Tuesday, November 14, 2017

George Will: Roy Moore and His Evangelical Supporters Are an Embarrassment

Elect Doug Jones on December 12, 2017

Like many conservative columnists, George Will largely lost favor with me when he became largely an apologist for failed Republican Party policies and a cheerleader for reprehensible Republicans and Christian extremists.  It took Donald Trump, and now Roy Moore, to seemingly finally wake Will up to the ugliness he has been helping to support.  I guess, it's better to wake up late to reality as opposed to never like so many in the Republican Party base, but so much damage could have been avoided had people like George Will had ceased to be enablers years ago.   In his latest column, Will goes after Roy Moore and his evangelical Christian supporters and makes the case why Democrat Doug Jones should win the Alabama special election next month.  Here are column highlights:
But for the bomb, the four would be in their 60s, probably grandmothers. Three were 14 and one was 11 in 1963 when the blast killed them in the 16th Street Baptist Church, which is four blocks from the law office of Doug Jones, who then was 9.
He was born in May 1954, 13 days before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. . . . . As a second-year law student, Jones cut classes to attend the 1977 trial of one of the church bombers, Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss. In 2001 and 2002, as U.S. attorney, Jones successfully prosecuted two other bombers. Was there resentment about this protracted pursuit of justice? No, he says as he nurses with tea a voice raspy from campaigning, because after 9/11 intervened, punishing domestic terrorism was not controversial.
Moore campaigns almost entirely on social issues — National Football League protests, the transgender menace — and the wild liberalism of Jones, a law-and-order prosecutor and deer and turkey hunter who says he has “a safe full of guns.” Jones’s grandfathers were members of the mineworkers’ and steelworkers’ unions. . . .
Evangelical Christians who embrace Moore are serving the public good by making ridiculous their pose as uniquely moral Americans, and by revealing their leaders to be especially grotesque specimens of the vanity — vanity about virtue — that is curdling politics. Another public benefit from the Moore spectacle is the embarrassment of national Republicans. Their party having made the star of the “Access Hollywood” tape president, they now are horrified that Moore might become 1 percent of the Senate. Actually, this scofflaw, twice removed from Alabama’s Supreme Court, once for disobeying a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, is a suitable sidekick for the president who pardoned Joe Arpaio, Arizona’s criminal former sheriff. Even after Donald Trump conceded that Barack Obama was born in the United States, Moore continued rejecting such squishiness.
It has been 21 years since a Democratic Senate candidate won even 40 percent of Alabama’s vote. It has, however, been even longer — not since the George Wallace era — that the state’s identity has been hostage to a politician who assumes that Alabamians are eager to live down to hostile caricatures of them.
Nothing about Moore’s political, financial or glandular history will shake his base, unless the credible accusations of serial pursuit of underage girls are suddenly overshadowed by something his voters consider serious, such as taking sides in the Alabama-Auburn game. Jones’s hopes rest with traditional white Democrats (scarce), Republicans capable of chagrin (scarcer) and African Americans. They are 27 percent of this state in which “civil rights tourism” (the 16th Street church, Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Montgomery church, and more) is economically important.
This month, Virginia’s African Americans turned out for Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, a Democrat who, like Jones, invited voters to take a walk on the mild side. Approximately a quarter of Alabamians live in the metropolitan area of Birmingham, which has had an African American mayor since 1979.
Next month’s election will occur during many distractions, midway between Thanksgiving and Christmas and, more important, 10 days after Armageddon — the SEC championship game. Perhaps an Alabama victory would make the state hanker for a senator worthy of its football team. If so: Roll Tide.

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