The case for voting for Roy Moore

Seriously.  And, in another case of a favorite writer making the very case that I did with my class yesterday, Chait makes the case for Republicans sticking for Roy Moore.

Republicans have begun to nervously edge away from their party’s nominee for Alabama senator. Not all have abandoned him, though. Alabama Republican and member of Congress Mo Brooks provides an especially forthright version of the case for sticking with Moore. “Who will vote in America’s best interests on Supreme Court justices, deficit and debt, economic growth, border security, national defense, and the like?” he asks, “Socialist Democrat Doug Jones will vote wrong. Roy Moore will vote right. Hence, I will vote for Roy Moore.”

Put aside the absurd labeling of Jones as a “socialist,” as well as the fact that I don’t personally share any of Brooks and Moore’s policy goals. Isn’t this logic actually pretty compelling? As horrific as Moore’s personal character may be, why should his abuse of a small number of people matter more than decisions affecting 300 million people?…

Still, the motivation is understandable. In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats need to gain three Senate seats to control the majority. Two of them, in Nevada and Arizona, lie within easy reach. The third seat would require a huge upset in deep red territory. If Democrats win a seat in Alabama, then a Democratic Senate in 2019 grows vastly more likely…

It’s easy to feel superior about this when opposition to grotesque treatment of teenage girls lines up neatly with your own party’s well-being. If you’re a liberal, ask yourself what you would do if the circumstances were reversed. Give the other party a Senate seat and a possible majority, and forfeit your control of staffing the Cabinet, appointing judges, and passing laws you consider vital for the country’s future? Or allow one of the votes for those things to be cast by a sexual predator?

Yep, yep, yep.  I would fervently hope my party would find a way to replace the sexual predator in this scenario (i.e., Luther Strange write-in campaign), but absent that, would I really want to vote for a Republican if I thought control of the Supreme Court and the fate of the ACA was at stake?  It today’s super-polarized world, even most Senators are little more than cogs in a Republican machine (McCain, Collins, Murkowski notably otherwise).  Moore would 95 out of 100 times just be another cog.  Does it really matter what the cog has done?  Maybe it does and we need to set some clear lines– no being a sexual predator!– but I think there’s very much a case for accepting that even a Senator is just a cog and that you are voting for a party, not an individual.  And for the record, the President, is no cog.

Roy Moore was always  unqualified

so loved this from Dahlia Lithwick because it’s so important and so overlooked.  Not to mention, I made this very argument to my class yesterday:

But the idea that it might be the alleged molesting of multiple teenage girls and women that could prove disqualifying for Moore, rather than his decadeslong contempt for the law, the courts, and the Constitution, tells us how very far we have strayed from our legal moorings at this moment in history.

Roy Moore has long been the Joe Arpaio of the state judicial branch. He is revered not for his compliance with the rule of law, but for his long-standing performance of figurative—and literal—contempt for any legal ruling or norm with which he disagrees. [emphases mine] Like Arpaio, he has been repeatedly disciplined for acts of contempt towards the courts over the years. And yet this behavior was rewarded with a Republican nomination for a Senate seat that has been a virtual lock for the party…

Brazen, unapologetic contempt for the rule of law is not often a trait associated with judges, much less justices. Yet, this has long been Moore’s calling card and a rallying cry for his loyal supporters. Moore’s patent defiance of the most fundamental tenets of American law should have disqualified him from public office years ago. The opposite has happened: He has been unerringly rewarded for it. We are talking about Moore’s alleged abuse because it represents depraved criminality. But his open lawlessness has been on display for decades.

I guess it’s good to know that there are some lines.  And, sure, I’m glad many Republicans won’t tolerate Moore’s horrible and criminal behavior.  But, damn it I wish they actually cared about the rule of law.  Moore has built his career on flouting it.  He at least denies sexually abusing teen girls.  So, yeah, I’m glad that it makes it much less likely Moore becomes a senator, but, damn, it would be nice if such obvious, blatant, transparent disregard for rule of law actually meant something, too.

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