As we hurtle toward the election in Alabama on Tuesday, it should be noted how far we have come in the last six years. In 2012, Troy Aiken, the Republican nominee for the US Senate in Missouri, said that in cases of “legitimate” rape, a woman could not get pregnant. He thus implied if women became pregnant after a sexual assault the rape was not “legitimate.” Aside from the ignorance displayed, it was viewed as so offensive that the Republican Party abandoned his candidacy and he lost to Claire McCaskill.
And now, in 2017, the President of the United States is supporting an alleged child molester and certainly a man who not only believes that Muslims should not be allowed in Congress but that gays should be criminalized and the best times for Americans were during slavery. He clearly dated high school girls when he was in his 30’s, and not just one. His entire career has been bizarre and yet there he stands with the support of our President and the Republican Party, though it is important to note, many national Republicans, including the other Republican senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, cannot abide him even if the alternative is a Democrat.
So, we see how far we have come, and I am afraid we haven’t hit the bottom, yet. Moore may well win this election and then it is up to the Republicans in the Senate to decide if they want to pursue the matter as part of an ethics investigation.
Meanwhile, our Congress is trying to hammer out an agreement on the tax cut and not lose two Republican Senators or the Freedom Caucus in the House in the bargain. We already know from the Speaker that cuts to entitlement programs will come after this tax cut proves to add significantly to the debt, notwithstanding the wonder of dynamic scoring long advocated by Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.
The other large question is of course the fate of Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel. Remember when he was selected he was hailed by one and all as a fair and honest man who would follow the facts and do the right thing. Now, however, he is apparently biased and conflicted according to such experts as Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich, who think his friendship with James Comey disqualifies him. I continue to fear that Trump will fire him as he closes in on people the President actually cares about like himself and his family. The real test of our institutions will be that if (I would say when) the firing takes place, what will the Republican congressional leaders do? In particular, will Paul Ryan, our own General Petain of Vichy fame, actually step up and do the right thing? It would be nice if he and his brethren would, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.