
When these men had a chance to support fellow conservative Christian leader Judge Roy Moore, they took the cowardly route and joined the Establishment in the defamation of the Judge.
If Mohler, Russell Moore, and Olasky could be transported back into Biblical times, they would have sided with Potiphar’s wife, defending her charge of sexual assault against Joseph as “credible allegations.” And the “innocent and helpless” Mrs. Potiphar had something better than a forged yearbook for evidence; she had a piece of Joseph’s clothing. Yes, the Mohlers, Russell Moores, and Olaskys would have declared Joseph’s release from prison a “moral disaster for Israel” and would have publicly demanded more prison time.
Our times call for fearless Christian leaders to aggressively engage in the defense of the faith, but many, for the sake of image and reputation, drawback and play it safe, while others defect and side with the Establishment. These type of men glory in Reformation past. Yet, if they had lived in that age, their timid spirits would have recoiled at a Luther, admonishing him for being uncharitable, harsh, and unchristian. These men cannot be relied on to take a courageous stand in times critical for Church and country.
If they were put in charge of the Bible they would bleach out a third of the names of the lineage of Christ for “unacceptable behavior” like Rahab the harlot and King David the adulterer. Their religious perfectionism blinds them to see how God sovereignly accomplishes His work through flawed and sinful men. At important times they fail to discern the bigger picture of the purposes of God, because their requirements of leadership are “higher and holier” than God’s.
The good news is that the advice of these “Never Trump” leaders like Mohler, Russell Moore, and Olasky were not embraced by rank and file evangelicals, who in 2016, voted overwhelmingly (81%) for Trump. The Donald Trump whom they routinely criticized has now become a champion for the Christian faith.
They have done an enormous disservice to the Church by attacking Judge Moore and unknowingly have paved the way for Establishment forces to continue their strategy to defame them and other Christian leaders using dishonest charges with impunity.
Rev. Mohler should, for the sake of Christian community, lay aside his daily diet of seven plus liberal newspapers and leave the commentary of culture and politics for those more competent and courageous and return to what he does well, running a seminary. For the others, the Church would greatly benefit from Marvin Olasky’s retirement from geo-political discussions and for the Southern Baptists to find a replacement for Russell Moore.
The current age in which we live is not made for weak Christian leaders who wear silk underwear.
McConnell’s War on Bannon
After a week of the GOP trashing Judge Moore, Mitch McConnell has moved on to his great nemesis, Steve Bannon, mocking him with the comment “The political genius[Bannon] on display throwing away a seat in the reddest state in America is hard to ignore.”McConnell’s new tactic is inspired from the Joseph Goebbels school of disinformation, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty of.”
So if I have this correct, we have the Republicans of Alabama overwhelmingly voting for Judge Roy Moore in the primary to run for the U.S. Senate. McConnell doesn’t like Moore because he is too conservative so he does the unthinkable and works to de-fund Moore’s campaign and vilifies him with false witnesses. Moore looses, then McConnell blames the loss on Steve Bannon. Unbelievable!
McConnell’s new round of attacks on Bannon reveal the real battle of the Alabama special election. The battle of who will control the future of the Republican Party, the old GOP Establishment wing led by Rove, McConnell and Ryan or the new populist America First movement of Trump and Bannon.This Alabama race was all about McConnell destroying Moore to stop Bannon’s political momentum.
This race was one giant GOP Swamp psyop (psychological operations) on the people of Alabama which made a mockery of a functioning democracy where the people choose their representatives. Welcome to the GOP’s new brand of “Banana Republicanism.” Expect more of the same from McConnell in the 2018 Senate primaries battling Bannon over candidate recruitment with his plan of raising up more Establishment recruits of the likes of a McCain, Flake and Corker. Steve Bannon is one of the best things to happen to Republican politics in decades and McConnell is at war with him.
McConnell and the Republican Establishment have their political infrastructure, the House and Senate leadership, donor lists, D.C. offices, think tanks and friends in the press. They have all the necessary institutional structures to control a political constituency, but they lack one critical thing. It is the one thing that Trump and Bannon have and what propels the new populist conservative movement: THE PEOPLE.
Despite the pain felt by conservatives in the GOP’s defrauding of Judge Moore’s election, one election loss does not signify the end of a movement. On the contrary this should be a nation-wide teaching moment for the new populist conservative movement which is made up of evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and liberty constitutionalists who seek their country’s greatness, desire limited government and a restoration of the American republic.
The Trump phenomenon is ever growing as the president continues to deliver his campaign promises. Trump’s agenda and his alpha-male pro-America leadership have greatly increased his political base. Also, this Alabama election does not diminish the political leadership of Steve Bannon who remains the best conservative leader with the right ideas, vision, and courage to lead the movement into the future. The opposition toTrump and Bannon is the Republican Establishment who’s political vision is globalism and is driven by personal greed and lust for power. THESE MEN CAN NEVER BE TRUSTED.
The people know that the election was taken from them by the devious work of GOP operatives. Nationwide, conservatives are not happy and will not forget. The GOP Establishment won this battle but they have over-played their hand. Their victory will be short-lived, because they have created a nationwide resentment among their base. If an election was close to being fair and a candidate lost, supporters would accept it and move on. In this election, there is no moving on.
The Alabama loss was a painful defeat, but it will make the conservative base wiser, especially to the intrigue and Deep State operations within the Republican Party, who have abused their legitimate authority and influence by resorting to political thuggery and slander to force their way. The loss of the Alabama Senate seat by Judge Moore and the people of Alabama will not be forgotten.
Tom Ertl is a home builder in Tallahassee, Florida and is a member of a local Presbyterian Church (PCA). For over three decades Tom has worked with various Christian political organizations, including Freedom Council in the 80s. He is a former member of The Council For National Policy and has sat on various Christian ministry and political boards. He is also a publisher of Christian historical and theological works and is a columnist for News with Views.