Alabama Republicans have spoken at the voting booth, and they have selected religious zealot and bigot Roy Moore as the GOP candidate to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was elevated to attorney general. Our readers know what a wacko Moore is. We have written about his anti-gay bigotry and his repeated flouting of the U.S. Constitution here, here, and here.
Alabama Democrats have nominated my friend Doug Jones, a hard-working and accomplished trial lawyer whose track record includes, among other things, successfully prosecuting two of the Klansmen who blew up the 16th Baptist Church and killed four innocent little girls in 1963. Jones, at the time of the prosecution, was the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
Jones has never held elected office, and so his views on the issues would otherwise be unclear, except that his campaign has helpfully put up an issues page that very clearly spells out how the candidate views the issues. Let’s do a little comparo of Jones vs. Moore on the issues:
Integrity. Jones’s website states:
I will bring integrity back to Washington and back to Alabama politics. The people of Alabama have been embarrassed by corruption and a string of ethics investigations and convictions of people they placed into positions of power and trust. They deserve better. We all deserve better.
We are all tired of politicians who have been bought and paid for by special interests and who view the world through a partisan lens instead of considering the best interest of those they are supposed to represent. I will work for the betterment of all of the people of Alabama without regard for partisan politics.
Jones emphasizes that in his position as U.S. Attorney, he swore an oath to uphold the constitution:
I swore an oath to the Constitution. I vowed to protect the people of the United States against all enemies. I upheld that oath and ensured the folks who committed heinous acts never walked our streets again. I will take my oath as senator just as seriously and ensure I not only represent all the citizens of Alabama, but do so with integrity.
What about Moore? Well, he clearly doesn’t give a shit about the U.S. Constitution, or his vows to abide by the canons of judicial ethics as a former Alabama supreme court justice. He was removed from the bench for refusing to abide by a federal court order that he remove a boulder-size monument to the Ten Commandments that Moore had placed on the property of the Alabama Supreme Court building. He was later removed from office for directing Alabama probate judges to ignore the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.
If elected, any oath Moore swears to the Constitution will be worthless. He is proud to tell anyone that listens that “God’s law” (meaning his personal interpretation of the Christian Bible) is superior to all laws made by men, including the U.S. Constitution.
Winner on integrity: Jones wins handily.
Healthcare. Jones says this on his campaign website:
- Health care is a right, not a privilege limited to the wealthy and those with jobs that provide coverage.
- Coverage must meet basic standards that protect individuals. Nobody should have to sell their house because a family member has cancer. A “cheap” plan that won’t cover preventative care, serious illness, pharmaceutical coverage, mental health, maternity care, birth control or other care for women is a sham. So is a policy that nobody can afford.
- No woman should be denied coverage of services based on the religious beliefs of her employer.
- We must ensure that quality health care is available not only in our cities, but in rural areas as well. As pointed out recently by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, “Alabama’s rural hospitals have been struggling for years, largely due to inadequate reimbursements, low volume and high operating costs.” Since 2010, five rural hospitals have closed in Alabama, leaving residents without local care. As Rep. Sewell notes, “We need more robust Medicaid funding in Alabama if our rural hospitals are to survive.”
In other words, Jones is squarely against the recent attempts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act with a system that would deprive millions of insurance, and make being healthy a condition of access to affordable care.
Moore, on the other hand, came out against the Graham-Cassidy bill, a heartless measure that never came to a vote because even the Senate GOP couldn’t find 51 votes for a healthcare-destroying measure that was even worse than the previous two failed versions of “repeal and replace.” If Moore had opposed the measure because it was cruel, that would be a plus for him. But no. Moore’s opposition was because it was not a complete enough “repeal and replace of Obamacare.” In other words, Moore agreed with Rand Paul that Graham-Cassidy wasn’t cruel enough.
And of course Moore, unlike Jones, thinks that woman should not be allowed access to healthcare related to reproduction. Goodness no. It almost goes without saying that an evangelical nutcase like Moore is opposed to access to abortion and to federal funding for Planned Parenthood (even though such funds are not used to fund abortions). He agrees that religious business owners ought to be allowed to deprive their employees of access to contraceptives.
Verdict on healthcare: Jones, running away.
Economy. Jones emphasizes education to equip our children with the tools they will need to succeed in life, and therefore contribute in a positive way to the economy. He is also in favor of a living wage. He says: “People in Alabama should not have to work two or three jobs just to provide food, housing and other necessities for their families, often foregoing healthcare and other needs.”
Jones is in favor of income equality between the genders. He is against tax cuts for the 1 percent, saying “tax breaks or loopholes for the wealthiest among us hurt our ability to invest in education and other needs for lower to moderate income families. It is unconscionable to talk about lowering taxes on the wealthy while cutting funding for education, nutrition, childcare, housing and infrastructure—the very things that empower people to participate meaningfully in our economy and our democracy.”
Moore hasn’t said much about his economic outlook other than the usual GOP drivel about “lower taxes and smaller government.” I think it is safe to say he will turn out to be a Freedom Caucus libertarian right-winger who will vote for tax cuts that principally benefit the richest among us. As far as income inequality goes, I cannot imagine an anti-choice anti-gay bigot like Moore will support women making as much money as men. It’s probably somewhere in his apparently unique version of the Bible that women ought to stay home and raise babies.
Winner on the economy: Jones wins by five touchdowns.
Environment. Jones’s website says:
I want to be perfectly clear: I believe in science.
The consequences of our unchecked use of fossil fuels for our planet and our health have been clear for decades. Period. Clean air and clean water are not controversial. They are essential to our health, our prosperity, and our quality of life. We should be encouraging investment in renewable energy and conservation as ways to create new jobs and make ourselves energy independent.
Moore has not held any elected position other than as a judge, and so I could not find any public statements from him about his environmental views, not even on his laughable campaign website. I cannot imagine, however, that the old Bible-thumper believes in science in the environmental context any more than he believes in the science of evolution. I think it safe to predict he will be a climate change denier.
Winner on the environment: Jones by a lap at Talladega.
Race and Civil Rights. Doug Jones’s credentials as a civil rights warrior are well-established. On his website, he modestly states:
I was born just outside of Birmingham in Fairfield, Alabama in 1954 and came of age during the height of the heinous hatred and violence of 1960’s Alabama. Along with the horrors of racial discrimination, I had a front row seat to the bravery and persistence of the American heroes of the Civil Rights Movement –many of whom became friends and mentors.
Jones went on to successfully prosecute two of the KKK members who killed four young girls in 1963 when they blew up the 16th Street Baptist Church based solely on their hatred for African-Americans.
Roy Moore, in stark contrast, is an unabashed bigot. He thinks homosexuality is a sin and that gays are evil. He thinks Muslims should be excluded from Congress and harbors the ridiculous belief that somewhere “up there” in the Midwest Shariah Law already governs whole communities. He has likened the Koran to Mein Kampf. He has recently referred to Native Americans and Asians as “reds and yellows.” He supported the racist “Obama is a foreign” birther conspiracy as recently as December 2016.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Roy Moore is a fucking racist and a raging homophobe. He’s not even in a contest with Doug Jones on this issue.
Winner on Race and Civil Rights: Jones wins because Moore was a no-show forfeit.
It’s a no-brainer. On December 12, Alabamians need to get off their ass and choose the only qualified candidate for U.S. Senate — Doug Jones. Jones is a good man and will make a great Senator. Roy Moore is a joke, and a bad person.