Roy Moore and the mi­graine for Repub­li­cans

With hands soiled and most foul, the Democrats nev­er­the­less won the po­lit­i­cal game

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. is ed­i­tor in chief of The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor. He is au­thor of “The Death of Lib­er­al­ism,” pub­lished by Thomas Nel­son Inc.

It has long been my con­vic­tion that Democrats are the more adept pols, the most tire­less pols, the most po­lit­i­cal pols. I have said that their po­lit­i­cal li­bido is that of a nympho­ma­niac. By that I mean to com­pli­ment them, at least to com­pli­ment their po­lit­i­cal skills. The po­lit­i­cal li­bido of the Repub­li­cans is by com­par­i­son the po­lit­i­cal li­bido of a Vic­to­rian lady, com­plete with white gloves and para­sol.

We saw the Repub­li­cans’ coy­ness about play­ing pol­i­tics just last week when they be­gan back­ing away from sup­port­ing Roy Moore, the lead­ing can­di­date for the Se­nate seat left va­cant when Jeff Ses­sions be­came at­tor­ney gen­eral. Though Mr. Moore has never been charged with sex­ual mis­con­duct in over 40 years of pub­lic life sud­denly, four-and-a-half weeks be­fore the elec­tion that is sched­uled for Dec. 12, a 53-year-old woman steps out of obliv­ion to ac­cuse him of hav­ing had some sort of sex­ual en­counter with her 38 years ago when she was 14 and he was in his early 30s. By com­par­i­son, Wil­liam Jef­fer­son Clin­ton was 49 years old and Mon­ica Lewin­sky was a nu­bile 22. Mr. Moore de­nies it and he de­nies the charges of five other re­cov­er­ing fe­male am­ne­si­acs, some with mys­te­ri­ous Demo­cratic ties.

What is Mr. Moore to do as his fel­low Repub­li­cans in Washington start melt­ing away? Do you re­call a fa­mous Demo­crat of long ago in the late stages of an elec­tion threat­en­ing to charge his op­po­nent with hav­ing had sex with a barn­yard an­i­mal? The fa­mous Demo­crat’s aides were ap­palled and ob­jected stren­u­ously, but the can­di­date only shrugged and ob­served, “Can you see my op­po­nent cam­paign­ing through­out the state say­ing he did not have sex with barn­yard an­i­mals?”

As I say, Democrats play the great game of pol­i­tics much bet­ter than Repub­li­cans. You can count in the hun­dreds the Democrats who have weath­ered sex­ual al­le­ga­tions and won their sub­se­quent elec­tion. You can be­gin with Sen. Ted Kennedy. I say Mr. Moore should con­tinue his cam­paign. The Se­nate is too im­por­tant for the Repub­li­cans to lose. If the Repub­li­cans roost­ing up in Washington do not re­al­ize this, I am sure the Repub­li­cans in Alabama re­al­ize it.

While they are comfortably coun­sel­ing Mr. Moore and his al­lies from afar, I hope they will not for­get that now their most im­por­tant duty is to pass a tax re­form bill. They as­sure us that they will do it by year’s end. The House has one bill that is en­sur­ing eco­nomic growth and mid­dle-class tax re­lief. The Se­nate has an­other that achieves the same goal, though each bill is dif­fer­ent. They prom­ise to rec­on­cile the bills by year’s end. It is very im­por­tant that they do.

Larry Kud­low, a sup­ply-side econ­o­mist, spoke last week at the Se­nate Repub­li­can break­fast and re­ported op­ti­misti­cally on his ex­pe­ri­ence. “What I ob­served,” he said, “was a to­tal com­mit­ment among the GOP se­na­tors to get a tax bill by yearend.” “This will not be an­other health care break­down,” Mr. Kud­low ob­served. There will be a cut in the busi­ness tax rate from 35 per­cent to 20 per­cent, which will cre­ate jobs and mid­dle-class wealth. Yet he wrote with some ur­gency be­cause if there are no tax cuts and a con­comi­tant eco­nomic growth, the sce­nario is bleak. “If Repub­li­cans don’t get it,” he noted, “they’ll lose con­trol of Congress” in 2018, and with that comes in­creased grid­lock, no pos­si­ble health care re­form, and even the specter of im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings against Pres­i­dent Trump.

The Repub­li­cans have been bel­low­ing for years that they would re­peal and re­place Oba­macare. They are un­likely to do it. They have promised other changes in the way the gov­ern­ment works, but at this point all that seems un­likely, too. They sim­ply have to rec­on­cile and pass tax re­form or they will have noth­ing to show for their dom­i­na­tion of gov­ern­ment of late. Com­ing up empty-handed in 2018 will not be Don­ald Trump’s do­ing. It will be the Repub­li­cans’ fault, and re­lin­quish­ing a seat in the Alabama se­na­to­rial del­e­ga­tion is not go­ing to make tax re­form any eas­ier.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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