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US politics: Alabama Jones and the Temple of Moore

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33 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

 

This chart explains US politics better than almost anything I can think of as far as a framework. 

Conservatives value ingroup dynamics far more than Liberals do. Result: liberals happily will jump in with conservatives in condemning one of their own, especially when the outrage is around harming kids and about unfair power dynamics - this explains Weinstein. They will also condemn Moore, but Moore will be acceptable for a lot longer due to ingroup stuff.

Liberals care deeply about hypocrisy, because hypocrisy involves unfairness, one of the two deeply important values to them. For conservatives it is somewhat important, but not as important as authority and ingroup acceptance. 

Well, from the chart by itself it's a stretch to say conservatives think authority and ingroup acceptance are significantly more important than "fairness" -- those points are all so close together it looks more like their just isn't any significant difference in how conservatives rate the five concepts on the chart. 

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Obviously Senate Republicans would love another, different Republican in that seat. But if it came down to having to be either Moore or Jones, I wouldn't be surprised if many privately prefer Jones.

Moore would be an extremely unruly caucus member, almost as unlikely to vote for key Republican bills as Jones would be. Also, if this race is the deciding factor for whether after 2018 Republicans have 50+Pence majority or have a 49-seat minority, than it's better for McConnell and his allies if Moore loses. Moore winning (and refusing to vote for McConnell as leader as he has promised) and than 2018 ending up that way means McConnell would need to step-aside as majority leader (and there being a massive intra-caucus battle), whereas Jones winning means that McConnell would stay as minority leader. Also, Moore probably wins re-election in 2020, whereas Jones almost certainly loses re-election in 2020. So Moore is a longer-term problem for Republicans.

The promise to expel Moore is not going to help him either (which I've seen suggested on Twitter). The theory is that if Republican voters know he won't be seated, than they can freely vote for him to block Jones. But most voters don't follow politics nearly enough to follow a scheme like that, and boosting turnout for a special election is hard enough as is; trying to get people to vote for someone explicitly on the argument that there can be another special election next year is not a winning way.

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15 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

So I think here are the scenarios, in order of least to most palatable to Republicans:

  • Doug Jones outright defeats Roy Moore/writein/whatever and becomes the next Senator. If this is a realistic possibility I would strongly suspect that Republicans will pull a lot of shenanigans to stop it.
  • Roy Moore steps down, lets Doug Jones win.
  • Moore wins, gets immediately expelled. My suspicion is that this would mean the seat would remain empty until another election - and there is no guarantee Moore wouldn't win AGAIN in this case. 
  • Republicans cancel this election and redo. 
  • Some weird-ass parliamentary ruling that allows Roy Moore to step down and Sessions/Strange to take over the seat again. 

I feel like you are leaving out some very plausible scenarios:

 - Moore wins, Republicans lack the political will to expel him, Moore is the senator from Alabama through 2020 and perhaps beyond.

 - Republicans organize a write-in campaign for some prominent Republican, he garners the support of Trump and state GOP, Moore's support plummets and a write-in wins a three way race.

 - Same write-in scenario as above, but with Jeff Sessions running as a write-in.  Trump goes to bat for Sessions, throw Moore under the bus.  This would be a triple win for Trump: he can pitch himself as a dealmaker who saved the threatened Alabama seat, he exerts his control over both the Senate+GOP, and he can appoint a new AG who is willing to fire Mueller.

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1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

 - Same write-in scenario as above, but with Jeff Sessions running as a write-in.  Trump goes to bat for Sessions, throw Moore under the bus.  This would be a triple win for Trump: he can pitch himself as a dealmaker who saved the threatened Alabama seat, he exerts his control over both the Senate+GOP, and he can appoint a new AG who is willing to fire Mueller.

And Bannon's gin-blossomed nose asplodes.

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8 minutes ago, Ormond said:

Well, from the chart by itself it's a stretch to say conservatives think authority and ingroup acceptance are significantly more important than "fairness" -- those points are all so close together it looks more like their just isn't any significant difference in how conservatives rate the five concepts on the chart. 

I didn't say that they did say it was 'significantly important' - only that ingroup is significantly more important to them compared to liberals. Conservatives value all of these things at roughly the same value (though oddly, very conservatives value purity more as that graph goes on. 

