Things are looking bleak for Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, what with more women coming forward accusing Moore of being a cad when these women were girls, and with Gloria Allred pushing herself into the center ring of what is rapidly becoming a political circus.
Putting aside the question of whether one believes Moore did what he stands accused of or not, and there’s insufficient time before Dec. 12 to decide this, those pontificating on the matter have hardly covered themselves with glory. There are agendas everywhere, few of them having anything to do with defending Southern girlhood. The accusations are serious. The reactions to them haven’t always been.
In a reasonable political world, the decision on whether Roy Moore should represent Alabama in the United States Senate would be taken in only one place. That place is not Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. It’s not the editorial offices of the Washington Post. That decision should be made by voters in Alabama. We have something called an election on the 12th of next month. Mitch may have heard of these. If another Republican wishes to challenge in the little time that’s left, he or she can do so.
Establishment Republicans fret, likely with some justification, that having Moore in the Senate would hurt their party’s already tattered brand. So they’re considering, or at least talking about, expelling Moore if voters in the Heart of Dixie should decide Moore is their man.
There probably would be a price to the GOP in having Moore in the Senate. There would also be a big price in expelling him, adding fuel to the wide-spread perception that the establishment of both major parties (not as major as they used to be) hold ordinary voters in contempt. (It’s more than just a perception — they do.)
Once again stipulating that the matter is serious, there has been at least one knee-slapper to come out of all this. Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, came up with this howler. He says if Moore is elected, “the Senate should vote to expel him because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”
Wow. I’ll wait here while you gain control.
I’m sure politically savvy readers, those familiar with the ethical and moral history of the Unites States Senate, are taking a standing eight-count after reading this remarkable statement. If Roy Moore did what he’s accused of, shame on him. But Alabama voters can decide if any shame he may be due is sufficient to disqualify him from representing Alabama in the Senate. And for those who, against prudent advice, wish to ham it up about the “ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” I have just two words for you: Ted Kennedy.