Kudos to three conservatives for moral leadership
Deplorable Roy Moore lost his special election for the U.S. Senate in Alabama on Dec. 12, the first day of Hanukkah, and oy vey, how far we have fallen into the abyss that his defeat is considered a miracle.
The #MeToo movement that’s felling abusive bullies in Washington, Hollywood and newsrooms is charging full steam ahead. There’s so many potential targets it’s kind of scary. Creepy bad guys are lurking everywhere like germs. Thankfully, like bacteria, there are good ones and bad ones. Not all old white men are cut from the same cloth. Last week, three stood out for their moral leadership.
• Alabama’s senior senator, Richard Shelby, did his state and the country a service by stating plainly at the 11th hour before the election that Alabama could do better and deserves better than Roy Moore. This 83-year-old anti-abortion conservative could have stayed out of the race and played it safe in the face of President Trump’s expedient endorsement of Moore and his proclivity to be spiteful. He could have used Doug Jones’ pro-choice stance an an excuse to get behind Moore, but he didn’t. Way to go, Sen. Shelby!
• Another attaboy goes out to 84-year-old Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. Last week, as the Senate chair of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley announced matter-of-factly that President Trump’s nominations of Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley for lifetime appointments to the federal bench are getting nixed: Talley, 36, because he (a) has never tried a case; (b) spent his formative years as a lawyer with the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group, a “volunteer organization” that chases ghosts, holds all-night vigils and uses infrared cameras looking for spooky phantoms, and (c) was unanimously deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association. Talley is also known to have defended the Klu Klux Klan and, as National Public Radio reported last month:
“A month after a gunman killed 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Talley described efforts by the Obama administration to advance gun control legislation as follows: ‘The president and his Democratic allies in Congress are about to launch the greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime.’
One month later, as the national debate over gun control raged on, Talley responded to a reader’s comment that ‘we will have to resort to arms when our other rights – of speech, press, assembly, representative government – fail to yield the desired results,’ by writing, ‘I agree with this completely.’ ”
Grassley gave Mateer the ax because the nominee (a) said he believed transgender children were part of “Satan’s plan” and defended a judge’s right to support certain kinds of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation, according to The Washington Post; and (b) forgot to hand in his paperwork.
Thank you, Sen. Grassley.
• The third guy on my list of people to thank is Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, who, last week, along with Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, penned an op-ed in The Washington Post urging Congress to act on immigration reform to save the “dreamers.”
“The holidays are upon us, and families across the United States are coming together to celebrate. Yet for about 690,000 of our neighbors, colleagues and friends, this holiday season is marked by uncertainty and fear.
“These are the ‘dreamers’ – children of undocumented immigrants who are working, in countless ways, to make the United States stronger. Unless Congress acts, this holiday season might be the last one the dreamers get to spend in the country they love and call home.
“We must do better.”
Way to go, Chuck.
The Koch Brothers are the go-to boogeymen for liberals – often, perhaps, for good cause – but talking points never capture the whole story. You can disagree with Charles Koch’s business philosophy, his lack of faith in government and how he spends money to influence politics, but you can’t deny he has a point about the dreamers’ dilemma and, more importantly, that he has a willingness to work with others to solve the problem regardless of politics. Few can disagree that, “for our nation to maximize progress and prosperity, we need more, not fewer, talented people at the table.”
It will take more than just a few good acts by a few powerful men to make good on #MeToo. There’s a lot of rot under the veneer across the country in the public and private sector that needs to be ripped out like old plaster walls. Once removed of the dirt and rubble, the sturdy old beams still holding up the structure should be appreciated.