President Donald Trump says he wants Roy Moore to become the next US senator from Alabama because Moore will be a reliable vote for the Trump agenda. It's true, Moore would likely help Trump in Washington, but I suspect that's the politically correct version of Trump's support for a credibly-accused alleged child molester.
I believe Trump backs Moore because the men appear to share a similar vision of just what makes America great -- fewer rights for Americans who aren't white, male and straight, and more for those who cling to a perverted version of conservative Christianity that allows those with whom they share a culture and political vision to get away with just about anything in the name of the Lord.
That's why I wonder what took Trump so long to back Moore in the first place. Though it probably plays a small role, I don't believe Trump really cares about allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against himself, which were given prominence again on Monday by accusers who want Congress to investigate the President, because he has no shame and won despite his awful past.
Trump backed Moore's opponent, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary, apparently for political expedience. And he resisted the urge to back Moore after a damning Washington Post report detailing his dubious behavior with young girls when he was in his 30s.
But Trump's refusal to continue listening to multiple GOP officials in Washington warning voters to stay away from Moore today seems perfectly timed, now that comments Moore made on a 2011 radio show have surfaced showing Trump and Moore to be kindred spirits.
"That would eliminate many problems," Moore responded when the show's host said he'd love to see every amendment to the US Constitution after the 10th be repealed. "You know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended."
As Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, and others have tweeted, erasing those amendments means there would have been no abolition of slavery, no equal protection clause or due process clause applicable to states, no prevention of race discrimination in voting, no voting for women, no prohibition on poll taxes, no voting for 18-20 year olds, and no direct election of senators.
A Moore spokesman tried to claim that the media were taking Moore out of context and argued from what I recognize as a Southern point-of-view infused with a Confederate mindset about state's rights. What he claimed the Republican Senate candidate really meant is that there has been too much power given to the federal government and taken away from the states since the country's founding.
That's hogwash. Moore and others of like mind -- like their white Southern ancestors before them -- are concerned with states' rights only when it suits their desire to strip those unlike them of constitutionally protected rights. There's little doubt Moore would, had he the power, gut the Constitution.
He's on record as saying he believes Muslims should not have the right to serve in Congress. No wonder a man like Trump, who proposed as a candidate preventing all Muslim immigrants from entering the country, likes what he sees in Moore.
Furthermore, Moore's comments came on a radio show known for peddling conspiracy theories about the September 11 terrorist attacks, among other events. Of course Trump, who spent five years spreading the birther conspiracy about the nation's first black president, would like him.
Many Americans who make up Moore's base, like Trump's, on the one hand claim a deep religious faith and that they are motivated by God and the Bible, then on the other provide passionate, undying support to men who have done ugly things and refuse to ask for forgiveness. That's why to anyone really paying attention, it's no surprise that Moore might still win Tuesday night and represent a group claiming it is the family values party, while Trump is backing him.
Critics, even conservative ones such as New York Times columnist David Brooks, are convinced that if Moore is victorious, the GOP may forever be the Moore-Trump party. That's only partially true. No matter what happens in the Alabama election, that marriage has already been consummated.
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