Savage Truth: Strange Politics on Strange Day

It won't become the strangest day in American history.

But Tuesday, August 17, 2017 distinguished itself with some strange politics and strange events. Race and bigotry played major roles in all of them.

In Alabama, voters slapped the smile off U.S. Sen. Luther Strange's face by giving him a second-place finish in his bid for the seat he's held since February.

Strange became Alabama's junior United States senator after Jeff Sessions resigned the position to become attorney general in President Trump's administration.

Strangely enough, Strange received endorsements from Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the statewide election. He was also endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Strange to the position until an election could be held to fill it permanently. A few days later, Bentley resigned his office after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors and agreeing to never seek public office again.

Officials began investigating Bentley after it was alleged that Bentley, a married man, was involved in sexual relations with a female political advisor.

When qualifying for the special senatorial race began, Strange jumped right in. So did former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore and Rep. Mo Brooks.

Officials removed Moore from his chief justice job twice. The first removal came when he refused a federal court order to remove a copy of Ten Commandments from his courtroom. The second removal came when Moore refused to issue same sex marriage licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriages.

Strange was favored to win Tuesday's primary election. He rode a horse named "Sassy" to the polls. It isn't known if he had the Bible in his saddlebags.

With the polls closed and votes counted, Moore ended up on top with 42 percent of the vote. Strange got 32 percent. Moore and Strange meet again in a Sept. 26 runoff. The winner faces Democratic nominee Doug Jones in December.

Meanwhile, Trump held a news conference in New York and blamed the protesters  and counter-protesters for the weekend racial turmoil in Charlottesville, Va. Counter-protester Heather Heyer, was killed and others were injured when James Fields Jr., an alleged Nazi supporter, allegedly drove a car into the counter-protesters.

Fields has been charged with murder. During a Tuesday hearing, a judge denied bond for Fields. The judge plans to conduct other proceedings after Fields gets an attorney. His court-appointed public defender didn't show up for Tuesday's hearing, saying he couldn't represent Fields.

In the wake of the Charlottesville incident, some people called for the removal of Confederate flags and statues from public places in Georgia.

Reid Jones, a person who lives near Kennesaw, initiated an on-line petition to remove the Confederate flag from downtown Kennesaw.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams called for the removal of the Confederate figures - Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis - from Stone Mountain. In Macon, some renewed discussions on removing Confederate statues from downtown areas.

August 15, 2017. Strange politics, strange events.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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