Lunacy’s Last Liminal Lurch

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This morning, I am, once again, channeling my inner Pollyanna: this feels like a moment when we are at the threshold of serious change.

They predicted a short senatorial career for Doug Jones of Alabama. Now, we learn that Roy Moore—the one Republican likely to go down in humiliating defeat—is going to challenge Jones in 2020.

For the benefit of those Alabamans who require a bullhorn, not a dog whistle, Moore’s political action committee is named C.S.A.

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And then there’s Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitutiondoes not specialize in elegant, trenchant political prose. But this morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution elegantly, trenchantly elaborates on the impending political suicide of the Georgia Republican Party.

And, may I say, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks.

Apparently, For Republicans, a 23-Point Gender Gap Isn’t Enough.

Aardvark Endorses This Legislation, Urges Yes Vote in Forthcoming Referendum

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Per a recently passed bill, in November of this year, Alabama voters will decide whether the Ten Commandments may be displayed in schools and other government buildings.

In other news from Alabama, Attorney says Roy Moore supporters offered him $10,000 to drop client who accused the Senate candidate of sexual impropriety. To get his $10,000, the lawyer for Ms. Corfman, a teenage victim of Judge Moore, would have had to say he concluded that she was lying. The offer is said to be recorded in text messages and recorded conversations.

For the handy reference of any Alabamans who happen to be readers of this blog, here are the Ten Commandments. Passages of special relevance are highlighted.

Thou shalt have no other gods before ME.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, norgraven image serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

A Song by and for Alabama Young Republicans

It was Karl Marx who observed that history always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. But I am afraid that some prefer their historical repetition to involve farce on both occasions.

The surprising, yet highly welcome, events in Alabama have engendered a nostalgic feeling in Aardvark. So here is a song to remind all Alabamans and former Alabamans of their proud heritage.

Folsom supporters claimed—and I’m sure they were right—that this song was written by the Young Republican Club of Dothan, Alabama—all two of them

Which Way is the Wind Blowing: The Limits of Gullibility and Tribalism

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Aardvark does not enumerate unhatched chickens, but please check out Roy Moore and the Invisible Religious Right:

Last month, after several women had credibly accused her husband, Roy Moore, of trying to seduce them when he was in his thirties and they were in their teens, Kayla Moore published on her Facebook page an open letter, signed by about fifty Alabama pastors, supporting her husband’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate. …   The letter was a sham. …

Once you got beyond the ghosts and the real-estate agents, what was most notable about the pastors on Moore’s list was their obscurity. I found a list of the pastors of the thirty-six largest churches in Alabama, assembled this summer by the Web site of the Birmingham News; no pastor on that list appeared on Moore’s. I called leaders within the deeply conservative Southern Baptist Church—the largest denomination in Alabama and, for decades, the core of the religious right—and was told that not a single affiliated Southern Baptist pastor in the state was openly allied with Moore. …

Many evangelical leaders experienced Donald Trump’s ascendance as a personal emergency. Some pastors watched, with dismay and confusion, as members of their congregations defended the moral character of a flamboyantly immoral casino mogul turned politician. During the primaries, the major evangelical pastors were generally allied with other candidates (polls tended to find that they preferred Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz), but, as the campaign developed, and as polls continued to find that evangelical voters held a strong preference for Trump, that general resistance began to weaken. Some pastors talked themselves into Donald Trump, while others remained horrified but kept quiet. “I was flabbergasted that pastors would get up and talk about the goodness of Donald Trump,” John Thweatt, who is the president of the conservative Alabama Baptist Convention, told me this week. “I was really flabbergasted that we were going to throw away Biblical values and dictates because he’s going to fit our party line.”

And now this:

And the Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away

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From the New Yorker and Think Progress comes news that

Alabama Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore co-authored a study course, published in 2011 and recently obtained by ThinkProgress, that instructs students that women should not be permitted to run for elected office. If women do run for office, the course argues, people have a moral obligation not to vote for them. The course is also critical of the women’s suffrage movement, which in 1920 secured some American women the right to vote.

