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Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., (left) and Attorney General Steve Marshall (right) speak at a press conference across the street from the Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah

Featured Opinion

Opinion | The smallest men who ever lived

There have been a lot of lies told lately outside of a Manhattan courtroom. We wouldn’t expect anything more from the smallest of men.

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They have come, one by one, to the courtroom in lower Manhattan, where they have each taken turns, hats in hands and all shame left thousands of miles behind, groveled in front of microphones and reporters on behalf of the naked emperor. 

They have decried his criminal trial as unjust, a miscarriage of justice, an abuse of the American justice system and a sham. They have ranted and raved with such phony passion that porn actors – maybe even the one their cult leader paid to hide their affair – have looked on in awe. 

From Alabama, Steve Marshall and Tommy Tuberville and Dale Strong have made appearances, have danced like puppets controlled by an imbecile. Surely Barry Moore would have gone by now if he could find the way. There’s no doubt that others will follow. 

Because these are the things that happen in cults. You must defer to the leader. You must support the leader. You must pretend that the leader is never wrong. 

Even when you know full well that what you’re saying is so idiotic and nonsensical that small children wouldn’t believe you. That is, if we could even tell small children about this. 

Unfortunately, we cannot, especially in Alabama, where if the details of what led to Donald John Trump’s trial were written on a page, an Alabama librarian could be jailed for allowing kids to read it. 

Because this former president – this abhorrent, disgusting, 91-time-indicted felon and failed coup leader – had sex with a porn star just weeks after his wife gave birth to their son, and then he tried to hide the affair by paying her to keep quiet. There is no question that this occurred in my mind, even though Trump has denied it. The sole legal question is whether the manner in which the payment was made violated laws.

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Legal experts have debated whether it was illegal, and the Nazi-sympathizer’s fate seems to hang on the interpretation of a few key exchanges with his former attorney. Certainly, almost all attorneys agree, the manner in which the payment was made could violate the laws. 

But that has not stopped the cult members from continuing their pilgrimages to Manhattan. Nor has it given them a bit of pause when they seek to undermine the American justice system by claiming, as Marshall did, that this is the worst abuse of the courts in the last 30 years. 

We should pause here and remember that Marshall and Strong reside in Alabama, where Toforest Johnson – convicted of murder on earwitness testimony and currently residing on death row – lives. It would also be nice if any of them showed a fraction of this passion for justice when talking about child labor abuses throughout the state or rampant gun violence in Alabama. 

Or maybe they could just be not so tiny. 

Honestly, it’s pathetic to watch these grown men grovel and do dog tricks for Trump. For God’s sakes, the man is involved in a trial for paying off a porn star, and they’re on the courthouse square bellowing like the Romans are hammering together the crosses. It’s disgusting. 

And embarrassing. For all of us. 

Because while you might be fooling the base of goobers who’ll cast a vote for that insane insurrectionist, you’re not fooling anyone else. We know that most of you know better. We know that you know that what you’re saying is untrue, harmful and utterly shameful. 

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We know that you’re saying it because you’re a scared, weak person. We know that you’re saying it in hopes of personal gain, and despite the fact that it’s doing damage to the country you claim to love. And we know that bigger, better men and women have taken stands, proudly suffered the consequences of speaking truth to an ignorant mob and they’ll be remembered kindly by history. 

But not y’all. No, while there might be enough of you that history won’t single you out, we’ll all know the truth. Some of us will remember. 

When the chips were down and the cards were on the table, when the country needed leaders to step up and just tell the obvious truth, the smallest men who ever lived did just what we expected them to do.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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Featured Opinion

When you believe absurd lies and are willing to turn your back on established institutions and the truth, you're in a cult.