Oh, boy. This is just what Alabama needs -- a Twitter showdown between Roy Moore, President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Heaven help us.
More specifically, Heaven help Alabama Republicans, who desperately want to defeat U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Birmingham, in 2020 and must be terrified that Moore -- the epitome of a nine-lives politician -- will again foul the GOP’s chances with his reprehensible mixture of faux moralism, religious extremism and political haughtiness.
Moore and the accusations of sexual misconduct against him bleed negativity for Alabama, for Alabama Republicans and for Washington Republicans eager to reclaim Jones’ valuable Senate seat. He’s also predictable as a Nick Saban tirade. Shocked we’ll be if he doesn’t enter the GOP race. And that’s the problem.
Twitter spats make for terrible politics, but they’re inevitable in this dysfunctional era of Trump. And this week’s spat started when Moore, Alabama’s twice-defrocked former state Supreme Court justice who lost to Jones in 2017, responded on Twitter to U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Mobile, who said he welcomed Moore to the race.
“He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones,” Moore tweeted.
Enter Trump Jr.
“You mean like last time?” the president’s oldest son tweeted. “You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA. Running for office should never become a business model. If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.”
Enter the president himself -- the same president who supported Moore’s campaign in 2017.
“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t … If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating....Judges and Supreme Court Justices!”
And, on cue, enter Moore, again.
“Ever wonder why the mere mention of my name scares the ‘hell’ out of the Washington DC establishment, liberals, and LGBT? Like Pres Trump I want to see America great again, but that is a job only God can do!”
With Trump on the 2020 ballot, there’s every reason to believe Moore would make a legitimate Election Day run against Jones because of the former judge’s popularity among our state’s sizeable evangelical bloc and Alabama voters’ preference for Republican candidates. Unlike this week’s silly Twitter spat, though, a Roy Moore candidacy -- and potential Senate victory -- would be catastrophic for Alabama and our nation.