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The Pyrrhic Roy Moore Victory

Most official Republican Washington is now back on board the Roy Moore express: [1]

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.

Meanwhile:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [3]

Oh, I think that left a while back, mister.

change_me

In related news, more evidence emerges that Roy Moore is lying: [4]

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. [5]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. [6]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 [7], there’s a chance (slim at best) that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. Other Republicans have urged [8] 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 [9], 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 [10]. 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?

116 Comments (Open | Close)

116 Comments To "The Pyrrhic Roy Moore Victory"

#1 Comment By No Comment On December 6, 2017 @ 5:27 am

In a previous time, I seem to remember a lot of talk about how “character matters” and now you’re openly talking about voting for a pedophile and a liar. A particularly bad liar at that, because he has an R next to his name.
Shame on you, shame on all of you.

lol, it doesn’t get more true through repetition. I wrote two weeks ago that it usually takes some time for these manufactured controversies to fall apart and disintegrate, and that is exactly what happened here beginning with that Gloria Allred yearbook rubbish.

There wasn’t then and there isn’t now any credible evidence that Moore committed a crime, much less that he is pedophile, so you know what? Shame on you for being weak-minded and letting yourself be manipulated by false media narratives to the point of lashing out against good commenters on a conservative blog.

How about you just enjoy this win over the establishment? Let a good thing be a good thing for a change. Each win over the juggernaut that is the US political and cultural elite is a rare and precious thing; these wins don’t come often. Be glad we are likely getting a strong anti-establishment ally in power soon and hopefully more Gorsuch-like judges.

#2 Comment By Jefferson Smith On December 6, 2017 @ 6:59 am

@stephen cooper:

God will not long tolerate any kind of prosperity for a voting block that supports the abortion of innocent children.

That’s an interesting theory of God’s action in the world. God is so opposed to abortions that he won’t tolerate prosperity for “voting blocs” that approve them — but will tolerate the abortions themselves.

This makes it sound as if God is permitting abortions as some kind of test of public opinion. Are you perhaps confusing God with George Gallup?

#3 Comment By Noah172 On December 6, 2017 @ 8:34 am

kevin on the left wrote:

On page 18, we discover that the crosstab is 56% white, 14% African American, 21% Latino, and 7% Asian

That’s after weighting. The unweighted sample you can see in the numbers in the bottom row of each chart in the results. This pollster did a supposedly nationwide random sample, and came back with a group that looks like the borough of Queens. Even with the weighting, the badly skewed unweighted group suggests to me that something was amiss in either whom the pollster contacted or who responded to the survey. (E.g., was the response rate good for urban centers, bad for small town and rural?)

#4 Comment By A DC Wonk On December 6, 2017 @ 11:02 am

Can we inject some actual facts into some of these claims?

When Anita Hill claimed Clarence Thomas has sexually abused his position over her, and the only facts she could recite in support of her accusation

She had more facts than she was allowed to present, including witnesses that (chair) Joe Biden wouldn’t permit to be called. There is also evidence that Thomas lied about some of the circumstantial evidence.

In fact, there’s a piece that came out just today, written by Jay Kaganoff, a conservative who has written for National Review Online and Commentary Magazine, etc., “Fellow conservatives, it’s time to call on Clarence Thomas to resign,” ( [11])

Or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who built her career on the academic and political preferences she received from being “Native American,” which she is not.

1. She did not receive preferences; and
2. There is no proof either way whether she is Native American or not. Genealogists have pored over this.

Sen. Bob Menendez, who got away with a “mistrial”

“Got away with”?

#5 Comment By Robert On December 6, 2017 @ 11:16 am

@Surly

“and a cutback on immigration and move to a merit based system they would be unstoppable.”

Why a merit based system? Do Republicans not care as long as it’s the credentialed Americans whose jobs are going to immigrants?

Immigration needs to be simplified, not just limited.

