Rather than exercising prudence by waiting for a candidate without the personal and ideological baggage of Moore, Trump did a swan dive into the shallow end of the pool in his haste for a Pyrrhic victory. It never seems to end with this President, though there’s partial mitigation this time, especially since Moore wasn’t Trump’s first choice.
It wasn’t Trump’s fault that Moore ran a video of himself being interviewed by a twelve-year-old girl days before an election in which allegations about his taste in women was an overarching issue. It wasn’t Trump’s fault that Moore espoused a form of Christianity that most Americans who practice religion find extreme compared to their own beliefs, or that Moore feels the Constitution has too many amendments. It wasn’t Trump’s fault, either, that his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, went rogue and backed an outlier.
It was, however, Trump’s fault that he believed force of will could bend the voters of a state he’d won handily to accept a repugnant candidate. Even more deleterious, Trump demonstrated that his hold on the party apparatus in a red state was too weak to hold a traditionally Republican seat. It doesn’t augur well for the Republicans’ future.
Meanwhile, the focus on Trump’s personal life will continue to grab headlines because of his improvident attack on N.Y. Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. After forcing Senator Al Franken into early retirement, Gillibrand took aim at Trump and demanded his resignation, too, on account of allegations of unbecoming conduct. Trump’s response was to imply that Gillibrand had round heels when she sought campaign money from him. The tweet will be resented by women.
Moore’s strange candidacy is over, but Trump’s isn’t. If the Russia investigation wasn’t threatening enough, by backing Moore, Trump amplified allegations of his own, purportedly, forward dealings with women. The now infamous Hollywood Access Tape, starring Trump and Billy Bush has been playing, recently, more often than reruns of Seinfeld.
Given the President’s compulsion to be the underdog, it’ll surprise few if he fires Robert Mueller next. The media, generally, is daring him to do just that by speculating incessantly about when it’ll happen; and, Fox News is ordering it. Trump may be self-destructive enough to walk that plank, too, and dooming himself with the move. Trump may feel, however, that men who get themselves fired aren’t losers if their actions make them martyrs. Good luck with that.