Republicans, You Built This – This Being Roy Moore

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a revival, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Jackson, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/AP
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Late this afternoon, two more women came forward with stories about Judge Roy Moore. Not long after that, Moore (or whoever is running his campaign account) tweeted this.

Moore is managing to make an all or nothing, fight on principle over a growing list of allegations that he spent much of his thirties cruising the mall and local high schools trying to pick up high school girls and sometimes went as far as assaulting them. It’s a weird point of principle to say the least. But Moore is at least trying to make the allegations against him a secondary point in a battle between Moore as a true godly conservative and Mitch McConnell as the embodiment of the DC Swamp, coastal elites and RINO contempt for real Americans.

There seems to be little substantial erosion of Moore’s core support, at least so far. But in looking at this we need to see how the GOP didn’t just find itself in this situation. To paraphrase the 2012 line: they built this.

A year and a half ago, when talking about then candidate Donald Trump, I talked about the pattern

This crystallized for me after the last GOP debate when Trump told Chris Cuomo in a post-debate interview that the IRS might be coming after him because he’s a “strong Christian.” Set aside for the moment how this unchurched libertine was able to rebrand himself as a “strong Christian.” What about the preposterous claim that he is being persecuted by the IRS because he is a devout member of the country’s dominant religion? Republicans simply aren’t in any position to criticize this ludicrous claim because they have spent years telling their voters that this sort of thing happens all the time – to Christians, conservatives, everyone the liberals at the IRS hate. And this, of course, is just one example of hate and nonsense debt coming due. Shift gears now and they’re “RINOs.”

Moore is simply using the tools, tropes, and resentment politics Republican politicians have devised and honed and used now for decades – only he’s using it against them. It’s like an engineered virus which has escaped the lab. It’s very similar to what the same people faced again and again trying to grapple with Trump – who remains notably silent.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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