The GOP has become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump (updated)

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was overheard saying to Mesa Mayor John Gileson on a hot mic on Saturday that “[If we] become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.” Flake, on hot mic, says GOP will be “toast” if it’s the party of Trump and Moore.

Sunday evening, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to call the senator “Flake(y)” and lambasted him for “saying bad things about your favorite President.”

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After multiple women came forward accusing Moore of inappropriately pursuing or sexually touching them when they were teens, Flake said he would “run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat” if he was an Alabama voter.

The accusations against Moore have put the White House in a difficult situation politically, as at least 16 women have accused Mr. Trump of behaving inappropriately toward them. [UPDATE: Meg Kelly at the Washington Post breaks down President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list.]

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Mr. Trump has yet to personally address the accusations against Moore, although White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has said he believes Moore will do the “right thing” and step aside “if” the allegations are true. Sanders has refused to answer further questions about the president’s own accusers.

That was until Monday, when White House counselor Kellyanne Conway went on FOX & Friends (aka Trump TV) to signal that the Trump White House was now going all-in in its support of this serial child sexual predator because Moore is a member of the GOP tribe. Kellyanne Conway on Roy Moore’s candidacy: “We want the votes in the Senate” for tax bill:

During an interview in which White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was attacking Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones, she was asked by Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” whether she was saying Alabamans should vote for Moore.

“Folks, don’t be fooled. He’ll be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime. Weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners,” Conway told Fox & Friends. “And Doug Jones is a doctrinaire liberal, which is why he’s not saying anything and why the media are trying to boost him.”

Co-host Brian Kilmeade [appearing bewildered] asked her, “So, vote Roy Moore?”

“I’m telling you, we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.”

Kilmeade continued to press Conway. “But the RNC has withdrawn support for Roy Moore, Mitch McConnell has withdrawn support,” and so have the Young Republicans and many women, the hosts told her.

Note: The previous week, Conway had told Fox & Friends that “the incontrovertible principle is that no Senate seat is worth more than a child, and we all want to put that forward. I have three daughters and a son, frankly, and we are all watching this.” So she has opted to sell her soul to the devil.

Asked by co-host Steve Doocy if the president would return to Alabama to campaign for Moore, she replied, “There’s no plan to do that.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed Conway’s sentiment, when she was asked Monday whether the White House would be pleased if Roy Moore wins over Democrat Doug Jones.

“The president wants people both in the House and the Senate that support his agenda,” she told reporters at the White House briefing.

* * *

President Trump was also asked during a Cabinet meeting Monday whether he believed Roy Moore’s accusers, but he ignored the question. He has not yet spoken about the accusations against Moore.

That was until Tuesday.

Senator Jeff Flake’s prescient warning that the GOP has become a party that is OK with even serial child sexual predators so long as they are members of the GOP tribe was realized on Tuesday when the “Pussy-grabber”-in-chief, serial sexual predator Donald Trump, announced that he is all-in in his support of Roy Moore. Trump offers support for Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate race despite misconduct allegations. Echoing Kellyanne Conway:

President Trump on Tuesday appeared to offer support to Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, saying the former state judge “totally denies” allegations of sexual misconduct against underage girls years ago.

“He denies it,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “He says it didn’t happen, and you have to listen to him, also.”

Trump criticized Moore’s opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, as being “terrible on crime, terrible on borders.”

“We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump added.

Trump’s remarks came as Moore has faced mounting pressure from Republicans, as well as Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who said “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” to the Associated Press last week. “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation, and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.”

But President Trump said Tuesday that the accusations against Moore concern events that took place “40 years ago” and noted that the candidate has insisted “this did not happen.” Asked whether he would actively campaign for Moore, Trump said he would let reporters know next week.

Roy Moore is following the Donald Trump playbook: deny, deflect and attack your accusers of being liars. Women are not to be believed, even when they go on the record and open themselves up to further abuse from Donald Trump and his “Deplorables” supporters. Members of the GOP tribe can do no wrong.

There is no bottom to how low the GOP will go in the age of Trump. It is a party that is intellectually and morally bankrupt. It is now just pure GOP tribalism.

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt is one of the few old-school Republicans who has not sold his soul to the personality cult of Trumpism. GOP strategist: ‘There needs to be a repudiation’ of Roy Moore by Republicans:

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt on Friday sounded off on allegations that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) engaged in sexual misconduct with an underage girl, saying there needs to be a “repudiation” of Moore.

