President Trump on Monday strongly endorsed Roy S. Moore, the Republican nominee for a United States Senate seat here, prompting the Republican National Committee to restore its support for a candidate accused of sexual misconduct against teenage girls.
Mr. Trump’s endorsement strengthened what had been his subdued, if symbolically significant, embrace of Mr. Moore’s campaign. At Mr. Trump’s direct urging, and to the surprise of some Republican Party officials, the national committee, which severed ties to Mr. Moore weeks ago, opened a financial spigot that could help Mr. Moore with voter turnout in the contest’s closing days.
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017
Oh, I think that left a while back, mister.
In related news, more evidence emerges that Roy Moore is lying:
Debbie Wesson Gibson was in her attic hauling out boxes of Christmas decorations last week when she noticed a storage bin she said she had forgotten about. Inside was a scrapbook from her senior year of high school, and taped to a page titled “Those Who Inspire” was a graduation card.
“Happy graduation Debbie,” it read in slanted cursive handwriting. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”
Gibson earlier told the Washington Post that she had dated Moore openly when he was 34 and she was 17. Moore acknowledged this initially.
But at two campaign events in recent days, Moore has backtracked.
At a Nov. 27 campaign event in the north Alabama town of Henagar, Moore said, “The allegations are completely false. They are malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women.”
At a Nov. 29 rally at a church in the south Alabama town of Theodore, Moore said, “Let me state once again: I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone.”
There’s more information in Gibson’s high school yearbook backing up her claim — and the Post has photographs. Watch the short video clip of her here. The thing is, Gibson did not accuse Moore of doing anything improper with her when they dated, and said their physical relationship never went beyond kissing. But now he’s flat-out denying that he ever knew her. He’s clearly lying. He might not be lying when he denies sexually assaulting the 14-year-old and the 16-year-old, but Roy Moore is not on intimate terms with the truth.
He’s going to win this Senate race. Here in TAC, Gracy Olmstead — a Millennial Christian conservative and lifelong pro-life activist — warns what will likely happen to the pro-life cause if he does. Excerpts:
Why are so many Alabamans determined to vote for a man who allegedly harassed a 14-year-old girl? The simple—yet frightening—answer is this: Roy Moore votes pro-life. And if Moore were elected, as Pat Buchanan recently pointed out, there’s a chance (slim at best) that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. Other Republicans have urged conservatives not to let Moore’s bad character prevent them from voting—he’s not a moral leader, they argue, just a political pawn. To them, the ends justify the means.
But in this battle for an illusory Supreme Court victory, other vital components of our political and cultural moment are being set by the wayside. From a political perspective, as Georgi Boorman recently pointed out, voting for loathsome politicians will distance swing voters from the GOP—and, more importantly, from the pro-life cause most often associated with it.
She argues Trump and Moore will be deadweights hung around the neck of pro-lifers:
The politicization of the religious right has led to a dangerous cultural blindness, in which Christian conservatives often ignore societal and even moral warning signs in order to make tiny political gains. Many seem completely oblivious to the long-term ramifications of their actions. Unless and until pro-lifers realize their battle is first and foremost a cultural one, they will turn the entire nation against their cause—and likely lead to its doom, for at least the next few generations.
I don’t know that I would say that the pro-life cause would be doomed, but I agree that the setback would be massive, though it won’t be fully felt until older voters move on to that great Mar-a-Lago in the sky.
The seating of Sen. Moore by the Senate may well cause a schism in the Republican Party, which has been badly strained by the Trumpist takeover of the party. It probably wouldn’t be a serious schism at first — only the kind of Establishment wets that hate Trump anyway. — and I don’t know where they would go, anyway. Nobody’s talking about starting a third party, but the idea that there would be any kind of popular groundswell for a Bloombergist party (which is the fantasy of a lot of these third-way types) is nuts. My guess is that it will be a de facto schism, one that plays itself out in a much more contentious Senate, and perhaps House too, as many Republican members worry about facing voters with Trump and Moore dangling from their necks.
Take a look at these results from the new PRRI poll. Emphases are mine:
Donald Trump gets low marks from the public on his job performance as president. About four in ten (41%) Americans approve of the job he is doing, while a majority (54%) disapprove.
• Among those who approve of Trump’s job performance, nearly four in ten (37%) say there is almost nothing the president could do to lose their approval.
• Among those who disapprove of Trump’s job performance, approximately six in ten (61%) say there is almost nothing the president could do to win their approval.
The poll also shows that Trump enjoys strong support among GOP voters — though obviously there aren’t enough of them to get the president’s approval ratings to 50 percent, and neither side is changing its mind.
Here are the full results from another recent poll, this one taken by NBC News of 18 to 34 year old voters — Millennials. Overall, the GOP is at a serious disadvantage with this group. Look:
Got that? Almost twice as many white Millennials think the GOP doesn’t care about people like them as think it does. And you can see what a disaster it is for non-white Millennials. More:
Even if Republicans drew every single Independent vote, they would still be below Democrats in party identification among Millennials.
Ask yourself: do you think the existence of Sen. Roy Moore is going to move the needle in the GOP’s direction with these voters?
Note too, via the chart below, which issues Millennials pick as the most important facing the country:
The biggest one by far is health care. Nothing else is close. With the exception of racism, the second tier issues have mostly to do with economic concerns, broadly speaking. Not gay rights or women’s rights, note well (Millennials apparently understand that the major battles there have been won), but also not abortion, “morality and religion in society,” or military strength. Two pillars of the Reagan coalition — social conservatism and defense conservatism — hardly exist for Millennials. That leaves health care, education, and the economy as the defining political issues of that generation.
Again, I gotta ask: do you think having Roy Moore in the US Senate is going to make it more likely that Millennials trust the GOP on these issues, or less likely?
Is Sen. Roy Moore, who now enjoys the full support of the President, a sign that the Republican Party is going in the right direction? If so, how?