Well, well, well, … Matt Osborne got his name in the papers, the New York Times, no less.
The Gentle Reader may have noticed a story running around the Internet recently about fake “Russian-style” Facebook campaigning that targeted an American election. That election was a recent Alabama senatorial election, and the victimized candidate was Roy Moore. One of the fake campaigns was called Dry Alabama, and it was run by Democrats.
The Dry Alabama Facebook page, which appeared to be run by teetotaler Baptists, had a blunt message: Alcohol is the devil’s work, and the state should ban it entirely. The related Twitter feed exhorted, “Pray for Roy Moore.” The actual purpose of the social media campaign was to paint Moore and his supporters as religious wackos.
Matt Osborne, a veteran progressive activist who worked on the project, said he hoped that such deceptive tactics would someday be banned from American politics. But in the meantime, he said, he believes that Republicans are using such trickery and that Democrats cannot unilaterally give it up.
“If you don’t do it, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back,” said Mr. Osborne, a writer and consultant who lives outside Florence, Ala. “You have a moral imperative to do this — to do whatever it takes.”
Osborne’s buddies at Protect Our Elections were unavailable for comment.
Politico has a post up about how Doug Jones’ win in Alabama has raised the Democrats’ hopes for the 2018 elections.
Strong turnout and low approval for Donald Trump have Democrats eyeing states where they haven’t been competitive in years.
But was the Alabama election really about Donald Trump? Of course, Trump Derangement Syndrome probably helped increase Democrat turnout, but Roy Moore has his own baggage. First, and this hasn’t been talked about so much in the national coverage, Moore had held state-wide office as a judge on the Alabama Supreme Court. His crackpot behavior as a judge is probably best described as lawless and provided reason enough for some voters to choose not to support him, suppressing Republican turnout.
And then there’s the whole pervalanche issue. Moore is an outlier among Republican. The last time I checked, the Dems will be defending more seats with a scarlet P next year. In some cases, Al Franken for instance, the seat may have been taken over by a woman who can more easily defend it. But allegations of sexual harassment are more commonly directed at Democrats. It’s mostly their problem. BTW, when Moore was chasing teenagers, he was a Democrat.
Finally, the Democrats are weakened by the populist rejection of the Deep State. “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help” feels like “… and I’m here to run your life for you” to too many voters. To the extent that those voters perceive the Democrats as the party of the Deep State, they’re likely to vote from someone else, someone who promises real restructuring of the system rather than tinkering around the edges to make it “better.”
2018 will be here in 18 days. Fasten your seat belts.
Brett Kimberlin wasn’t available for comment, but Stacy McCain was.