Roy Moore’s insurgent victory in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Republican primary runoff in Alabama marks a definitive rejection by Donald Trump’s base of his shift toward working with Democrats on issues like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
They are just as frustrated as he is with congressional Republicans, but they see the answer as sending more committed representatives to Congress, not cutting bad deals with Democrats.
The seat for which Moore has now won the right to compete in December’s special election against former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones was formerly occupied by Jeff Sessions, who now serves as Attorney General. As Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon pointed out in his rally speech for Moore on Monday evening, Sessions is the intellectual godfather of the Trump movement. Specifically, Sessions led the opposition to amnesty in Congress.
Moore came out strongly against DACA, while incumbent caretaker Sen. Luther Strange waffled on the issue. The reason for Strange’s weakness is that he is tied to the Republican leadership, which clearly wants Trump to accept some version of the Democrats’ so-called “Dream Act,” giving citizenship to millions of illegal aliens. But Trump voters did not elect him to pass what Barack Obama could not pass even when Democrats controlled Capitol Hill.
Many Trump supporters initially cheered Trump’s dealings with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, simply to send a message to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan that they needed to unite their caucuses behind the president.
But now that Trump’s gesture risks becoming a series of compromises on substantive issues, the base has rebelled. They have rejected the New Coke. They want what they were promised on the campaign trail, and they will fight to achieve it.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.