He Has Reached Rock Bottom, And Has Started To Dig*

In case you had any question as to just how skeevy — more, how fundamentally grotesque — was and is Roy Moore, here’s his reasoning on why sodomizing a child does not constitute “forcible rape”:

The Alabama Supreme Court had the opportunity to hear the case of one Eric Lemont Higdon, a man accused and convicted of two sodomy charges due to sexual assault against a four-year-old at Mama’s Place Christian Academy in Clay, Alabama.


Higdon had been convicted of both sex with a child under twelve years old, statutory rape, and of “first-degree sodomy by forcible compulsion” which requires that the victim face a threat, overt or implied, of  “serious physical injury.” That second forcible rape charge was overturned on appeal, and the question that Moore and his fellow state supreme court justices faced was whether that appellate decision was correct.  Almost all of the court had no problem working that one out:

Eight of the nine justices on the panel found that the appeals court had erred. Their legal logic was such that a 17-year-old’s sexual assault of a four-year-old was enough to produce in the mind of the four-year-old, an “implied threat of serious physical injury.”  The decision was reversed and remanded and Higdon’s conviction was reinstated.

Who dissented? That godly man Moore, of course:

“Because there was no evidence in this case of an implied threat of serious physical injury…or of an implied threat of death, Higdon cannot be convicted of sodomy in the first degree “by forcible compulsion.”

Four Years Old.

No implication of serious physical injury when a seventeen year old assaults a pre-schooler.  I wanted to put that last more bluntly, but I can’t. My stomach turns itself into a Klein bottle when I try.

What kind of man do you have to be to conceive of the scene between that youth and that little child and see no threat?

Roy Moore is not who we thought he was.  He’s much, much worse — and anyone who rises to his defense shares in his stain.

*From this time-honored list of British military fitness reports.  My favorite has always been “I would not breed from this Officer” — which, according to my uncle, a career man in the Royal Artillery, was known to refer to a fellow from a Guards regiment.  Posh don’t mean smart.

Image:  Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas1656-7.

This picture is not, perhaps, precisely on point with this post, but it knows the chords and is, in any case, a simply magnificent painting.

129 replies
  1. 1
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Q: What kind of man do you have to be to conceive of the scene between that youth and that little child and see no threat?

    A: A southern white fundamentalist christian conservative man.

  2. 2
    cope says:

    I wish I could say this shocked or sickened me but is doesn’t.

    This is an exact extension of what the current charges against Moore would lead me to believe is his personality.

    The disgusting thing is that anyone…anyone at all, is willing to support this human piece of shit. That generally is more upsetting to me than the actions of this one despicable individual.

  3. 3
    zhena gogolia says:

    There is something about this Moore thing and the response to it from Repub voters that makes me even more frightened for the USA than Trump does. But of course it’s all of a piece.

  4. 4
    SFAW says:

    It will be interesting to see what the Alabama Rethug “brain” trust comes up with to prevent Jones from taking the seat. Part of me says they’ll Lieberman him, part of me says they’ll make it crystal clear that they’ll replace Moore between the election and getting seated, thereby giving the voters a pass on voting for scum (because they know they’ll get a Mulligan).

    Of course, I hope they dither long enough that it becomes moot, and Jones takes it in a walk.

  5. 5

  6. 6
    Ian G. says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Me too. Trumpism doesn’t really exist as a philosophy. It’s just about one man’s Titanic, fragile who. But Moore and the millions who think like him are the path to turning this country into Pakistan. And remember, he beat the Trump-chosen candidate.

  7. 7
    Karen Potter says:

    We as people had made progress, not as far as most women and some men would have liked but things had been getting better; we could get abortions, birth control, in some place it was safe to report being raped. Racism wasn’t overt and encouraged, prejudices by religion, gender, “race” were discouraged and not celebrated. Then I watched horrified as a sexual predator stalked a woman on nation television during what was laughingly called a debate. I listened to women who I had been friends with for years support and vote for this predator.
    I watched Brian Cranston’s interview how it was good to bring this out into the public eye, While at the same time old white men and “christians” justified pedophilia; I have no idea where the human species goes from here, but it is hard to not hope that a plague will wipe out most of this infestation.

