I was intending to put up a thread like this Monday evening, on the thought that we might have something to say as events unfolded in Alabama Tuesday. But today brought something worth starting early.
The election in Alabama seems to be very close, with the result hinging on (primarily) turnout, and (secondarily) how many staunch Republicans will vote for someone not-Roy-Moore. Both of those feel, from the far side of the country, like a matter of permission.
Then this happened**. The senior, Republican, Senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, got up this morning and said:
"I didn't vote for Roy Moore. I wouldn't vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better."(He also said that believes the women, and that his former counterpart, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has likewise said he had no reason to doubt Moore's accusers.)
He not only said he hasn't voted for Moore yet, he said that he plans to write in someone else on his ballot. (He declined to say who.)
Think about that for a moment. If you are a totally tribal Republican partisan in Alabama, you just got a top guy in your party saying that it's just fine to not vote for your party's nominee. In a race as close as this one looks to be, that could tip the balance.
Now we get to see how the vote counts go.
** The Alabama Media Group is local. It publishes several of the biggest papers in Alabama, and also runs some TV news. They date back a couple of centuries in Alabama. That is, they aren't some coastal elite telling Alabamans what to do. And they ran an editorial this morning saying Our View: Conservatives should consider Senator Shelby's example.