By choosing to support a man of dubious moral character along with a tainted legal resume as their candidate for the United States Senate in Alabama, the GOP now faces what can only be a lose/lose situation. They had a chance to do the right thing when Roy Moore won the Republican primary for the seat and many of them did. Now they have decided to choose expediency over decency.
After multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore when he was a District Attorney surfaced, the Republican National Committee withdrew their funding from his campaign. Both Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan disavowed his candidacy. There were even calls for Moore to be expelled from the Senate should he actually win the election. But then Donald Trump, after wavering a bit on the sidelines, came out in full support of Moore. Within a matter of hours the RNC announced they would restore funding to Moore’s campaign and McConnell began spouting the Trump talking point of “letting the people of Alabama decide.”
Trump argued that the Republican Party needed to back Roy Moore in order to have the votes to pass the ill-conceived tax reform legislation. There is only one comment to make on that issue:
Trump doesn’t need Moore’s vote to pass the tax reform. Even if Jones wins the election, the Republicans still have the numbers to pass the bill by a simple majority, plus the VP’s deciding tie breaker vote. But he does desperately need Moore’s vote in an impeachment/conviction vote in the Senate where a 2/3rds majority is required to convict. The recent plea deal struck between General Michael Flynn with Special Counsel Robert Mueller brings that possibility ever closer to reality.
There are still a few Republican voices willing to speak truth to power. The Republican nominee for President in 2012 had the following to say:
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017
Sadly the words “honor” and “integrity” were purged from the Republican lexicon when they chose Donald Trump as their standard bearer. And as he approaches the end of his first year in office, his performance is even worse than many had predicted.
But by backing Roy Moore, the GOP has shown there is no bridge too far to cross, no swamp too deep to dive into, no price they are not willing to pay to retain power. Forget about the sexual allegations for a moment. This is a man who was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court TWICE for judicial misconduct. This is a man who recently wrote a chapter in a book where he said that women were not fit to hold office. This is a man who said that homosexual behavior should be illegal and that Muslims should not be seated in Congress.
Governor Romney is absolutely correct in saying “Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation.” By embracing Moore’s candidacy instead of repudiating it, if Moore loses the election, the GOP is not only tainted, but they have given the moral high ground to the Democrats. Should Moore win the election, the people of Alabama may find themselves paying a high price as well. Already cries for boycotting businesses, convention centers, and popular tourist attractions are being heard.
There are many find and decent people in Alabama. They certainly deserve better than Roy Moore. Let us hope that it will be their voices that prevail on December 12th.