Next Tuesday there will be a special primary runoff election in the state of Alabama to determine the republican candidate that will run the race to elect a senator to fill the seat left vacant when Jeff Sessions was nominated U.S. Attorney General. The general election will be held on December 12th.
Now, guess who is one of the two main candidates for the republican nominations? While he was not one of my infamous Idiots of the Week, Roy Moore probably ought to have been. However, I did write a post about him last September, almost a year ago, titled When Justice Is Unjust.
To briefly recap, Moore was Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court … twice, in fact, having been removed from the bench in 2003, and then re-elected in 2013. He was once again removed in May 2016, for directing probate judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite the fact that it had been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Moore is a religious zealot who does not accept the concept of separation of church and state, and has done everything in his power to sabotage said separation. As such, he has been the source of numerous controversies and the Alabama court system is far better off without him.
However now, he wants to be a Senator and is determined to shake things up. One might expect that he would be Donald Trump’s choice, yes? But one would be wrong, for Trump is actually supporting Moore’s opponent, Luther Strange. But wait, for it gets even more interesting. Many in Trump’s camp, notably Steve Bannon, Sarah Palin and Papa Duck Phil Robertson are actually supporting Moore, despite the fact that Trump himself is not. The polls show Moore with a 6-point lead over Strange, 53 percent to 47 percent, despite the fact that the Strange campaign has spent four times more than Moore’s.
A brief bit about Luther Strange …
Luther Strange was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley (R) to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R). He was previously elected as attorney general of Alabama in 2010.
Strange announced his intent to fight for his seat in April 2017, saying, “As I’ve said for months, I’m a candidate and I’m ready to run whether the election is next month or next year. As the only announced candidate for this office, I will spend the next several months being the best Senator I can be, upholding Alabama values and working with President Donald Trump to drain the swamp and help make America great again.” On his campaign website, Strange listed defending religious freedom, supporting the Trump administration’s agenda, and repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act as top issues. His tenure as attorney general of Alabama focused on challenging the Obama administration’s healthcare agenda and environmental regulations in court. – BallotPedia
Obviously Strange is not, by my standards, an ideal candidate either, but at least he is not steeped in racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and overall bigotry, as Moore is.
An article yesterday in The Washington Post provided some interesting insight into Moore’s intentions, should he actually be elected into the Senate.
The central argument of Moore’s campaign is that removing the sovereignty of a Christian God from the functions of government is an act of apostasy, an affront to the biblical savior as well as the Constitution.
“We have forgotten the source of our rights. We put ourselves above God. And in so doing, we forgot the basic source of our morality.”
In his current campaign, he has called for the impeachment of judges, including possibly Supreme Court justices, who issue rulings for same-sex marriage …
He seems to forget that not everyone in this nation is Christian, that not all of us believe as he does, yet our rights are guaranteed by the Constitution no less than his or his constituents. This is a nation of tolerance, it is a nation that does not promote one religion over the other, and contrary to what some believe, Christianity is not the state religion.
For more in-depth analysis of the differences between Strange and Moore’s platforms, visit BallotPedia.
So with two less-than-desirables vying for the republican nomination, what about the democratic candidate?
Doug Jones was appointed U.S. attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, by former President Bill Clinton in 1997. Jones was the lead prosecutor in the reopened 1963 Birmingham church bombing case that killed four black girls during the Civil Rights Movement. His private practice involved white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation.
“The national election was very disturbing, quite frankly, and I know a lot of people in this state voted overwhelmingly for … [Donald] Trump. But there were about 37 percent of the people who did not, and they need a voice too,” he said a few weeks after announcing his candidacy.
Jones identified increasing the minimum wage, prioritizing education as a job creator, encouraging renewable energy and conservation, abortion rights, and preventing discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions as policy priorities. – BallotPedia
Obviously, I see Jones as the better candidate for the U.S. Senate, however … this is Alabama. In the 2016 election, republican Richard Shelby received nearly twice the amount of votes as the democratic candidate, Ron Crumpton. In fact, the last time a democrat won a senate race in Alabama was in 1992. The three leading polls indicate that the republican candidate, whomever it is, will have a safe to strong lead on December 12th. While no one senator has absolute power, and a majority is required to pass legislation, confirm presidential nominations, etc., one outspoken senator does have the power to disrupt the entire body and create chaos. Please, Alabamans … keep Roy Moore out of the U.S. Senate!