The Republican Party, in embracing the nomination of ex-judge Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate, representing Alabama, is fully the equivalent of filing a chapter eleven in the court of morality — complete bankruptcy. Whatever moral capital the Republicans still had after the lunacies of the Reagan/Bush legacy was squandered by the nomination, campaign, and election of an ill-educated, crude, compulsive liar, and abuser of women, Donald Trump — a creature who daily forces the party leadership to find ever more improbable and unbelievable ways to excuse and interpret the eruptions of idiocy that pass for Trump-speak. Trump forced the party to the knife-edge of moral insolvency. There is simply no more slack.
Let’s pause here a moment and define what we mean by civic morality. It isn’t complicated. It includes respect for the constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the major institutions of government. It includes respect for international law and the obligations of treaties. Most definitely it includes the treatment of all citizens fairly and equally. It does NOT include lying to the citizens, racism/white supremacy, respect for Nazis, religious extremism or denial of civil rights based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Further damage to the environment must also be included as immoral.
On all counts listed above, Trump and his party score very poorly. The mealy-mouthed justifications and convoluted explanatory annotations party leaders have hastened to append to Trump’s daily disasters have barely kept their ship afloat in the ocean of despair the rest of us see threatening the shoreline of democracy. That ship hit a rock when not one Republican Party leader stood up and denounced Roy Moore’s nomination for what it is; an utter travesty of everything this nation is supposed to stand for.
Moore was twice ejected from the bench of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to acknowledge the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court. His hatred of LGBT people is legendary. He stated that gays should be in jail and that the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage was “worse than Dred Scott,” the infamous 1857 case that reinforced slavery. Moore is an inclusive hater. If anything, he hates Muslims even more than gays. He clearly rejects the Bill of Rights when he stated that when Muslim congressman Keith Ellison took his oath of office on a Koran, it was the equivalent of using Mein Kampf. He called Islam “a false religion” and has said that Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office and that Sharia Law was already ruling some places in the U.S. Of course he also claims President Obama is a Muslim.
We could go on at great length listing the hateful, bigoted vomit and the lies this wretched man spews, but this brief sample gives you the picture. What we cannot go on at length about is the reaction of “respectable” GOP leaders to the idea that this human excrescence was nominated to join their ranks in the senate. That’s because there was virtually no reaction at all. Regarding the nomination, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel declared to Fox News that “the voters did the right thing.” Politico reporter John Bresnahan tried to find even a single Republican senator who would disavow his politics of hate. No fewer than 13 refused to do so. The only Republican Bresnahan could find who was willing to distance himself from Moore in any way was lame duck Senator Jeff Flake who simply said he was “not enamored” of Moore’s politics.
No outrage — no condemnation — no reaffirmation of the essential values of the nation- just silent acceptance. This is utter moral bankruptcy.
Toby Grace is Out In Jersey magazine’s Editor Emeritus.