“I don’t have the words to express my shame,” Schmidt said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes.” “It’s disgraceful.”

“What we’re talking about here, Chris, is a 14-year-old little girl. Roy Moore is a pedophile. He’s a child molester,” Schmidt said.

“There needs to be a repudiation, not just a rescission of an endorsement,” Schmidt said. “He should be called on to get out of the race.”

“Shame on Mitch McConnell, shame on Paul Ryan for not speaking out, not doing the right thing here,” he continued. “Shame on them.”

Steve Schmidt followed up on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes after Trump’s endorsement of Roy Moore on Tuesday.

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“It’s a tragic day for the Republican Party.” “I just think the line is drawn, the die are cast, the forces of decency are against the forces of indecency.” “This exposes a profound moral rot in the country, in the Republican Party, a great test for the citizens of Alabama.” “We have reached the hour that George Washington warned us about [in his Farewell Address], a political tribalism that is so corrosive, so corrupting, that it can take otherwise normal decent people that you would encounter on any given day and make them defend the indefensible and the profoundly indecent.”

(Just look at what our Trump trolls have been posting in the comments).

UPDATE: A new Quinnipiac University poll makes it crystal clear: Sexual harassment is not a dealbreaker in today’s Republican Party:

The big new finding from a Quinnipiac University poll is this: About half of Republicans say GOP senators should let Roy Moore serve in the Senate. By a margin of 49 percent to 33 percent, Republicans say the Alabamian, who is accused of sexual misconduct with multiple teenagers, should not be expelled if he wins next month’s special election, as some Senate Republicans have threatened to do.

But that’s hardly the only finding in the poll that suggests the GOP has taken a softer view toward sexual harassment.

The poll also shows sexual harassment isn’t a dealbreaker for Republicans when it comes to President Trump. And it’s not even that they just doubt the accusations against Trump (which has been the case ever since nearly a dozen women came forward at the end of the last election). The poll shows Republicans also oppose trying to remove Trump from office even if it was proved that he sexually harassed the women who have accused him. By a margin of 63 percent to 28 percent, Republicans say Trump should not be impeached even if we know for a fact that he sexually harassed women.

More generally speaking, Republicans are also less likely to say alleged sexual harassment is a dealbreaker when voting for a candidate. The poll asked that if a candidate faced multiple sexual harassment allegations, whether people would “still consider voting for them if you agreed with them on the issues.” A plurality of Republican, 43 percent, say they would, while 41 percent say they definitely would not.

By contrast, Democrats say they definitely would not vote for such a candidate, by a margin of 81 percent to 12 percent, and independents say they definitely wouldn’t 2-to-1.

Here’s the thing, though: The vast majority of Republicans already did vote for such a candidate in Trump. So most of those 41 percent of Republicans who say they wouldn’t consider such a candidate are kidding themselves or have suddenly changed their view. (I’d bet the house it’s the former.) And the 81 percent of Democrats who say they wouldn’t support such a candidate must contain a fair amount of converts from the 1990s, when Democrats overwhelmingly supported Bill Clinton for president despite accusations against him.

Mostly, then, the poll is useful as a barometer of where the two party’s stand on the interplay between sexual harassment allegations and politics. And on that question, Republicans clearly don’t seem to have as much of a litmus test.

[I]t’s one thing to doubt these specific accusations; it’s another to say that such accusations don’t matter as much as the issues or partisanship. And it’s entirely another to say that you still think Trump should be president even if he did sexually harass women. That relegates sexual harassment to a pretty negligible part of the political calculus.

As long as Republicans are winning elections, their voters seem to be saying, that’s enough of a judgment for them. And that’s a big problem for party leaders who seem to want to turn the page on the Roy Moore chapter of their party’s existence.

46 thoughts on “The GOP has become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump (updated)”

  1. Lest we get sidetracked …”9th woman accuses Rep. Don Shooter of harassment, Arizona Capitol Times says” | Local news | 11/2017

    PHOENIX — “Another woman has come forward to say she was sexually harassed by state Rep. Don Shooter, the Arizona Capitol Times reports, which brings the number to nine.”