5 queues:
1) Asylum seekers
2) Refuge seekers
3) Those with family waiting
4) Those with a job waiting
5) Everyone else (no national quotas)

Except for the top two (or perhaps three), make the numbers allowed whatever you want. Just treat everyone in whatever category the same regardless of their credentials, skills, or national origin.

“I tell you if the Democrats would trade free contraception for late term abortion bans (other than life of mother/no chance of survival for baby)”

I’m an atheist Democrat leaner (registered Green), and would be happy with this if the Republicans stopped trying to eliminate abortion clinics. Abortion is an evil. It’s not the worst evil (that would be war), but it is an evil. Make it genuinely possible to get early on, and readily available, and then feel free to limit it to the first two trimesters barring the caveat you mentioned (as long as “survival of the baby” includes genetic diseases practically guaranteed to kill within the first few years of life).

#6 Comment By Robert On December 6, 2017 @ 11:58 am

“Noah172 says:
December 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Re: the NBC poll of millenials

Look at the sample. Math is hard!

<30% white, more blacks than whites?

Not believable. Skews the whole thing leftward."

I'm glad kevin on the left got it, but to add my two bits:

This is how representative polling works. If you're going to categorize results by race/ethnicity, you need a certain number of people from each race/ethnicity. You get their numbers, then, if you want to make a general claim, you *weight* those numbers by the proportion of the general populace who belong to each race/ethnicity to get the general numbers.

Otherwise you'd have to survey tens of thousands to get a representative number of, e.g. Native Americans in your sample.

#7 Comment By kevin on the left On December 6, 2017 @ 12:11 pm

“God will not long tolerate any kind of prosperity for a voting block that supports the abortion of innocent children. I don’t worry about the “voting power of pro-choice millennials at a”

( whispers) White, affluent, college educated Americans are an overwhelmingly pro choice group- and they are the most prosperous group in human history.

#8 Comment By Navy Jack On December 6, 2017 @ 12:26 pm

To Johnny Reb: Thank you brother, for stating the obvious. Half of my extended family would not exist but for the “creepy” marriage of an older man to a younger woman. And, yes….I’m from Alabama.

To Mr. Dreher, et al: Since when do my closely held beliefs and political decisions depend upon the vagaries of Millenials’ poorly thought-out positions. I have nieces and nephews who are of the Millenial generation. I love them dearly, but aside from one nephew who served in the military and got his head screwed on straight, I would not allow them to make any decision for me or mine. Point of fact, I wouldn’t let them take care of my dog.

If you wish to condemn Alabamians for their life choices, their beliefs and their voting decisions, you might want to dig a little deeper than trying to convince us that the Millenials won’t like us. We couldn’t care less.

#9 Comment By John Gruskos On December 6, 2017 @ 2:11 pm

For the record, I was hoping that Mo Brooks would win the Republican Alabama Senate primary. I donated the maximum allowable by law to his campaign, and I spent hours arguing for Mo Brooks in the Breitbart comments section.

What I want to know is, when spokesmen for the Republican establishment such as Mitt Romney call for Roy Moore to drop out of the race, who do they intend to insert in his place?

Do they intend to overturn the will of the nationalist conservative Republican primary voters by installing an establishment candidate such as Luther Strange, or do they intend to respect the will of the Republican primary voters and install a nationalist conservative insurgent such as Mo Brooks?

I had the same question in 2016 when they tried to pressure Trump to drop out of the race. Who did they want to take his place? A candidate with nationalist positions on important issues such immigration and foreign policy, such as Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, or an establishment flunky such as Marco Rubio?

That is the truly important question. Is the establishment willing to respect America’s traditional electoral process, even when the result is a victory for nationalist conservatives? Or will they only respect the electoral process when the victor is a globalist cultural Marxist?

Will a scandal of some sort be manufactured every time an insurgent nationalist conservative candidate wins a Republican primary? Do the establishment dirty tricksters regret not inventing some sort of scandal to pressure Dave Brat to drop out of the 2014 congressional race in favor of defeated rival Eric Cantor?