  8. 8
    Mike in NC says:

    “Mama’s Place Christian Academy in Clay, Alabama” just about tells you everything you need to know, doesn’t it? How about wrapping the whole place with yellow tape that reads: CRIME SCENE – DO NOT ENTER?

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    Whenever we think they’ve hit bottom, there’s always another layer underneath.

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    There is something about this Moore thing and the response to it from Repub voters that makes me even more frightened for the USA than Trump does.

    To paraphrase Joe Welch: “At long last, have you motherfuckers no sense of decency?”

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:


    “At long last, have you motherfuckers no sense of decency?”


  12. 12
    lollipopguild says:

    Cue the “Mikado” with “I’ve got a little list.”

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:


    This is an exact extension of what the current charges against Moore would lead me to believe is his personality.

    It gets worse.

    This was one of TEN times he sided with the rapist.

  14. 14
    ruemara says:

    I don’t think you’d want to see the painting that most befits the subject of this post. And I’d heard this repellent decision.

    This has been a very rough 2 weeks to have been a sexual assault, rape or abuse survivor. It just confirms that far too many people are dangerous.

    @TenguPhule: TEN?! Christ.

  15. 15
    Raoul says:

    The sodomy case was in the public record, right? How did this get past the oppo research of Luther Strange? I understand that many Republicans still subscribe to the “don’t attack your fellow party members” schtick. But if Strange’s campaign even had the slightest hint that at some point this news was going to come out, they ran the risk of being (correctly! one surmises) labeled easy-on-preschooler-rape. Vile. In extremis.

  16. 16
    CaseyL says:

    Here to inject a much-needed lighter note: Someone has been robo-calling people in Alabama with the following message:

    “Hi, this is Bernie Bernstein, I’m a reporter for the Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5000 and $7000 dollars. We will not be fully investigating these claims however we will make a written report. I can be reached by email at albernstein@washingtonpost.com, thank you.”

    There is a Twitter thread on this, and it’s priceless. Sample comment: “did someone say Jewy Jewstein was too much?”

    I can’t decide if it’s straightforward anti-Semitic stereotyping, Moron Division, or if they meant Carl Bernstein.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @CaseyL: They just covered that on ABC News.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @CaseyL: Doug Jones should get Obama to record a robo call message in support of Moore. That’ll sink Moore’s chances.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    Decades and decades ago, a friend and I would watch each others children if one of us had an appt. I dropped off my children at her house, and her son had on layers of clothing with his superman costume on the outside. This was in Dallas during the summer. When I returned an hour later, I took the time to ask if he was okay. She and her husband talked to the four year old later, and discovered that his teacher at the summer program would wash his penis, and he didn’t like it. It’s a life changing experience especially when it involves a religious school. People take sides.

  20. 20

    About the best thing that can be said about this is the Wingnut Wurlitzer hasn’t yet tried to spin this as “Roy Moore doesn’t really hate gays CHECKMATE LIBTARDS.” Although The Federalist is trying to No True Scotsman Moore already.

  21. 21
    Raoul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m not sure why the Union-Tribune calls this ‘editing’. It seems like a forgery to me. Or falsification of a document. Clearly more than just editing.

  22. 22
    SFAWAs I have says:

    As I have said more times than I can count: yet another piece of evidence that there is no such thing as a Just God. Because if there were, there would be thousands of grease spots and smoking holes where Moore and his apologists had been.

    As the esteemed efgoldman says:

    Fuckem all.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @Raoul: It’s not a forgery. Falsified would work.

  24. 24
    Felonius Monk says:

    I wonder how many little Vietnamese girls ole Roy raped (or worse) while playing military policeman in Vietnam during the early 70’s.

