An Empty 'Conservative' Victory

Having now read the comments of every #NeverTrumper and RINO on the planet about how lucky we were that Roy Moore was not elected to the Senate and that instead Alabamans wisely chose the “moderate” Democrat Doug Jones, I am hereby registering my passionate dissent. Like other dignitaries on the Right, I would have been delighted if Mo Brooks instead of Moore had won the nomination, particularly after the debacle that occurred last week; and I was not at all impressed by the ineptitude with which Moore defended his socially conservative positions (even the ones that I hold). I was also not pleased with the grandstanding done by Steve Bannon, and at the very least I’d hope this would-be populist activist would weigh his political decisions more carefully in the future, get a shave and buy a real suit.

But let’s be honest about the claim that the non-Left somehow dodged the bullet when a liberal Democrat was elected to the U.S. Senate in what had been a deep Red State. Does anyone in his right mind believe that Jones will not act as Trump said he would, as a tool of Chuck Schumer and those leftist constituencies that helped put him in office? And what about the laughable prediction made by Bret Baier and various Fox-Allstars that Jones would be a “centrist Democrat” in the tradition of West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp. Haven’t those who predicted this bothered to notice that their “centrist Democrats” have voted on every key issue against the President, on the side of Chuck Schumer?

Am I supposed to believe, moreover, that the attacks on Republicans by the Democrats as sexual predators will now stop because, according to National Review, we had a “conservative victory” in the Alabama election? The day after Moore was defeated, that longtime lackey of a highly probable sexual predator Bill Clinton, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, demanded that Trump resign, on the grounds that he harassed multiple women before he became president. Please note that Senator Gillibrand belongs to a self-described “feminist” party that has been led by such notorious womanizers and possible rapists as the “Lion of the Senate” Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Further, the Democratic Party abounds in office-holders who have benefited from the largess of perhaps the most notorious sexual predator in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein.

Without trying to exonerate Moore for unseemly sexual conduct going back almost forty years, I would insist that there are grounds to be skeptical about at least some of the statements of his accusers. One of his attackers, Beverly Young Nelson, and her legal advocate Gloria Allred declined to offer up a high school yearbook that the thirty-year old Moore had supposedly signed for her. And it was later learned that Nelson adorned the inscription with her own writing. Although there is no excuse for a thirty-year old man making sexual advances to teenage girls, it is impossible to be certain about the validity of most of the reports concerning Moore’s misconduct. But even if we assume (as I do) that something disgraceful occurred in these incidents, it is doubtful they were on par with Clinton’s alleged rape and assault of women, misdeeds that Bill’s wife and other Democrats, like Senator Gillibrand, lied about for decades, while slandering his accusers.  

Of course, I doubt that the attacks unleashed on Moore by Republicans, like Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and the editors of National Review and Weekly Standard, were entirely about Moore’s behavior forty years ago. The fact is he’s just too conservative on social issues to please those who would like to change certain conversations. Roy Moore is not at all happy with gay marriage and as a judge refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, as David French reminds us in a fit of outrage, in violation of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v Hodges Decision. If memory serves, I recall the support from conservative Republicans last year that went to Kentucky Justice of the Peace Kim Davis when she refused to issue licenses for gay marriages. At the time Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and other Republican politicians hurried to Davis’s defense, as a Christian exercising her religious freedom. Why is the failure of Judge Moore to recognize what he sees as a bizarre and sinful travesty on traditional marriage a danger to constitutional government, which is what French contends it is? That Moore refuses to go along with a Supreme Court ruling that he and I (and lots of other Americans) found to be absurd and against his religious conscience would hardly make him a menace in the U.S. Senate. Would French, who wears his antiracism on his sleeve, have accepted the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which denied that slaves who were brought into non-slave states became free because of their relocation?

I am truly appalled at how French in National Review and loads of virtue-signaling “conservatives” willfully misinterpreted Moore’s observation that families remained strong even under slavery. According the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert William Fogel, the majority (64%) of slaves in the United States during the late antebellum period lived in two-parent nuclear families. Most of the others lived with widowed single parents or in other arrangements but not necessarily in conditions imposed by slave sales. French is behaving like an “historical illiterate,” something he accuses Moore of being when he writes: “In the antebellum South, black families were ripped apart constantly and intentionally.” What he is describing is an exceptional situation, not something that happened “constantly and intentionally.” In any case, contrary to what French maintains in “The Conservative Case against Roy Moore,” Moore was not defending the enslavement of anyone. He was indicating that even under adverse circumstances family life in nineteenth-century America “remained strong” and based on traditional authorities.

But my point here is not to pick scholarly quarrels with authorized conservative journalists, whose passion for Political Correctness has become rather noticeable. It is to underline my belief that the defeat of Roy Moore does absolutely no good for any serious Right or for anyone interested in passing Donald Trump’s agenda. It does not remove any enemies from Trump or Republican Congressmen and strengthens the hands of obstructionist Democrats in the Senate. It also seems that those “conservatives” who went after Moore were burnishing their RINO credentials. They were also showing irritation that some “illiterate” Southern cracker was forcing them to reconsider social issues they would like to put behind them.