Republican Senator Joni Ernst has called for an investigation into USA Gymnastics after the former team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing female athletes. She’s not wrong about USA Gymnastics, there should be an investigation.
But she’s been very selective about which sexual predators she thinks need to go to prison. For example, she had her chance to pull her support from Donald Trump when it became clear that he had bragged about sexually assaulting women, and she stuck by him. And when child molester Roy Moore was endorsed wholeheartedly by Donald Trump, Joni Ernst sat quietly next to Trump (photo of that moment, above) and didn’t object.
It’s almost as if she thinks it’s OK if you’re a Republican.
Roy Moore had the backing of damn near every Republican, including Donald Trump, the Republican National Committee, most evangelical Christians, and Sean Hannity, despite being twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for misconduct, despite being disbarred, despite numerous credible allegations that he is a child molester, despite his support for getting rid of all the Constitutional amendments after the Tenth (including the ones that banned slavery and gave women the right to vote), despite his anti-Semitism.
Credit is due to the tiny minority of Republicans who didn’t go along, including the 1.7% of Alabama voters who wrote in someone else (giving the 1.5% margin of victory to Doug Jones), and the Nebraskan who quit the RNC over its support of Moore. One wonders what it would take to get those people to quit the Republican Party.
Can the Republican Party ever live down their support of such a candidate? It’s up to us to give a resounding “hell no” in answer to that question. No forgiveness, no normalizing of a party that is openly racist, no legitimacy. The Republican Party is permanently beyond the pale of democracy.
Things Republican leaders are saying about their candidate Roy Moore:
House Speaker Paul Ryan:
Number one, these allegations are credible. Number two, if he cares about the values that he claims to care about, then he should step aside.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
I think he should step aside.
Senator Lindsey Graham:
He was barred from a mall. His behavior was so extreme in his thirties that apparently the Gadsden mall put him on the no-fly list. That tells me a lot. I don’t know anybody personally who’s been banned from a mall.
Things Republican leaders are NOT saying about their candidate Roy Moore:
Alabama Republicans have the power to say this, but won’t:
We, the Alabama Republican Party, hereby decertify Roy Moore as the candidate of our Party.
And no Republican anywhere has publicly said this:
Vote for the Democratic candidate instead.