  25. 25
    Viva BrisVegas says:


    I can be reached by email at albernstein@washingtonpost.com

    I really hope that there really is an albernstein@washingtonpost.com at the Post and that the replies are collected and published.

  26. 26
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Felonius Monk: Maybe they were the ones trying to frag him.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    It’s mostly evangelicals who are fiercely supporting Moore. They’ve absolutely sold themselves out.

  28. 28
    Yarrow says:


    This has been a very rough 2 weeks to have been a sexual assault, rape or abuse survivor.


  29. 29
    SFAW says:


    Thread won?

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    There is something about this Moore thing and the response to it from Repub voters that makes me even more frightened for the USA than Trump does.

    The symptoms of the disease are becoming increasingly nasty.

  31. 31
    debbie says:


    Sounds like you have the makings for an excellent bumper sticker.

  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    @Felonius Monk: What makes you think he left any of them alive after he was done?

  33. 33
    SFAW says:

    In moderation becuz I type in the “Name” box when I should’n’a. A little help, pleeze

  34. 34
    Baud says:


    How did Bernie become Al in the email address?

    I can’t decide if it’s straightforward anti-Semitic stereotyping, Moron Division, or if they meant Carl Bernstein.

    Love child of Bernie Sanders and Carl Bernstein?

  35. 35
    debbie says:


    It’s not legit, is it?

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    @ruemara: Reposted from below

    A review by the Guardian of all decisions issued by the Alabama supreme court during Moore’s second stint found decisions on 16 criminal cases that involved alleged sexual crimes. Moore sided with the offender over state prosecutors in 13 of those cases.

    On 10 occasions, this meant dissenting from the majority view of the court’s nine judges. Moore sided with the state in the other three cases.

    Among Moore’s 10 dissents was the case of David Pittman, who had pleaded guilty to the rape of a 12-year-old girl. Moore in September 2015 said that Pittman ought to have been allowed to present evidence to court indicating that the girl had been sexually active and had a sexually transmitted disease.

    “I believe this evidence could be relevant to the complaining witness’s alleged motive in accusing Pittman and that it is not barred by … the rape-shield rule,” Moore wrote in his dissent.

    Like other states, Alabama has a law generally barring defendants accused of sexual assaults from using evidence relating to their accuser’s sexual history. Alabama’s law includes an exception that says evidence can be used if “excluding it would violate the defendant’s constitutional rights”. Moore argued that Pittman was being denied his right to be confronted by any witnesses testifying against him.

    The rape-shield law also arose in the case of Sherman Tate, a school mentor who was convicted of coercing two 15-year-old female students to touch him sexually. Moore argued in June 2014 that attorneys for Tate should have been allowed to tell jurors that he believed the girls were bisexual and in a relationship together.

    Moore said evidence of a relationship between the teenage girls “could be relevant to the victims’ alleged bias against Tate or their collusion” and that this should not be barred by the state’s rape-shield rules.

    He argued in his dissent that while the rape-shield law bars discussion of an alleged victim’s sexual history with other people, it “does not bar cross-examination regarding a victim’s romantic relationship or even sexual behavior with another complaining victim”.

    An appeals court had already described Tate’s theory about his accusers’ sexual arrangements as “at best, speculative” and said it would have “confused the jury by diverting its attention to issues that were not germane to this trial.”

    Among Moore’s other dissents were the cases of:

    – Eric Higdon, a daycare center intern convicted of raping a four-year-old boy and accused of assaulting several other young children. Moore in July 2015 said “sodomy is an abhorrent crime and should be strictly punished” but argued the evidence did not support a lower court’s finding that Higdon had assaulted a child using “forcible compulsion”.

    – James Ware, who was convicted of raping a graduate student while she slept, leaving her bound and blindfolded. Moore in January 2014 argued that Ware should have been allowed to question in court every laboratory technician involved in tests that linked his DNA to the victim, rather than just their supervisor, who had testified. Moore sided with the majority on separate questions relating to Ware’s convictions for burglary and robbery.