The more illustrative view here is why conservatives don't rate things like hypocrisy nearly as importantly as liberals do. The easiest way to attack a liberal is to accuse them of hypocrisy; the most frustrating thing to a liberal is that conservatives do this all the time and then ignore it when they are, in turn, attacked by it. The other, other thing to consider is that lumping someone together who shares their values - ingroup, authority, purity, care/harm and fairness - often comes out better because they value things more than liberals do. So someone who comes off as high on purity and authority (as Moore does) is going to rank higher in a way that is completely mystifying to liberals

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2 minutes ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

And Bannon's gin-blossomed nose asplodes.

Trump might be able to get Bannon on board.  I'm sure Bannon wants the Mueller investigation to go away too, and Bannon might be looking to save face from the possibility of a "Jones defeats Moore" disaster. 

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1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

Trump might be able to get Bannon on board.  I'm sure Bannon wants the Mueller investigation to go away too, and Bannon might be looking to save face from the possibility of a "Jones defeats Moore" disaster. 

But Bannon was the loudest voice shouting at Trump not to fire Comey. He was on record as saying that was one of the biggest mistakes ever made in American politics. I can't imagine what he might think of firing Mueller as well. 

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4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I feel like you are leaving out some very plausible scenarios:

 - Moore wins, Republicans lack the political will to expel him, Moore is the senator from Alabama through 2020 and perhaps beyond.

I think this is unlikely. McConnell has said he should step down, the NRSC has said that he should be voted to be expelled. I guess it's possible, in which case I'd rank it as one of the least palatable things, probably right below Jones winning. 

4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

 - Republicans organize a write-in campaign for some prominent Republican, he garners the support of Trump and state GOP, Moore's support plummets and a write-in wins a three way race.

This would be more plausible if Strange could run, but amusingly by a memo written by Strange this is impossible in Alabama elections, as you can only run for one race every year in Alabama. 

4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

 - Same write-in scenario as above, but with Jeff Sessions running as a write-in.  Trump goes to bat for Sessions, throw Moore under the bus.  This would be a triple win for Trump: he can pitch himself as a dealmaker who saved the threatened Alabama seat, he exerts his control over both the Senate+GOP, and he can appoint a new AG who is willing to fire Mueller.

I guess that could happen, but I don't see it as particularly likely; I suspect strongly that they could use some arcane rules to just re-appoint Sessions instead of going through the weirdness of a vote. This also may backfire, as a lot of Moore supporters will (rightly) see this as Trump et al betraying them. 

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14 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I think this is unlikely. McConnell has said he should step down, the NRSC has said that he should be voted to be expelled. I guess it's possible, in which case I'd rank it as one of the least palatable things, probably right below Jones winning.

I am not sure that Alabama Republicans care at all what various senators and the NRSC think.  Moore has Brietbart, Foxnews and the White House to run cover for him.  Alabama is still Alabama.  He could very realistically still win, I'd give him at least a 25% chance. 

 

14 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

This would be more plausible if Strange could run, but amusingly by a memo written by Strange this is impossible in Alabama elections, as you can only run for one race every year in Alabama.

Strange isn't the only possible candidate, although he is the most obvious one. 

Quote

I guess that could happen, but I don't see it as particularly likely; I suspect strongly that they could use some arcane rules to just re-appoint Sessions instead of going through the weirdness of a vote. This also may backfire, as a lot of Moore supporters will (rightly) see this as Trump et al betraying them. 

No idea about the arcane rules possibility, but that would also be an ideal scenario for Trump and the GOP. 

Edited by Maithanet

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13 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I feel like you are leaving out some very plausible scenarios:

 - Moore wins, Republicans lack the political will to expel him, Moore is the senator from Alabama through 2020 and perhaps beyond.

 - Republicans organize a write-in campaign for some prominent Republican, he garners the support of Trump and state GOP, Moore's support plummets and a write-in wins a three way race.

 - Same write-in scenario as above, but with Jeff Sessions running as a write-in.  Trump goes to bat for Sessions, throw Moore under the bus.  This would be a triple win for Trump: he can pitch himself as a dealmaker who saved the threatened Alabama seat, he exerts his control over both the Senate+GOP, and he can appoint a new AG who is willing to fire Mueller.

No way Sessions resigns as AG to go back to being an Alabama Senator. Right now he has the ability to directly influence outcomes in some of his pet issues like immigration and marijuana. As Senator he has much less ability to influence anything.

