Are Both Sides in GOP Civil War Taking Aim at Roy Moore?

Between a rock and a hard place. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Until now, the explosive allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Roy Moore have polarized the GOP: The Establishment Republicans of Washington have lined up to deplore Moore’s behavior and urge him to withdraw from the U.S. Senate special election in Alabama, and the Trumpian “insurgents” have generally defended him.

Today, yet another pillar of the Establishment Republicans, the Republican National Committee, has abandoned Moore, as Politico reports:

The RNC is pulling out of a joint fundraising agreement it had with Moore, according to a senior party official briefed on the decision. It is also canceling a field program it had set up ahead of the state’s Dec. 12 special election. The committee had about a dozen paid canvassers in Alabama working for Moore. It will no longer transfer any money to the race.

Other leading Republicans beyond the immediate circle of Moore antagonist Mitch McConnell dropped hammers on Judge Roy as well, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan.

But in terms of Moore’s survival as a GOP candidate for the Senate, the most startling report is that Stephen Bannon, whose Breitbart News has been ferociously defending Moore as an ally in its fight with McConnell and other RINO squishes, is having second thoughts:

[O]ver the past few days, Bannon has begun privately taking the temperature of those in his inner circle to see what they think of the Moore allegations and to get their sense of how to proceed, according to four knowledgeable sources.

[…] Several of Bannon’s most trusted allies have already told him that it would be “insane,” as one put it, to believe at this point that the Moore accusations are baseless. They have also warned that the time is rapidly approaching when he would have to disavow Moore before it appeared as though he was simply caving to political pressure.

Et tu, Stephen?

If these reports are accurate, a more cynical interpretation might be that Bannon is anticipating that Donald J. Trump is going to return from his Asia trip and toss Moore to the wolves for real. The Alabama Senate race has already divided Trump from the King of the Trumpites before, when POTUS was backing Luther Strange and Bannon was thumping the tubs for Judge Roy. Perhaps now they can get on the same page and work together to get Moore out of the race before he gives Democrats a Senate seat.

They’d better get a move on, though. The latest poll from Alabama shows Moore still leading Doug Jones. It could take the entire national GOP to talk their Alabama affiliate into abandoning their perpetually defiant judge.

Are Both Sides in GOP Civil War Taking Aim at Roy Moore?