10 November 2017 — 0517 mdt
Music for an Alabama man who’s facing the music
Flathead Memo dedicates this hand clapping, foot stomping, performance of Elisha Hoffman’s 1878 gospel classic, Are You Washed in the Blood?, to Alabama theocrat Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. Roy’s a man removed — not once, but twice — as chief justice of his state’s supreme court for flouting the law — and, according to the Washington Post, a man who, 38 years ago, clapped his 32-year-old hands on a 14-year-old girl who didn’t appreciate his friendliness. He was, the Post reports, similarly friendly with three other girls, all past the age of consent, and also unappreciative of his clappy digits.
His adventures are allegations, unproven but deemed credible by some, that even if true will not result in his prosecution. The statute of limitations expired decades ago. And like all other Americans, he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence. But the allegations might cost him votes, perhaps enough votes that he loses the election.
I wouldn’t count on that. Ol’ Roy draws his support from Alabama’s peckerwood evangelicals, men and women who find his theocratic defiance of civil authority a virtue, and whose theology loves a sinner come to Jesus. Even if Roy is guilty as sin, he may be able to confess his sins, beg forgiveness, asseverate he’s on the path of rightesousness, and stay in the good graces of his base. Indeed, the peckerwoods might consider his behavior proof that he’s straight and virile, virtues in their eyes. As Charles Pierce wrote in Esquire (and was quoted by Ed Kilgore):
I may be entirely too cynical but I think, if Moore has the sand for it, he will follow this up with an explanation of how he had sinned, as all fallen humans do, but that Jesus has forgiven him and washed him in the blood of the Lamb, and now it’s time for him to bring his redeemed hindquarters to godless Washington to show the heathen the path to glory that he’s been blessed to follow. That might work.
Some Alabama Republicans, no doubt hedging their bets in case he wins, have defended him. But he’s not getting much support from national Republicans, whose disapprobation is almost universal. Their calls for his exit from the campaign, however, are conditional: “If he’s guilty, he must go,” is the standard response. It’s also the response adopted by Montana Sen. Steve Daines last night. What they're not telling you is: they don’t like Moore, but they’d rather serve with him than with a Democrat.
Now, some pickin’ and grinnin’ in Roy’s honor: