The argument has little to do with Roy Moore, and even less with what is acceptable behavior. It is about what Lenin succinctly called “who, whom?” — who can do what to whom or, as Amos ’n Andy used to say, who’s gonna be the “do-er” and who the “do-ee,” neither more nor less. The reason why the bipartisan ruling class of officials, corporate executives, educators, the media, entertainment, etc. demand Roy Moore’s political scalp is that it fell on Moore to be the focus of a pivotal effort to detach the Republican Party from that ruling class. It has nothing to do with what he may have done four decades ago, and everything with the threat that his election now poses to their power to run the country while de-legitimizing the rest of Americans and their culture. Had it been anyone else, the degree of hostility would have been the same, the charges possibly different but just as fiery and equally beside the point: which sector of the population shall have its power enhanced, and which diminished?
By precisely the same token, crediting the 2016 election’s outcome to Russia or/and “the resistance” thereto to concerns with Donald Trump’s personal proclivities bespeaks willful detachment from reality.
Focusing on the ruling class’s hypocrisy, its sordid history of approving behavior by its members far worse than that with which it charges Roy Moore, crying “tu qoque!” not only lends unwarranted credence to its charges on Moore. It diverts attention from the most important reason for that approval, namely the key function of partisan solidarity. Lenin explained partiinost, party spirit, most succinctly. Asked in the Duma whether one of his decrees was in accordance with justice, he answered: “Justice? For what class?” This is the question that Bill and Hillary Clinton posed to the ruling class by asking it to join in destroying the reputations of the women whom Bill had raped. The Democratic Party’s answer then, and especially subsequent to DNA evidence’s confirmation of President Bill’s nationally televised perjury regarding his fellatio in the Oval Office, joined it forever in totalitarian partisanship. More and more Republicans joined up — the price that junior partners pay for doing business with senior partners.
The reason why Republicans even more than Democrats try to destroy Roy Moore is that, for the moment, his campaign is the spear-point of a movement first to peel away Republicans from business as it is being done in Washington, and then to destroy that business model. How it got to be that is worth keeping in mind.
Franklin D. Roosevelt made the Democrats the party of big government. Naturally, Americans who disagreed with, felt burdened by growing government, gravitated to the Republicans, then led by Robert A. Taft. But the Party was always anchored by officials and donors tied to big business, who disdained ordinary Americans as much or more than Democrats. Beginning with Barry Goldwater’s movement in 1960, and culminating in Ronald Reagan’s 1981-89 presidency, the Party became an advocate for liberty vis-à-vis government and a defender of American culture — at least rhetorically and at the local level. But in Washington, under the Bush dynasty, ever-bigger government tied Republican officials ever more tightly to Democrats and their agendas. Ever since 2006, Republican voters have been trying to take back the Party, or to find another political vehicle for their needs.
In 2016, voters chose Donald Trump because he presented himself as opposed to the Republican as well as the Democratic wings of the ruling class. But his election by no means dissolved the business relationships between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, of which Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is emblematic. When Alabama’s Republican leaders appointed Luther Strange, an ally of McConnell’s, to fill the seat vacated by Trump’s choice for U.S. Attorney General, voters rebelled. They nominated Roy Moore, defeating Strange by ten points despite the entire Republican establishment’s efforts on his behalf, the expenditure of over $30 million, and even Donald Trump’s appearance on his behalf.
Roy Moore’s victory over all that raised the prospect that candidates who appeal to the sentiments that had elected Trump in 2016 and nominated Moore in 2017 would sweep establishment Republicans out of their cushy places. To put this specter off a little while longer, the Washington Post published allegations — wholly unsubstantiated — that, some forty years ago, Moore had engaged in consensual sexual activity with minors.
The ruling class piled on. Perhaps enough conservative voters would view the accusations as defenses of youthful virginity. But such objections to Roy Moore, coming from such as Mitch McConnell and Hillary Clinton, recall voters to reality and might well count as reasons to vote for him.