    – Lanice Bonds, a school police officer convicted of having sex with a 17-year-old student. Moore in April 2016 said that “although I do not condone the behavior” of Bonds, the courts should consider the notion that Bonds was not technically an employee of the school, and therefore may have been wrongly prosecuted.

    – Robert Simmons, who was convicted of first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse of a six-year-old girl. Moore in June 2015 said Simmons should be given a hearing to argue that he had not been adequately represented by his attorneys.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:


    Love child of Bernie Sanders and Carl Bernstein?

    Hate you so much right now.

    My eyes!!!

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: And the week’s barely started.

  39. 39
    dmsilev says:

    Apparently both Richard Shelby and the RNC are looking around trying to find a way out.


    “If they pull him then they have another candidate. I said I’d like to see another candidate,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told TPM when pressed on whether the state party should un-endorse Moore and back a write-in candidate.


    The Republican National Committee on Tuesday withdrew from a joint fundraising agreement with Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore after five women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

    According to a Federal Election Commission filing, the RNC was no longer listed as a member of the fundraising agreement with Moore’s Senate campaign as of Tuesday.

    Politico reported, citing an unnamed senior party official briefed on the decision, that the committee is also canceling a field program and will no longer give money to the Senate race.

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    What I find particularly odd about this is that Moore is the kind of man who objects violently to two consenting adults engaged in the same kind of sex act that he tried to excuse when it was a teenager doing it to a preschooler. How can he possibly rationalize that?

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    Can’t tell if serious question.

  43. 43
    jeffreyw says:

    @TenguPhule: He couldn’t leave them alive. They would have spoken ill of him. Kind of a Catch-22.

  44. 44
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    It was heterosexual pedophilia.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    Easy, they weren’t him.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:


    It’s mostly evangelicals who are fiercely supporting Moore. They’ve absolutely sold themselves out.

    They traded in Jesus for Mammon a long time ago. Now they’re just showing it to the world.

  47. 47
    CaseyL says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    I was going to riff on white fundagelicals’ issues with “consent” and “power,” but the more I thought about it, the more it disgusted me. Suffice it to say that rape pushes all sorts of pleasurable buttons for them.

  48. 48
    No Drought No More says:

    The magnanimous Winston Churchill uncharacteristically said of Stanley Baldwin, “It would have been better had he never been born”. The evil men do live after them. To be sure, it’s always tempting to ignore the admonition to judge not, that you be not judged… especially in the case of people like Judge Moore. So I won’t. Suffice to say, however, in the context of answering to a higher justice, he’s in for a bad surprise. You’d think his curiosity would have got the better of him over the years. That he would have, you know, picked up an actual bible somewhere along the line, and read it.

    Needless to say, Ala-fuckin’-bama* is chock full of Judge Moores, too. A person can’t swing a dead cat down there without hitting one. Those people have been like that all my life, too, and it’s a pity, and it’s a shame. But those people are intent on destroying much that is good, and decent, and forward looking about this country, and they have marked themselves as un-American enemies of our democracy in the process. Mortal enemies, in point of fact, for they have already tasted success, and have proved themselves as capable as they are unscrupulous. .

    *(hat tip to Cousin Vinnie).

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Actually, it wasn’t.

  50. 50
    dogwood says:

    @No Drought No More:
    Read the Bible? He autographs the Bible.

  51. 51
    Mary G says:

    Journalists and fact checkers are being worked to death these days. These Republicans have no shame. Sad!

  52. 52
    ruemara says:

    @TenguPhule: Pedophile Unity, I see.

  53. 53
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: hopefully they’ve set it up if there wasn’t one

  54. 54
    Beautifulplummage says:

    In Cole’s twitter someone suggested Moore’s DNA should be run against cold cases…would not be surprised if 1 came up positive.

  55. 55
    Viva BrisVegas says:


    Actually, it wasn’t.

    The Simmons case? Unless you want to make Clintonian (Bill) distinctions, it was.

