Moore’s the Pity: The Moral Horror of Alabama’s GOP Senate Nominee

C’mon. Despite the revelations of this past week, despite the polls showing his Democratic opponent ahead (remember those polls last November showing Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump?), you might as well start calling him Senator Moore right now.

It seemingly still has not dawned upon rational and logical Americans just how deep the rabbit hole of irrationality and illogic really is in this country. There is still this Pollyannish belief out there that finally, the levees of right-wing epistemic closure will be breached, and the seriousness of the allegations against Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore will cause even the most conservative of conservatives to wake up.

Yeah. Good luck with that.

Rational America sees Roy Moore for what he is: a repulsive bigot who likely preyed on young children. Irrational America–Republican America –sees Moore far differently: as a warrior against “political correctness,” as a crusader against “baby-killers,” as a scold of “sodomites.” They want him. They love him. He is their man.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle declared on Monday that Moore’s continued support in Alabama was “perverse.” Of course, voting Republican as a whole is perverse, yet millions of Americans, in Alabama and elsewhere, continue to do it.

That same day, Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity that there is a “lynch mob” after Moore. How many Republicans think the exact same way? How many Republicans, in Alabama and elsewhere, view the Washington Post and all of Moore’s Democratic and Republican critics as allies of the “deep state” devoted to stopping an iconoclast determined to “shake things up” in Washington?

Does anyone seriously believe that Moore won’t win? Does anyone seriously believe that once he wins, the Senate will expel him? It’s impossible to envision Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and “establishment” GOP Senators being willing to risk the wrath of the right-wing media colossus by actually expelling Moore in the event the alleged pervert defeats Democratic opponent Doug Jones on December 12.

If Moore wins, it won’t be long before he cements his place in history as the single worst US Senator of the post-WWII era—worse than even Jesse Helms or James Inhofe. Moore would be Steve Bannon and Pat Buchanan combined into one, a man of the highest self-regard and the lowest character. What slurs would he hurl towards Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker (and, if he crosses Moore, even fellow Republican Tim Scott)? What crude misogynistic insults will he spew at Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Maria Cantwell? What level of demagoguery towards the press will he stoop to?

In all likelihood, we’ll find the answers to those questions soon enough. Yes, it’s a bit cynical to assume Jones is ultimately doomed, but only just a bit. This is, after all, the state that sent Jeff Sessions to the US Senate ten years after he was deemed too racist to be a federal judge–and kept him in the Senate for three subsequent terms.

One wants to believe that somewhere, there’s a conscience inside Alabama Republicans who are considering voting for Moore. One wants to believe that there is an internal voice of sanity urging them not to support the alleged pedophile, not to back the bigot, not to hug the homophobe. One wants to believe that they will be touched by the better angels of their nature. However, that belief is, within the context of modern American politics, profoundly naive. The hatred among Alabama Republicans for people they regard as undesirables simply runs too damn deep. Doug Jones is certainly a noble and well-qualified public servant who’s doing quite well in polls close to a special US Senate election. So was Martha Coakley, and we all saw how that one turned out.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.