Millions rejoiced yesterday evening as news rolled in from the highly-publicized Alabama senate race, as it became clearer and clearer that centrist liberal Doug Jones had triumphed over the racist, homophobic, alleged sexual predator Roy Moore. Yes, the bar for good news in 2017 is that low.
But Moore’s loss wasn’t good news for everyone. One man was clearly embarrassed by the loss: President Donald Trump. See, Trump spent a significant amount of time recently defending and supporting Roy Moore, despite the waves of allegations declaring Moore to be a pedophile and sexual predator. So once Moore lost by about 20,000 votes, the internet waited with baited breath for the inevitable Trump tweet.
Surprisingly soon after the results were announced, Trump’s Twitter account put this out:
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
And this morning, we got it:
The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
That means about eight hours elapsed between Trump congratulating Doug Jones on his win to Trump throwing the candidate he endorsed under the bus. “I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election.” (What Trump actually said, according to Moore, was “Go get ‘em, Roy!”) Also, “the deck was stacked against him” is a hell of a way to describe multiple women accusing the man of sexual misconduct. But what can we expect from a president with many similar accusations raised against him?
Trump’s disloyalty to the candidate he endorsed should come as no surprise—it’s his calling card when things don’t go his way. Just like with Ed Gillespie in Virginia, as soon as someone Trump supports is branded a loser, he disowns them in a flying heartbeat:
Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2017
Trump can’t handle the idea that maybe, just maybe, his support for a candidate actually hurts their electoral chances. But Ed Gillespie and Roy Moore will remember. They leaned into racist, Trumpian tactics during their campaigns, and got burned for it. It’s beginning to look like having Trump on your side is less a boon than it is a liability, and Republican politicians should know what they’re getting into when they enter into a contract with the world’s worst political ally. With friends like these, who needs enemies?