Roy Moore and the rot in conservative politics

The Washington Post’s explosive investigation into Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct with underage girls has provided a distressingly clear look at the moral rot that has infested conservative politics. Moore, who stands credibly accused of sexual misconduct by multiple on-the-record sources, nonetheless has powerful figures within the conservative movement defending him, attacking his accusers, or running interference on behalf of his supporters.

Thus we find ourselves in the altogether absurd situation in which influential figures on the right would rather see a reported child molester elected to the U.S. Senate than risk losing a seat to the Democrats.

Conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who frequently is provided space to opine in the op-ed pages of major newspapers, wrote a blog post this morning explaining why he can’t blame Moore’s supporters for sticking with (and voting for) the candidate even in the face of the “damning” evidence. Erickson understands that impulse, he writes, because he sympathizes with those voters’ perception that “the left” is “out to get them.”

Per Erickson’s explanation, Alabama Republicans are under assault by liberal efforts to protect reproductive rights, enact gun control in the aftermath of mass shootings, and expand LGBTQ rights, so they can be forgiven for feeling that their only recourse is to send alleged sexual predator Roy Moore to the Senate to represent them. After all, Erickson rationalizes, the reported pedophile “is the only one standing with them.”

As for Erickson himself, he writes that while he personally does not want Moore to serve in the Senate, he nonetheless still wants Moore to win election and then announce that he’ll immediately resign so that Alabama’s GOP governor can appoint some other Republican to the seat. It’s a cockamamie political fantasy that, if it came to fruition, would inevitably lead to suspicions of corruption, patronage, and backroom dealing. That’s precisely what happened when incumbent Republican Sen. Luther Strange was appointed by disgraced former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley earlier this year. Funnily enough, when Erickson endorsed Moore ahead of his runoff primary election against Strange, he railed against the “crooked” deal that resulted in Strange’s appointment.

Steve Bannon and his Breitbart.com lackeys have blurped up a more straightforward defense of Moore….

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