  2. Since we have Senator Kavanagh’s interest, let’s discuss something of greater concern. The sex scandals/”moral panics of the day” are used to divert our attention from the more serious issues. “SHADOW WORLD” | Independent Lens | KPBS 11/23/17

    “‘SHADOW WORLD’ shows us the business of war and puts a human face on who profits from that business,” said Lois Vossen, INDEPENDENT LENS executive producer. “Around the world taxpayers fund the defense industry. As we come to terms regarding what we want our government to do with that money, ‘Shadow World’ asks if wars are being prolonged to generate more profits for a few, no matter the human cost.” …. the same could be said for the mass incarceration of our people — adding billions $$$’s for the profiteers in for-profit prisons and detention centers for those without a voice — the endless immigrants. Using taxpayers’ $$$’s. This should concern all Arizona citizens since it is a state that values mass incarceration over education. Wake up folks.

    • I reject the assertion that Arizona engages in mass incarceration. 95% of the inmates in Arizona prisons are either violent offenders, repeat offenders or both. In addition, nobody gets sent to an Arizona prison for drug use/possession until their THIRD conviction. The first two convictions get probation and treatment.

      Now I am not saying that we could not trim some prisoners, such as elderly ones who have served considerable time and are no longer a threat. But to throw around the catchphrase “mass incarceration” is more emotional . than factual.

      • Senator Kavanagh, 95% are NOT violent. We know better. They were reclassified by the ADOC “bean-counter” years ago. Closer to 40% are NON-violent. It is known that a classification of “violent” brings in $$$$’s to the “system” — a failed one.

        65% recidivism = $$$’s for the failed system. It is ludicrous that sending someone on parole straight to prison for a technical violation unrelated to their crime wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ $$$’s. A judge, NOT the ADOC should make that decision. ADOC has been operating outside of the statutes as its own “fiefdom”? Time to end that!

        • auto-fill correction: Stop wasting millions of taxpayers’ $$$’s on sending those on parole straight to prison for technical violations unrelated to their original crime. This should be decided by a judge, NOT the ADOC parole officer.

      • Senator Kavanagh, Fact: Mass incarceration of America’s people has made the U.S. #1 jailer in the world.

      • Senator Kavanagh, Arizona’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing which includes first offenders and NON-violent offenders demands reform! House Rep. Cecil Ash held public hearing on Sentencing in 2009 and 2010 and gathering information from leading experts throughout the nation, who spoke to packed hearing rooms where his bills passed unanimously — only to die on then Weirs desk. The public left believing reform was on its way. So who picked up those critical reform bills that would have saved Arizona taxpayers hundreds of millions of $$$’s? How many legislators are invested in for-profit prisons and detention centers and/or received money from their lobbyists and special interests related to the criminal justice system? Let’s see the facts.

        • Instead, Led by Dan Shooter in a behind-closed-door hearing, passing a $50,000,000 Super Max prison Arizona did NOT need — now a taxpayer boondoggle with all the costs, salaries, pensions and keeping it filled. While other conservative states were passing meaningful reform bills and closing prisons was Arizona expanding so they could “import” out of state VIOLENT inmates that create a further liability for Arizona taxpayers? Importing and exporting inmates is human trafficking.

  3. they should all go! I will wait to read azbm support of getting rid of franken, conyers brady along with trump, moore and the exposer congressman from texas. and the news media whores who were being paid by fusion gps to not only go after trump ;but also bernie sanders and his supporters with smears on their made up term bernie bros and nevada caucus violence. you call me a troll for telling the truth about the bubble too many liberal elitists live in and trying to pierce it! you were shocked with the voting majority in 30 states disagreed with liberal elitists that political correctness was wonderful and only racists and sexists would disagree. you call names when you can’t refute the argument.

  4. “Former Oklahoma state senator has agreed to plead guilty to a child sex trafficking offense” | News OK 11/22/17

    “Former state Sen. Ralph Shortey has agreed to plead guilty to a child sex trafficking offense for offering to pay a 17-year-old boy for sexual “stuff” last March.”

  5. The GOP has become the Trump/Moore party — an authoritarian theocracy. All should be concerned. It’s no longer about party. Our democracy is at stake.

  6. azbm when you post the sins of one side and say only trolls will post the sins of your side this is the definition of hypocrisy. what do the voters think when they here all women must be believed unless its bill clinton.

    • The boys at the troll farm in St. Petersburg weigh in. Did Vlad remove all your shift/caps lock keys?

  7. Does BfA’s selective memory fail to remember Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, Al Franken, Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, David Wu, Kwame Kilpatrick, John Edwards, David Paterson, Antonio Villaraigosa, Harvey “Bundler” Weinstein and the latest entry, John Conyers.

