MIDLAND CITY, Ala. ― Anyone who criticizes GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is his new worst enemy.
During the ex-judge’s last hurrah on Monday ― hours before the polls opened for the special Senate election ― Moore’s supporters dug into their trenches, lashing out at everyone who ever slighted him during his campaign.
Several hundred supporters filled out a barn in Midland City on the eve of the election between Moore, who has been accused of preying on teenage girls when he was in his 30s, and Democrat Doug Jones.
And they had a lot to say. They decried the news media. They hated on gay marriage. They verbally attacked several women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. They shouted “build that wall.” They chanted “lock her up.”
But they also showed a willingness to eat their own. Moore’s supporters, speaking to HuffPost, said they had cast out Alabama’s senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, who on Sunday revealed he didn’t vote for Moore and said the “Republican Party can do better.”
“I thought he was dead until I heard him saying them dumb comments about brother Moore,” said Romeo Ryan, 52. “Shelby loves Washington so much, he’s probably gonna stay there. He’s not coming back to Alabama, and he’s got nothing left to run for, so that’s why he’s saying that.”
People are furious that some members of Moore’s own party have turned against him. Anyone who has come out against Moore is automatically labeled “establishment,” whether they’re national or state figures.
Some of Moore’s supporters, like 61-year-old John LaTour, said they’d support shorter term limits for members of Congress in the wake of Shelby’s comments.
″You stay in Washington too long, you drink the Kool-Aid, and all of a sudden you become one of them,” LaTour said. “He denounced Roy Moore, and that says to me that he’s part of the establishment. I’d say it’s time for Mr. Shelby to come home.”
Of course, Monday wasn’t Shelby’s night, and the speakers Moore hand-picked for the campaign event didn’t focus on Shelby at all. Instead, they told stories about Moore accidentally going to (and then quickly leaving) a brothel with “very young” women, and said Moore wasn’t anti-Semitic because he has a Jewish lawyer.
Tuesday’s special election is when Alabamians decide whether to overlook Moore’s reported transgressions and his national dissenters to vote him into the Senate.