Top allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) see Tuesday’s election results in Alabama as “a deep—and possibly fatal—wound” for Steve Bannon, who has been fighting the GOP establishment for the soul of the Republican Party, according to The Hill.
Bannon, the former chief strategist of Trump’s White House who left under pressure in August, enthusiastically campaigned for disgraced state Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore even after public allegations that Moore pursued relationships with and sexually molested underage teen girls several decades ago.
After Moore’s historic loss, Bannon is reportedly drinking heavily and is quite depressed, worrying about the future of his alt-Right agenda:
After Jones win, Trump called Bannon, enraged – blamed him for "wrecking America." Bannon already extremely drunk, hung up on Trump.
— Rogue WH Snr Advisor (@RogueSNRadvisor) December 13, 2017
Even though the GOP has a newly narrowed Republican majority, and has to grapple with the very real prospect that Democrats might seize control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections, McConnell’s chief advisers used the results to skewer Bannon—he’s been openly advocating for primary challenges to incumbent Republicans who, he says, are blocking Trump’s agenda (and by which Bannon means his OWN agenda).
Josh Holmes, McConnell’s former chief of staff, tweeted,
Before we get the results, I'd just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union and Governor Ivey for the opportunity to make this national embarrassment a reality
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) December 13, 2017
Senate Leadership Fund CEO Steven Law said in a statement,
This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running. Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco.
Bannon, the executive of the alt-Right Breitbart News, appeared with Moore on the campaign trail twice in the final week leading up to election day Tuesday, taking time at each one to specifically rail against McConnell and other Washington Republicans.
McConnell previously called on Moore to withdraw from the race, and said Moore would likely face a Senate Ethics Committee probe if elected.
Alt-Right bloggers and pundits were shocked at angry at Doug Jones’ win. Brad Griffin, an Alabama resident and one of the organizers for October’s “White Lives Matter” rally in Tennessee, tweeted about Moore’s defeat:
I’m going to spend all of 2018 discouraging our people from voting for the GOP. Two can play this game. Just stay home during the 2018 midterms. What’s the argument for party loyalty?
According to Newsweek, Robert Warren Ray, a white supremacist who writes for Daily Stormer, had endorsed Moore for “correctly” quoting Adolf Hitler. After Moore’s loss, Ray posted on Gab, an alt-Right social media site, that he blamed conservatives like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for not supporting their movement strongly enough.
He called them “cuckservatives,” a slang term suggesting weakness, and said that their wives were cheating on them with other men. He warned that the GOP will face greater challenges in the future:
Moore’s loss is a very bad sign for any hope of electoral change. The midterms could go badly, and then we are in the deepest doo-doo ever.