The Alabama Shit Show

I knew things were going to be bad when twice-defrocked theocrat Roy Moore won the Republican nomination for the Senate. But I didn’t imagine it would be this bad. I’ve been tinkering with those post for days, but things keep happening. I’ll assume you’re mostly up to date, so I’ll just highlight a few thoughts.

First, while Moore is obviously innocent until proven guilty, I find the allegations against him both credible and disturbing. He has admitted to dating high school girls when he was in his 30’s. There are reports that his creepy behavior was well-known in the area. The original WaPo article interviewed at least 30 sources. And the two women who have accused of non-consensual acts both crossed me as truthful. Innocent until proven guilty is our standard for criminal proceedings. But for someone who is going to be a Senator, someone who is going to wield real political power, someone who could, at some point, hold the fate of the country in his hands, I think a higher standard is required. People should not vote for Moore. And if elected, he should step down.

Moore is still leading in the polls and I expect him to win. A lot of people are rallying to his side and some have said the allegations make them more likely to vote for him. I want to be clear: this is not because people approve of his behavior; it’s mostly because they think this a Democratic Party dirty trick. That hasn’t been helped by a slew of garbage fake stories about how the yearbook signature is both too good and not good enough, how the restaurant Beverly Young Nelson worked at didn’t exist, how the women were paid money. It’s included things like faking a letter of support from 53 pastors and an obviously robocall from a “Bernie Bernstein” claiming to be looking for dirt on Moore.

With that caveat, I have read people saying that a pedophile would be preferable to a Democrat. This is deeply deranged partisanship. It’s not like Doug Jones is a lunatic or something. He’s a law-and-order mainstream Democrat who supports gun rights and defense spending. His big claim to fame was prosecuting the Alabama church bombers. Yes, losing that seat will hurt the GOP’s agenda. On the other hand, holding it has done exactly zilch for their agenda. And if the GOP’s governing ability comes down to whether a deranged, creepy bible-thumping hypocrite like Moore is in power, the party is deeply lost.

Given the rash of sex abuse scandals that have erupted lately, I’ve seen a number of Democrats saying that they should have taken the allegations against Bill Clinton more seriously. I’m glad to hear that but their mea culpa is a decade late and a billion dollars short. It’s easy to be intellectually honest once you’ve got nothing to lose. If Hillary were President right now, they’d still defending Bill. Hell, they’ll probably go back to defending him again come, oh, December 13.

American politics is broken and our parties are broken. If our parties were functional, we would not have seen the Clinton-Trump fiasco of last year and we would not be seeing the Roy Moore fiasco of this year. All three disasters would have been nipped in the bud. But the leadership of both parties is now filled with people who think politics involves scoring points on Twitter and raising oodles of cash from special interests. The practical aspects of politics — building constituencies, recruiting good candidates, defusing opposition — has gone out the window.

I’d like to say the electing Moore is the apotheosis. But things can always get worse.

4 comments:

  1. yabkpjo

    I’ve become fond of saying that I think Obama using charisma and celebrity to get elected to the presidency despite no real executive experience paved the way for Trump (who didn’t even have Obama’s state/national legislative experience).  The news over the past month has convinced me that Bill Clinton paved that way too – if the Democrat party and their supporters hadn’t been willing to excuse Clinton’s odious personal behavior, I think Trump’s similar history would have drummed him out of the Republican primary.

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  2. West Virginia Rebel

    Oh, I think things can definitely get worse. We are, after all, in an age when actual mainstream conservatism has been sidelined by populist nuttery. The “Trump effect” may indeed have put the establishment on notice, and it deserves to be, but if goofs like Moore are the answer then the right deserves to lose more elections.

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  3. Tripper

    Here’s a prediction of how it gets worse.

    More shit piles up in the Moore story. (A 6th accuser today)

    Moore banks on the good people of Alabama electing him anyway and defiantly stays in the race.
    The election happens, turns our he is correct and he wins. So off he goes to Washington.

    The Senate Republicans have already talked too much about expelling him, so they have to go through with it and start the process.

    Moore has no incentive to cooperate, and plenty to oppose the process which he does as best he can at every turn. All while more allegations trickle in, legislation gets derailed, and 2018 gets closer.

    Eventually he loses, is booted out and Alabama has to have another special election. Guess who is first to throw their hat in the ring? Roy Moore!

    He crowd funds from nuts across the country and rides a wave of “let’s really stick it to McConnell and the establishment” to win again.

    Rinse.

    Wash.

    Repeat.

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