Alabama's rebel yell from the right
Democrats will relish asking Republican candidates everywhere to take a stand on Moore's catalog of zaniness. But they will also have to decide how big a push to make on behalf of Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney who is their nominee for the December special election.
Jones has the potential to be a strong candidate, but some Democratic strategists have counseled against committing substantial resources to a state where successes for their party have been scarce. Advocates of a major undertaking on behalf of Jones see this as precisely why taking on Moore would be worth the gamble. Jones could do in Alabama this year what Republican Scott Brown did in a 2010 special election in Massachusetts: demonstrate the dominant party's vulnerability going into the midterm elections by capturing a Senate seat far inside opposition territory. A Jones win would also cut the Republicans' already tough-to-manage Senate majority to a bare 51 seats.
And whatever happens in December, Bannon himself is determined to make the job of Congress' current GOP leadership as difficult as possible. At an election eve Moore rally, Bannon called out McConnell and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser, by name.
"Your day of reckoning is coming," Bannon declared.
It's a statement that also applies to Trump. The message from Alabama is clear; he and his party have unleashed forces they cannot control.
E.J. Dionne's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @EJDionne.
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