By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Maybe there is no rock bottom for the Alabama Republican Party.
Maybe it’s just that mushy mud that you find on the bottom of the Tennessee River, and the ALGOP just keeps burrowing deeper and deeper into the muck and filth.
Thursday brought on a new bout of digging, with a familiar face behind the shovel.
Roy Moore. The ever-constant posterboy for what is wrong in Alabama politics.
Too much Bible thumping. Too much holier-than-thou. Too much greed. Too much law breaking. Too much self-involvement.
For a man who has been twice removed as Alabama’s chief justice, and in a state that has watched its governor and House speaker be convicted and booted from office in this election cycle, it is hard to shock people.
Child sexual assault allegations will do it every time.
The Washington Post dropped a story Thursday in which a woman claimed that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 14 and he was 32. Three other women quoted in that story said they too had been pursued by Moore when they were ages 16, 17 and 18 — all above the age of consent in Alabama, but well below the age of scandalous for a 30-something man.
For nearly 40-year-old allegations, the Post’s story was about as solid as it could be.
Within minutes, national Republican leadership was calling on Moore to step aside, if the allegations are true.
In Alabama, there was a decidedly different response — justification. Like a bunch of naive moms, Alabama’s brainwashed politicos came rushing to the defense of the guy with an R by his name.
It was a pathetic and infuriatingly stupid display of all-out ignorance. Led, of course, by State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who never misses an opportunity to insert himself into a controversy.
To justify Moore’s alleged sexual assault of a minor, and his pursuit of teenagers when he was in his 30s, Zeigler turned to the Bible, to the story of Jesus’ parents.
“Take Joseph and Mary,” Zeigler said to a reporter from the Washington Examiner. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became the parents of Jesus.”
I assume this was from the King Trump Version of the Bible, in which “virgin” is just Mary’s nickname.
But it didn’t stop there.
Daniel Dale, a Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, attempted to call several of Alabama’s GOP county chairmen. Of the eight he managed to get on the phone, not a single one denounced Moore’s alleged behavior.
Two of those county chairmen — Bibb County’s Jerry Pow and Covington County’s William Blocker — actually told Dale that they’d vote for Moore over Doug Jones even if they had hard evidence that Moore committed sexual assault.
Even. If. They. Had. Proof.
Mixed among the replies were various instances of these guys excusing away sexual assault of minors. Marion County’s David Hall actually said there was “nothing wrong” with a 30-year-old dating a 16-year-old.
What’s it going to take, Alabama voter?
What’s it going to take before you realize that your family values, my-sin-is-better-than-your-sin, conservative voting approach has produced a state government filled with lying, cheating, sexually assaulting, money-grubbing criminals who have embarrassed us countless times, and on top of everything, mismanaged the hell out of this place?
Take a look around you.
We’re terrible as a state. We’re near the bottom in public education, medical care, infrastructure, economy and upward mobility and at the top in infant mortality, poverty, obesity and political corruption.
Our budgets are consistently a mess — we’re going to have to magically find $100 million somewhere next year — and our state services are so underfunded that they’re all but worthless. We’re short on troopers, courthouse workers, road crews, maintenance personnel and teachers.
This is what the Roy Moore Republican Party has brought Alabama.
A government built on greed and hatefulness, on shunning anything different and thumbing our nose at any hint of progress.
These people have convinced you that this is all some sort of a grand game, where we win by our chosen party maintaining control, instead of winning by electing men and women who best represent the actual interests of the people.
And this is where it’s left you.
Right now, you have a choice between two men. One of those men is most famous for courageously prosecuting the domestic terrorists who bombed a church and killed four girls. The other is most famous for being kicked off the Supreme Court twice for refusing to follow the law and for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old.
You’re doing Cirque du Soleil-level contortions to justify voting for the latter.
Let us know if you ever find that muddy bottom.