Repubs in Disarray Open Thread: More Moore (Of Course)

If ya let yer wimmen forget their place in God’s plan, then the coloreds are gonna get uppity! And if ya let the coloreds get uppity, next thing ya know yer wimmen will forget their place!

The ugly truth, of course, is that Roy Moore’s current candidacy is the distilled end product of the GOP’s forty-plus years’ refining a message that would resonant with all the worst instincts and practices of “true American” clannishness, misogyny, authoritarianism, and xenophobia. And the embodied sludge that is “Judge” Roy Moore is now… an embarrassment to his enablers.

McConnell aides express caution, saying they’re uncertain whether such a move, one of several options being discussed, is even possible. Yet the talks underscore the despair among top Republicans over relinquishing a seat in deep-red Alabama, further diminishing their slim Senate majority.

New GOP polling obtained by POLITICO suggests that Moore is cratering. A survey conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee after allegations emerged that Moore had engaged in sexual misconduct with teenagers showed him trailing Democratic candidate Doug Jones by 12 points. Other recent polling has the race closer.
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REPUBS IN DISARRAY! Open Thread: When Did Mitch McConnell Turn Anti-Child-Molestor?

I don’t remember him having a problem with Denny Hastert, although of course Hastert wasn’t “his” responsiblity…

Trump spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Asia last week, and the Senate leader made an urgent plea: Please help push Moore out of the contest. On Monday, as a new female accuser emerged, the Republican leader discussed the Alabama situation with White House chief of staff John Kelly and Vice President Mike Pence. The conversation centered on tax reform, but the Senate Republican leader also proposed a dramatic idea: that Sessions run as a write-in candidate or be appointed to the seat he held for two decades.

White House officials plan to convene a meeting to talk through their options soon, and Trump is widely expected to address the predicament publicly when he returns from abroad. In order for the president to get involved, some aides to the president say, he would need an airtight plan that limits his political exposure to any fallout.

It’s a vexing call for Trump. If he tries to pressure Moore out of the race, as some people close to the White House expect him to do, there’s no guarantee that the candidate will oblige. During the GOP nomination battle, Trump aggressively backed Moore’s opponent, appointed Sen. Luther Strange…

Since the allegations surfaced on Thursday, the White House has been quietly examining its options. Counselor Kellyanne Conway has been in touch with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office to discuss possible paths forward. And political director Bill Stepien has spoken with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.

On Tuesday, the RNC withdrew its support from Moore…

(But not till Tuesday. Keep that in mind, for future use.)

Anyways, ol’ Roy ain’t going without a fight…

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Benjamin Wittes Shares Some Expert Thoughts on AG Sessions’ Letter to Congress

Attorney General Sessions is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 10:00 AM in open session. I will endeavor to make the time to have a post up with the live feed. This evening a letter from AG Sessions to the chairman and majority members of that committee was released. It has gotten everyone stirred up. CBS’s Paula Reid has actually posted the letter to social media. Click on the tweet and then the letter to embiggen it.

Lawfare‘s Benjamin Wittes has taken the time to provide his actual expert opinion on what this all means. His thoughts are below.

The rest is after the jump!

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So, you nominated a pedophile…

Mitch McConnell bails on Roy Moore:

Expect a stampede of denunciations and a wholesale jettisoning of the “if true” construction from what passes for “mainstream” elected Republicans these days.

Will Moore bow out of the race? He sure doesn’t seem like the type. The people who are calling Moore’s accusers liars don’t care what Mitch McConnell says.

I’m curious about McConnell’s turnabout only in the academic sense. Is this a last-ditch effort to force Moore from the race because McConnell has seen data / knows about bombshells that suggest Moore will lose? That would be my guess.

Anyhoo, we’re closing in on $15K raised for Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, who is like Atticus Finch from the FIRST Harper Lee novel, only with a better jury pool. Help him whip the pedophile’s ass in the upcoming election if you can!

Goal Thermometer

Monday Morning Open Thread: Jeebus Wept

Bring on the Brawndo!…

Apart from wondering how some of our fellow citizens manage to feed themselves without sustaining severe fork injuries, what’s on the agenda as we start a new week?

You know what comes next:

Goal Thermometer

Age of consent

Looks like Roy Moore’s not going anywhere. Fox has decided to argue about the exact age of the victims and the Alabama GOP is comparing Moore to Jesus.

A new polls shows that Jones and Moore are tied. Look, people, in many ways it would be better for Democrats if Moore wins. I could be wrong but I think that having a pedophile from Alabama in the Senate turns off white suburban voters in the north.

But here’s the thing: the Democrat in the race, Doug Jones, sounds great. You can read about his prosecution of the Sixteenth Street church bombing here. People like him need to be supported when they run for office in deep red areas. To me, it’s that simple.

Anyway, the more attention this race gets, the better for Democrats. So let’s blow through our fundraising goal for Jones if we can today. I may even raise it later, because I think this race is really important.

Goal Thermometer

Friday Morning Open Thread: How Low Can the GOP Go?

(Mike Luckovich via

I know: How deep is down? Per Politico, they’re stuck either way:

GOP leaders desperately want Roy Moore off the ballot. But they have neither the legal nor the political leverage to force the defiant ex-judge out of the race…

But some absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, which appears to make it impossible to install someone in place of Moore on the Republican Party line…

Apart from the legal considerations, Moore owes no loyalty to Republican leaders in Washington, who backed another candidate in the primary and spent millions of super PAC dollars to defeat him while Moore won the nomination on an anti-McConnell platform.

Though Republicans have begun looking into options to replace Moore, Alabama law requires the candidate roster on the ballot to be set 74 days before an election. If Moore does withdraw, however, any votes cast for him would not count.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and other Republicans have suggested that GOP Sen. Luther Strange, the appointed senator who lost to Moore in the special primary, could put himself forward as a write-in candidate. State law bars a candidate who lost in a primary from appearing on the general election ballot as an independent, but it does not appear to forbid a write-in campaign…

Earlier in the day, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said on CNN that “there’s no path forward” for Moore if the allegations were true… Short raised the possibility of legal action to get a new candidate in the race if Moore drops out.

“Remember that the president supported Luther Strange in that primary,” Short said. “I think what’ll happen is that there’s options for write-in candidates and there’s also options for lawsuits I think will arise about [the] path forward. But I don’t think we should begin going down that pathway until we give Roy Moore the chance to defend himself and defend his character.”…

Mr. Pierce. at Esquire:

I may be entirely too cynical but I think, if Moore has the sand for it, he will follow this up with an explanation of how he had sinned, as all fallen humans do, but that Jesus has forgiven him and washed him in the blood of the Lamb, and now it’s time for him to bring his redeemed hindquarters to godless Washington to show the heathen the path to glory that he’s been blessed to follow. That might work…

As a devout Cynic my own self, I wonder: When exactly did Moore turn into a rabid public Bible-humper? Just as some ex-drunks become raging teetotalers, convinced that no human could possibly enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage without sinking into helpless addiction, there are more than a few “reformed” sexual criminals who re-focus their addicts’ energies on their particular version of Holy Writ. Mere speculation — barring further reports of his behavior during the last thirty years — but ‘Judge Roy’ would not be the first aging predator who seized upon the Bible as the best defense for him, and by his restrictive logic everyone else, against the temptations of the flesh.
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