By: Guy Martin, Guest Columnist
Before the 2017 Republican runoff between Judge Roy Moore and Senator Luther Strange, your writer said: “A vote for Moore [in the runoff] is a vote for [Doug] Jones [in the general election].” Which is what happened: underdog Doug Jones won the general election among the dark clouds over Moore.
Can’t happen again this time around, you say. Moderates supported Jones in 2017 because he promised to “be like Howell Heflin.” But when Jones opposed Kavanaugh, voted to impeach Trump, and supported late-term abortions, it took moderates’ breath away–many saw the only explanation as the big money Senator Jones amassed from Soros, New York and Hollywood. So, it’s cast in stone, you say: we’ll choose our next senator in the July Republican primary.
But not so fast–Jones is no stranger to uphill battles; and . . . remember that big money. Thus, when voters decide between Sessions and Tuberville in July, they should consider November.
We begin our analysis with what Churchill might call the decision: an enduring truth wrapped in sideways thinking inside a contradiction:
- In football, as in politics, you’re judged by what you did last season. Tuberville would still be at Auburn if, as one person said, “He was still kicking Alabama butt.” Sessions would still be Attorney General if he hadn’t wound up in Trump’s doghouse.
- Yet, as AG, Sessions wasn’t in politics–he was in law, where the rules left him no choice but to recuse. Mueller was investigating Trump–and Sessions–thus Sessions as the nation’s top prosecutor couldn’t investigate himself.
- If Tuberville is judged by how he did his last seasons, he’d be judged a loser; yet he wants to be judged a winner in the game of politics in which he’s never played. If Sessions is judged by his record in politics, he went out a winner–he helped elect Trump, after all.
- If the clouds of sideways thinking and contradictions are removed, therefore, the parameters of the contest will be obvious: who’s the best qualified and has the better chance in November. To save time, we’ll square off each candidate against Jones now.
Jones can’t use Sessions’ recusal against him. The left praised Sessions for “doing the right thing”–which, on any fair analysis, Sessions did. Nor can Jones use the race card played in 1986 by senators–led by Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy–to deny Sessions a judgeship. When Sessions was confirmed in 2017 as Trump’s AG, the Soros lawyer who had made that accusation in 1986 had already admitted his allegations were false.
Sessions, however, can unload a 55-gallon drum of kick-butt on Jones for the aforesaid nothing-like-Heflin behavior. Sessions can even lay legitimate claim to starting the waves that ended in Trump’s tsunami in 2016: before Trump was relevant, Sessions was in the forefront of immigration reform, diagnosing and doing something about the China threat–militarily and economically–including trade reform, and restoring the rule of law. Sessions–a former Army captain–chaired the Senate Seapower Subcommittee on the Armed Services committee, fought to preserve the military from Obama’s budget cuts, and championed the littoral combat ship now built in Mobile. He led the attack against Obama’s Transpacific Partnership, which would have shipped more American jobs to China. Whereas Jones has spent much of his career representing drug dealers, Sessions has been hell on them for decades: as US Attorney, he prosecuted drug dealers so successfully, then-AG Barr gave him a national award in 1992. As Trump’s AG, Sessions was the brick wall Obama’s leniency-to-drug-criminals’ policy hit. In contrast, Jones has no military experience, and nothing to show on the trade front except anti-Trump fervor.
For Alabama, Sessions steered the Missile Command to Huntsville, the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship to Mobile–multi-billion-dollar boosts–and the FBI’s . . . national . . . headquarters’ expansion to Alabama. All Jones has done–Sessions can argue–is be Schumer’s minion.
Having no political record, Tuberville benefits from the tug many feel from Trump’s endorsement; plus, he’s smart and personable. Sean Spicer’s help inspires confidence that Tuberville’s a fresh burst of energy to “kick some Schumer butt.”
Tuberville would have the same 55-gallons of kick-butt to unload on Jones–but what could Jones unload on the Coach? Tuberville’s missing political record limits Jones’ attack to the obvious: what does a football career bring to the Senate? Which signals the playing field on which the Soros/Hollywood/NY money will play. Most considered Kavanaugh squeaky clean, and look what they dug up on him–today’s Left finds fault where none exists. Yet football offers fertile ground for fault to exist–a world of fragile youth, male and female (cheerleaders, trainers, recruiting escorts). Money, agents, injuries. Already out there are the “slapping incident” in Texas, and the securities fraud suit he had to settle (a jury convicted his partner, who’s now in prison). The point is a serious one: the Left will have seven states and colleges to troll from and who really knows what’s out there.
Sadly, you might would wonder why there’s any question here–if the answer should be who’s best qualified. White-knuckle days are in front of us on the China front. To face them, the last thing we need is a Left-wing senator who sings in the Pelosi-Schumer choir.
So, putting aside what should be the only question–what’s best for America–a vote for the Coach could be a vote for Jones.
Guy V. Martin, Jr., is a former Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and a retired teacher at the Birmingham School of Law. He has worked extensively on projects such as the Turf Club, downtown hotels (the PickWick complex, Redmont and Tutwiler), Crossplex, and various public ventures, including several with his cousin, the late David Vann, former Mayor of Birmingham, during the Arrington years. He is semi-retired, and serves as a Director of The Foundry Ministries.