This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 27, 2017:
Readers of the New Testament never really knew what the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was. Speculations range from physical to emotional to spiritual, from temptation to a chronic eye problem, malaria, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a speech impediment.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t likely to have that problem. He’ll know exactly what his thorn is, and he’ll know furthermore that he himself helped that thorn get elected. As this is being written (Tuesday), Moore leads Republican-funded establishment candidate Luther Strange by double digits, despite millions that have flowed into Strange’s campaign coffers from McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund. Moore isn’t even being damaged by appearances for Strange by the president and his vice-president. Nor does he seem to be affected negatively by support by the NRA for his opponent.
Apparently those voters in Alabama are smarter than the Washington Republican establishment thought they were: although they like Trump and Pence, they like them because they are a threat to the establishment. So when Trump and Pence decided that they could “work” better with Strange than with the judge with a history of rebellion against statism, they made a tactical error. Their support of Strange gave away the game and, barring a monumental miscalculation by both FiveThirtyEight, the polling aggregation website, andRealClearPolitics, Moore should win in a walk on Tuesday night.
That means that, come December when the special election takes place to determine who will take Jeff Sessions’ seat in the Senate, Moore will obliterate the Democrat and assume the position as McConnell’s primary source and inflictor of pain.
Moore might even inflict enough pain often enough and severe enough to persuade McConnell that retirement (he’s been in the Senate ever since 1985, and he’s 75 years old) looks awfully good.
Just to make sure, Moore took on the establishment on Monday night, telling his folks what they already knew: that Strange had been outspending his campaign nearly four-to-one, and that he had no similar means to combat the lies. The YouTube video of that precious moment, starting at 19:20 into it, caught Moore saying:
It’s been very hard for my wife and myself to weather two, nearly three, months of negative ads that we couldn’t answer with money because we didn’t have it. Ads that were completely false. That I don’t believe in the Second Amendment.
And then, as Moore said “I believe in the Second Amendment,” he pulled from his pocket a small caliber revolver to prove the point. His audience erupted with cheering and applause.
His audience is exactly the cohort Moore needed to secure the win over Strange. As Harry Enten, writing for FiveThirtyEight, noted: “Moore has led in every reliable public poll of the runoff,” but Moore’s advantage might be fading following the onslaught of negative ads by his opponent. Wrote Enten, “To maintain his lead from the first round, Moore will need to continue to rack up huge margins in rural areas [of Alabama].”
Alabama already enjoys the most Second Amendment freedoms among the several states, with no permits of any kind required to purchase a firearm. Alabama is an open-carry state, while those who wish to carry concealed must obtain a permit first. This no doubt resonates with precisely the people Moore was appealing to – the same people who no doubt also understand the political ties that Strange has with the Republican establishment.
They also no doubt enjoyed Trump’s stumble when he was in state last Friday promoting the Republican establishment’s candidate. Going off-script for just a moment, Trump said “I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake.”
Indeed he did. And may he learn his lesson.
For Moore, his victory will give a much-needed Constitutional voice in the Senate, and a constant reminder, and thorn in McConnell’s side, that oaths of office are not to be taken lightly or forgotten quickly. After all, it was Moore’s constitutional understanding on the two issues for which he is most famous – or infamous, depending on which side of the fence one sits – the Ten Commandments monument in front of the Supreme Court building, and his order to county clerks not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Readers of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth remain in doubt to this day as to exactly what God put into his life to remind him of his humanity and his innate human tendency to pride and vanity:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
For McConnell, there will be no such doubt.