Senator Strange, meet the Tea Party 2.0
WASHINGTON, September 28, 2017 — Senator Luther Johnson Strange III, we hardly knew ye. A mere seven months after Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Strange to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ empty Senate seat, his state’s GOP voters chose Strange’s challenger, Judge Roy Moore to replace him.
“We’re dealing with a political environment that I’ve never had any experience with,” said a stunned Strange to reporters after his defeat.
Although Strange voted for the Senate’s Obamacare repeal-lite, he had the misfortune of being the favored candidate of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose bungled handling of President Trump’s legislative agenda has disappointed and angered the GOP’s conservative base.
The big winner, Judge Roy Moore, is the former U.S. circuit judge who in 1995 was sued by the ACLU for hanging in his courtroom a wooden plaque emblazoned with the Ten Commandments, as handed down by God to the great lawgiver Moses.
Moore eventually served as Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice in 2002, saying at his swearing-in,
“I pledge to support not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Alabama Constitution as well, which provides in its preamble that the state ‘established justice’ by ‘invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.’ The connection between God and our law could not be more clear.”
Remember the Tea Party?
In 2010, the New York Times teamed up with CBS News to conduct a poll concerning American attitudes toward the Tea Party:
“Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it … Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.”
An angry Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi called the Tea Party “Astroturf.”
Former Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson said, “At this point, the Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan.”
Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid said that while in school he “studied government” and “learned about the anarchists. Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Party kind of hides that.”
Pelosi would lose the Speaker’s gavel, Rep. Grayson would lose his House seat as well as his bid to serve as a Florida Senator, and Harry Reid retired shortly after the Democrats lost control of the Senate.
After that Times/CBS poll, we would have to wait until the 2016 presidential election to see the media engage in such wishful thinking again, this time pushing their phony polls showing Hillary Clinton would definitely serve as the nation’s 45th president.
The election of Donald Trump proved that a phenomenal number of Americans had absorbed the Tea Party’s outrage and anti-incumbent fervor, but had simply dropped the label. That is why Hillary Clinton, viewing her internal polls and sensing her humiliating defeat at their hands, relabeled these voters “deplorables.”
The refusal this year of Republicans to legislate a clean and full repeal of Obamacare has come back to haunt them, as evidenced by the defeat of Alabama’s Sen. Strange to his primary challenger.
Congressional Republican leaders seem to have forgotten the time in 2010 when, after the passage of Obamacare, Speaker Nancy Pelosi left the House chamber to gloat at Tea Party protestors then surrounding the Capitol complex.
Incumbent Democrats have been paying for Pelosi’s arrogant insolence ever since.
Now, it’s the Republicans’ turn.