Roy Moore Is Making an Audacious Attempt to Lie and Cheat His Way into the Senate
Republican Roy Moore’s U.S. Senate campaign is the latest exhibit A in lying and cheating one’s way into elected office.
While it is highly unlikely Roy Moore’s campaign will succeed in preventing Democrat Doug Jones from being certified the winner of a recent special election, Moore's legal brief, presented in an Alabama court on Thursday, is filled with a catalog of fact-averse lies routinely laid out by Republicans.
According to Moore’s lawyers, the Democrats used every trick in the book to successfully outwit and outrun a Republican-run state that has spent most of this decade passing statewide laws to disenfranchise Democrats. This is despite the GOP's extreme gerrymandering that’s ended up in federal court, stricter voter ID requirements, voter purges that did not follow federal guidelines, requiring paper proof of citizenship to register to vote for state elections and other anti-voter actions.
But now Moore’s team has trotted out two new tricks that advocates of expanded voting rights should watch for in this electoral psychodrama and in 2018. First, the team that never mentions that Moore’s sexual indiscretions apparently turned off swaths of suburban women voters who traditionally vote Republican, claims it is mathematically impossible they didn’t vote in November 2017, simply because they had voted in the past.
This drawing of dots that don’t connect is nothing new in election fraud circles, but academics who follow voter turnout trends, like the University of Florida’s Michael McDonald, have posited that one reason the 2017 polls have been off in projecting Republican turnout is that they're making their estimates based on election results from 2014 and 2016. They don't take into account that Republicans, especially women, have spent the past two years watching Donald Trump and a Republican Congress govern. In other words, they’re saying the GOP base today is the same as it was three years ago, and if vote counts don’t reflect that, it’s time to redo the elections.
But what's even more outrageous than that is the utterly shameless claim (numbers #42 and #43 in their brief) that the election results should be thrown out because state election officials didn’t save the digital images of every ballot cast, which were tabulated by high-speed scanners. What Moore’s lawsuit doesn’t mention is that his campaign sued the state one day before the November 12 election—and won a special order from its Supreme Court—to prevent those images from being saved! (And never mind that all it would take is checking a box on the software to set up the scanners after turning them on.)
This sets a new bar for arrogance and hypocrisy. But then again, it’s consistent with a candidate who felt no compunction about preying on teenage girls in his 30s, and who says today that those women are lying about his sexual predations.
But back to the do-whatever-it-takes-to-win posturing exhibited by Moore’s last-ditch lawsuit. The suit, and Moore, will likely be dismissed. Still, the tactics and the playbook will surely resurface in 2018 and 2020 as voters reject Republicans, as they just did in Alabama.