What are Republicans to do with Roy Moore? Sure, they want that Senate seat, but, you know, he has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, many of whom were teenagers at the time. Yikes.
Alabama conservatives have been justifying their continuing support in a few different ways. Some ignore the allegations entirely, calling them a fabrication by a shadowy cabal of “fake” media outlets.
Others are voting on purely political grounds, echoing President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement. They want the seat. They want the votes. If Moore wants to diddle 14-year-olds once in a while, that’s his business, and he can do it in his own time.
Finally, there are people who want the seats and want the votes, but are still a bit squeamish about voting for a man who was allegedly banned from the Gadsden Mall for being a total creepazoid. For those people, might we suggest the “God argument.”
The Federalist, Ben Domenech’s factory of inventive, and often bizarre, takes, used this argument to defend voting for accused molester Moore, deploying Queen of Hot Takes D.C. McAllister to pen an article titled “Why It’s Justified To Vote For A Morally Questionable Politician.”
You see, the “God argument” is pretty much the same reasoning Trump presented. Republicans are good and Democrats are bad, therefore the seat must be preserved at all costs. God is presented as the ultimate moral arbiter, so as to ease the conscious of Alabama voters. They aren’t voting for Moore. They are voting WITH God, who chose a flawed man (Moore) to carry his will.
“To vote for, associate with, or even advocate for a person working in the secular arena who will bring about the ‘greater good’ despite being personally immoral, pagan, or the member of some ‘unapproved’ Christian sect (as the Catholics once were in America) is justified,” McAllister wrote, seemingly describing the choice to vote for Moore, who is an evangelical Christian and not a member of an unapproved sect.
“God’s purposes are manifest through fallen men, whether they’re in the church or in the world.”
Before long, McAllister goes to a well thought to be long dry, asking if the nation suffered after electing John F. Kennedy, a Catholic.
“Some purist Christians would say ‘Yes!’ Are they right? Did we suffer as a nation because, theologically (and morally) speaking, JFK was ‘unfit’ for the presidency?”
She bravely added, “I’d say no.” Huzzah!
McAllister did make a point when she said “However, the issue of ‘moral aptitude’ is not so black and white. People are multifaceted and complex. I’m not a fan of condemning a person for one failing or even a couple. There is more to us than the singleness of a part.”
This point, however, is completely nulled by hanging it on Roy Moore.
It’s true, people are multifaceted, flawed and sometimes nasty creatures. This is part of the human experience and looking for complete moral aptitude in our elected officials is a fool’s errand. We should vote on ideas, not character. Politicians are not Sesame Street animals. They are highly ambitious, occasionally broken, individuals who stand in auditoriums and talk about how great they are for a living.
Sexually assaulting 14-year-olds, though? If there’s a line buried underneath all that sand, that would be a pretty good place to dredge it up.
McAllister, however, wades knee deep in moral relativism to write off Moore’s alleged misdeeds by contrasting them with all of the babies he will save by opposing abortion,
“Will a man’s sexual immorality influence his vote on abortion? Probably not,” she wrote. “Call him a hypocrite, but I’d rather have a hypocrite who will stop the murder of millions of babies than a virginal man who leads countless to the slaughter.”
“Outside the realm of criminality and abuses of power that degrade the office and put the public at risk, a sinner can still serve and do great things.”
Sure, sinners can and do great things. We are all sinners. We all do great things, along with crappy things. We all hurt and help in equal measure. Not all of us, however, sexually abuse teenagers.
Naturally, the good Folks on Twitter tore apart the Moore defense piece, along with its publisher, for all of its facile and textbook-Federalist-contrarianism.
Alabama Republicans will have to weigh the benefits of a Moore victory against their personal lines in the sand come Dec. 12. After all, even McAllister admits that “character matters” and that “we should want people in power and even our associations who are good, moral, and upstanding.”
Does Roy Moore fit that bill?
[image via screenshot]