    The point being is that persons like Roy Moore are very discriminating in their definitions of perversity.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    Hookay… I guess this is why Moore cannot do the standard confess and repent Xtianist fundy dance. And why he started vehemently walking back his generalized confession the day after he made it:

    Ted Lieu
    There is no statute of limitations in Alabama for sexual abuse of minors under age of 16. Law enforcement needs to open an investigation on Roy Moore. https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/alabama-statutes-of-limitations-for-sexual-abuse.html

    PS. I am becomming a Ted Lieu fan, at least as far as making good points goes. I need to look up his record and policy positions later today.

    Edit: IIRC, Aaron Burr was on the run for 2 years for murder rap after duel with Hamilton while VP. Can Moore pull a similar stunt as Senator? I guess if he never shows up to vote, but not sure how he’ll draw the paycheck.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Eric Higdon, a daycare center intern convicted of raping a four-year-old boy

    The comment was referencing this case.

  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:


    would not be surprised if 1 came up positive.

    I would be very much surprised if it stopped at just one.

  59. 59
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Yarrow: you should see the anonymous replies Yashhar Ali has been showing on twitter. He asked his followers to send in experiences of sexual abuse/harrassment. There’s just some awful stuff. Enough to make you very suspicious of every guy you run into. A lot of uncles/fathers/stepdads/mothers partners stuff. I stopped reading after the first few.

  60. 60
    Yarrow says:

    @mai naem mobile: I have seen them and I had to stop reading. Too much.

  61. 61

    I am pretty sure that there must be more recent incidents than the ones in the 1980s implicating Moore.

  62. 62
    Mike J says:


    murder rap for duel with Hamilton

    Too much Hamilton, I read that as rap duel.

  63. 63
    Suzanne says:

    I have exhausted everything I have to say regarding Roy Moore and his enablers (I think), but I just want to say that Las Meninas is always a welcome sight.

    Thanks for not posting anything by Degas. There are reports he was a pedophile/hebephile. That’s why he liked watching little girls dancing. Knowing that makes me feel icky.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @Mike J: Aaron Burr was old school OG. And a successful one, He had bling and high life.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think the first (and possibly last) name came from the only public Jew they’d ever heard of recently, because they’ve never met one in real life.

    This is also why I have to laugh at the dead-enders who insist that Wilmer Woulda Won. Anti-Semitism is a lot more common than those people want to admit, and the Trumpistas would not have hesitated for a second to play that card.

  66. 66

    @mai naem mobile: I am sure that every woman has a story/stories.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore: Ayup.

    I had a lieutenant I rated once. The lieutenant was senior rated by my rater, a LTC. He wrote “I can foresee no national emergency that would necessitate recalling this officer to active duty.” I don’t know if it was original with him, or he cribbed it from somewhere, but it pretty much nailed this lieutenant’s performance, which was sketchy to say the least.

  68. 68
    ruemara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m fairly sure if there are minority victims, he went beyond just compliments and skeezy touches.

    @mai naem mobile: I read a few and had to stop. I’ve had to up my anti-anxiety meds and routines. This year is sucking.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    Because Gay Sex is Bad and Hetero Sex is Good. QED.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    Retired Gen Robert Kehler, commander of US Strategic Command (StratCom) from 2011 to 2013, told the Senate committee that he would have refused to have carried out a nuclear first strike on presidential orders, if he believed it did not meet the requirements of proportionality and necessity under the law of armed conflict.

    “I would have said: I’m not ready to proceed,” Kehler said.

    “Then what happens?” he was asked.

    “I don’t know,” he replied. “Fortunately, these are all hypothetical scenarios. There is the human factor in our system. There is a human element to this.

    “It would be a very interesting constitutional situation, I believe. The military is obligated to follow legal orders but is not obligated to follow illegal orders,” Kehler said, adding that he always made sure he had legal advisers at hand when he was at Strategic Command.

    I’m sure this bodes well for the next Democratic Administration. //

  71. 71
    Mike J says:

    The Associated Press‏ Verified account @AP
    BREAKING: Northern California sheriff says gunman’s four victims include a woman he was previously accused of stabbing

  72. 72
    danielx says:

    It’s seldom that the expression “sick fuck” is an inadequate description, but this is one of those occasions.

