Hell hath no fury like a predator scorned. And so it was that Roy Moore, the far-right Republican U.S. Senate candidate who Tuesday night lost a special election in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones, refused to concede to his rival that evening, even after all the major news outlets called the outcome. On the same day, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to insult a high-profile woman senator with sexual innuendo. As Paul Waldman noted, Trump all but shouted, “Whore!”
Until this morning, Today show anchor Matt Lauer was one of the highest-paid people in television, with an estimated annual salary north of $20 million. Today, he’s out of a job because of, in the words of NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
There’s an alleged ass-grabber in the Senate and a self-described pussy-grabber in the White House. In Alabama, an alleged ephebophile who stands accused of assaulting young women—including one as young as 14—is running for a seat in the Senate. He enjoys support of the pussy-grabber in the Oval Office.
He is a judge who was suspended from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to uphold the Constitution of the United States. But that wasn’t enough to keep Roy Moore from winning the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. If anything, it was Moore’s defiance in the face of a federal court decision mandating that government officials issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples that won him the love of the Alabamians who turned out to vote for him.
As Senator Flake Goes Down in Flames, White Nationalism Is Infecting Major Segments of the Body Politic
For progressives and liberals, it is tempting to eye the current discord and disarray in the Republican Party with a sense of amusement, if not outright glee. But the current trend of divisive loyalty tests for national political candidates poses a grave danger to the nation, especially when imposed by an ally of an authoritarian administration that regularly demonstrates contempt for the institutions and norms of representative democracy.
It is always tempting to dismiss the importance of America’s far right to the nation’s political trajectory, given the torrent of absurd and frankly false claims of its proponents, whether regarding the birth certificate of a president or the meaning of the Constitution. But around the world, the far right is on the rise, infecting nearly every Western democracy, and ours is hardly immune. Witness the election of Donald J. Trump, which most progressives and liberals had deemed impossible. After spending a weekend at the Values Voter Summit, an annual conference hosted by the political arm of the Family Research Council, I fear that same denial remains strong, even in the Age of Trump.
A version of this essay, updated for AlterNet, originally appeared at the website of The American Prospect.
Stephen K. Bannon, current Breitbart News CEO and former White House strategist, is everywhere these days, it seems—on your TV, college campuses, and smack in the middle of the midterm congressional elections.
On Tuesday in Corpus Christi, Texas, as Houston lay drowning, Trump admired an adoring, pre-screened crowd from atop the bumper of a firetruck parked at a rural firehouse. “What a crowd,” the president said, as if he were addressing a campaign rally. “What a turnout!”
The current president of the United States has his own little army of men who play by no rules, many armed to the teeth with assault rifles, all who chant racist slurs, usually bearing some implement that can be used as a weapon—a lit torch, a flagpole, a stick, a club, a homemade shield deliberately crafted with sharp edges. And he means to keep them in his service.