Trump, Moore And The “Grand Old Party”

Yesterday’s post dealt with Roy Moore’s decisive, ten-point victory over Luther Strange in this week’s Alabama GOP primary. Moore won although Strange had the (mostly) full-throated support of Donald Trump.

Moore’s win suggests that– although Trump’s election may have “unleashed” the party’s rabid base– “the Donald” cannot control it.

The GOP’s Congressional leadership is similarly unable to control the members of what has been called the “lunatic caucus”–Representatives sent to Washington from deep-red gerrymandered districts controlled by that same base.

It’s hard for many of us to wrap our heads around the reality of today’s Republican Party. For those of us who once worked for a very different GOP, the current iteration is nothing short of tragic. All political parties have their fringe crazies–the Democrats are certainly not immune–but in the GOP, the crazies have taken control; sane, moderate, fiscally prudent and socially tolerant Republicans have retreated or departed– or been ejected to taunts of “RINO.”

The number of American voters who identify as Republicans has diminished–in 2016, Gallup put it at 26%– but most of those who remain are dramatically different from even their most conservative antecedents. To the extent they have actual policy preferences, rather than the free-floating animus and overt racism that found its champion in Trump, those preferences are represented by Moore and his ilk.

Roy Moore embodies what the majority of today’s GOP–its most reliable voters, its “base”–support. And that reality is absolutely terrifying, not just because our democratic system requires two sane, adult parties in order to function, but because Moore’s beliefs aren’t just the ravings of a lunatic (although they certainly are that), they’re incompatible with every principle of the American Constitution and legal system.

Think I’m exaggerating?

Before the primary election, The Daily Beast dug out statements Moore has made over the years. During a speech he gave to a fundamentalist Christian political organization, Operation Save America, he said

“I’m sorry but this country was not founded on Muhammad. It was not founded on Buddha. It was not founded on secular humanism. It was founded on God,” he said according to reports by

He has frequently charged that Islam is a “false religion” that goes “against the American way of life.”

“[Islam is] a faith that conflicts with the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Moore said during a 2007 radio interview with Michelangelo Signorile, “The Constitution and Declaration of Independence has a direct reference to the Holy Scriptures.”

His homophobia is notorious. In a custody decision, he wrote that homosexuality is  “an inherent evil against which children must be protected.”

CNN also uncovered a 2005 interview between Moore and Bill Press during C-SPAN2’s After Words where he compared homosexuality to bestiality.

“Just because it’s done behind closed doors, it can still be prohibited by state law. Do you know that bestiality, the relationship between man and beast is prohibited in every state?” Moore told Press. When asked if Moore was comparing homosexuality to bestiality, he replied, “It’s the same thing.”

Moore rejects evolution. He attributes the 9/11 attacks to “God’s retribution” for our national “immorality,” and insists (against all historical evidence and the text of the Constitution) that the Founders established America as a “Christian Nation.”

These and similar sentiments–including a deep commitment to White Supremacy– are the banners under which today’s Republicans march. The GOP is now the party of Donald Trump and Roy Moore and Mike Pence–proud racists dismissive of history, ignorant of science and political philosophy, disinterested in actual governance, and obsessed with their own self-importance.

This is what is left of a once Grand Old Party.

Abraham Lincoln weeps.


  1. Yeah to all of the above, but they keep winning elections and offering their insane agenda to all Americans – e.g. healthcare, tax reform. Our only hope is in their repeated defeats from within their party ranks; otherwise it’s up to the powerless and clueless Democrats , the other dying political party.

  2. Saddest part of the fall of the GOP has been watching as mainstream Republicans, those elected and their supporters, repeatedly stood by and said NOTHING as the right wing nut cases took over their party. When hate was spewed from the airwaves, when decent men and women were challenged by ignorant simpletons, when they turned on each other, when given the chance, they did NOTHING. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have zero principles and are the two most cowardly men I have ever seen.

    Trump isn’t in the White House because of what HE did. He is in the White House because of what the Republican Party DID NOT DO.

  3. I’m trying not to merely whine, cry, piss and moan about our current situation regarding our struggle to survive the current GOP…and if you believe we are fighting any other enemy internally, you haven’t been paying attention. I am seeking information leading to trusted Democratic candidates and intelligent members of the GOP willing to step forward. The latter seem to be much easier to find but they are a minority. Sheila and I did work for the local Republican party when it was still “government for the people, by the people and of the people” and most disagreements were mutually worked out between elected officials of both parties. Our only hope for “political salvation” is the struggle to know who we can trust to vote for in the 2018 elections. Donnelly appears to be a turncoat; I have seen no indication of another Democratic candidate to replace him. We have our own versions of Araipo and Moore members of the Republican party who appear to have no viable opposition.

    We are aware of that old saying, “Life’s a bed of roses.” but accept the fact that “Nobody promised us a rose garden.” I am reminded of a tee shirt I regret not ordering from Cosmo magazine; “Life’s a bed of roses, but watch out for the pricks.”