    Words fail.

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    @Mike J: Hooray for the continuing factor in these mass shootings – an abusive man.

  74. 74
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Roy Moore married Kayla Kisor in 1985 when she was 24 and he was 38.

    According to his own book, Moore had first seen Kayla “many years before” at a dance recital at Gadsden State Junior College.

    At the time of marriage with Moore, Kayla was divorced with a young daughter.

    Nabokov sends his regards.

  75. 75
    ByRookorbyCrook says:

    Ol’ Roy seems to think it is only Bad if it is between two consenting post-pubescents.

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Wonder if the daughter has a story to tell.

  77. 77
    smintheus says:

    Mama’s Place Christian Academy

    Am I the only one who finds “Mama’s Place” a skeevy name in these circumstances? What exactly was it about Mama’s place that was being taught to poor these kids?

  78. 78
    TenguPhule says:

    @ruemara: sigh.

    pardon me while I curl up in the corner over there.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: When were you my rater?

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yep. Funny how the majority of these mass shooters just happen to have domestic violence charges in their past. Must be just a weird coincidence, amirite? 😡

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @TenguPhule: Peak Trough wingnut is a lie.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TenguPhule: No Democrat is going to order a preemptive strike on the DPRK.

  83. 83
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s not what I’m worried about. What I’m worried about is the precedent that will be set and inevitably come around to bite us on the ass when the military commanders decide that civilian control is really overrated.

  84. 84

    @TenguPhule: “you don’t have to follow illegal orders” is not exactly a new concept.

  85. 85
    Eric S. says:

    @TenguPhule: Whoa! Linkage?

    Not that I’m surprised but proof is useful.

  86. 86
    different-church-lady says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    What would make us think he’d bother trying?

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I would phrase it differently. A legal order must be obeyed to the best of one’s ability. An illegal order must not must be obeyed under any circumstances.

  88. 88
    Barry says:

    @Roger Moore: “What I find particularly odd about this is that Moore is the kind of man who objects violently to two consenting adults engaged in the same kind of sex act that he tried to excuse when it was a teenager doing it to a preschooler. How can he possibly rationalize that?”

    Rush Limbaugh had a rant where he sneered at ‘consent’ as a moral standard.
    I have thought for a while that there’s a faction in this country which views consensual sex as especially evil.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    @Eric S.: See @36.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:


    “Consent” as a moral standard makes the lesser beings think that they deserve the same respect and standing as white heterosexual men. Can’t have that!

  91. 91
    lgerard says:


    Am I the only one who finds “Mama’s Place” a skeevy name in these circumstances? What exactly was it about Mama’s place that was being taught to poor these kids?

    The fact that this place is still in business is even more disturbing

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: In general. Unspoken norms are now having to be redefined as Congress attempts to weaken the Executive Branch’s powers, which is going to have consequences beyond the current crisis.

    Having those below in the chain of command have to stop and make personal moral judgements about their superior’s orders was generally perceived as an issue which I believe was litigated to some extent during the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan.

  93. 93
    Duane says:

    @debbie: They sold themselves for a promised 30 pieces of tax cuts and a crucifixion of those people when they joined up with Trump. Hypocrites with no moral standing left.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: Not obeying illegal orders is not an unspoken norm. It is law.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But defining what constituted illegal orders was the big problem. I remember quite a few dustups on this very blog during the Iraq Invasion and aftermath over that.

    We had the invasion, the torture, the complete bloody stupidity of the occupation. And plenty of disagreement about which orders were illegal and which were not.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    But defining what constituted illegal orders was the big problem.

    It’s not as complicated as you might think.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TenguPhule: I understand your concern (and we’ve got too many Generals in this WH for my tastes) but partisanism doesn’t really enter into this. It has to do with the orders on their face, regardless of the nominal partisan status of the C-in-C.

