Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) had this exchange:

CHRIS WALLACE: But I want to ask you directly, does it … bother you as a Republican congresswoman to see President Trump and the Republican National Committee supporting Roy Moore?
COMSTOCK: Yes, I mean, it doesn’t represent me. I don’t think it represents most of the Republican women, as well as my colleagues like Senator Tim Scott and others, and Cory Gardner have made clear.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was on “Meet the Press.” His back-and-forth went as follows:

CHUCK TODD: Are you comfortable that the leader of your party is all in for Roy Moore?
SCOTT: Well, there are a number of people in my party that are not, including myself and many Republican senators. The [National Republican Senatorial Committee] is not re-engaged in that race so the fact of the matter is our party is big enough to have disagreements from the top to where we are and we’ll continue to work for ways to move this country forward by looking at the issues and the policies that will improve the quality of life of the average American. But within the party, there’s going to be disagreements. And obviously, we’re seeing one right now.

Let me suggest that these lawmakers, despite their aversion to Moore, sound altogether too complacent, too passive and too resigned to participation in a party whose president bragged about sexual assault and now welcomes in an alleged sexual predator. It’s not enough to be bothered or to point to some Republicans who deplore Moore. Is this or is this not a deal-breaker for them and their party?

Scott falls back on weak talking points, insisting, when it comes to Trump’s numerous, credible accusers, “I think people have had the opportunity during the 2016 election to come to a decision. The truth is is you and I both know, Chuck, that the allegations or the accusations against the president were a part of the campaign. So most Americans, if not all Americans who voted, had the information before the election. So for us to try to re-litigate the election is impossible.” That is poppycock, and frankly unworthy of a U.S. senator.

An election does not close a topic. Scott is not relieved of his obligation to make moral judgments and to strive to rid the party of noxious elements. It’s a classic false choice to say we should either reverse the election or give Trump a permanent pass on his conduct toward women. Scott and Comstock can and should tell us whether they believe Trump’s accusers, whether he is morally fit and whether a party that nominates him a second time has lost moral legitimacy.

It would be impressive if Comstock were to say: “I didn’t endorse him. I’m appalled he is endorsing Roy Moore. And neither he nor Moore should be in office. I don’t intend to support Trump in 2020 and neither should any decent Republican.” In fact, that’s the only morally sane position to take. Anything short of that is in fact trying to have it both ways (e.g., “The Trump GOP is behaving despicably, but come to think of it, I need to run as its nominee”).

Likewise, Scott, who endorsed Trump in 2016, appears to have lost his moral bearings. It’s well and good to call for an effort to expel Moore if he is elected; but simply accepting Trump, Moore, their behavior and their racism as a fait accompli is inexcusable:

TODD: You know, there’s been some concern that the election of Roy Moore is just going to send a larger negative message about what the Republican Party stands for. You have been somebody, as a leader in the party, to try to talk about inclusion. I wonder if comments like this that Roy Moore said when he was revering the age of slavery when he said, “I think it was a great time in America at the time when families were united, even though we had slavery. They cared for one another. People were strong in their families.” And then I thought about that quote and this tweet from Steve King earlier this week. And he says this, “Diversity is not our strength.” And then he quotes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, quote, “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but a lower one.” This stuff inside your party, look Senator Scott, I know you don’t want to associate yourself with that. But it’s associated with the Republican Party. What do you do about this?
SCOTT: Well, very little that I can do about people who speak ignorantly. And you just have to call it for what it is, number one. Number two, the bottom line is both when Steve King and Tim Scott arrived in this country, we were actually creating diversity because the Native Americans were already here.

Ho-hum. What are you going to do? Here’s what: Denounce the whole lot of them and move to expel them from the party caucuses. Alternatively, commit to supporting primary challenges to King and Trump.

There is far too much willingness to treat characters such as Trump, Moore and King as the crazy uncles in the attic. It’s time to dump them — or to dump the party that with each day normalizes them and says to the country, “Nope, not even that is disqualifying.” At the very least, could we have some righteous anger? Some determination to expunge the nativism and racism that have found hospitable territory in the GOP? It’s precisely this “que sera, sera” attitude among regular Republicans that convinces many that the party is hopeless.

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