#10 Comment By Noah172 On December 6, 2017 @ 2:25 pm

Jonathan M Scinto:

The comment of EngineerScotty’s to which I responded said (with my emphasis): “While accusing the rest of the MSM of peddling ‘fake news’, even though virtually all of the fabrication is on the right.” He was wrong, by a mile. You imply that sloppy or intentionally false stories are a rarity among left-of-center media. You’re wrong, too.

#11 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On December 6, 2017 @ 4:46 pm

johnny reb- Yes, relationships like that are creepy. I thought that was self-evident.

Which ones? Of the relationships he cited, three of them involved a younger partner well above the age of consent in the United States and most countries. I’ll give you that Loretta Lynn and Ariel Durant were seriously problematic both being 15 at the time, but I certainly don’t find a relationship between an 18 year old and a much older man (or woman) to be ‘creepy’. This isn’t really a liberal or conservative thing either (I would guess that among my less conventional and more sex-positive friends and acquaintances you’d find more openness for the concept of age-discordant relationships than among the more conservative ones).

Instead of stating things are ‘self evident’, do you want to try defending the proposition that johny’s marriage to his younger wife or Charlie Chaplin’s marriage was ‘creepy’ or otherwise problematic, and why? More to the point, do you have any evidence that such relationships are, you know, harmful to either party involved? Because I can furnish you a wealth of studies indicating that they aren’t.

#12 Comment By JonF On December 6, 2017 @ 4:54 pm

Re: That is the truly important question. Is the establishment willing to respect America’s traditional electoral process, even when the result is a victory for nationalist conservatives?

For most of our history candidates were selected in smoke filled rooms, not by primary voters, so the “traditional” tag is nonsense. It’s tempting to say we got better candidates from that process, although the presence of James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson in the historical record argues otherwise.

#13 Comment By kevin on the left On December 6, 2017 @ 11:01 pm

“For most of our history candidates were selected in smoke filled rooms, not by primary voters, so the “traditional” tag is nonsense. It’s tempting to say we got better candidates from that process, although the presence of James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson in the historical record argues otherwise.

It’s the republican two step: when the non-democratic features of the American constitution favor them (electoral college, judges overruling laws they dislike), it’s all Republic Not Democracy. However, when the non-majoritarian aspects of the American constitution (various impeachment mechanisms, judges overruling laws they like), its welcome radical democracy and the sacred will of the people.

Heads REAL AMERICANS win, tails coastal degenerates lose..

#14 Comment By Jefferson Smith On December 6, 2017 @ 11:22 pm

I see that Roy Moore’s spokesperson is now dodging the question of whether Moore still believes that homosexuality should be illegal. Seems he’s realized that you can’t get by as a national political figure even on the far right anymore without dialing down the anti-gay bigotry.

#15 Comment By kevin on the left On December 6, 2017 @ 11:23 pm

“As other people have pointed out, the whole idea of an uberconservative Generation Z is based on a few random consumer research studies and one or two random iffy polls. Plus, the vast majority of Generation Z are still teenagers.”

Our best source on political attitudes of the youngest voters is the annual freshmen poll. It’s not perfect, because obviously kids going to college and kids not going to college have different attitudes, but it’s the best source we have, and some of the bias inherent to the sample cancels itself, as college students are whiter than the average 18 year old. And the results are really don’t support the “generation Z is conservative” thesis.
[12]

(20% of incoming class are conservative, 2% far right, 4.5% far left, 32% liberal, and 42% middle of the road. The number of conservatives is stable in the last decade, but number of liberals is sharply climbing.)

#16 Comment By Brendan Sexton On December 7, 2017 @ 7:52 am

john Gruskos asks: “Will a scandal of some sort be manufactured every time an insurgent nationalist conservative candidate wins a Republican primary? ”
Does he really believe the Roy Moore scandal was ‘manufactured’ by liberal media or other establishment forces? The paranoia in this country’s political discourse is so powerful that it is eroding people’s common sense.