Endorsements are a fickle thing. It’s often hard to understand the motivations politicians have when they decide whether or not to support each other. Congressman Thomas Massie endorsing Roy Moore for Senate is the perfect example.
Although this move is surprising for the libertarian Republican Congressman, it isn’t the first time that his supporters have been left puzzled. Thomas Massie left many libertarians scratching their heads when he announced last year that he was voting for Donald Trump.
It wasn’t just that vote for president that was a surprise. Massie also revealed a couple of his other past decisions that were just as surprising:
I’ve voted for Bob Barr (Libertarian) and Pat Buchanan (Reform Party) for POTUS in the past, but this year I plan to vote for Donald Trump.
Judging from this history, the observable trend is that when faced with a poor choice Thomas Massie simply decides to go with the anti-establishment candidate believing they are the lesser of two evils.
Buchanan ran against George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 as the Reform Party nominee. Bob Barr won the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2008 to challenge John McCain and Barack Obama. The establishment party choices those years clearly weren’t ever considered options for Massie.
In addition to making the best out of a bad situation, Congressman Massie also chose to vote for Donald Trump for another reason. He believed that supporting the Republican nominee would increase his ability to get legislation passed:
Either Donald or Hillary is gonna win, and I think Donald Trump is more likely to sign my legislation, that I want to get passed, than Hillary Clinton is.
That same thought must have been running through Massie’s head when he was considering who to endorse for Senator in Alabama. The choices weren’t good but there is a clear distinction between the establishment pick and the outsider.
At first glance, Roy Moore doesn’t have much in common with Thomas Massie. They share a belief in limited government and fiscal responsibility, but their differences on government enforcing social issues sets them apart.
That aside, their primary similarity is the distance they have from Donald Trump. President Trump has endorsed Luther Strange because the Republican party ensured him that he would be a rubber stamp.
Thomas Massie endorsed Roy Moore because he’s hoping that Moore won’t prove to be such an establishment tool. It may or may not work out, but a gamble is a better bet than accepting a sure thing.