With President Trump offering Roy Moore his formal endorsement, the RNC flip-flopping and resuming financial support of his campaign, and Mitch McConnell endorsing Moore as well, it’s worth dwelling on the fact that the policy stakes of the Alabama special election are high.
Back before Moore was accused of enjoying sexual predation of teen girls, he was already a controversial figure due to his habit of defying valid court orders, his view that Muslims should be barred from serving in Congress, his view that homosexuality is a “criminal lifestyle,” etc. The GOP establishment wanted to nominate someone else for the seat, but when Moore won, they embraced his despite his disregard for the rule of law and the Constitution because — in the immoral words of Rob Portman — “he’s going to be for tax reform, I think.”
That same calculus applies today.
The House has passed a version of tax reform, and so has the Senate, but while they’re broadly similar in spirit, they are different enough that reconciling them is not trivial. And the Senate bill was so hastily drafted that it contains important provisions — most significantly around the corporate alternative minimum tax — that GOP leaders seem to genuinely want to scrap. So they really will have to write another bill and pass it again, and while the odds are very good that they’ll succeed, those odds drop a lot if Democrat Doug Jones rather than Moore replaces Luther Strange in the Senate.
With Strange holding the seat, there are 52 GOP senators (plus Vice President Mike Pence), so they can handle the defection of two senators and still pass a bill. If it’s Jones instead, they can only handle one defection. And we already know that Bob Corker has decided he objects Read More Here