Since Tuesday night, many lefty pundits have been mostly (though not completely) distracted from President Trump by Roy Moore’s win in Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate primary. Their message: Just when you thought the GOP had hit bottom, the bottom dropped out. Two especially noteworthy commentaries came from Esquire’s Charles Pierce and New York’s Jonathan Chait.
Pierce called Moore a “lawless theocratic lunatic” and asserted, “Moore is an extremist or the word no longer has meaning. If, as appears likely, he gets elected…then a majority of Alabama voters are extremists, too. If he gets elected, then the Republican Party ever more should be referred to as an extremist party. That, of course, is if we’re being honest about what’s really going on in this country in 2017.”
As for those who voted for Moore, Pierce declared (bolding added):
I don’t have to “respect their beliefs”…If you think that Roy Moore belongs in the Senate, then you are a half-bright goober whose understanding of American government and basic civics probably stops at the left side of your AM radio dial…You are killing democracy and you don’t know it or care. If you had any real Christian charity in your hearts, you’d keep Roy Moore in the locked ward of your local politics and not loose him on a nation that deserves so much better than him.
…I don’t have to “respect their beliefs” because the U.S. Senate to which they are preparing to send him is in the process of screwing them with their pants on and they could care less.
Meanwhile, Chait opined, Alabama Republicans could have hit what amounted to a reset button, but didn’t:
[The primary] offered the party a chance to reconsider whether the prospect of supporting the team, and the incrementally higher prospects of enacting some tax cuts and social spending rollbacks, is worth the cost of elevating a dangerously unhinged demagogue for public office. The entire party, without any apparent hesitation, is leaping at the chance to make the same deal again.
…[Moore] is an insurrectionist [who] considers a certain brand of theological Christianity to be the sole legitimate legal authority of the United States. He has used his public office to openly defy the country’s actual legal authority. A functioning conservative party would consider respect for law and order a threshold question. Instead, Republicans have dismissed it as a mere inconvenience…
To the extent that Moore has alarmed Republicans in Washington, their concerns have mostly focused on the possibility that Democrats will use some of his craziest statements as weapons against other candidates. They have not indicated any special concern about the long-term dangers of elevating a public servant who sees the Constitution (the actual one, not the alternative theocratic version) as an impediment to white Christian rule…
It is perfectly apparent that a Moore victory will encourage more far-right activity within the party…The only strategy the party establishment has even considered in response to this extremist movement is to placate the extremists.