  98. 98

    @mai naem mobile:

    A lot of uncles/fathers/stepdads/mothers partners stuff.

    Most sexual abuse is like that, by a member of the family or someone close to it with power over the child. Priests frequently fall in that category. Predators like Moore who go after random vulnerable kids are actually pretty rare. One of my major pet peeves is that our society gives cover to the threat from the inside by pretending the threat is from the outside. Evangelicals are the worst of the worst here, demanding total ownership of their children so they can hurt them however they like in the name of protection.

  99. 99
    Eric S. says:

    @TenguPhule: Didn’t get that far before my reply.

  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Tell that to the people who lost their cases in court when they refused to deploy to Iraq.

  101. 101
    Dave says:

    @TenguPhule: Christ are you just committed to find the ugliest possible read of a situation? Not following illegal orders isn’t a bad thing. That the human element in our system may prevent a nuclear first strike is a good thing. That we are seriously concerned that is a plausible scenario isn’t but there is a huge chasm between stratcom not finding any reason it can not to initiate a nuclear holocaust because POTUS is cranky and the military deciding it is just going to be in charge now.

  102. 102
    Pete Downunder says:

    OT good news. Australia’s “survey” (non-binding referendum) on same sex marriage passed with Yes (to allow same sex marriage) vote winning 62-38. Australian Parliament still has to amend the Marriage Act but that is expected to happen before year end.

    ETA for grammar

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: I would have told you at the time that they would lose. A soldier doesn’t get to make a judgment over the decision to go to war.

  104. 104
    Dave says:

    @TenguPhule: @TenguPhule:You are moving the goal posts here so that you can find a reason to wallow in despair. Refusing to deploy to Iraq vs refusing to launch a nuclear first strike are so such a difference of degree that they may as well be a difference of kind. The scale is such that they are very very different categories. And that the military would prosecute those that refused deployment might not be something I love it’s also wholly expected and not anything unusual. I highly doubt there has ever been a time in our history when that wouldn’t have been the outcome. It’s not some unusual change in norms.

  105. 105
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Is an order to pre-emptively nuke somebody illegal? Doesn’t the US have “we retain the right of nuclear first use” written down somewhere?

    Somebody a few weeks ago suggested that Congress could pass a law that says “Nuclear first use except in cases of declared war is illegal”, which would then give officers an excuse to refuse the order if it came, but I don’t think that law’s on the books yet.

  106. 106
    Felony Govt (formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    @Pete Downunder: That is good news. Is Parliament expected to act accordingly, as the people have spoken?

  107. 107
    Duane says:

    @No Drought No More: If the voters of Alabama send Moore to the Senate, Alabama should be removed as part of the United States.
    I realize this isn’t possible (right?) but it’s like you said. They’re no better than traitors to our country. Make an example of them.

  108. 108
    different-church-lady says:

    @Duane: "Pedophilia is as American as Apple PIe!"

  109. 109
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Felony Govt (formerly Old Broad in California): Not the right wing of the ruling party. They intend to mount a delaying action over “religious protections”.

    It will depend on whether the PM is willing to stand up to them. So far on almost every other matter, he hasn’t been.

  110. 110
    Duane says:

    @ruemara: Approximately 95% of gun deaths are committed by men.
    Simple solution to gun deaths: dont sell guns to men.

  111. 111
    jl says:

    @Suzanne: I remember reading that Degas was a severely repressed political reactionary who was antisemitic, misogynistic, and misanthropic in general. He enjoyed looking on women with cold contempt from a distance. I never heard that he bothered or assaulted people, or did the nineteenth century equivalent of hassling girls at shopping malls.

    Weird, creepy and severely messed up, but in a different way than Moore. But maybe some new facts have come out on Degas that I missed.

  112. 112
    jl says:

    @Duane: Only women can legally own guns, would be an interesting policy. If women would share some legal responsibility for what a guy did while he borrowed one, they would be careful in who they lent it to and for how long. And if they guy skips out with the gun, the woman owner can’t recover costs, though relieved of liability. Anyway, we can work out some good policy on it. And women can form a freedom loving militias as well as anyone else. So, wouldn’t interfere with purpose of 2nd amendment.

