who will it be?
AG Jeff Sessions, Republican Candidates Roy Moor and Luther Strong
Republicans: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Candidate Roy Moore, Candidate Luther Strong

The good folks in my home state of Alabama aren’t too sophisticated when it comes to voting excellent people into office. Consider that Jeff Sessions has been our senator for a long time, mostly running unopposed, or infrequently against some poor Democrat with no idea what he’s about to get involved in.

Sessions perfected the religious fervor that doesn’t quite slip over into craziness. This allows a candidate to gain support of small town church ladies but still gather the Good Ole’ Boys that don’t make Sunday services on a regular basis. Combine this with a slight undercurrent of racism without any connections to racist groups and we have a winner.

But when Jeff decided to hitch his wagon to the rising star that became Donald Trump, he gave notice he was interested in a higher calling. Everything worked perfectly until he recused himself over the Russia Fake News stuff and drew the president’s Twitter ire.

But all that is past history. Right now we are all breathlessly awaiting the election of the successor to Sessions’ Senate seat. Almost as soon as Jeff was proclaimed Attorney General, candidates began working on their Donald Trump impressions.

Democratic Candidate for Senate Doug Jones
Doug Jones, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, won the Democratic primary.

Everyone involved began making Trump-like proclamations about each and every political issue; whether it involved the Yellowhammer state or not. The lead up to the actual primary election has been entertaining, almost to an SNL level.

Before he had laundered his underwear from the Congressional baseball shooting in June, Congressman Mo Brooks had a commercial ready for the campaign including gunshots from the event. What little karma he acquired from administering first aid during this horrible time was wasted when he decided to use this tragedy to try to get a move to the Senate.

Odds on Favorite Roy Moore kept thumping his King James; a strategy that has worked well in Alabama in the past. Most Alabamians claim to be familiar with the Good Book but really aren’t. They just support anyone with the audacity to claim to have God’s cell number.

Trump pick Luther Strange did things by the book. As State Attorney General, he helped ease the embarrassment of the Luv Guv debacle, and was rewarded with the interim tittle to Sessions’ seat until an election could take place. This showed he was a team player to Republicans, and also allowed him to get face time with the President, who is way too busy tweeting and watching Fox News to actually assess potential politicians’ real qualifications. Trump endorsed Strange in two Tweets a couple of days apart. This shows he means business.

With the primary upon us and so many candidates working on their best Donald Trump impressions, a runoff seemed likely. I was betting Roy Moore would get the most votes, especially after 50 Alabama ministers endorsed him last weekend. Like many others, I was correct.

Luther Strange, with Trump’s blessing, came in second. Mo Brooks garnered a lot of sympathy votes but fell short. Shredding common decency shows a will to win if nothing else. Now the real fun begins. A steel cage death match.

Moore, who has convinced most Alabamians he’s as close to Jesus as they will get and Strange, who got the endorsement of someone that thinks he’s on equal footing with the Lord.

Heaven help us.

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Image Credits: Jeff Sessions Caricature by DonkeyHotey (flickr/CC); Photo of Roy Moore is from senate campaign website - photographer is unattributed (promo/fair use); Photo of Luther Strange is official photo of the Attorney General’s office – photographer is unknown (public domain); Photo of Democratic Candidate for Senate Doug Jones is from the candidates web site – photographer is unattributed (promo/fair use).
Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Mike Cox currently writes a weekly column in South Carolina for the Columbia Star called "It's Not a Criticism, It's an Observation." He is trying to grow old as gracefully as possible without condemning the current generation in charge to doom. Each day this task gets harder as the overwhelming evidence mounts. He currently has two published books; Finding Daddy Cox, and October Saturdays. His columns have won three South Carolina Press Association awards since 2003. Mike has three sons and two grandchildren and lives in Irmo, Sc, just outside of Columbia.