Amending our Constitution is very difficult (as it should be), but 17 Amendments have been ratified since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Some of them are rather integral to our democracy, and valued across the political spectrum, but apparently Roy Moore thinks getting rid of all 17 would “eliminate many problems”.
Moore’s Troubling Interview with Blight Wing Conspiracy Theorist
A few years back, Roy Moore went on a controversial radio program and said some rather disturbing things. This radio host believes not only in a range of conspiracy theories that place him, along with Moore, squarely in what I call the ‘blight wing‘ (the very worst elements of the extreme right), but he even thinks a Constitutional Amendment should be passed that would erase all of the Amendments past the first ten / Bill of Rights. Sorry ladies – no vote for you, and what could possibly be wrong about getting rid of the ban on slavery…?
Roy Moore, who had been a judge several years prior (he was removed by a unanimous vote, for ethics violations), didn’t jump at the opportunity to defend the Constitution he claims to love when the host said that about the Amendments past the 10th. Instead, he responded by saying “yes, that would eliminate many problems”, before going into why he was against direct election of United States Senators (the irony is not lost on me) that the 17th Amendment made the law of the land, and began tearing down the 14th Amendment.
I see at least three deeply troubling issues with Moore’s statements here. The first is his comments on the 14th Amendment, the second being the absence of a defense of all of the others (he didn’t clearly agree with tossing all of them, but he didn’t defend things like equal voting rights, the abolition of slavery and poll taxes for instance), and lastly that he blatantly broke his oath of office in saying these things – an oath that is made both to the state he’s aiming to represent in the United States Senate, as well as none other than the God he so often claims to be a devout follower of.
Roy Moore’s Twice-Broken Oath to Alabama & God
This is problematic in the extreme coming from anyone, but Roy Moore claims to be an extremely devout Christian, and had been an officer of the court – an Alabama State Supreme Court Judge. I’m not highlighting that for arbitrary reasons, but because positions like that require oaths. Here’s the one he took – twice:
“I (name here) solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Alabama, so long as I continue a citizen thereof; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, to the best of my ability. So help me God.”
Roy Moore is still a citizen of Alabama. By saying these things, Roy Moore openly broke an oath to both his state, and God. Given that he took the same oath a few years later (when he again elected as a judge… before yet again being removed from office for ethics violations), it would seem that he just straight up lied – to God, with his hand on the Bible.
From the Blight Wingnut Horse’s Mouth
This is what Moore said, from an article posted earlier this morning at CNN:
In Moore’s June appearance, one of the hosts says he would like to see an amendment that would void all the amendments after the Tenth.
“That would eliminate many problems,” Moore replied. “You know people don’t understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended.”
Moore cited the 17th Amendment, which calls for the direct election of senators by voters rather than state legislatures, as one he particularly found troublesome.
The host agreed with Moore, before turning his attention to the 14th Amendment, which was passed during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War and guaranteed citizenship and equal rights and protection to former slaves and has been used in landmark Supreme Court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and Obergefell v. Hodges.
“People also don’t understand, and being from the South I bet you get it, the 14th Amendment was only approved at the point of the gun,” the host said.
“Yeah, it had very serious problems with its approval by the states,” Moore replied. “The danger in the 14th Amendment, which was to restrict, it has been a restriction on the states using the first Ten Amendments by and through the 14th Amendment. To restrict the states from doing something that the federal government was restricted from doing and allowing the federal government to do something which the first Ten Amendments prevented them from doing. If you understand the incorporation doctrine used by the courts and what it meant. You’d understand what I’m talking about.”
Here’s the audio, if you want to hear him actually say it:
Where This Leaves Alabamians
I’m not in the business of telling people how to vote, but it is beyond strange to see so many people who claim to be pro-Constitution, to believe in God and/or to believe in regular ol’ decency could stoop to voting for Roy Moore. It’s easier to understand how those not in the Democratic tent would be torn between not voting for either, or voting for Doug Jones because he is (very clearly) the lesser evil between the two major party options.
Dems made a huge mistake in nominating someone as liberal as Jones in such a deep red state. I scanned his website, social media accounts and TV ads I could find on YouTube and it seems they aren’t even trying to court swing voters. Attacking Moore and preaching to the Democratic choir base is not how you pull in swing votes, but that’s exactly what they seem to think is the path to victory here.
It may work, but if it does, it’ll be almost entirely because Moore is such a spectacularly terrible person and in spite of a candidate that is a bad fit for the state (virtually no chance he’d win a second term) and a campaign that almost seems like it’s trying to lose… like sending out a race-baiting flyer the other day, drawing widespread criticism from the black community Jones needs to turn out in unusually high numbers to have a prayer of winning.
In other words, a situation we’re all familiar with… will Democrats again rescue defeat from the maw of victory?