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What You Need to Know About Roy Moore, Steve Bannon’s Latest Bigoted Political Pick

Last night, Alabama had their Republican primary runoff election to fill the senate seat left by demonic house elf Jeff Sessions. Trump and the GOP had backed Sen. Luther Strange, pouring nearly $11 million into his campaign. Normally, the defeat of anyone backed by Trump and Mitch McConnell would feel like a victory, but Strange’s opponent and now Republican candidate Roy Moore is so much more terrifying. How terrifying? His biggest supporter in the race was Steve Bannon.

Here are a few other things to know about Roy Moore:

  • He’s the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and was removed twice from office. The first time was a suspension after he refused to obey a federal judge’s orders to remove a monument to the ten commandments from the lobby of the state judicial building. (A monument he had installed.) The second was a permanent removal after he allegedly urged judges to ignore the federal Supreme Court legalization of same-sex marriage.
  • He has called homosexuality “an inherent evil against which children must be protected.” He’s compared it to bestiality. He says it will destroy America.
  • As a (former) judge, he believes law comes from Christianity. A few choice quotes: “God’s law will be publicly acknowledged in our court.” “God is the only source of our law, liberty and government.” And from his 2011 swearing-in: “God’s law will be publicly acknowledged in our court.”
  • He’s called Islam a “false religion,” saying “False religions like Islam, who teach that ‘you must worship this way,’ are completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for.” He believes “There is one God and it’s the God on which this nation was founded.”
  • He pulled out a gun during a campaign rally.

Since leaving the White House, Steve Bannon has made it clear he harbors a lot of hard feelings. Just as he did with Trump, he’s dedicated to bringing about a political “revolution,” challenging the GOP establishment and driving the right far into full deplorable territory. (Sarah Palin, in fact said during a campaign rally that “Roy Moore was deplorable before it was cool to be deplorable.” I assume that was meant as a compliment.)

Despite the fact that Trump supported Luther Strange, Bannon repeatedly told voters that a vote for Moore was “a vote for Donald J. Trump.” Given everything we know about the role Bannon played in the presidential election, it’s not surprising that he seems to have more control over Trump’s narrative than Trump himself. And because Trump hates being on the side with the lowest ratings votes, he quickly deleted a number of his pro-Strange tweets, replacing them with this:

He has deleted endorsements like “Big election tomorrow in the Great State of Alabama. Vote for Senator Luther Strange, tough on crime & border – will never let you down!” and “ALABAMA, get out and vote for Luther Strange – he has proven to me that he will never let you down! #MAGA”

Trump’s deleting of tweets might be illegal, but it’s definitely embarrassing.

Bannon has said that the GOP establishment’s “day of reckoning is coming.” He has now put his weight behind two terrible, dangerous candidates, presented as alternatives to the existing Republican party. Their big appeal seems to be that they support the supremacy of white/Christian/bigoted voters.

On Monday, Trump said that if Moore got the nomination, Democrat Doug Jones would have a better chance of winning the seat because the Democratic Party would fight so much harder. I would love to believe that in a race between a proud bigot who doesn’t respect the law or the Constitution, and a regular, sensible person, that that would be an easy race to win. But we’ve thought that once before, and we were wrong.

Moore has run for governor twice, and never came close to winning. The last time, he only got 19% of the vote. But as Republicans get pushed farther and farther to the right, and as white/straight/Christian entitlement takes precedence over actual policy, this looks to be the rise of what is essentially the Steve Bannon Party.

(image: screengrab)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.