It is no secret that GOP primary voters tend to be far-right, and ultra-religious. This is how they ended up with Donald Trump, and now, the embarrassment that was Roy Moore’s failed campaign for the Senate in Alabama. The GOP is caught between a rock and a hard place because the base tends to pick the most extreme candidate in the primaries, and they don’t care if the person has been accused of sexual assault, or even admits to it in the case of Donald Trump.
The ideological pinch point came to a head in Alabama this week, even though 650,000 residents cast their ballot for a man who was removed twice from the Alabama Supreme Court and was accused of assaulting underaged girls. Republicans could have run almost any other candidate, perhaps even David Duke, and still won against Doug Jones.
This is especially troubling for mainstream Republicans who are being forced to either drift to the fringe to win primaries, or lose to someone who has no qualms about waving a gun on the stage, suggesting repealing a woman’s right to vote, and riding up to the polls on a horse like it was 1817.
Even as the South slowly lurches towards the 21st century, the GOP politicians here are pedalling backwards in a race to see who can resemble George Wallace and the old Dixiecrats who fled to the Republican Party after the Civil Rights Era.
They’re forcing Republicans like Paul Ryan from Wisconsin to make a choice between tax cuts for the wealthy, and dealing with regressive ideas such as voter suppression and dog whistles to the KKK and white nationalists.
Here in my congressional district back in 2016, voters had the choice between a conservative Republican and a caricature “street cop” who pandered constantly to the most racist people in this district. Clay Higgins easily won the race and enjoys the support of a City Marshal facing multiple felony charges, who jailed a local activist on trumped-up charges in retaliation for a recall effort.
An arrest affidavit from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office showed that Wilkerson is being charged for four bad checks that he wrote in January and February of 1997, worth a total of $200. The warrant for Wilkerson’s arrest was executed hours after the recall effort acknowledged that it had fallen short of the 27,500 signatures needed to force a recall election against Pope. The recall, initiated in June, had 180 days to gather the required signatures.
Wilkerson, who is a U.S. Army and Lafayette law enforcement veteran, says he had no idea that he even wrote those checks, let alone that there were charges pending against him.
“I’ve gone through those background checks,” Wilkerson said. “There’s never been anything that showed up in any kind of issues that I’ve had.” (KADN)
This is the current state of the GOP, torn between establishment corporate interests, and the rabid foaming of the alt-right primary voters who put candidates like Roy Moore on the ballot.
If Democrats turn out in the 2018 elections like they did in Alabama, the Republican Party could very well lose otherwise safe seats in districts they’ve ruled for decades. The blue wave is coming, but only if Democrats get their shit together, stop fighting over 2016, and kick the Republicans out.