The Alabama Senate race is about a lot more than filling Jeff Sessions’ old seat. It has literally become a referendum on American values and a more than sad commentary on the degeneration and disintegration of the Republican party, which emphatically is no longer the party of Eisenhower, your father, or your grandfather — and it never was the party of Lincoln, except by historical fluke, when the Whigs did a reorganization and took the name Republicans. Today’s GOP is not the party that elected Bush I or Bush II or even Ronald Reagan. During the campaign Reagan’s son Michael remarked, “My father would never stand for this and Nancy would have voted for Hillary Clinton.”
In the last week before the election, Doug Jones came out swinging in a speech in Birmingham, Alabama. Daily Beast:
One day after President Trump officially endorsed accused child molester Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, the Democratic nominee absolutely tore into the ex-judge. After months of remaining relatively even-handed in contrast to Moore’s bizarre antics (including toting a rifle on-stage), Doug Jones told a crowd Tuesday afternoon: “When you see me with a gun, I’ll be climbing in and out of a deer blind… not prancing around on a stage in a cowboy suit.” He emphasized that Moore, who was twice fired as an Alabama State Supreme Court justice, has “never, ever served our state with honor.” And Jones concluded by going straight for the jugular on the bevy of accusations that Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with underage girls when he was in his 30s: “Men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the United States Senate.” (The line was also an apparent reference to the fact that Jones prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members who killed four young black girls in a 1963 church bombing.)
One senatorial candidate who does not have Donald Trump’s unequivocal endorsement is Mitt Romney.
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
Other conservative writers, like this one from The National Review, are disgusted with the fact that the RNC has turned the tap back on and will be funding Moore.
What this says: The RNC stopped funding because they thought he was doomed, not because they believe accusers or because child molestation is bad. Now that heÃ¢ÂÂs probably going to win/Trump endorses they have no problem backing him. https://t.co/wUlmogmHYH
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) December 5, 2017
Another National Review writer.
Help the RNC brainstorm. WhatÃ¢ÂÂs the best slogan for Roy Moore?
— David French (@DavidAFrench) December 5, 2017
Former Republican, now independent and a candidate for president in 2016.
The clearest example yet of Trump’s effect on the GOP. What message does this send to women, victims of sexual assault, and the majority of Americans who instinctively know that promoting a pedophile into the Senate is unconscionable? https://t.co/eDx91BhHBQ
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) December 5, 2017
There are more of these cogent tweets in the Washington Post Daily 202:
Here are a few shots from the left.
A writer for The Atlantic.
Watching the Roy Moore re-endorsements I’m reminded of the many, many times I’ve seen white people on cable news arguing black culture is excessively tolerant of criminal behavior.
— Adam Serwer Ã°ÂÂÂ (@AdamSerwer) December 4, 2017
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) December 4, 2017
From the Daily Beast.
TrumpÃ¢ÂÂs endorsement of Moore and MooreÃ¢ÂÂs likely win will have consequences well beyond the Senate. An invitation for every man accused of this stuff to deny and go on the attack against his accusers. Of course, Trump never considered this. But thatÃ¢ÂÂs the message he sent.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 4, 2017
From a “senior writer for the liberal Daily Kos,” as WaPo characterized the origin of this tweeter.
“Go get ’em” is not really something one serial predator should say out loud to another serial predator. https://t.co/iK0T27Cf8f
— Joan McCarter (@joanmccarter) December 4, 2017
The only thing worse than funding a child molester is stopping to fund a child molester and then changing your mind when you figure you can get away with it. That’s the RNC right now. https://t.co/Rz01uflTtL
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) December 5, 2017
Note: Nothing at all has changed–no retractions of allegations of child abuse. In fact, the charges are now even more credible than when the RNC pulled out. This is simply the moral debasement of a once-great political party. https://t.co/1CknncIJnT
— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) December 5, 2017
And so it goes.
Please bear in mind that even before the molestation accusations, Roy Moore was a horrifically unqualified and toxic candidate. New York Times:
He has called homosexuality “evil” and “so heinous,” and he engaged in a discussion about whether it should be “punished by death.” (You can watch it here.) He has said that a member of Congress should be barred from office because he is Muslim. Moore, in short, rejects some of the basic principles of American democracy. Still, Moore may be elected to the Senate a week from today. If he is, I think it’s vital that victory does not launder his sins. No one should forget who he is and what he’s done, regardless of which office he holds. Just as important, his many enablers and supporters should be held accountable for their role in his campaign. It should become a permanent part of their political biography — and grist for future campaigns against them. That goes for President Trump, Mitch McConnell and the dozens of members of Congress who have refused to denounce Moore. Trump offered a full endorsement yesterday. McConnell, who weeks ago called for Moore to exit the race, backtracked on Sunday. And the Republican National Committee, after initially cutting ties, confirmed yesterday that it had resumed supporting Moore’s campaign. Stand by Moore now, stay linked to him forever.
The GOP is one sick and staggering elephant who has lost its way. Now while that wouldn’t ordinarily pose much of a problem, the level of enabling of the kind of immoral and characterless candidates that the Republican party now supports is nothing less than shocking. Even those who identify as conservative are appalled and distancing themselves from this race in Alabama, because it is not just about keeping one senate seat or flipping it blue. It is about nothing less than the obliteration of any moral compass within the Republican party and that party’s capitulation to the worst strains of our culture and our national dialogue. Nothing matters to the GOP any more other than winning, at any cost, including the self-immolation of their own party.
May the better angels of our nature somehow rise to this occasion and may the core American values of justice and fairplay, and most of all truth, be given heed. May the people of Alabama make the right choice. Because if they do not, it’s yet one more gust of wind aimed at the flame of our national spirit. Before it gutters and goes out, we need to bolster it through the enthusiastic exercise of the democratic process of voting. May the voters of Alabama fully participate and do the right thing, for their sakes and for all of ours. Nothing short of the efficacy of democracy, of our way of life, is on the line.