NYT’s Stephens Suggests Republicans Should Be Forced to Support Moore ‘To Learn’ a ‘Lesson’

On MSNBC Wednesday night, New York Times columnist and faux Republican Bret Stephens insinuated on Hardball that conservatives and Republicans condemning Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore should be forced to back Moore so that they “learn the lesson” to not support Steve Bannon-backed candidates.

Host Chris Matthews led into Stephens by conceding that, in politics: “If you’re on a certain side, you put up with just about anything bad on your side and you say, so's your old man to the other side and you stick to your side.”

 

 

Stephens responded by reflecting on the “precedent” of “1991 when David Duke was running for governor of Louisiana and George H.W. Bush and the rest of the Republican establishment got behind his Democratic rival, because Duke, of course, was so toxic to the Republican brand and I think Moore is just about meeting that test.”

That being said, Stephens totally ignored the ways in which the special election set for December could be halted (via the Governor delaying it, interim Senator Luther Strange resigning, or launch a successful write-in campaign).

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Instead, Stephens continued his deranged attempt to burn down the conservative movement in order to save it, suggesting that Republicans should be forced to support Moore so they “learn” a “lesson”:

On the other hand, I feel, I have mixed feelings about the Republicans trying to take a mulligan on Moore. He's the guy they nominated. He was already a fairly well-known quantity, even before the recent charges came to light. They should own this kind of candidate, if only as a lesson in the kind of politics that people like Steve Bannon are indulging. Someone, at some point, Republicans have to learn the lesson that if they go with candidates like Moore, they're going end to up with results like this.

To show just how crazy Stephens was on this topic, Matthews admitted that it was “a harsh view,” adding: “You have to hold on to the guy, no matter how bad he looks, because you've got to teach yourself how bad he looks. Anyway, I understand.”

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on November 15:

MSNBC’s Hardball
November 15, 2017
7:07 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Bret, you know, I've been trying to figure out politics since World War II as a kid. And I got to tell you. There's a certain pattern. It's what side are you on? It's gotten more vicious lately, but it's almost like facts don't matter. If you’re on a certain side, you put up with just about anything bad on your side and you say, so's your old man to the other side and you stick to your side. Is there a tipping point? Is something that even the alt-right, or I shouldn’t say — even the hard right won't accept? Is this a case where people like Mitch McConnell, and he's pretty prudish, I think, on these kind of things, which I like, has been over the years, has been written up, is this one of those cases where you don't just say, screw you, you're on the other side, you're the establishment, you're the elite, I'm sticking with my guy. Is there a tipping point? 

BRET STEPHENS: I think the precedent here is 199 — I think 1991 when David Duke was running for governor of Louisiana and George H.W. Bush and the rest of the Republican establishment got behind his Democratic rival, because Duke, of course, was so toxic to the Republican brand and I think Moore is just about meeting that test. On the other hand, I feel, I have mixed feelings about the Republicans trying to take a mulligan on Moore. He's the guy they nominated. He was already a fairly well-known quantity, even before the recent charges came to light. They should own this kind of candidate, if only as a lesson in the kind of politics that people like Steve Bannon are indulging. Someone, at some point, Republicans have to learn the lesson that if they go with candidates like Moore, they're going end to up with results like this. 

MATTHEWS: Well, that's a harsh view. You have to hold on to the guy, no matter how bad he looks, because you've got to teach yourself how bad he looks. Anyway, I understand.

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