After Roy Moore

Some of the conclusions being drawn from the defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race and the election of Democrat Doug Jones are overwrought, as post-election political analysis tends to be. Nevertheless, the election was a defeat for a social conservative (albeit one accused of sexual misconduct with minors) in an overwhelmingly Republican state. Here are some posts I found worthwhile.

David Boaz reposts Roy Moore’s final message to America: “Abortion, sodomy, and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

29 Comments for “After Roy Moore”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Nevertheless, the election was a defeat for a social conservative (albeit one accused of sexual misconduct with minors) in an overwhelmingly Republican state.

    Just out of curiosity, can anyone name a prominent (Senate, House, Governor or other statewide office) Republican politician from the Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas) who is not a social conservative?

    Moore was the exception, not the rule.

    He lost because he stepped over a line, the line between older men dating teenagers and older men molesting teenagers, a line that is drawn even among conservative Christians who wholeheartedly believe that women should marry in their teens, and marry older men who can mold and shape them in Biblical womanhood.

    That culture** isn’t large (I doubt that it amounts to more than a third of evangelicals, even in the Deep South) but it is strong.

    I know plenty of people in that culture personally, and they don’t have two heads. I don’t agree with them about the nature and role of women, or the nature of good and evil as it plays out in gender, but I know enough to know that they are sincere in their religious beliefs on the matter, however wrongheaded I may consider them.

    ** I commented on that culture in an earlier thread, and won’t repeat the detail.

    Reply
  2. posted by David Bauer on

    The election was largely about whether or not voters wanted a guy who could probably star on an episode of, To Catch A Predator, or another guy who was generally well known and well-liked by the people.

    This doesn’t mean that “cultural war” issues cannot win elections or that the GOP leadership will stop pandering to voters who want their denomination to be given special rights. Despite the very credible accusations, quite a few people still voted for the man. Some Even tried to defend it as Gods law.

    I am somewhat curious to see what the minor parties did in this race. I was a tad surprised that no Independent or Constitution party candidate didn’t use the accusations to try and mount a “Vote for me, I’m like Moore, but I don’t date very young girls” campaign.

    In the end, I doubt that Moore’s view on anti-gay criminal laws was a make or break issue for most voters. His appeals to socially conservative voters were mostly about outlawing abortion, outlawing gay marriage, outlawing Muslims.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I am somewhat curious to see what the minor parties did in this race.

      As far as I can tell, none of the minor parties ran a candidate in the race.

      Reply
      • posted by Kosh III on

        I saw somewhere that 80% of white evangelical avowed “Christians” voted for the Grand Old Pedophile.
        This will further tarnish their “brand” and accelerate the decline in power and influence.
        “You cannot serve both God and Mammon”

        Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Boaz: Roy Moore’s final message to America: “Abortion, sodomy, and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Boaz is twice a fool if he thinks Moore is going to go home and shut up already.

    Moore was the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was kicked off for defying a Supreme Court decision, ran again and was elected again, and then kicked off again for defying another Supreme Court decision, then ran for the Senate, handily defeating the Alabama Republican establishment in the primary, and only narrowly losing the general election after credible evidence of child molesting came to light.

    Moore is the proverbial bad penny of Alabama politics.

    Look for him in the next Governor’s race. I’ll bet you see him.

    Reply
    • posted by Doug on

      Let’s not forget that Moore was fully supported by the National RNC with big bucks and also by Trump as well as a number of Congressmen and Senators. Moore, a pedophile, is now the face of the Republican Party.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Moore, a pedophile, is now the face of the Republican Party.

      I think that Moore will be last week’s news quickly. President Trump is the face of the GOP — with good reason. An awful face it is, and things are going to get much worse before the GOP shakes him off.

      Reply
  4. posted by JohnInCA on

    The guy barely lost, and even then it took allegations of being a child molester.

    So you want my “lesson learned”? That literally wanting to jail gay people for being gay isn’t a bridge too far for Republicans. Maybe that’s a lesson that Stephen and Jorge should learn.

