Roy Moore Is Deplorable, and Donald Trump Condoning His Sins Is Unforgivable
A society where nothing is forgivable is as untenable as one where every transgression is hand-waved away. The things we forgive in the name of compassion should be many. The things we forgive in the name of comity should be large. That said, the things we forgive in service to partisan tribalism should be tightly constrained.
The things we should forgive for a child-molesting, law-breaking, edge-case whackjob who will stain the Senate and the Republican party with his creepy sexual predilections, his contempt for the rule of law, his thinly-veiled racial animus, and his role in the firmament of Bannonite political arsonists? Pretty much nothing.
The judges behavior is unforgivable, no matter what your ideological leanings and party identification may be. That hasnt stopped President Trump and Steve Bannon from continuing to back Roy Moore. The only people in Washington with even vaguely clean hands are in the hated Establishment, which dropped Moore like a radioactive potato after his grotesque behavior with teenage girls made the news.
This week, just to prove that their response to hitting rock bottom is to bellow, Keep digging! the Trump Administration sent a clear signal its perfectly happy with Moores history of serial child sexual assault as long as hes a solid vote on their tax bill. It started on the weekend politics shows with Mick Mulvaney of the White House Budget office and Mark Short, the White House legislative liaison, rolling out the Team Trump line of, Well leave it to the people of Alabama to decide.
This is an administration and a president with a declarative opinion on everything from NFL policies to NCAA basketball players to Kim Jong Uns waistline. You might have noticed that President Best Mind has many opinions he shares briskly and loudly on Twitter, generally in the mornings when hes perched his ample backside on the golden toilet in the executive residence of the White House. Suddenly, nay, miraculously, Trump and his minions have no opinion on what should be done about Roy Moore. Its an election miracle!
It took Kellyanne Conway a woman whose soulless, serial lying has become the entirety of her personality to grab the controls of the Trump plane and send it crashing to the ground faster than Roy Moores pants as he lurks under the bleachers at a high school cheerleading practice. On an appearance on Fox and Friends, which in the White House has an audience of one, Conway argued for Dirty Roy saying, Im telling you, we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.
Even the Fox News hosts had a moment of stunned silence, perhaps shocked that a senior counselor to the President of the United States was defending Alabamas Uncle Creepy, perhaps hypnotized by the last tiny shred of Conways integrity begin vaporized live on television in service to Steve Bannons hand-picked candidate.
For far too many on the conservative side of the fence, the defenses of Moore have taken on one of two strained, agonizingly contradictory themes. The first path is Moore is bad, but Doug Jones will vote with the Democrats. This is tribal whataboutism at its peak. Doug Jones isnt going to be the deciding vote on squat in the U.S. Senate; hes there for two years at most if the good people of Alabama can nominate a Republican candidate who isnt a kid-fondling reptile.
The second, blisteringly stupid argument is that this is some kind of grand conspiracy theory and the real villain in the story of Moores victims is wait for it the news media. The argument, as tiresome as it is predictable, in what remains of the ruins of the conservative movement comes down to this: Well, Roy Moore may be a guy who likes to have teen girls touch his junk in his backwoods love shack, but hey the Washington Post is worse, amirite?
Then theres the Bannon-fueled conspiracy theory faction, which has been out in force for a couple weeks, like grotesque locusts. The usual cast of characters has been in evidence, digging for dirt, not on Moore, but on his victims. The Virgin Matt Boyle, a stout little gargoyle usually perched on Steve Bannons scrofulous shoulder, was deployed to Alabama briefly, but ended up confirming the Washington Post's reporting. Infowars and the Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft rightly called the Stupidest Man On The Internet have been full throttle in trying to turn Moores mess into a Deep State conspiracy.
Sadly, the Never Trump movements time machine is in the shop, so as disappointing as this may be, Bill Kristol, Jeb Bush and I didnt travel back in time to the 1970s and use our RINO powers to make Roy Moore a pedo-curious sleazebag.
The vast majority of Americans believe Moores victims came forward to expose the true nature of his behavior. The Bannon right may not, but its worth reviewing the old Ian Fleming rule: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
Lets play political shenanigans, and grant that one case could be a set up. Maybe. Two? Almost impossible. Now that weve heard from ten women who have made credible on-the-record claims backed up by contemporaneous eyewitnesses, the chances of this being a conspiracy are absolutely zero.
For the emergent kook-right who see an army of Soros-NWO-ZOG Lizard People Illuminati Deep State disinfo agents working to bring down Donald Trump while imposing Sharia law in every burg in this great nation of ours, let me give you some real talk: Skip your Alex Jones vitamins and remove the tinfoil hat, please.
Hermetic, secure conspiracies to knock out political opponents are the stuff of novels. Conspiracy is hard. It doesn't work like House of Cards. Fabricating evidence that holds up to the light is even harder. Coaching and training witnesses to deliver cogent, consistent lies is harder still. Everything leaks eventually. People are flawed. Mistakes get made. Im not going to try to convince the pro-Moore residents of Alabama, the readers of Chumpbart, or the eager Bannonite hordes that this is the case, but it is.
As for the Moore supporters in Alabama, by God, you may get your wish. You may elect a man who puts his personal religious views before the Constitution, who has lied and blustered his way to into the arms of Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, but you wont be proud of him in the end. Whats done in the dark will be brought to the light, and youll carry the guilt of supporting a man whom history will record as a child molester as a U.S. Senator.
For Moore's defenders, enablers, and the crew of whataboutists, just remember: Some stains don't wash out. Some actions can't be forgiven.