At this moment, there are people on social media who are begging for Al Franken to resign. He will not do so, nor will his party request (much less demand) it from him. He will be allowed to hold his seat and I don’t see much of a chance of him losing his next election because of it.
But there are people out there calling for it. They do so because he groped and kissed a woman against her will. That is bad, of course, and no one should ever do that. Still, it’s not like his head is going to be on a platter anytime soon.
However, in Alabama, you have a Senate candidate in Roy Moore who is accused of (and has offered virtually no defense against allegations of) dating young girls well below his age, some of whom were even underage at the time.
In spite of this, the very same people who call for Franken to step down are defending Moore. They come to his defense, they smear the women accusing Moore of things, and they remain steadfast in their faith. They do not see the hypocrisy in such actions.
Moore himself has vowed that not only will he remain in his race, but he will fight even harder.
The polls do not lie, however. The two latest polls show that Doug Jones is over Moore substantially. RealClearPolitics has a polling average of 0.2 in Jones’ favor. Granted, 2016 is the year that polling officially died, but there is something to be said for trends.
I am working under the assumption that Moore is going to win his race. The polling says one thing, but I am not yet convinced it will happen. Yet.
This does present a problem for the Republican Party. Namely, that Moore is very likely to face some party disciplinary action and possible expulsion from the chamber before he can even get started “fighting” Mitch McConnell and the Establishment.
One of the chief complaints from Trump and Moore supporters (that Venn diagram pretty much overlaps completely) about critics from their own side is that we are trying to help Democrats win. That we are really closet liberals bent on handing this country back to the Democrats. If that were the case, then what on earth would you call Moore?
Moore’s presence within the Republican Party is toxic. Nothing he says or does from here on out is going to be treated as anything other than “Wow, a child molester said/did this.” There is no way he can advance any sort of conservatism if it is forever tainted by his taste for teenage girls.
This is the short-sightedness of the Republican Party in general, which has of late been focused entirely on the here and now fight and not enough on the if and when. They aren’t future planners, and it’s showing.
Roy Moore, if he were truly about advancing conservatism and stopping the Democrats should recognize this. He should see the writing on the wall and back down. But Moore is a man who is interested in pushing Trumpism, Bannonism, or whatever else you want to call it. He is not a panacea for Washington D.C., but a toxin.
It is his utter selfishness that makes this so dangerous for the Republican Party. It could very well cost them a seat.