Jonah Goldberg disapproves of Roy Moore, in part because he thinks liberals will be able to use Moore's extremism to tar the entire Republican Party:
Republican Roy Moore ... threatens to provide conservatism’s critics with precisely the caricature they crave.
He is a twice-disgraced former judge who believes 9/11 was divine retribution for our sins and an anti-Muslim bigot who can’t quite bring himself to rule out the death penalty for homosexuals. But he won the Alabama Senate primary anyway, largely on the grounds that he was the most anti-establishment candidate. To Alabama primary voters, his extremism is apparently proof that he won’t “sell out.”
Erick Erickson also believes that Moore will shame the GOP. But he's endorsed Moore because -- after the election of Trump, whom he loathes -- he hopes Moore will shame the GOP.
Roy Moore, who has won statewide election in Alabama in the past, seems intent on just making crap up and pissing people off to win. He is embarrassing himself and does not know it and embarrassing people who work for him and does not care. He will, as Jonah rightly notes, be an embarrassment for the GOP and used by the left to caricature conservatives. He also, for a former Chief Justice, doesn’t seem to know jack about the constitution.
Of course, I suspect Moore does know. He just does not care....
If [the GOP establishment] won’t learn, they can and should have Moore. He is, if you will, the parental equivalent of catching your kid smoking then making your kid smoke a pack of cigarettes in one sitting to ensure they never do it again.
But when has a member of the House or Senate ever embarrassed the party enough to do it real harm? Republicans have been the more powerful congressional party for most of the past quarter century. In that time, a lot of high-profile Republican bigots and throwbacks have held office -- Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Jesse Helms -- and voters who didn't share the extremism of those officeholders continued to vote Republican anyway, in the belief that those figures were unrepresentative of the otherwise nice, rational, right-centrist GOP. Sure, young people and non-whites turned against the GOP, on the belief that the throwbacks really were representative of the party as a whole -- but it wasn't hard to use gerrymandering and voter suppression to limit the GOP skeptics' electoral participation. (They already voted in lower numbers than the older whites who always gave the GOP the benefit of the doubt.) The GOP kept winning, at all levels except the presidency -- and the Electoral College kept them competitive there.
If Moore wins his race, he'll make headlines -- but every Sunday morning there'll be "serious" Republicans with furrowed brows and acceptably conservative views on the Sunday talk shows, and the GOP's brand won't change.
I don't want to live in a country where this happens, but there'll need to be a total purge of non-lunatics from the Republican Party before much America realizes that there's anything wrong with it. Roy Moore's election won't make a bit of difference.
Originally published at No More Mr. Nice Blog