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Is an order to pre-emptively nuke somebody illegal?

    On its face? Probably not. But a general who refused to issue orders like that would probably have to make a case that the use of nukes was so disproportionate to the threat as to constitute a war crime.

  114. 114
    eemom says:

    Further to the mention of Degas, let’s look on the bright side: as least Moore doesn’t present the dilemma of separating the artist from the art. EVERYTHING about him sucks!

  115. 115
    Duane says:

    @jl: It wouldn’t be an overnite remedy, but it would be a start. We could also make it a crime for men to possess a gun. Sorry guys, but you’ve abused your 2nd amendment rights to the point that you’ve lost them.

  116. 116

    @Lurking Canadian: @Omnes Omnibus: In today’s hearing on the subject, which I only dipped into from time to time and made up for some of that by reading live-tweets by colleagues, it appears that there was more agreement and less questioning than I expected that a pre-emptive nuclear attack, the kind we fear as a parallel to Trump’s tweets, would be illegal and the order could be refused by the military.

    It would probably be muddier than that, but I have heard very similar things from military people. An illegal order can/must be refused, and an order to nuke Kim Jong Un because he called Trump a bad name would be illegal.

  117. 117
    different-church-lady says:

    @Duane: But then 100% of gun deaths will be committed by women! Think this through!

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How can he possibly rationalize that?

    Of course he can not logically rationalize most of his beliefs. He’s out there, way the hell out there.
    That there isn’t a smoking pit with a marker that says:
    “Standing here was Roy Moore, all around scum of the earth.
    I did what was right and rained down lighting on him till he was
    positively no more. Not one molecule of him remains anywhere
    in the cosmos.
    is how I know that god doesn’t exist.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    and an order to nuke Kim Jong Un because he called Trump a bad name would be illegal.

    I would agree with that.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    Is it possible that he’s not stopping at stupidest congressman and is running hard for stupidest human? Ever?

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I was trying to think of the article but I’m vaguely recalling that there is one about following an order that you know or believe to be illegal. Just looked and don’t see it directly, only that lawful orders must be followed.

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: First, specifying that lawful orders must be followed indicates that unlawful orders must not be followed. Second, Nuremberg precedent clearly states it. “I was following orders” wasn’t allowed as a defense.

  123. 123
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Not the right wing of the ruling party. They intend to mount a delaying action over “religious protections”.
    It will depend on whether the PM is willing to stand up to them. So far on almost every other matter, he hasn’t been.

    My understanding from this side of the ditch is that there is a perfectly good piece of marriage-equality legislation already on the table, waiting for Parliament to debate and amend it, and this is what most people thought they were referenduming about. But Turnbull in his spinelessness is talking about setting this aside, and starting again with a new piece of legislation, to be written by the opponents of marriage equality.

    This does not bode well for his promise to have the law changed by the end of the year, but “breaking solemn promises” is the least of Turnbull’s concerns.

  124. 124
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I knew that of course, but I thought (very dimly, it’s only been 47, almost 48 yrs) there was a specific article.

  125. 125
    Duane says:

    @different-church-lady: Let me check my figures and I’ll get right back to you. (grumble..always somethun..grrr)

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: It really just is the obverse of Art. 92.

  127. 127
    Feathers says:

    My favorite variation on the titular insult is from Cornell Woolrich: Whenever he thought he had sunk as low as he could go, he always found the basement door.

    I really hope this starts a conversation where fundies are no longer allowed to claim any sort of moral superiority.

  128. 128
    jonas says:

    @Felonius Monk: Probably where he acquired a taste for the young ones.

  129. 129
    jonas says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: One pastor’s response when asked if he still endorsed Moore was “Not my state. Not my issues.” Golly, I bet if the issue was abortion, his deflection would have been a wee bit different. Asshole.

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