Returning to work Monday after a much-needed Turkey Day jaunt to visit Hernando, Mississippi, tour Ole Miss and act like a tourist in Memphis eating ribs and watching ducks ride elevators, I re-entered the Roy Moore-centric world in which we all must now live.
The red message light on my desk phone was glowing when I walked in, so I hit “messages.” What followed was a semi-howl of a rant from someone claiming to be a restaurateur in Satsuma who vowed to throw a stack of last week’s issue of everyone’s favorite newspaper in the trash, ban it from being delivered to his business ever again and to call every other restaurant in town to encourage them not to advertise with us.
At first I thought maybe the guy got a bad review, but then he got to the point. We haven’t been hard enough on Roy Moore, he said. Our last cover featuring the occasional jurist and U.S. Senate wannabe was somehow in this man’s mind an endorsement of Moore.
Apparently he’d also called most everyone else in our office last week and ranted, claiming no one would actually read the cover story and would just assume Lagniappe supports Roy Moore. Perhaps he’s right and we should just go out of business. That seems like a rational solution.
Frankly I’ve gotten used to it over the past month. A few hard-core anti-Moore people have complained about some of my past columns because they weren’t written in blood and denouncing him clearly enough. I’m sure we’ll get a complaint the next time we run a recipe that it didn’t call for enough minced Roy Moore heart.
But no sooner had I finished listening to the angry Satsumian, than an email popped up with the subject line saying “I did not pick up your paper this week.”
This writer was upset because he thinks we’ve been wildly anti-Moore and he, “sure cannot figure our why a marketing plan would be based on bias left reporting to ultra Red Baldwin County or the folks with the purchasing power in Mobile county.” I will say his letter was certainly more lucid than the guy yelling on the phone, but the message was more or less the same — you’re going to suffer economically because of the way you’re covering Roy Moore.
At least in his case I could write back and explain that our “marketing plan” is to be a good newspaper and provide news delivered as evenhandedly as possible, even when that sometimes doesn’t make everyone happy. In fact, I learned a long time ago that in the newspaper business there will always be complaints and these days people seldom can just express unhappiness with a particular column or article without condemning the entire newspaper and everyone who works here, our children, pets and grandparents.
The next thing I received was a proposed letter to the editor in which the writer called the members of the media and others who opposed Moore “Luciferians.” I’ll admit Googling the term just to be sure it means what I think it means. Yeah, basically he was saying those people opposing Roy Moore or publicizing his recent alleged “issues” with young ladies are in league with the Devil, El Diablo, Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer … whatever you want to call him.
Since there was a reasonable chance the writer would be run over in the street by an angry chef if he signed his name to something like that, I figured it was better to just hit delete. (I know … that’s exactly what a Luciferian working in the media would do! Muaahahahaha!!!)
It’s safe to say you probably get the idea by now. Roy Moore is a touchy subject for people on both sides of the aisle. Especially for those waaaaaaay out on the edge of either side.
Civility is pretty much lost on extremists, but I’ll give it a shot here and try to explain clearly why I’m not voting for Roy Moore and why I think Alabama Republicans should deal with the fact that they have a really poor candidate who would do nothing but hurt the “brand” if elected.
To me Moore has repeatedly shown poor judgment. You can say he stood up for Christianity when he was in the Alabama Supreme Court, but as a judge he has to uphold the law. When he was told to remove the Ten Commandments sculpture and to stop trying to ban same-sex marriages, he put his personal beliefs above the law. Maybe that’s fine if your personal beliefs match his, but what happens when they don’t? How many people would like to have judges simply interpret the law based upon their own personal beliefs, and then refuse to follow the law even when higher courts reject that logic?
Like it or not, we’re a nation of laws.
As far as his possible involvement in trying to date high school girls when he was in his early 30s, I believe there’s too much smoke for there not to be some fire. And Moore provided a lot of that smoke himself by telling conservative radio host Sean Hannity that he asked the permission of mothers before trying to date their daughters. I know he likes to act like he’s from the Old West, but this was the late 1970s. Grown women don’t need their mothers’ permission to date. That’s poor judgment.
No one will likely ever know if he sexually assaulted a 14- and 15-year-old, or if he was banned from the mall for “trolling,” and I agree the timing of all this should at least give us pause. But Roy’s made it pretty clear he at least was interested in dating high school girls when he was an assistant district attorney. It just seems like time and again he’s made poor choices and excessively inflammatory statements.
The Republican Party rammed this whole mess down our throats by allowing Robert Bentley and Luther Strange to highjack the U.S. Senate seat. Then Mitch McConnell slammed reasonable candidates in order to try to get Luther in, leaving a path for Moore. Alabama Republicans would be far better off letting Doug Jones have the seat and regrouping with a reasonable candidate in two years than they would having their party be the party of Roy Moore and being tied to his inevitable poor decisions.
Jones seems to be a reasonable and respectable man who probably understands that voting lockstep with the senate’s Democratic leadership will likely earn him one of the shortest terms in senate history.
So that’s the Luciferian, super-lib, ultra-conservative take on things from my perch.