    Reply
  5. posted by Jorge on

    “If Roy Moore can’t win in Alabama running as a conservative who cares more about culture war issues than about seriously reducing the size, scope, and spending of the government, nobody anywhere else can either.”

    Uhhhh, yeah, I definitely don’t agree with that one.

    Just out of curiosity, can anyone name a prominent (Senate, House, Governor or other statewide office) Republican politician from the Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas) who is not a social conservative?

    Lindsey Graham is a neoconservative.

    Next.

    Reply
  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Lindsey Graham is a neoconservative …

    … who opposed same-sex marriage, supported FADA, supported DOMA, supported the FMA, opposed ENDA, opposed DADT repeal, opposed adoption by gay and lesbian couples, opposed stem cell research, supported defunding Planned Parenthood, supported criminalization of abortion in all cases except rape or incest, life of mother at stake, and so on.

    Lindsey Graham may or may not be a neo-conservative, but he votes social conservative up and down the line.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Retreating to the “how he votes” test. How predictable.

      By that definition, then, Roy Moore is not a social conservative, because he has no decades legislative record. Next time you might want to define the terms you’re using before moving the goalposts.

      There is also the matter that the legislative record you are citing is decades old, while the country has become more socially liberal when it comes to gay rights. Such that a vote 12 years ago on a particular subject would mean something very different than were that same vote made today. Every single one of the items you mentioned either is or once was a socially moderate position. Without citing date and details on each vote, one must conclude that Lindsey Graham may or may not be a social conservative.

      So like I was saying, Lindsey Graham. Next.

      Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        … I’m suddenly curious how Jorge defines “social conservative” such that a legislator’s verified and un-renounced record isn’t fair evidence.

        Reply
        • posted by Jorge on

          I’m sure if Tom Scharbach could see fit to define Roy Moore as a social conservative in spite of the lack of such a legislative record, the definition and evidence supporting it would be similar.

          But he hasn’t. I don’t think he knows what Roy Moore is, except maybe a duck, because Moore’s never been in legislative office, so Tom has to go with what Moore swims and quacks like.

          That’s a good way to make political judgments about people. You all should rely on it more often.

          I define social conservative (as a noun) as someone whose primary political philosophy revolves around the need for order around moral principles. Both aspects (social order and morality) are important.

          A social conservative is different from a Republican or the member of most other factions of the political right in that, in situations in which two or highly prioritized values conflict, a social conservative will tend to side with the need for order around moral principles.

          Reply
        • posted by Tom Scharbach on

          I’m sure if Tom Scharbach could see fit to define Roy Moore as a social conservative in spite of the lack of such a legislative record, the definition and evidence supporting it would be similar.

          But he hasn’t. I don’t think he knows what Roy Moore is, except maybe a duck, because Moore’s never been in legislative office, so Tom has to go with what Moore swims and quacks like.

          That’s a good way to make political judgments about people. You all should rely on it more often.

          My statements were about Senator Graham, not Judge Moore.

          Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.

      You, on the other hand, call it the Bluebird of Happiness.

      Reply
      • posted by MRBill on

        Well, possibly it’s a silly goose, or a loon, which is how I’ve always seen Moore.

        Reply
  7. posted by David Bauler on

    Moore certainly has a judicial record and been very clear about his voting record, should voters feel inclined to elect a pedophile [at the next election]

    Reply
  8. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I define social conservative (as a noun) as someone whose primary political philosophy revolves around the need for order around moral principles. Both aspects (social order and morality) are important.

    A question and an two observations:

    (1) Question: Do the nature/origin of the moral principles make any difference to you? Would a proponent of a society ordered around Islamic moral principles be a social conservative? Would a proponent of a society ordered around “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs” be a social conservative? How about a proponent of a society ordered around “all had all things in common” be a social conservative?

    (2) Observation: Your definition is quite different from the commonly used definition of a social conservative in American politics, namely a proponent of a specific set of social policies, generally including opposition to abortion rights, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and sexual permissiveness, typically wrapped in a conservative Christian reading of “Judeo-Christian” values.

    (3) Observation: Using your definition of social conservative, Senator Graham is probably not a social conservative. Using the common definition of social conservative, Senator Graham is most definitely a social conservative.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      (1) Question: Do the nature/origin of the moral principles make any difference to you?

