It is hard to fathom that even the few Republican politicians who resisted endorsing Donald Trump for president find it beyond their ability to denounce Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama. And make no mistake, Moore is worse than Trump. By a lot.
This is a man who said, “Homosexual conduct should be illegal, yes.” Comparing it to bestiality, he said, “It is a moral precept upon which this country was founded.” Presumably he meant that criminalizing homosexuality is a precept upon which the United States is founded, which would still be news to any sentient human being.
Moore has proclaimed, “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”
He has displayed crude bigotry against Muslims. “False religions like Islam who teach that you must worship this way are completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for,” Moore argued.
He has suggested 9/11 was the result of America’s ungodliness. “If you think that’s coincidence, if you go to verse 25, ‘there should be up on every high mountain and upon every hill rivers and streams of water in the day of the great slaughter when the towers will fall,'” he said in February. “You know, we’ve suffered a lot in this country. Just maybe, because we’ve distanced ourselves from the one that has it within his hands to heal this land.”
He is an avowed birther — still.
His foundation to defend the First Amendment (no, really) has accepted $1,000 from a neo-Nazi, white supremacist. Speaking of that foundation, he got huge salaries, which he previously denied, from the Foundation for Moral Law. The Post reported:
Former Alabama judge Roy Moore, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, once said publicly that he did not take a “regular salary” from the small charity he founded to promote Christian values because he did not want to be a financial burden.
But privately, Moore had arranged to receive a salary of $180,000 a year for part-time work at the Foundation for Moral Law, internal charity documents show. He collected more than $1 million as president from 2007 to 2012, compensation that far surpassed what the group disclosed in its public tax filings most of those years.
When the charity couldn’t afford the full amount, Moore in 2012 was given a promissory note for back pay eventually worth $540,000 or an equal stake of the charity’s most valuable asset, a historic building in Montgomery, Ala., mortgage records show. He holds that note even now, a charity official said. . . . A Washington Post review of public and internal charity documents found that errors and gaps in the group’s federal tax filings obscured until now the compensation paid to Moore.
Beyond his offensive and bigoted comments, he has repeatedly shown that he is unwilling to uphold the Constitution. CNN recounts:
In the 1990s, Moore had done legal battle over a wooden “Ten Commandments” plaque in his courtroom. But after taking over as chief justice, he escalated — planting a granite monument to the commandments, weighing in at more than 5,000 pounds, inside the state supreme court building.
A series of legal challenges, successful ones, eventually left Moore with a choice: either follow federal orders and remove the rock, or be removed himself. And so he was, in November 2003, by a judicial ethics panel.
Moore ran and won again in 2012. But again, he defied a federal court decision — this time striking down state laws banning same-sex marriage — and found himself facing off with the same ethics body that effectively ousted him nearly a decade earlier. In April of this year, he resigned his post to pursue Sessions’ vacated seat.
On Wednesday, he opined that NFL athletes who knelt during the national anthem were breaking the law. It’s hard to imagine how an ex-judge (albeit a disgraced one) could opine that the ultimate expression of free speech is illegal.
Yet self-styled “constitutional conservatives” Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have endorsed Moore. “Judge Roy Moore has spent a lifetime defending and standing up for the Constitution while fighting for the people of Alabama. We need more people in Washington, D.C. that will stand on principle and defend the Constitution. … I look forward to welcoming him to the Senate very soon,” said Paul, who apparently thinks that defying the Constitution is the same as defending it. (Libertarians were disgusted with Paul. “Any libertarian should be appalled by Moore … and by Paul endorsing him,” wrote Reason Magazine’s Brian Doherty.)
Lee was at least candid that he puts partisan loyalty first. “If there was ever a time to ensure that Republicans maintain a seat in the United States Senate, it is now,” Lee said. “That is why I am proudly endorsing Judge Roy Moore for United States Senate. Alabamians have the chance to send a proven, conservative fighter to the United States Senate and I am more than ready to welcome a trusted ally.” It’s a peculiar choice for a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints who has decried religious bigotry. Lee recently went to the floor to denounce attacks on religion:
This country is divided enough. Millions of Americans feel that Washington, D.C. and the dominant culture despise them. And how could they not, when they see their leaders sitting here, grilling patriotic citizens about their faith like inquisitors? How could they not feel like their values are not welcome in this chamber?
Religious freedom is of deep concern to me as a Mormon. My church has weathered extraordinary religious persecution, much of it sponsored by the government. The first Latter Day Saints were exiled from home after home. In 1838, the governor of Missouri ordered that Mormons be driven from the land or “exterminated.” …
There is a way out of this vicious cycle of religious intolerance, Mr. President. And that is for all of us to treat one another with civility and respect, while jealously defending the rights of conscience—for ourselves, our neighbors, and all our fellow citizens. For Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and all others.
His hypocrisy is emetic.
As bad as this glaring hypocrisy is, the silence of many Republicans who should know better reveals the depth to which the GOP has descended. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who refrained from endorsing Trump, has been silent about Moore.
Understand that the entire apparatus of the GOP — its majority leader in the Senate, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, etc. — stands foursquare behind Moore. A party willing to stand behind Trump or Moore is a party that presumably would stand behind David Duke or Richard Spencer. It’s a party without a soul or decency, a party that puts partisanship above country and is willing to indulge bigots and constitutional idiots. It is quite simply irredeemable.