By Art Parker
From the time we went to press last week I have talked to many folks in the Republican Party about the Roy Moore situation. It is hard to believe that there are people who support him unconditionally, even if he did commit some or all of the horrible acts alleged.
But does any of this make a difference?
Besides the people, the major players are the Alabama GOP, the U.S. and the U.S. Supreme Court. Let me explain why and how only one particular vote will stop all of this.
If the Alabama GOP disqualifies Moore before the election it will not remove his name from the ballot due to Alabama law even though he can never serve in the office he seeks. The people can still vote for Moore and if his name garners more than a majority of votes cast he will not be elected and the election becomes null and void. Why? Because Moore is not a qualified candidate and his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, failed to receive a majority. Hold on to that thought and let’s move to the second scenario.
If the GOP does not disqualify Moore then he remains a qualified candidate on the ballot, and with a majority of votes he would be elected to the United States Senate. Does this mean he will serve? Possibly no. Why? Several of my Washington sources confirm that Republicans in the Senate do not want Moore there after the numerous sex allegations have been made. The word is that the Senate Republicans will not seat him but simply expel him. How?
These are the critical passages of Article 1, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members…Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Yes, the Senate can kick out a duly elected member of the Senate.
There seems to be no doubt in my mind that the Republicans in the Senate will attempt to expel Moore, but they must have cooperation from the Democrats to do so. Moore will be among the 52 GOP Senators but I doubt that he will vote to expel himself (Of course nothing he does surprises me). That leaves 51 Republicans to expel Moore and, if all vote the same, they will need 16 Dems to obtain the two thirds majority needed for expulsion. This puts the Dems in a tight spot since they are the primary party that screams about equality, fair treatment, etc. If they don’t vote to expel Moore then it will appear as if they support a sex predator. But the Dems may want ole’ Roy to be there because he will be a great excuse for anything. Whenever they want to point the finger at those terrible Republicans they will often mention Moore’s name first.
The final unknown is the US Supreme Court. If Moore gets SCOTUS to hear him he can even win in the long run since there is some court precedent in his favor.
So, what will happen? I don’t know but I sense more embarrassment for the State of Alabama. There is only one way to avoid further embarrassment. If we do that then this long nightmare is over.
This is not an endorsement of Jones but I do believe that everyone who usually votes Republican needs to strongly consider voting in the other direction this time. It may taste bad and you may not confess to doing it. However, if Jones is elected it will let the Republicans know one thing they do not understand.
It will let them know they have some competition. It may stop that party from slinging crap on the wall knowing they got the votes to make it stick. The same thing the Democrats did when they had no competition.
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