      Probably not. I think the “order” part defines the difference between conservatism and progressivism.

      Would a proponent of a society ordered around Islamic moral principles be a social conservative?

      Yes.

      Would a proponent of a society ordered around “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs” be a social conservative?

      I don’t think so. That’s not a phrase associated with moral principles. it’s associated more with economic principles.

      How about a proponent of a society ordered around “all had all things in common” be a social conservative?

      I don’t understand the reference.

      (2) Observation: Your definition is quite different from the commonly used definition of a social conservative in American politics, namely a proponent of a specific set of social policies, generally including opposition to abortion rights, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and sexual permissiveness, typically wrapped in a conservative Christian reading of “Judeo-Christian” values.

      The “typically wrapped in a conservative Christian reading of ‘Judeo-Christian’ values'” is what fits into my definition, as that is the warning sign that the politician or social commentator holds those social policies as a primary rather than secondary consideration. There are exceptions (Bill O’Reilly has so many strong views in different directions that I think labeling him as a cultural conservative is more accurate, although he uses the term traditionalist). You cannot view the person’s socio-political preferences in isolation. You must look at their intensity and their persistence in the face of other political and social realities. That (and the fact that his legislative record is actually socially center-right moderate for the reason I’ve already mentioned) is why Lindsey Graham is not a social conservative.

      That’s why “social conservatives” are pretty bad at getting racial minorities (who are more socially conservative than whites) to vote Republican.

      The reason I pointed out Roy Moore is to expose your argument’s weakness.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Tom: How about a proponent of a society ordered around “all had all things in common” be a social conservative?
      Jorge: I don’t understand the reference.

      Acts 4:32: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”

      The reason I pointed out Roy Moore is to expose your argument’s weakness.

      No, you used Judge Moore to deflect from my argument, raising a red herring by suggesting that my argument was that legislative votes were the only relevant measure.

      You did the same thing when you played the “decades old” bullshit. On each of the issues I mentioned (… who opposed same-sex marriage, supported FADA, supported DOMA, supported the FMA, opposed ENDA, opposed DADT repeal, opposed adoption by gay and lesbian couples, opposed stem cell research, supported defunding Planned Parenthood, supported criminalization of abortion in all cases except rape or incest, life of mother at stake …) has sponsored or supported legislation, or made clear statements (including several post-Obergefell in the case of his opposition to same-sex marriage) in the last few years.

      And, frankly, I think that your use of a non-standard definition of “social conservative” to try to bolster your claim that Senator Graham is not a social conservative is more of the same.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Acts 4:32: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”

        In context, I most easily interpret that as a question akin to whether a segregated religious community can be considered socially conservative even though their values are very different than the mainstream. To that I would say yes.

        However, you also point to the “proponent” of a specific social order, and the passage comes immediately after a warning by the Sanhedrin not to spread their religion further among the people. This is evangelicalism, an aspect of the relationship between an outsider and a mainstream. I consider evangelicalism revolutionary rather than socially conservative in this context. It is not without very good cause that the apostle asked, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.”

        I am sure that theology can offer a much more nuanced view of evangelicalism than I do. However my view of world history is that evangelicalism has served to uproot established religions and traditions more than it has strengthened them.

        Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        No, you used Judge Moore to deflect from my argument, raising a red herring by suggesting that my argument was that legislative votes were the only relevant measure.

        I sprung a trap of your own making.

        You are prone to overreach at times, Tom.

        This was one of them.

        Reply
  9. posted by Lori Heine on

    It would probably be most accurate to describe both Lindsey Graham and Bill O’Reilly as shameless opportunists who will play any side that promotes their own glorious little careers. They’re social conservatives, then, when it suits them. Because social conservatives are pathetic frauds who are losing the “culture war,” they are increasingly going to get ditched.

    It’s what they’re getting ditched in favor of that concerns me. The alt-right is the shiny new toy for right-wing political opportunists. And the alt-right is a bridge between mainstream conservatism and neo-nazism.