It's also highly doubtful that a write-in candidate wins a 3-way race. Murkowski had approximately 2+ months to organize a write-in campaign. Anyone in Alabama trying to do the same has less than half that, plus it appears that Strange and Brooks may be barred by law from participating.

I'm cautiously predicting a Jones win. That's 2 allegations of sexual assault. There are bound to be more women who come forward over the next month.

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10 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I am not sure that Alabama Republicans care at all what various senators and the NRSC think.  Moore has Brietbart, Foxnews and the White House to run cover for him.  Alabama is still Alabama.  He could very realistically still win, I'd give him at least a 25% chance. 

Oh, I think he could win; what I don't think is going to happen is that he will win AND the Senate won't vote to expel him. 

10 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Strange isn't the only possible candidate, although he is the most obvious one. 

A write-in candidate for someone who isn't campaigning currently a month before the election is not a plausible success. Write-ins almost never work, and if they do it's usually with a far more interesting candidate (like Murkowski). 

 

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2 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Oh, I think he could win; what I don't think is going to happen is that he will win AND the Senate won't vote to expel him.

I have even less faith in Senate Republicans than I do Alabama voters.  Win + Explusion is a possibility, but I think Win + "Senate waits for storm to pass and then does nothing" is more likely. 

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The DNC needs to put money into the Alabama race.  There's a month before the election, and a month worth of negative ads blasting Moore as a pedophile would probably help reduce Republican turnout.  I think it's likely that more victims will come forward over the next month, so that will also help keep the story in the news.  More and more Republicans are going on the record against Moore, so I think it will be hard for Alabama conservative voters to write off the allegations against Moore as a liberal conspiracy.

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4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I have even less faith in Senate Republicans than I do Alabama voters.  Win + Explusion is a possibility, but I think Win + "Senate waits for storm to pass and then does nothing" is more likely. 

That's entirely fair. My suspicion is that this has already been decided, and this is them putting their foot down after asking Moore to step down. 

My gut feeling is that the Republican senate will do almost anything it can to ensure Moore isn't part of them, and this is one of the few places where McConnell actually has something resembling a spine. 

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4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I have even less faith in Senate Republicans than I do Alabama voters.  Win + Explusion is a possibility, but I think Win + "Senate waits for storm to pass and then does nothing" is more likely. 

I agree, he'll win and Senate R's will be content with themselves that they spoke out against Moore, giving them plausible distance from him should he fuck up again, but that'll be the end of it until 2020.  

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Just now, S John said:

I agree, he'll win and Senate R's will be content with themselves that they spoke out against Moore, giving them plausible distance from him should he fuck up again, but that'll be the end of it until 2020.  

Exactly this.

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Dunno. By saying that they should vote to expel him, publicly, they've taken a stance that is going to be hard to walk back on. Same with McConnell saying 'I believe those women'. If they hadn't said that publicly I might be agreeing, but if they don't expel him they're going to have to spend the next 3 years answering questions as to why they didn't, and that's going to hurt THEM. 

Whereas if they expel him, they simply can do another special election. 

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4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Dunno. By saying that they should vote to expel him, publicly, they've taken a stance that is going to be hard to walk back on. Same with McConnell saying 'I believe those women'. If they hadn't said that publicly I might be agreeing, but if they don't expel him they're going to have to spend the next 3 years answering questions as to why they didn't, and that's going to hurt THEM. 

Whereas if they expel him, they simply can do another special election. 

Agree with this. If Moore ends up winning, the Senate will at least vote to expel. Interesting scenario is what Fez laid out in response to my post, is whether Democrats abstain and force 2/3 of Republicans to remove him. 

I suspect most Republicans will vote to remove however. You're talking about defending an alleged child molester with midterms staring them down. There is no way they don't remove him.

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6 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Agree with this. If Moore ends up winning, the Senate will at least vote to expel. Interesting scenario is what Fez laid out in response to my post, is whether Democrats abstain and force 2/3 of Republicans to remove him. 

I suspect most Republicans will vote to remove however. You're talking about defending an alleged child molester with midterms staring them down. There is no way they don't remove him.

If Moore wins and the Senate votes to remove him, Democrats have to vote for removal.  It would look horrendous for Democrats to abstain on this type of vote.  They can't be bothered to vote out a pedophile?  The don't want to go on record to vote out a pedophile?  I don't think there is a good justification for abstaining on such a vote.

Edited by Mudguard

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