The freak show can get worse

THE FREAK SHOW CAN GET WORSE…. I mentioned Roy Moore’s apparent interest in a presidential campaign briefly yesterday morning, but it’s worth considering in a bit more detail. There are already plenty of likely GOP candidates who have the capacity to turn the primaries into a freak show — Trump, Bachmann, Cain, Palin — but the disgraced former Alabama judge can make matters much worse.

Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who lost his job after erecting a monument of the Ten Commandments outside the state’s courthouse, plans to announce in mid-April that he is setting up a presidential exploratory committee, an aide told CBS News.

The aide, Zachery Michael, said Moore’s platform will be focused on repealing the health care overhaul law, replacing the progressive income tax with a flat tax and bringing “commonsense solutions” on immigration and border control.

Michael said Moore is entering the fray because “we’re just seeing the same type of politicians run for president.” He said Moore is someone “who can connect with over 300 million Americans across the country, which is something we’ve been lacking with today’s leaders across society.”

I’ve been following Moore’s story for quite a while — even before getting into blogging — and saying that he lost his job after erecting a Ten Commandments display isn’t quite right. In fact, if Moore actually goes through with this, reporters should know what happened.

It’s true that Moore rose to right-wing notoriety as a state judge that promoted the Christian version of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. This led to court fights that made Moore a far-right celebrity, which he then parlayed into a successful campaign to be the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

But the reason Moore was forced from the bench in disgrace wasn’t just his decision to use his office to promote his faith. Rather, Moore insisted that he could defy the First Amendment whenever he wanted because the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to the states. What’s more, when a federal court judge told him otherwise, Moore said he could ignore him too, because federal courts didn’t have jurisdiction over his defiance of the First Amendment.

That’s why he lost his job.

As for the notion that Moore has a unique ability to “connect with” voters, note that Moore twice ran for governor in Alabama, and suffered humiliating losses in Republican primaries.

This apparently won’t get in the way of his presidential ambitions, but maybe it should.