The course, called “Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course,” includes 28 hours of audio and visual lectures given by Moore and others, as well as a study guide. The course is available for purchase on Amazon, where “Chief Justice Roy Moore” is listed as a co-author alongside Doug Phillips, Dr. Joseph C. Morecraft, and Dr. Paul Jehle.

Some Alabama Republican women find these views upsetting. But not to worry. “On Thursday, a spokesperson for Moore told The Washingtonian that ‘Judge Moore has never stated or believed that women are unqualified for public office.’”

He only coauthors books with people who entertain these views.

Roy, BTW, is the third of four listed coauthors of the textbook on Christian governance.. The first of the four coauthers is one Doug Phillips, described in the New Yorker as “a proponent of so-called Biblical patriarchy who resigned from Vision Forum—a now-defunct evangelical organization, which helped produce the textbook—after admitting to an affair with a girl who later filed a suit alleging that Phillips began grooming her for sexual abuse when she was fifteen.”

Biblical Insight into Roy Moore’s Two Choices

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You will recall a recent post on God’s Plan for Roy Moore, wherein I addressed the two choices that Moore had. In that post, I tippy-toed up to the bounds of decency. Thus, I hesitate to delve into the subject further.

Nevertheless, I must report that a good friend and faithful reader—who apparently has way too much time on his hands—has drawn my attention to this biblical analysis of the moral choice between fornication and the self-help method. Read it, if you should be so inclined. Explains a lot.

Men are Idiots

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Recently Aardvark asked his best friend from Alabama whether Moore’s reputation as a sexual predator would help or hurt him among Alabama voters.

Fox News has answered the question.

Among Alabama male voters, seven percent were previously unsupportive of Moore but, having recently learned of his abusive behavior toward underage girls and young women, have now concluded that he is well qualified for high office.

But among Alabama female voters, Moore’s support has dropped by twenty percent.

God’s Plan for Roy Moore

or, Lire Playboy avec la Main Gauche

Let’s say you are a mid-thirties creep living in Gadsden, Alabama. You don’t have a wife. You don’t have a fiancé. You don’t have a girlfriend. You don’t date women your age. You don’t have a wife, a fiancé, or a girlfriend, and you can’t get dates from women your age because you are a creep.

But you are very horny.

So, what do you do?

Well, you have two choices.

Choice One

You can hang out at the Gadsden Mall on Friday and Saturday nights, pester the teenage girls, badger some of them into going out with you, get them in your car, grab them, and stick your tongue down their throats until they fight their way out of the car.

Or you can pick choice two.

Choice Two

Stay home, stick a tape in your VHS player, and just have at it.

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Which is the choice that a moral creep would make?

Which would be God’s plan for resolution of Roy Moore’s dilemma?

Sean Hannity Interviews Oscar Wilde

Wilde

Before you sue the Washington Post, Judge Moore, you might want to check out what happened when Oscar Wilde sued for defamation over the allegation that he was a sodomite. Here’s the crucial piece of cross-examination:

Counsel: How old is he?
Witness: He was about sixteen when I knew him. He was a servant at a certain house in High Street, Oxford, where Lord Alfred Douglas had rooms. I have stayed there several times. Grainger waited at table. I never dined with him. If it is one’s duty to serve, it is one’s duty to serve; and if it is one’s pleasure to dine, it is one’s pleasure to dine.
Counsel: Did you ever kiss him?
Witness: Oh, dear no. He was a peculiarly plain boy. He was, unfortunately, extremely ugly. I pitied him for it.

In a radio interview Sean Hannity pressed Roy Moore to deny unequivocally the charges against him. In response, Moore said he generally did not date teenagers when he was in his thirties—and never without the permission of their mothers.

Too bad Oscar Wilde didn’t know about the mother’s permission defense. He might have testified that he kissed the footman, but only after getting the footman’s parents’ permission.

Gonna be a fun trial, ain’t it?

