Culture warrior and US Senate candidate Roy Moore is offering lame excuses for why he refuses to debate Democrat Doug Jones.
Since Moore beat the establishment Republican favorite Luther Strange in a September runoff, he has taken such a low profile that some people started wondering where he was. Moore would only accept closed-door engagements and made almost no media appearances.
When Talking Points Memo reporter Cameron Joseph recently took photos of Moore in an awkward encounter with Strange at the Washington, DC Senate cafeteria, it was the first real sighting in weeks.
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) October 31, 2017
Then Moore declined to take part in a candidate forum organized by the League of Women Voters. “Candidates running for office are applying for a job, and candidate forums are like job interviews,” Barbara Caddell, president of the League’s state chapter, wrote. “Who would hire an applicant without an interview?”
Moore finally explained his reasoning today at the American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa.
There’s a great disparity between the two parties’ positions — between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party — not only on social issues, such as the acknowledgement of God — need to have God back in our platform — but also because there’s a great disparity in fiscal issues — Obamacare, for example. I’m for repealing Obamacare, but also repealing the McCarran-Ferguson Act to allow the free enterprise system to take the place of the government-controlled health care system. My opponent is for increase of Obamacare and increase of government control. There’s great disparity.
Once again, Moore has demonstrated beyond doubt that when he talks about anything other than culture wars, he has no idea what he’s talking about. The McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 kept the federal government out of the insurance regulation business, handing it over to the states, so repeal would definitely create the “government-controlled health care system” that Moore supposedly wants to avoid.
Of course, since Doug Jones understands these policy arguments a lot better than he does, it’s understandable that Moore would rather not debate him. “These issues don’t need to be disputed in public, the public should see that,” Moore told his audience.
Furthermore, we have a great disparity in rights. Right now, my opponent favors transgender rights in the military, transgender bathrooms under Title XI …. I oppose these issues. I oppose them very strongly. I think transgenderism has no place in the military, I’ve been in the military. My opponent hasn’t. So there’s a great disparity; we don’t need to debate.
Indeed, Moore was a Military Police commander in Vietnam who managed to earn the enmity of his men by demanding “sniper check” salutes in the field, then erected a boxing ring to “meet all challenges from soldiers in the battalion” when they started derisively calling him “Captain America.”
That history would probably not come up in a debate with Jones, who is too classy to go low like that. But the rest of Moore’s thought deserves to be discussed in an open forum. For while transgender troops were not a thing back then, women were also restricted from almost all combat and combat support roles, too, while racial minorities still experienced discrimination. So things have changed a bit since then, but Roy Moore has not, and that’s probably worth talking about.
Not that Moore wants to talk honestly about things that have come out of his mouth before.
Instead, he’s whining that the press has “mischaracterized” his past remarks about people who are not exactly like Roy Moore. “I don’t hate anybody,” he claimed in Tuscaloosa today. “I’m a Christian.”
Christians don’t hate people. We don’t hate gays, we don’t hate people — we hate sin. That’s something biblical. I stand for principles … but I don’t hate people, and I don’t hate them because of their religion or anything else. Freedom of conscience is something that I spoke about today. …The freedom of conscience allows people in this country to worship as they will, but that freedom comes from God.
Which is hilarious, because Roy Moore has actually said out loud that gay people are basically having sex with animals and they should be put in prison. He has actually taken custody of a child away from a lesbian, awarding it to her abusive ex-husband, because her sexuality was a “crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.” Moore really has denounced Islam as a “false religion” and said that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in government. These are freedoms he has said he would take away, and actively tried to take away, as if he thinks he is God. (Given his penchant for autographing bibles, that may actually be the case.)
Perhaps feeling the heat, Moore recently modified that statement, saying Muslims can hold office, after all — but “they swear to on the bible,” and the god of the bible “is not of their faith.” Which is weird, since Muslims actually do claim that their god is the same one in the bible.
— David Kumbroch WHNT (@davidknews) October 31, 2017
Moore’s evident discomfort addressing the question suggests that he would be very unhappy on a debate stage, or in any forum where the audience isn’t already on his side and the questions aren’t under his control. Remember, Moore only agreed to debate Luther Strange if there was no moderator. He can’t stand scrutiny.
No wonder Moore has been “spending more time measuring the drapes in Washington than on the stump.” After all, “any time the Republican candidate opens his mouth, he’s almost guaranteed to hurt his chances in next month’s general election,” writes longtime Moore watcher Kyle Whitmire.
Beneath all his bluster, Roy Moore is just a coward avoiding responsibility for his own words.
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