    Nazism is on the rise in the prisons, in police departments across the country and in the military. Previously, other than the punk rock scene in the Eighties, it had no real manifestation in the societal mainstream. Now it does. That is not good news.

    Reply
  10. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Tom: Would a proponent of a society ordered around Islamic moral principles be a social conservative?

    Jorge: Yes.

    Do you suppose that a political/cultural alliance between conservative Christians and conservative Muslims can be forged over opposition to gay/lesbian equality in the same way that conservative Evangelical Protestants, conservative Catholics, Mormons and ultra-Orthodox Jews, traditional religious enemies, buried their religious differences in the last couple of decades and found common cause in forming/funding our country’s existing anti-equality alliance?

    Or do you suppose that accepting conservative Muslims as members of the anti-equality religious alliance is a bridge too far, and the anti-equality alliance cannot be expanded to find common cause with conservative Islam?

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but such an alliance might be the surest route to acceptance of Islam as a positive cultural force by conservatives and a reduction of anti-Islamic fear-mongering by conservative Christians.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Do you suppose that a political/cultural alliance between conservative Christians and conservative Muslims can be forged over opposition to gay/lesbian equality in the same way that conservative Evangelical Protestants, conservative Catholics, Mormons and ultra-Orthodox Jews, traditional religious enemies, buried their religious differences in the last couple of decades and found common cause in forming/funding our country’s existing anti-equality alliance?

      I think conservative Christians and conservative Muslims are so competitive for power in this country that it would be almost impossible to fulfill one precondition without undermining another, but then again you have an extremely liberal interpretation of anti-equality.

      …Because social conservatives are pathetic frauds who are losing the “culture war,” they are increasingly going to get ditched.

      It’s what they’re getting ditched in favor of that concerns me. The alt-right is the shiny new toy for right-wing political opportunists. And the alt-right is a bridge between mainstream conservatism and neo-nazism.

      Well I’ll the alt-right credit for being consistently faithless.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I think conservative Christians and conservative Muslims are so competitive for power in this country …

      While I think that conservative Christians and conservative Muslims are peas in a pod (in the sense that both advocate that our constitution and laws should be subservient to their theocracy), I worry a lot more about conservative Christians than I do about conservative Muslims.

      While both are driven to impose “God’s Law” on us all and the constitution be damned, conservative Muslims comprise a miniscule percentage of the population and are not holding a major political party hostage.

      I do agree with you, though, that conservative Christians and conservative Muslims are unlikely to join forces, despite their similarities. Adherents of the two religions have a centuries-old history of hatred and violence toward one another, and both religions charge believers with a theocratic mission to convert/dominate the world. I don’t think conservative adherents of either religion can find common ground.

      Reply
  11. posted by David Bauler on

    Getting back to the main issue; Moore refuses to concede defeat and is raising quite a bit of money. Money he will probably pocket. It doesn’t strike me as the sort of circumstances one might see, if Christian social conservatives were losing a grip on the GOP.

    Again, the credible accusations that Moore is a habitual sexual predator, is what tanked his campaign, and then it was a close race. His vicious attacks on the constitutional rights of gays, Muslums, women, etc. didn’t seem to hurt him with voters or the GOP.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Again, the credible accusations that Moore is a habitual sexual predator, is what tanked his campaign, and then it was a close race. His vicious attacks on the constitutional rights of gays, Muslums, women, etc. didn’t seem to hurt him with voters or the GOP.

      Dead on. Republican statewide candidates in Alabama typically garner about 60% of the vote, and Judge Moore was on track for a win until the sexual misconduct allegations came to light.

      Judge Moore is controversial, but he was elected to the Supreme Court twice by Alabama voters. He walloped the incumbent Senator, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary.

      I would suggest that he was elected to the Supreme Court twice and walloped Senator Strange in the primary because of his views, not despite his views.

      Reply
  12. posted by David Bauler on

    Stephen and David Boaz seem to want to argue that this election somehow proves that the GOP has changed, for the better.

    A more honest analysis is that a creep lost, but it was close and the GOP will still play the proverbial fiddle, while Rome burns.

    Reply

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