Culture warrior for governor

CULTURE WARRIOR FOR GOVERNOR…. On Friday, Steve Schmidt offered some very good advice to his Republican Party about the right’s temptation to shape the GOP through religion. “If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party,” Schmidt said. “And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party.”

But there’s at least one notorious culture warrior who believes Republicans have to be a sectarian party — and he’d like to be governor of Alabama. Remember Roy Moore, the disgraced Ten Commandments Judge?

Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice best known for his fight to keep the Ten Commandments in public spaces, told the AP that he’s “seriously considering” another gubernatorial campaign and that he plans to announce a decision on June 1.

“Right now I’m very inclined to enter. I feel there is a need, and I feel I’m well qualified for the position,” Moore said.

“Qualified” is something of a subjective term. Moore was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court on a vaguely theocratic, Taliban West-like platform. He used the state court to endorse and promote his faith, which prompted inevitable lawsuits. Court rulings demanded that Moore honor the First Amendment, but Moore refused, insisting that he had the authority to ignore federal court rulings he didn’t like. Moore was, not surprisingly, subsequently thrown from office.

Soon after, the disgraced jurist sought to capitalize on his notoriety by running for governor in 2006. In a Republican primary, he garnered just 33% of the vote.

Now, apparently, Moore believes he’s “qualified” to be Alabama’s chief executive, and he’s using rhetoric that sounds awfully similar to the words used by George Wallace.

I’ve argued a few times lately that the culture wars are largely winding down, after the right failed to change the culture to their liking. Moore hasn’t gotten the memo.

It’ll be interesting to see how his efforts progress in Alabama, and whether conservative activists in this very conservative Southern state are prepared to give up on the notion of “a sectarian party.”

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