    “The GOP is now the party of Donald Trump and Roy Moore and Mike Pence–proud racists dismissive of history, ignorant of science and political philosophy, disinterested in actual governance, and obsessed with their own self-importance.” To name but a few of those pricks; the majority of this country weeps with our memories of Abraham Lincoln; as what this country fought for and what he died for is being ripped from our grasp. Roy Moore may be a bigger joke than Trump but will his dangerous form of the GOP infect only Alabama or the entire party with Sessions; and Bannon’s Congressional help? Did Trump’s open support of Luther Strange get Roy Moore elected or was it another Trump distraction? Are we ignoring “that man behind the curtain” in all of the current chaos and nuclear war fear?

  4. I have been advising the Democratic Party for many years to give Abraham Lincoln a welcome home celebration. Make a big deal of it. Parades. Parties. Speeches. Huge media hubbub. Rub it in Republican faces. Lincoln is a Democrat! Yeah boy, you idiots kicked him out; where do you expect him to go. And while that is going down, start planning the party for Teddy Roosevelt…and maybe Ike.

  5. I wonder when Roy Moore decided he was going to be a heterosexual? If he made that decision he can always change his mind and make another decision. He could develop attraction to a beast! And I wonder when Roy will consider changing his mind and respect African Americans? However, it appears that Roy is stuck in stupid and can’t get out.

  6. Did anyone look at the numbers for Mr.Moore’s big win? He got 262,204 votes to Strange’s 218,066. There are a few million registered voters in Alabama. The answer is as simple as the problem is difficult. VOTE.

  7. Let’s not forget Moore blamed the Newtown, CT school massacre on the notion that we aren’t following God’s laws. I don’t want to believe in any god who uses the deaths of school children to make a point.

  8. The Orange Ogre Beast growled and stalked but Mrs. Clinton still won the popular vote and then some. Anyone knows that if she had not been the victim of a few GOP-obsessed Electors, we would have a smooth running administration instead of this embarrassing train wreck.
    There are other great Americans too. John Kerry comes to mind.
    The Democrat Party, the party of sane principles, will groom a super candidate for 2020 and we’ll elect him/her. It’s what we voters must do for the survival of our country. There will be widespread joy when we rid ourselves of crooked Trump and especially of the more dangerous crooked christofascist Pence.
    Pitiful Roy Moore can exit with them and crooked Tom Price will soon be forgotten.

  9. From the Tribune:
    And when Alabama Republicans cast their ballots in the state’s U.S. Senate primary Tuesday, a majority of them thought: “Yep. This conspiracy-theory-believing religious zealot who was twice suspended when he was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is the best man to send to Washington!”

    His victory shows the sharpest division that exists in America right now. It’s not between liberals and conservatives. It’s between people living in the present day and people living in a made-up past whose very existence depends on conspiracies and unhinged websites and biblical contortions.

    This guy doesn’t belong in the Senate. He belongs on a street corner screaming at passers-by to repent.
    How appropriate, Trump campaigned for a person named Strange.

  10. Although I’m a registered Democrat, I think the Republicans should be congratulated for trying to make life more simple. They’re dedicated to electing candidates with one-syllable last names. Trump … Pence … Moore … Bush … Eisenhower (oops … Ike). Don’t sneer at this accomplishment. This may be their only claim to fame.

  11. A small article in this morning’s IndyStar concerned the formation of a new GOP PAC. Its mission is to raise $35M to insure that the Party is firmly positioned to control the redistricting after the 2020 census.
    Sheila has championed redistricting reform as one of the most important issues we must address. The recommendation of the summer legislative study committee that she participated in was that we have a bi-partisan group draw the districts. Indiana LWV and Common Cause as well as the Indy Chamber of Commerce supported the committee’s recommendations. Unfortunately, current gerrymandered districts insured that the proposed legislation to follow that direction went into the arrogant and high-handed black hole that is Milo Smith’s ego.
    If we want change, we need to be proactive, not reactive. The GOP certainly is.

  12. Great comments today and I have nothing further to add. Have a great weekend. It’s going to be October already and that clown is still in our House! Resist!

  13. Moore represents an increasing faction of the Republican Party but not all of them. I know decent people who are Republicans but embarrassed by the turn this faction has taken. They all can do what Sheila and a few of the commentators to her blog did – become Democrats. Are we perfect? Of course not, no party ever was, composed, as parties are, of different people who bring differing political views and personal experiences to the same table. For instance, am I supposed to leave the Democratic Party because Clinton signed a repealer of the Glass-Steagle Act in 1999 which unleashed the big Wall Street banks to give us Bush’s Great Recession and a 22 trillion dollar loss to home equity and lost economic production? No. I will not leave. I’ll stay and try to reform my own party as a countervailing force to the GOP, which with its radicals is on the verge of implosion in any event.

  14. Roy Moore cannot HONESTLY place his hand on the Holy Bible and take an oath to ‘protect and defend’ the Constitution. He’s the ex-judge removed from office for refusing to obey Supreme Court decisions he swore to uphold. The 10 commandments command us not to bear false witness. So how can Moore vow to protect and defend our Constitution which says the Supreme Court shall be supreme arbiter of the constitution and our laws and which Moore refuses to obey?

Comments are closed.