    “People in glass houses………”

    • Lots of those guys are dead, went to jail, or resigned, rightly so. Which outcome should we have for Trump and Moore. Death, jail, or resignation. Rightly so?

    • Mr. Kavanagh, Where’s your famous zero tolerance policy stance now that the moral panic of the day is coming from the women? It’s the “Christian” hypocrites usurping and politicizing Christian “values” for political gain that’s a problem. Lest we forget — Denny Hastert #3 in line for President, Larry Craig, Foley and ex-Gov. Vetters for starters. What goes around, comes around! The same white men who drove the political moral panics of the day and wrote draconian sex crimes laws and zero tolerance policies, that is now biting them in the butt!

      • You are the first person to inject race into this controversy. Please explain why and its relevance.

    • p.s. The men you mentioned didn’t ride on moral “Christian” values and play God like Roy Moore — who is the main issue of the day! The GOP have become the party of Trump/Moore. Shameful.

      • correction: The GOP has become the party of TRUMP/MOORE. Worse yet, are the enablers who brought us to this point. Those who remain silent and sit on the sidelines.

        • Never ending non-sequiturs. Is that how you run the appropriations committee? Facts and data don’t drive policy, rather “Credo, ergo sum.”

        • Dude, stop, you are defending a man credibly accused of trying to f*** an eight grader.

          Please, stop, you continue to embarrass Arizona.

          • I am defending no one. I just pointed out the hypocrisy of the left, or a big chunk of it, for being silent on the Dem offenders. Of course, you will evade the point of my post, which further proves my point. Thank you.

          • The Dems are NOT in power. They lost! Get on point with the issue of the day. The GOP is the party of TRUMP/MOORE! This should concern ALL “conservatives”!

    • Trump troll, right on cue. All of these guys either have been or will be held accountable for their actions. I have yet to see you post that Roy Moore and Donald Trump should be held accountable for their actions, let alone the claims investigated, or that their accusers should be believed. It is you who has a double standard.

      • You are so protective of Dems, you cannot even say their names. You refer to them as “all these guys.” Bill Clinton was just a guy?
        Hillary, his defender and attacker of his victims, is also a protected Democrat. What hypocracy.

        • Instead of arguing that Moore is the better candidate, you rely on junior high school “I know you are but what am I” debate tactics.

          How do you keep getting elected?

          I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. … I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

      • Maybe I misjudged you. Did you call for the resignation of Bill Clinton? Did you condemn Hillary for attacking Bill’s victims? Where do you stand on Franken and Conyers? Inquiring minds want to know. You have an opinion on everything else.

        • Not sure how you’re addressing, but as a matter of fact, I do want all the creeps to go, including Franken and the rest, and I’m a fan of Al Franken.

          And I cheered when Pelosi ran Wiener out of town. I’m glad he’s in prison.

          That’s how responsible human beings react to offensive behavior. We forgive them for their human failings but we don’t rehire them.

          It makes me sick to see James Carville on TV just as much as it makes me sick to see Newt Gingrich.

          Now, run along, fix that 100 million dollar budget shortfall you caused, and send Don Shooter packing, and quit whining about how unfair liberals are.

          My god man, you have control of the White House, the Senate, Congress, and over 30 states, and your party has been running things since 2010, you can’t blame liberals anymore.

          To quote something I see on conservative outlets all day long, stop acting like such a triggered little snowflake.

        • “Now, run along, fix that 100 million dollar budget shortfall you caused, and send Don Shooter packing, and quit whining about how unfair liberals are.” .. And the $50,000,000 Super Max prison budget that was passed in less than 45 minutes by Shooter without public dialog, without a “needs request”, without an impact study, and the few concerned citizens who showed up for the “behind-the-scenes’ hearing were told they could NOT speak and they could NOT sign into the ‘kiosk”. The lobbyists and special interests all seen laughing with Shooter on their way to lunch. Shooter didn’t have time to answer questions and did not know where the “needs request” was. Discuss this Mr. Kavanaugh, Since YOU know how the “system” works. This is NOT about party — this is about our republic! You of all people lack any credibility.

        • p.s. Arizona did NOT need a new Super Max prison. Arizona did NOT need another facility importing violent inmates from OTHER states (who were downsizing and did not want them) now a liability for the Arizona taxpayers! Arizona leading the way in human trafficking?

