Roy Moore is honoring an old American tradition: demagoguing gays to further his career.
Roy Moore, the Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice who this week was back in the headlines for ordering to all probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore’s order, or at obeying it, is illegal, and he likely knows it, but he’s a master of juridicial subterfuge, and has proven he’s willing to risk it all to win.Â
Moore was first electedÂ Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice in 2001, and removed in 2003 for refusing to remove from theÂ State Supreme Court building aÂ 5,280 pound granite monument of the ten Commandments he had commissioned. After losing in federal court twice, yet still refusing to comply, Moore was removed from office by the only means possible: theÂ Alabama Court of the Judiciary ruled “Chief Justice Moore has violated the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics.”
Despite this â€“ or more likely, because of it â€“Â Moore was again electedÂ Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice in 2012. And despite his recent assault on the rights of Alabama’s LGBT community, the State Supreme Court Chief JusticeÂ can’t be impeached.
But as it turns out, when his six-year term expires in 2018, Moore will be 71 years old, and over the legal age limit to run again.
What’s left for Moore to do?
In 2012 he attempted a run for president, which was rather unsuccessful.
A few days ago, when Moore issued his order to probate judges, I dashed off a rare emotional tweet:
So, Roy Moore had a bad Christmas and decided to get some attention. Heâ€™ll probably be on CNN soon. Meanwhile, peopleâ€™s lives are harmed.
â€” David Badash (@davidbadash) January 6, 2016
I didn’t realize just how right I was.
“Roy Moore is running for governor.”
So saysÂ Michele Gerlach, the publisher of a local Alabama newspaper,Â The Andalusia Star-News.
“Roy Moore wasnâ€™t really hoping to change the practices of Alabama probate judges who are issuing same-sex licenses when he raised the topic again this week,”Â Gerlach writes, noting there is an age limit for beingÂ Chief Justice, but not for Governor.
Alabama’s current governor, Robert Bentley, is on the second term, and thanks to term limits, he cannot run again when his term ends after the November 2018 elections.
“The campaign tactic Moore used this week is an old and familiar one,”Â Gerlach notes.
â€œDemagoguery is as much a part of the American political tradition as kissing babies. It is the engine that drives voters to kick the can down the road and into the voting booth,â€Â wrote Gov. George Wallaceâ€™s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, this week in an op-ed piece headlined â€œRoy Moore is more dangerous than my father.â€
GerlachÂ observes, rightly, that the “more folks on the left decry his order, issued this week, the more folks on the right will vow to support him in the future. And thatâ€™s the support he needs to run for governor.”
And as is too often the case, gay people and our rights will be, effectively, on the ballot in Alabama in 2018 once again.
Image viaÂ Facebook
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Former US Attorney Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ After Report Secret Service Failed to Share Threat Against Pelosi
A former U.S. Attorney is calling for a full investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s failure to share intelligence it had detailing a violent threat against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Joyce Vance, who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. She says it “requires a full investigation.”
“The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting the Speaker,” Vance continues. “If true” that the U.S. Secret Service “failed to pass on intelligence about threats, that’s very alarming.”
Vance points to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that finds the Secret Service discovered a violent social media based threat on January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection, but did not share that intelligence with the Capitol Police until nearly 6 PM ET on January 6.
The U.S. Secret Service is an agency under the Dept. of Homeland Security. The DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, is under investigation by two powerful House Committee chairs who on Tuesday accused him of “obstruction.”
In a separate report CREW reveals that “days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, documents exchanged between the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies outlined ‘threats of violence’ on the 6th, coming ‘predominantly from right wing groups’ with ‘plans to bring weapons into the District,’ according to documents obtained by CREW. The Secret Service knew that Trump’s supporters would be demonstrating around Freedom Plaza and the Capitol with the intent to cause violence, but the agency does not appear to have taken the threat seriously.”
“While the Secret Service downplayed threats posed by right-wing extremist groups and Trump’s supporters leading up to January 6, the newly obtained documents reveal just how grave and explicit the threats had actually been,” CREW alleges.
Image via Shutterstock
Secret Service Held Onto Violent Jan. 6 Threat Against Pelosi, Watchdog Says
Two days before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump the U.S. Secret Service discovered a “series of violent threats” made on social media, including against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, but did not pass them on to the Capitol Police until the evening of January 6 – after the violence of the insurrection had ended, a watchdog reports.
“On January 4, Secret Service agents discovered a Parler account, which we’ve chosen not to name, posting a series of violent threats towards lawmakers. Other profiles with the same name appeared on Twitter, MeWe, Bitchute, Youtube and Facebook,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reveals.
“On December 31, the account posted, ‘January 6 starts #1776 all over again…Fight for EVERYTHING’ and listed ‘Enemies,’ including Pelosi. At 5:55 pm on January 6, after hours of defending the United States Capitol from a violent mob, the United States Capitol Police received the post along with a message from the Secret Service.”
“The language used by the account, as we’ve now seen repeated in recordings released by the January 6th Committee, is a clear call for a violent overthrow of the American government on January 6, 2021,” CREW adds.
The Secret Service found what CREW calls other “troubling” posts tied to that account.
“Biden will die shortly after being elected,” the account posted on January 2, four days before the insurrection. “Patriots are gonna tear his head off. Prison is his best case scenario.”
“We’re all on a mission to save America. Lone wolf attacks are the way to go,” read a Jan. 3 post. “Stay anonymous. Stay alive. Guns up Patriots!!”
CREW takes the Secret Service to task.
“In the past month, we’ve learned that the Secret Service failed to prepare for violence on January 6 despite receiving explicit warnings, then deleted key evidence from the day, likely breaking the law,” the nonpartisan watchdog reports, presumably referring to the deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. “The delay in notifying Capitol Police about the threat to the Speaker of the House only adds to the impression that the agency failed to do its job, and leads to more questions. Why did the agency wait two days, until after the Capitol had been breached and Congressional leaders were in hiding to pass it along?”
Watch: Pence Says He Would ‘Consider’ Appearing Before J6 Committee if Offered ‘Invitation’ to ‘Participate’
Former Vice President Mike Pence, asked if he would testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, said if invited he would “consider” participating.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said Wednesday morning at a political event in New Hampshire, a state presidential hopefuls visit early and often. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t want to prejudge.”
In fact, as NBC News producer Frank Thorp V noted, “It would not, actually, be unprecedented for a VP to testify on Capitol Hill.”
Pence, as he often does, tried to frame his remarks in a historic context.
“Under the Constitution, we have three coequal branches of government, and um, any invitation that’d be directed to me, I’d have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as Vice President.”
Thorp notes that “Vice President Schuyler Colfax testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Credit Mobilier on January 7, 1873, which was while he was in office.” He also points out that President Abraham Lincoln and President Woodrow Wilson testified before Congress.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney adds that “many” of Pence’s “former top aides have testified at length, presumably with his blessing.”
Pointing to the video below, law professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck noted Wednesday morning that “Former Vice President Ford testified before Congress in October 1974 … while he was PRESIDENT.” He also notes that “former Presidents (to say nothing of former VPs) have testified before Congress *sixteen* times.”
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss says the former vice president “needs to testify fully under oath before the House January 6 Committee — and he must not take the Fifth.”
Watch Pence below or at this link:
Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
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