To end its crisis of character, the Alabama GOP should look to Texas

David Howell

Robert Morrow was a joker, and he was a joke. He was a wild card, and he chaired the Travis County Republican Party. He was, above all, a thorn in the side of the Texan Republican Party. Morrow accused Rick Perry of being a “bisexual adulterer” and the Bush family of “homosexual adultery.” So, both the Republican Party of Texas and the Travis County Republican Party ostracized and condemned him. The Alabama Republican Party should do the same to Judge Roy Moore. 

Moore has always been a firebrand. Twice Alabamians have elected him to the Alabama Supreme Court, and twice the courts have removed him for refusing to implement court orders. He holds that Muslims cannot be members of Congress and he clings to the belief that former president Barack Obama was born in Kenya. 

He is a strange animal. When he defeated incumbent Luther Strange in the senatorial primaries, it seemed inevitable that he’d make it to the Senate. Then, quite suddenly, things got disturbing.

The Washington Post published allegations accusing Moore of having molested then-14 year old Leigh Corfman in 1979. Legal records have corroborated much of the victim’s account, and more than thirty witnesses have told of Moore’s hair-raising habit of dating high school girls. Thus far, five women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. 

Maybe Moore is innocent, maybe he is guilty, but the statute of appeals has expired. He cannot be tried in a court of law; the only court left to try him is the court of public opinion. 

The public should approach allegations with a healthy skepticism. Sean Theriault, a professor who studies congressional politics and polarization, said, “I don’t think that we should condemn before we have enough information to condemn. But I think that now, the jury is in.” 

Moore likely did more than he’s willing to admit. Despite the probable allegations, the state Republican party is threatening any state politician that dares to oppose Moore. The state auditor invoked the New Testament to guard Moore, asserting that Mary was only a teenager when she married Joseph. Well, times change. Perhaps that was the norm 2000 years ago, but it most definitely isn’t today. 

David Hall, the GOP chair of Marion County, said that Moore’s kissing of a 14 year-old-girl wasn’t all that bad. And Republican chairman of Alabama Bibb county, Jerry Pow, declared that he’d support Moore even if the allegations were true, lest the Democrats win. Many Alabamians assert that the Washington Post is opposed to Moore. That this is partly a political hit on him. Perhaps they’re right.

So what if they are? 

That wouldn’t change the facts that the Post revealed. Even if Moore is right, and this kerfuffle is all one grand left-wing conspiracy, the right’s response has been indefensible. If you must support a probable child molester to win, you’re better off losing. 

Moore holds many of the views of the dilapidated moral majority. Now he leads an immoral minority. He is a hypocrite. He is a cancer on conservatism, serving as the vanguard of a petty partisanship that doesn’t care for character — only for winning.

The Republican Party must cut out this cancer before it grows. It should look to Texas. It should do as Travis County did to Morrow: It should condemn him, and it should make damn clear that his abusive behavior has no place in American life. No more of Moore.

Howell is a history sophomore from Dallas.