Just a few weeks ago, it seemed all the stars were aligned against Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. A conservative insurgent the Republican establishment already disliked for knocking off their favored candidate Luther Strange in the primary, the former judge became even more of a lightning rod when allegations began to trickle out that decades ago, Moore supposedly did everything from date to molest several then-teenage girls.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believed the accusers and called on Moore to drop out of the race, and expressed a desire to block him from taking office if he won. Republicans considered various schemes to delay the December 12 election or replace him on the ballot. The national party infrastructure pulled its fundraising support form the race.
But now that the polls show that Alabama Republicans don’t believe the accusations and that Moore still has a very real chance of victory, things have changed. President Donald Trump has officially endorsed him, his RNC funding is back, and even McConnell has thrown in the towel on letting hm take office — albeit begrudgingly.
The Washington Examiner reports:
“My understanding is, based on a 1969 Supreme Court decision, we would have no option but to swear him in,” McConnell told reporters […]
McConnell, R-Ky., said Moore, if elected and seated in the Senate, would face an immediate investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee.
“The committee would look at the case and give us their advice,” McConnell said.
The Supreme Court ruled decades ago against an attempt to block an elected official from taking office in Congress. In 1969, the high court told House lawmakers they must swear in Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., D-N.Y., who was under investigation for corruption.
McConnell said his own viewpoint has not changed when it comes to Moore, who McConnell has said should drop out of the race.
McConnell is obviously an unprincipled fool for still, at this late date, saying he favors the one thing that would guarantee the victory of Doug Jones, a left-wing, pro-abortion Democrat. It was implausible enough last month that a new Republican write-in candidate could win the election with early votes already cast and Moore’s name still on the ballot, but now the election is next week.
Is McConnell genuinely incompetent enough to believe some last-minute savior could swoop in and save the day, or does he secretly want Jones to win but lack the stones to publicly admit it? I report, you decide.
That said, everything else here is basically correct. The Senate can’t preemptively declare a man guilty and flout the decision of Alabama’s voters, but it could launch an ethics investigation of its own, so we don’t have to rely on an untrustworthy media or armchair internet sleuths to figure out what happened. If Moore is cleared of assault and molestation, then the issue is closed and the “honor” of a chamber that counts Teddy “Swimmer” Kennedy and Robert “Sheets” Byrd among its distinguished members is unaffected.
The way Moore could get expelled after winning is if he lies under oath in the Ethics committee investigationhttps://t.co/KcrhFrD77i
— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) December 4, 2017
But if Moore is guilty — or even if he perjures himself while the facts of the charges remain uncertain, as indicated in the above tweet — then the Senate has an actual basis for expelling him, at which point Alabama Governor Kay Ivey appoints a Republican replacement and the Senate seat has been kept out of the hands of both a child predator and a child killer.
Despite all the hysterics #NeverTrump types have spewed over the predicament, the solution has always been clear. The path laid out above doesn’t require anyone on either side to compromise any of our principles — we don’t have to rationalize preying on children, we don’t have to take the Washington Post or Gloria Allred’s word for anything, and we don’t have to accept that giving Democrats one more vote with which to harm the country is the price of demonstrating how “virtuous” we are. We just have to keep calm and act on principle.