Moore Responsibility

What is there to say about this special election in Alabama? In the race to fill an open Senate seat in the Heart of Dixie, a neck and neck campaign is being waged between two candidates with significant baggage. On one side, we have Roy Moore, an incendiary demagogue who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to follow federal court orders, has advocated policies criminalizing being gay and prohibiting Muslims from serving in congress, has brandished a pistol at a campaign rally, and who has molested, assaulted, propositioned, and chased after a procession of children when he was more than 30-years-old. And on the other side stands Doug Jones—a Democrat. Bemoaning the conservative culture that has made this contest a fair fight has become tedious. Stressing the stakes has been done to death. Decrying our society’s moral perversion at the hands of partisan politics is nearly trite. There is no ambiguity here. The facts are simple; the consequences clear. This is a contest between a mainstream, center-left politician and the forces of evil. The only question to be answered is who will win.

It is a component of that open question that is up for debate right now. Not so much who will win—that will be decided cleanly on December 12th—but how will they win and who is responsible? Because Alabama is repeating the distressing storyline we have watched time and again about male predators and pigs up for election—that it’s up to women to stop them. Continue reading

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The Lowest Point

Shortly after the second presidential debate ended, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway gave an interview to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. As their conversation drew to a close, Blitzer noted that CNN’s post-debate polling had Hillary Clinton winning the encounter, 57%-34%. “I watched a different debate but thank you,” Conway tartly replied. While Conway may have felt far differently about the debate than the public, her general sentiment wasn’t wrong (only the logic behind it was). TV news commentators watched the ninety-minute exchange and saw something far different from the rest of us. The operative phrase for the night was “Trump stopped the bleeding,” as this off-hand and misguided comment spread like wildfire throughout the punditocracy. That exact phrase was repeated over and over again on television and in print media. Apparently commentators were grading on a curve and refusing to deduct for lies and incoherence. But even applying such a forgiving standard, the analysts were indeed watching a different debate. Those ninety minutes in St. Louis, Missouri did not staunch Trump’s downfall. Instead, they hastened it toward the nadir of this already depressing election. Continue reading