Schadenfreude (taking enjoyment in the troubles of others) is not a quality to be admired but I have to admit that I am thoroughly enjoying the predicament that US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell finds himself in. He is a truly awful person, a liar and a hypocrite, who would piously invoke the need to cut deficits in order to oppose spending to help poor people or to create jobs when the president was a Democrat, but then abandon that goal as soon as the president was a Republican, when he was willing to spend money like a drunken sailor to give tax cuts for the rich. He viciously opposed expanding health care to middle and lower income groups. And of course, he prevented president Obama from appointing a qualified middle-of-the-road Supreme Court justice in order to put a right-wing extremist on the bench.
So I am delighted to see him struggle to deal with the Roy Moore problem. If Moore had been your normal hateful rightwing Republican extremist, then McConnell would have strongly defended him from the charges that he is a pedophile and would-be rapist who loves to prey on teenage girls. McConnell would have piously trotted out the usual defenses that these were just charges from a long time ago and not proven and that the American system of justice required us to view Moore as innocent until proven guilty, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But he has not done so and instead has cut Moore loose, saying that he believes the women and thus Moore should withdraw from the race. Knowing McConnell has no principles other than serving the rich, we can immediately dismiss the idea that he has suddenly recognized that young women and men have been taken advantage of by powerful men for a long time and their complaints ignored and that it is time to take these charges seriously. So why has he so summarily abandoned Moore at the risk of losing a safe Republican seat to a Democrat and shaving his majority to an even more slender 51-49? I think that he has made the cold calculation that having Moore in the senate will, in the long run, cost Republicans more than having him defeated. While a Democratic replacement will only be there until the next election in 2020, Moore in the senate will be a permanent embarrassment because his sexual abuse history, not to mention his penchant for willing to openly and straightforwardly say the most outrageous things that most Republican politicians have the sense to use coded words for, will be something that dominates coverage of the Republican party. Donald Trump and Moore will be the Republican brand.
But this is a gamble where McConnell loses both ways and he has to choose the least worst option. The problem is that the Republican party is now the party of Trump and the people who are still supporting Moore are the most rabid Trump loyalists. Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News and has gone all in for Moore and become his spokespersons and attacked McConnell. If Moore loses, these people are going to be even angrier with McConnell than they are now, blaming him for the defeat. If Moore wins, he will have little loyalty to the party leader whom he thinks stabbed him in the back. McConnell has likely calculated that if Moore loses, he can weather the immediate storm that will engulf him and that tempers will cool off after some time, whereas if Moore wins, he will have that albatross around his neck every day in Washington.
The evidence that Moore is a truly creepy guy grows by the day. It turns out that while he was a county district attorney in his mid-30s, he would hang around at the local mall and try and pick up teenage girls. It was so obvious and he was so well known that mall security kept an eye on him.
Greg Legat worked at the Record Bar, a music store near Sears in the mall, from 1981-1985. The store was just down from the back entrance of the mall, near the three-screen Mall Theatre. It was a popular place for parents dropping off their teens in the evenings and on weekends.
Legat, now 59, said an off-duty Gadsden police officer named J.D. Thomas told him about various people he should look out for when he was working. This was around 1981, and Thomas worked security at the mall.
One of the people was a pickpocket, he said, while another was someone prone to pick fights.
One was Roy Moore.
“I asked him, ‘What did he do?'” Legat recalled. “He said, ‘If you see him, let me know. I’ll take care of it.'”
But of course, the evangelical Christian community in Alabama and elsewhere, continuing their rapid slide into losing any credibility as regards morality, is still backing Moore, perhaps even more strongly. Moore’s wife Kayla is playing the role of loyal, dutiful wife to the hilt and has posted on Facebook a letter that fifty pastors have signed supporting him. The letter describes Moore as a righteous, god-fearing man persecuted by enemies such as liberals and the Washington establishment.
For decades, Roy Moore has been an immovable rock in the culture wars – a bold defender of the “little guy,” a just judge to those who came before his court, a warrior for the unborn child, defender of the sanctity of marriage, and a champion for religious liberty. Judge Moore has stood in the gap for us, taken the brunt of the attack, and has done so with a rare, unconquerable resolve.
As a consequence of his unwavering faith in God and his immovable convictions for Biblical principles, he was ousted as Chief Justice in 2003. As a result, he continued his life pursuit by starting the Foundation for Moral Law, which litigates religious liberty cases around our Nation. After being re-elected again to Chief Justice in 2012, by an overwhelming majority, he took another round of persecution for our faith as he stood up for the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.
It turns out that the letter was from back in August endorsing Moore’s primary campaign, before the current revelations, and three of the signatories have now asked to have their names removed.
Alabama’s largest newspaper, the Birmingham News has written a scathing editorial saying they believe the women, calling Moore “grossly unfit for office” and for the Republican party to withdraw its support of Moore, and adding new charges of financial greed.
He has been twice-removed from statewide office for his defiance of the law. His views on women’s rights, same-sex marriage and religious freedom no longer reflect the majority of Alabamians. And they are incompatible with the governance of this country. He has said that the murderous 9/11 attacks on America and the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut may have been God’s will because America had sinned.
Investigations into Moore’s nonprofit the Foundation of Moral Law, have revealed a man who champions himself above all else. Above Alabamians. And, yes, above God. Moore has used his platform to personally enrich himself and his family and to pursue his own, radical agenda.
It’s time that he and his party read the writing on the wall: His candidacy is over. His true character has been revealed. It’s time for the GOP to remove its official support.
But there is no indication that the state and local party apparatus will do so. So far, their support is unwavering, and they will likely dismiss the call as part of the liberal media spreading fake news.
While all this plays out, let us all enjoy watching McConnell twist in the wind. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.