Roy Moore, Saint Joseph, Vasari, and Dana Milbank

I revert to the remarks of Jim Ziegler, Alabama state auditor:

He’s clean as a hound’s tooth. Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.

Based on his years attending Southern Baptist Sunday school and on his expertise as an art historian, Vasari explains that Mr. Ziegler is incorrect, and that, as Vasari puts it,

Joseph was not the father of Jesus, at least according to western church dogma. I do not have a song but I do have this little ditty:

As a ray of the sun
Through a window can pass,
And yet no hurt is done
The translucent glass,
So, but more subtly,
Of a mother untried,
God, the son of God,Comes forth from his bride.

It seems that several versions of this verse, likely sung, made the rounds in medieval Flanders.

In short, pace Mr. Ziegler, Mary conceived by the Word, not intercourse.

A telling illustration of the idea can be seen in alternatively, Robert Campin/Workshop of Robert Campin under the title alternatively The Merode Altarpiece/The Annunciation Triptych.

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Forgetting the fascinating side panels, let’s look at a detail of the central panel. The angel announces. Simultaneously the complex baby slides down a light beam toward Mary,  and if you want to use a straightedge you will see that the path is to Mary’s head, even, I think, her ear. Notice that the light beams and the baby have passed through the glass of the window without breaking it. And by the way the path takes them past a pot of water, water=clean.

Should there be any doubt about the conception, Joseph, on the right panel, is busy making mouse traps while his wife conceives.

Now, in the discussions since the Washington Post revelations, we have heard from thumpers that there was nothing unusual in Moore taking a fourteen-year old–that was a long time ago and they did things differently then and Moore is just being biblical.

Might the thumpers arrange for a demonstration of Moore sticking his beam through a window without breaking the glass?

All this needs to be laid before McConnell. A sticky wicket. Can McConnell grasp the distinction between oral sex and aural sex?

And may we assume that the thumpers will miss the detail of the morning report that Moore spoke to the mother and suddenly had possession of the child?

Here endeth the lesson from Vasari.

Dana Milbank also contributes greatly to the discussion, identifying a number of biblican practices highly approved in Alabama Republican circles:

Sacrificing as a burnt offering your young son (Genesis 22:2) or your daughter, if she comes out of the doors of your house to meet you (Judges 11:30-1, 34-5).

Having rebellious children stoned to death by all the men of the city (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

Purchasing slaves (Leviticus 25:44-46), selling your daughter as a slave (Exodus 21:7-8) and making sure they submit to their masters, even cruel ones (1 Peter 2:18).

Executing pagan priests on their own altars and burning their bones (2 Kings 23:20-25).

Cutting off the hand of a woman if she grabs the penis of a man who is fighting with her husband (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).

Committing incest (Genesis 19:31-36) and cannibalism (2 Kings 6:28-29).

And having the military do all sorts of things to the enemy that would violate the Geneva accords:

Kill all boys and women but spare the girls who have not known man intimately for yourself (Numbers 31:17-18).

Destroy all that they have, killing man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel and donkey (1 Samuel 15:3).

Roy Moore, Muhammad, and Aisha

bride

I am indebted to Hans, who writes from Germany with this insight: for religious precedent supporting Roy Moore’s conduct, Alabama Republicans should look to Mohammad’s marriage to Aisha.

Aisha was definitely young at the time of the marriage, though there is a scholarly debate about just how young she was.

Hans opines, “What was good for the founder of a world religion should be good for the next junior senator from Alabama. An opportunity for Moore supporters to discover a redeeming value in Islam.”

And now, members of the congregation, let us all rise and sing together.

Roy Moore’s BFFs: Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi

Some in the United States adhere to Marxism-Leninism and some espouse McConnellism-Ryanism. Both sects are small, though I admit the latter probably outnumber the former.

Because they are a very small sect, the McConnellists-Ryanists cannot win elections without conning a large number of rubes. Their efforts are hilarious.

And not only that.

When Moore was in college, he matriculated night and day.

He shamelessly shared with same curriculum as the co-eds.

And his sister is a thespian.