Haunted by the slowly tightening noose of the Russia investigation and under pressure not to go 0-for-2017 in signature legislation, Trump of course decided to Go Big.
He threw the dice to go all in on controversial Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore; accused pedophile, a judge twice removed from the bench, a man who invents racist revisionist history and thinks The Bible outranks the Constitution. In other words, a mainstream Republican.
Trump threw all his weight and prestige behind Moore, even throwing a Roy Moore rally in an arena in Pensacola, Florida, right across the state line from Alabama, drawing thousands of Alabama Republicans and earning the president a tidy profit on red cap sales.
Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara recorded a Robocall urging Alabamans to vote for Moore on Friday, and Trump himself released his own robocall Sunday, and also made numerous public statements condemning his opponent Doug Jones and praising Moore. Trump’s personal intercession made Moore the runaway favorite. The president was feeling so confident he even taunted one of Moore’s victims on Twitter for shits and giggles.
Then a rare ray of light in a very dark year appeared when Doug Jones beat Roy Moore to become Alabama’s first Democratic Senator in 20 years.
Poof, there went the GOP’s insurance vote in the Senate for Trump’s horrible tax bill, Republican solidarity in the Deep South, and Donald Trump’s political capital, up in smoke.
Like Virginia last November 7, Trump’s endorsement was the kiss of death. That, plus the fact that Black women have zero tolerance for accused pedophiles.
This also happened to be the day Trump fired the only Black woman working for him, Omarosa Manigault, who was escorted from the White by Secret Service agents in a bizarre emotional scene.
The fact that Roy Moore refused to concede (because God) hasn’t helped matters, or the President Tantrum Index (PTI).
Trump was of course furious, his nimble mind racing to find some way to make this look like winning. That involved throwing both Roy Moore and his Alabama supporters right under the bus, and he did so with alacrity and zest.
“I was right” he said about backing Moore’s opponent Luther Strange in the primary, and if they had listened to him “I could have won in Alabama.”
Meanwhile, Republican are not wearing out his doorbell seeking his endorsement for their upcoming reelection campaigns in 2018.
Trump then turned to a new high-profile Twitter feud, this time calling Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a whore who begged for money in his office.
Why Gillibrand? It was she who brought up the 16 women accusing President Trump of sexual misconduct in the midst of a national flood of revelations of sexual indiscretions by the high and mighty.
Trump has repeatedly weighed in on the topic, routinely condemning accused Democrats and defending Republicans, figuring everyone would forget about his accusers since he said himself “I don’t have time to deal with that now.”
Women beg to differ. Even UN Ambassador and Trump lapdog Niki Haley says his accusers should be heard, making Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ eyebrows work overtime trying to change the subject at her daily Press Briefings.
While all this drama unfolded, Republicans in the House and Senate tried to hammer out a united tax bill cruel enough to satisfy the wealthy but with enough window dressing to placate their gullible base, with the outcome still in doubt of the end of Week #48. Trying to stack the deck against Democrats seeking to defeat the bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to seat new Alabama Senator Doug Jones until after the tax vote.
The week was not without accomplishments of sorts, when EPA chief Pruitt handcuffed his own agency’s ability to investigate Big Oil’s pollution violations, complying with an ”Industry request.” That’s sort of like bank robbers requesting that security cameras be removed from all banks, and the banks agreeing to it because video surveillance would be an intrusion on bank robbers’ right to earn a living.
On the plus side, a week went by without Trump threatening to start a nuclear war, Robert Mueller is quietly building his criminal cases, and the tide has turned against Trump & Company where it counts the most, at the voting booth.