With one tweet, President Trump has sealed the fate of the GOP to be the party of sleaze, forever yielding the high ground on any issue. And he did it for the pettiest of reasons.
Roy Moore, in any other context, would be tarred and feathered and slathered in plutonium sludge. As Jake Tapper (one of the few media giants untouched by the sex scandal fallout—permanently, I hope) tweeted, “Full throated presidential endorsement for @MooreSenate, who has been credibly accused by Alabama women of sexually molesting a 14 year old and of sexually assaulting a 16 year old.”
The arguments against Moore have not changed. Moore’s defense against the accusations has remained as murky as a foggy night in a decrepit cemetery. And don’t bring “innocent until proven guilty” into this. Do we want a credibly accused, and long-suspected, past sexual predator in office, complete with rumors?
Is the bar for shame and character now to be absolute proof? According to our president—it depends on which team you play for.
With that one tweet, character is been completely subsumed to political expediency and tribal loyalty. If it’s possible to make this even more sad, even the dullest political strategist knows that Moore’s vote in the Senate is a long term loss. The GOP needs at least a majority of four to five seats—if not a super-majority—to actually do anything.
Let’s take a look at Trump’s list of justifications for sacrificing every future Senate race where Moore will be paraded out in states where Democrats could win.
Stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall. All laughable. The Senate will continue DACA (or Trump will “revisit”), the border wall will be a 16-mile prototype showpiece and probably nothing more than a fence in other places, and crime will rise and fall on the efforts of local law enforcement, not the federal government.
Military: Trump will get his military budget increase because the natural course of the Senate is to vote for spending. Trump doesn’t need Moore’s vote to spend money on the military.
Pro Life: The Democrats have vowed to shut down the government rather than have abortion curtailed in any way. Yes, Moore is pro-life, and Jones loves the baby-slaughtering abortion industry. So don’t vote for Jones, or for Moore.
V.A., judges, 2nd Amendment and more. Again, putting the entire GOP agenda on Moore’s back is idiotic. Why not let Moore run for president? Would Trump support that?
What a waste of political capital and a terrible indictment of the party that ended slavery being so morally bankrupt as to endorse a morally impaired individual (at least his ability to claim morality is impaired, and nobody can argue it isn’t) to advance a morally superior agenda.
Either Trump thinks people are stupid, or they are willing to walk through hip-deep hypocrisy in the name of tribal loyalty. I think we know which one it is (because he himself won).
But in every case where Trump is selling lousy vodka or passing off cheap steaks as Kobi beef, or pitching real estate get-rich-quick schemes, your mileage with Roy Moore in the Senate may vary. Results are not guaranteed, and the advertised benefits are atypical of what you will receive.
All we’ll get with Roy Moore in the Senate is another tainted Republican senator, and what we give up for it is something we cannot get back. Regrets work that way.