So what will it take for Alabama Republicans to forsake Roy Moore?
Apparently, this isn’t enough: An on-the-record report that the moralistic Ten Commandments judge, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, undressed and groped a 14-year-old hometown girl and dated three other local teenagers, ages 16, 17 and 18.
That’s got to violate two or three Commandments right there: the seventh definitely (adultery and related offenses) and the ninth (bearing false witness.) I’d add the tenth as well. You don’t smell some covering here?
But the Alabama faithful seem to be hanging tough. “There is nothing to see here,” declared State Auditor Jim Ziegler, finding firm support in Scripture. “Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth, and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” he said. “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Can’t you hear poor Bill Clinton? Holy, Monica! Where was all that benefit of the doubt when I could have used it?
But Judgement Day is coming. On Dec. 12, Alabama voters will pick a new U.S. senator, the cradle-robbing jurist or Democrat Doug Jones. And it isn’t like Moore hasn’t already given sane Alabamians reason to run like hell. Homosexuality should be illegal, he said. American sodomy caused 9/11. He said Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in Congress. He’s twice been removed as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
But this is Donald Trump’s America, more tribal than it has ever been. Even after Billy Bush weekend and grab ’em by the you-know-what, Trump won 80 percent of the white evangelical vote, folks who used to be real sticklers for moral rectitude.
No more, it seems. A JMC poll finds that 37 percent of Alabama evangelicals are now MORE likely to vote for Moore, and we shouldn’t be surprised: A whopping 72 percent of these so-called values voters told the Public Religion Research Institute they will excuse personal moral failings from politicians they trust. That’s up from 30 percent in the Democrat days of 2011.
Maybe Roy Moore just needs a new commandment, an eleventh, to complete the big stone tablets he likes to haul around.
“When WE do it,” the commandment should say, “no, it’s not a sin!”
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is the best-selling author of a dozen books, including "TRUMPITUDE: The Secret Confessions of Donald’s Brain," coming in two weeks from Post Hill Press. Ellis is on Twitter @henican.