1. Franken Out, But Wait There’s Moore
Sen. Al Franken gave a non-apology speech announcing that he would be resigning in the coming weeks due to the increasing amount of sexual misconduct allegations against him. He made sure to point out that he felt some of them were not true, and he used it as an exclamation point in a calculated political move that was obvious since Wednesday. Allow some Democratic female senators to call for his resignation. Then some male ones join in. And then Franken does the honorable thing to step aside so that Republicans won’t have that “whataboutism” bullet in their chamber when accused child molester Roy Moore gets elected in a few days, and President “Grab-Em-By-The-*****” remains in office.
Maybe some of the allegations aren’t true. He has admitted that some of them are, and what is clear is that he’s viewed grabbing women’s breasts in photos is acceptable for the funny. They’re props.
His resignation won’t affect any decision by Trump or accused child molester Roy Moore. The Democrats know this. This will, however, help them better position themselves for the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential campaign. Ironic how the party that accused Mitt Romney of being the head of the “War on Women” has had so many anti-women scoundrels in their ranks.
This still isn’t a matter of political sacrifice. Minnesota has a Democratic governor, so Franken’s replacement would be a Democrat. Conyers’s replacement in his heavily-Democratic district in Michigan would be decided by a special election. The numbers won’t shift. But it also highlights that if accused child molester Roy Moore would step down, Alabama’s Republican governor would simply appoint another Republican. Pretty much any other Republican would be doing 20 points better than Moore is.
2. Monday, Trump Loves Mormons; Tuesday, Bannon Hates Them
Donald Trump had the red carpet rolled out for him on Monday when he visited Utah to declare a cutting-back of land previously designated around the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. There are photos and quotes from him meeting Gov. Gary Herbert, Senators Hatch and Lee, and LDS church leaders like Russell M. Nelson and Henry B. Eyring.
Shortly afterwards, Human Fungus Steve Bannon, a Yankee Goldman Sachs Hollywood guy carpetbagged his way through Alabama, appealing to the Heart of Dixie by stoking anti-Mormon resentments against Mitt Romney in order to gin up support for accused child molester Roy Moore. Bannon blasted Romney for going on an LDS mission during the Vietnam years. Not only that, how dare the Romney sons not volunteer for the armed forces so they could fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bannon’s dog-whistle to evangelicals is a familiar one. Mike Huckabee used similar tactics against Mitt in 2008.
I haven’t seen any evidence that Bannon has a conscience or a soul (even former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro has said Bannon is one of the worst human beings on Earth), so there is nothing he could say that would surprise me. Bannon went to college himself during the Vietnam years; he did serve in the Navy but most vets I know dislike the practice of “service shaming.” The crowd that cheered Bannon’s comments seemed to have forgotten that Trump got out of Vietnam by citing “bone spurs” in his feet and that Trump’s sons never joined the armed forces to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq either.
The Utah leaders who were hugging Trump Monday were condemning Bannon Tuesday. Bannon is going to take a victory lap if accused child molester Roy Moore enters the Senate. Once that happens (and I say acknowledging there’s still a chance Doug Jones could win), eyes will be on Hatch and Lee to see if they say the voters of Alabama have spoken, or if they instantly demand the Senate Ethics Committee move in.
But getting back to Mitt Romney, he’s the only one who could challenge Orrin Hatch for his seat. Romney showed a willingness to put country first and serve as Secretary of State, but he’s been consistent in his criticisms of Trump and Moore. Sen. Mitt Romney is a nightmare scenario for Bannon and Trump. Let’s do this.