Since the Alabama US Senate race hit fever pitch, many of my Democratic and progressive organizing friends on social media have asked me how to help Democrats in Alabama. They mean to help Doug Jones, but much of their energy would be misplaced if national Democrats made him into another Jon Ossoff. What they need to do is set their organizing sights on Mo Brooks.
They can start by helping Doug Jones win this thing through quiet, mostly monetary support and some get out the vote efforts, such as mailing cards to Alabama Democrats. He is a great candidate, and victory is more possible than ever now. But then if they are serious about reviving the Democratic Party in Alabama, they can get busy on taking out Bannonite bananahead Rep. Mo Brooks, who thinks violent pedophiles are preferable to Democrats.
Find a candidate. Unseat Mo Brooks. This victory, too, is becoming more possible all the time. In a statement to reporters last night, Brooks explained his reasoning as he stood steadfast in the face of fresh accusations against Roy Moore. He won’t withdraw his endorsement or join the state’s other sitting US senator, Richard Shelby, in publicly advising Moore to drop out.
NEW: AL GOP Rep Mo Brooks says he is sticking by Republican Roy Moore bc will vote right in Senate unlike Democrat Doug Jones pic.twitter.com/Jl9kFMRdpw
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) November 14, 2017
At core, Rep. Brooks is a tribal politician. He won AL-5 by pandering to white rage politics, especially on immigration, earning the Tea Party’s love with his willingness to blow every dog whistle. Rep. Brooks was pushing Donald Trump’s agenda six years before the president declared his candidacy, and it shows in his priorities. Brooks has listed out loud all the things that are more important to him than keeping alleged violent pedophiles out the United States Senate:
Brooks speaks of “deficit and debt that can lead to insolvency and bankruptcy,” words that please the John Birch Society members and talk radio goldbugs who showed up for his rural town halls back in the day, and still show up now at the Tea Party events where he does occasionally meet the public anymore.
This overweening concern for the federal coffers is limited, however. Mr. Brooks wants “funding for national security, border security” in order to exclude and murder as many foreigners as possible. In the parallel universe of Fox News values, death and despotism are the only legitimate functions of the federal government.
Lastly, Brooks wants a candidate who will focus on “abortion, appointment of Supreme Court justices,” which are really the same thing. Any deeply-unqualified hack will do as long as they feel the way Mo Brooks does about Roe v Wade. Brooks is all about smaller government so it can fit into every woman’s uterus and cutting spending on the already-born — a “right to life” that ends at birth, to breed for war.
In a phrase, Mo Brooks is all about the apocalyptic cult of authoritarian patriarchy that grew up in the religious right during the conservative era, and which has radicalized into post-decency politics. He is totally okay with Roy Moore trying to rape teenage girls because both men are so enthusiastic about making the little sluts push out those rape babies, yes sir, just like in the glory days of the South, when violent pedophiles got called “massa.”
Evangelical abortion warriors are a dime a dozen in Alabama, but polls showing Doug Jones in a statistical tie with Roy Moore suggest that Republican voters in the state are not as tribal as Mo Brooks, and willing to vote for an “abortion extremist” (Moore’s words) who wants to leave reproductive rights alone and talk about kitchen table problems instead. Indeed, the suburban white voters who turned Alabama so red in the Obama era increasingly prefer such a Democrat to an alleged violent pedophile. Who can blame them? And maybe, just maybe, they are not the single-issue zealots that common wisdom says they are.
Rep. Brooks is handing Democrats a gift quote, and not because of its content. Brooks issued this statement backing an alleged violent pedophile hours after Beverly Young Nelson became the fifth woman to step forward and accuse Roy Moore of sexual impropriety. If this scandal holds true to form, there is worse to come.
“I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch,” Nelson said in a press conference yesterday.
She continued: “He then looked at me and said, ‘You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. ‘If you tell anyone about [my violent pedophilia], no one will believe you.’”
But Mo Brooks was not bothered by this harrowing story. Nor was he impressed by the news that Moore got banned from the Gadsden mall in the early 1980s for perving on underage girls. He gave his statement after both stories broke. Mo Brooks has heard the evidence and still prefers the alleged violent pedophile to the qualified Democrat who puts klansmen in jail.
This is important, because there will be more revelations about Roy Moore’s years of creeping up on teenage girls. He was also reputedly banned from the Gadsden YMCA, and it is entirely possible that more women will step forward with allegations that Roy Moore is a violent pedophile.
How many teens did alleged violent pedophile Roy Moore assault and stalk and threaten in Gadsden? Alabamians deserve to know before they are asked to vote for him. And then Democrats must hammer Mo Brooks into the ground with the answers. But that won’t mean quoting Rep. Brooks over and over again. Instead, out-of-state Democrats need to find a good candidate and make the fact that Mo Brooks supported an alleged violent pedophile into an issue next year.
Speaking as one of his constituents, I am all in for that plan. So in the weeks to come, I will be publishing a handful of posts about how Democrats can win in AL-5. This district was solid blue until Mo Brooks won it, it has changed in the last six years, and it will only get more blue. If Democrats can take the conversation away from culture war issues and get back to talking about the needs of North Alabama, they can win again.
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