Quick Takes: Why Is Roy Moore Afraid to Debate Doug Jones?

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Did you know that Republican Roy Moore has refused to debate his Democratic opponent Doug Jones? Here’s his excuse for not wanting to do so.

Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore said Friday that he is refusing to debate his Democratic opponent Doug Jones because of Jones’s stance on transgender rights.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on iHeartRadio, Moore said that Jones’s “very liberal” stance on transgender issues was behind the decision to skip a debate.

“We’ve refused to debate them because of their very liberal stance on transgenderism and transgenderism in the military and in bathrooms. They are desperate,” Moore told Hannity.

If that doesn’t make any sense to you, I suspect you’ll join me in appreciating Steve Benen’s understated irony.

In other words, Moore will only share a stage with candidates he agrees with, which suggests he may be a little confused about the whole point of debates.

* As I wrote earlier today, after Trump suggested that attempting to negotiate with Pelosi and Schumer would be a waste of time, they decided to not attend a scheduled meeting at the White House this afternoon. Trump, McConnell and Ryan turned it into a little photo op.

So the guys who are crafting a tax cut bill behind closed doors in order to specifically exclude Democrats are pretending to be the aggrieved party here. Spare me…please!

* See if you can sense a pattern developing about Trump’s latest soap box:

* It is way past time to discard the notion that rich CEO’s know what they’re doing when it comes to government work. The latest proof comes in the form of Rex Tillerson explaining why the Trump administration is decimating the State Department.

On Tuesday, the secretary of state said he was “offended” by suggestions that “somehow we don’t have a state department that works”.

And he offered a further rationale for the retrenchment, based on an assumption that the world would become more peaceful.

“Part of this bringing the budget numbers back down is reflective of an expectation that we’re going to have success in some of these conflict areas, getting these conflicts resolved and moving to a different place in terms of the kind of support we have to give,” Tillerson said.

Here’s what that sounds like:

* Dictionary.com has chosen their word of the year.

What does it mean to be complicit?

If you’re a frequent user of Dictionary.com, chances are you already know. The online dictionary reported multiple spikes in lookups for “complicit” over the past several months — and ultimately chose the adjective as its word of the year for 2017.

“As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time for us to reflect on the words that impacted all of us this year — for better or for worse,” Dictionary.com said in announcing its decision Monday. “The word complicit has sprung up in conversations this year about those who speak out against powerful figures and institutions and about those who stay silent.”

* Finally, we heard a lot yesterday about Trump’s offensive words during the commemoration of the Native American code talkers. But here’s a video of what one of the people being honored had to say.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.