        • Well, Trump troll, I have practiced labor and employment law for more than twenty-five years. I have handled more discrimination and harassment claims than I can recall, representing both aggrieved employees and employers. The vast majority of these cases were satisfactorily resolved. So I would stack my record against yours in this area any day.

          You had to be aware of Rep. Don Shooter’s conduct, and yet you and your colleagues have done nothing to hold him accountable. You have not called on Don Shooter to resign, nor publicly expressed whether you believe his accusers, including your colleague Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, and Rep. Kelly Townsend, who says she was harassed by “unnamed lawmakers” (which means there are likely others). What did you know, when did you know it, and what did you do about it? And whom do you believe?

          You have also defended Donald Trump despite his public admissions on the Howard Stern Show and Access Hollywood tape of being a serial sexual predator and harasser. You have not condemned Trump for his comments or alleged behavior, nor called for an investigation into the claims of more than 15 women who have gone public with their story. And you have not indicated whether you believe the women making allegations against Donald Trump, or Roy Moore or Don Shooter for that matter.

          You are running for reelection, the public has a right to know where you stand on these matters. So instead of cowardly deflecting and avoiding answering these questions by trolling this blog, it’s time for you to answer these questions.

          • Again, you have missed my point and question concerning your blindness to Dem offenders. I am not defending anyone just pointing out some Dem activist hypocrisy. Let me again state it:

            Maybe I misjudged you. Did you call for the resignation of Bill Clinton? Did you condemn Hillary for attacking Bill’s victims? Where do you stand on Franken and Conyers? Inquiring minds want to know. You have an opinion on everything else.

          • You can run this circular argument in trolling this blog, but you cannot run from your constituents who are going to demand answers to the questions that I have posed to you. Hopefully your cowardice will inspire women to run against you who will demand answers to these questions.

            Bill Clinton was impeached and tried before the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding. He later had his law license in Arkansas suspened for lying under oath and was fined over his actions related to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. So Bill was held accountable before a trier of fact. Hillary Clinton was the victim of Bill’s marital infidelity. It is not uncommon in these cases to see the wife nevertheless defend her husband. Roy Moore’s wife and Melania Trump have both done exactly the same thing, and yet you don’t seem to be bothered in the least by this. Now that’s hypocrisy.

            Al Franken and John Conyers are being investigated by the ethics committees of their respective chambers — Franken even called for an ethics investigation into his actions and has issued several apologies — not something you have seen from Roy Moore or Donald Trump. They will eventually be held accountable for their actions. This may include expulsion from office, or a peremptory resignation on their part. The same holds for Republican Congressman Joe Barton and his sexting scandal (ala Anthony Weiner, recently sentenced to 21 months in prison). There are likely to be other members of Congress to follow. And there are likely to be other state legislators across the country to follow. “In states, legislators face flood of harassment allegations,” Just this week, two state legislators in Minnesota, one Republican and one Democrat, are stepping down in response to harassment allegations. “2 Minnesota Lawmakers Accused of Sexual Harassment Step Down,”

    • That’s a fresh, steaming pile of “whataboutism” right there.

      Look up my old comments about Bill Clinton. He’s scum.

      Same for the rest. It doesn’t mean the GOP should look the other way when one of theirs is credibly accused of trying to f*** a child.

      What are you doing, man?

    • This looks like a fairly comprehensive list (of known scandals) dating back to Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

      List of federal political sex scandals in the United States

      In this context it is difficult to understand how the knowledge of previous scandals would somehow support the acceptance of newly discovered scandals. That is your insinuation, right? If not, then what are you saying? It sounds like, “No one has the moral high ground here so this should not be an issue.”

      Another thing. Speaking of these people in this way would seem to insinuate there is a false equivalence among their various misdeeds and crimes. This seems to be an attempt to diminish the severity of the crimes committed by some while exaggerating others. Child sexual predators are not in the same league as garden variety adulterers. And that point should not be lost or glossed over.

      • Well said Liza! “Another thing. Speaking of these people in this way would seem to insinuate there is a false equivalence among their various misdeeds and crimes. This seems to be an attempt to diminish the severity of the crimes committed by some while exaggerating others. Child sexual predators are not in the same league as garden variety adulterers. And that point should not be lost or glossed over.”

  8. The GOP finally gave up claiming to be the party of family values, party of fiscal responsibility, party where character matters.

    It was always BS anyway.

    Over the last year they’ve embraced pussy grabbing, child f***ing, and kleptocracy, and have shown the world their true values.

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