Moore's law

Moore's law

Even before the revelations of his inappropriate interest in young girls, Roy Moore was an unacceptably flawed candidate and public official.

The Roy Moore fiasco continues to play out in Alabama as the Dec. 12 special election to fill the state's vacant U.S. Senate seat draws near.

Even though the shouting remains full-throated, the drama is in decline as polls show that Moore, the Republican candidate, is a likely loser to Democrat Doug Jones.

It's hard to imagine that any candidate, except perhaps former President Bill Clinton, could withstand the barrage of bad publicity being aimed at Moore.

Credible news report indicate that, 40 years ago, Moore, then in his 30s, showed inordinate and inappropriate romantic interest in girls in their teens.

One can call those reports a lot of things — old news, a political dirty trick, etc. But in their detail and volume, they carry the ring of truth, adding another disqualifying mark to Moore's resume.

After all, this is a man who's been twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for his refusal to follow the orders of higher courts.

Devoutly religious — to the point of being obnoxiously tiresome — Moore is a man who claims to know God's will and isn't going to let a little thing like the rule of law interfere with it.

Voters have a way of dealing with candidates like him, and they generally do not look favorably upon them.

But there's a larger problem here with this episode of embarrassment for the Republican Party — it's the willingness of the party's suicide wing to nominate candidates who can't pass muster with the public in general elections. Deluded by the prospects of electoral salvation — and the happy and unachievable prospect of getting their way on all the issues all the time — they sew the seeds of a defeat that allows them only to complain bitterly about the results.

Republican voters in other states — Missouri, Indiana, Nevada and Delaware — have done the same thing in recent years as Alabama primary voters are on the verge of doing this year: nominating a fringe conservative candidate who went on to lose to a liberal Democrat.

That kind of thing serves as a reminder to what conservative folk hero — the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater — told his followers at the 1960 Republican Party convention.

"Grow up, conservatives!" he said.

What Goldwater was suggesting is that those who believe in lower taxes, smaller government, less regulation, free enterprise and individual rights become more serious both in their political pursuits and in the art of governing.

Like in those other states, the nomination of Moore in Alabama was the product of local political factors, including the forced resignation in the face of an impeachment threat of the governor and two mainstream Republicans who split the primary vote and allowed Moore to win party's nomination with a plurality.

But there's no denying that major political figures, including former President Trump adviser Steve Bannon, backed Moore for no other reason than that they perceived him to be the most hostile to the political status quo in Washington.

Railing about the status quo is fine — there's a lot to rail about — but it takes more than that to effect positive change.

The suicide wing of the GOP — like their counterparts in the Democratic Party — doesn't seem to get that. It seeks an emotional and political purity that is akin to religious rebirth, a state not attainable in this imperfect world. With that kind of approach, all they will get on this earth is the kind of defeat Moore and his misguided supporters seemed destined to endure.

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yates wrote on November 18, 2017 at 10:11 am

Coming next...Franken's misunderstood intentions?

johnny wrote on November 19, 2017 at 2:11 am

One caveat: unlike the other three, Richard Mourdock was Indiana State Treasurer—not just some "fringe conservative candidate."