No Moore

Even for deepest red Alabama, it proved to be a molestation bridge too far. If Roy Moore couldn’t be trusted at the local mall, voters concluded, the US Senate might not be an appropriate venue for him, either.

Moore went down to defeat, not because of his Neanderthal views on race, the role of religion in public life, or twice being removed from the state’s highest court because of an aversion to following the law, but because enough voters ultimately decided it wasn’t worth adding a solid conservative vote to the US Senate if it had to be delivered by a guy who was alleged to prey on teenage girls while in his 30s.

The outcome was a huge setback for President Trump, who held a just-over-the-border rally for Moore last Friday in Pensacola, Florida, and warned that Doug Jones, the Democrat who eked out a narrow victory, would be a disaster, “weak on borders” and “weak on crime.” The latter charge was particularly brazen, since Jones is best known as the US attorney who won convictions in 2001 and 2002 against two former Ku Klux Klansmen in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four black girls.

Tuesday’s result should be particularly troubling to the president because Moore was, in a sense, Trump on steroids. Get past the obvious surface differences between a Bible-thumping Southerner and a New York libertine and it’s easy to see Moore as a caricature of Trump — something that is not easy to pull off.

Ross Douthat summarizes it well in the New York Times: Moore “was Trump’s Trump — the man who took this mode of politics to 11 and beyond,” he writes. “The president has harassment accusations; the judge had mall-trawling accusations. Trump is a race-baiter; Moore was a stock character from a message movie about Southern bigotry. Trump’s populism mixed reasonable grievances in together with some stupid ones; Moore’s populism was the purest ressentiment. And like Trump but much, much more so, the Moore campaign relied on the assumption that Republicans who didn’t care for who he was and what he represented simply had nowhere else to go.”

The Globe’s Scot Lehigh celebrated the victory of “basic decency” over Trumpism. “The president had enfolded the reptilian Moore in his clammy the-ends-justify-the-means, victory-is-all-that-counts embrace,” he writes. But Alabama voters — or at least enough of them — just couldn’t stomach Moore, no matter how hard he thumped his Bible.

“With Trump’s own alleged sexual misbehavior being re-examined in the post-Weinstein era, that must be a disquieting message indeed for the occupant of the White House,” writes Lehigh.

Of course, Trump’s reaction to renewed discussion of the string of allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against him was, predictably, to double-down on his cretin cred.

Reacting to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who joined a small, but growing, chorus of senators calling for Trump’s resignation over the sexual misconduct charges, Trump tweeted that she was a “lightweight” who would “do anything” for campaign contributions.

That prompted a scathing editorial by USA Today that distilled in jaw-dropping terms the reaction Trump generates with his bottomless, scorched earth approach:

“A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush,” it reads.

The guy who vowed to drain the swamp increasingly acts like something that emerged from it.



A Salem News editorial applauds Gov. Charlie Baker’s housing choice initiative.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s longtime chief of staff, James Eisenberg, is leaving for a lobbying job and being replaced by DeLeo’s “taciturn” communications chief, Seth Gitell. (Boston Globe)

The Cannabis Control Commission adopted regulations that seek to give a boost in the licensing process for retail marijuana sales to those in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by the illegal marijuana trade. (Boston Herald)


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is going out to bid on a five-year, $45 to $80 million contract to overhaul City Hall plaza and install a restaurant at City Hall itself. (Boston Herald)

The state Ethics Commission determined there was reasonable cause to determine a former assistant principal and football coach at Wayland High School directed athletic wear purchases to a store owned by his father in violation of the state’s conflict of interest laws. The commission opted against any penalties, however. (MetroWest Daily News)


Texts between two veteran FBI agents, including one dismissed from the Russia investigation because of alleged anti-President Trump bias, indicated fear that Trump would politicize the bureau if he won. The agents wrote, among other things, that Hillary Clinton “has to win” and labeled Trump an “idiot” and a “douche.” (New York Times)

A group of 56 Democratic female lawmakers sent a letter to US Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, demanding an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump now that his accusers have renewed their charges. (U.S. News & World Report)

The White House denied President Trump made a sexist comment when he tweeted that Sen. Kristen Gillibrand “would do anything” for campaign donations. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called Trump’s tweet “slut shaming.” (Time) US Rep. Katherine Clark calls Trump an “insecure sexual predator.”


Jeff Jacoby makes a strongly argued case that the “millionaires’ tax” advocates are aiming to have appear on the 2018 statewide ballot won’t pass constitutional muster with the Supreme Judicial Court. (Boston Globe)

Joe Battenfeld says Roy Moore’s loss in the Alabama Senate race is a big relief to Gov. Charlie Baker, whose Democratic opponents have been gearing up to attack him next year’s race over money he helped raise for the Republican National Committee, which aided Moore’s campaign. (Boston Herald)


Beverly offers a property tax break to a company moving in from Peabody. (Salem News)

Tyrek Lee Sr. is suspended from his job as head of SEIU Local 1199 amid allegations of “inappropriate behavior.” (Boston Globe) A lawsuit is alleging sexual harassment at McCormick & Schmick’s at Faneuil Hall. (MassLive)


The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education unanimously approved a proposal to extend in-state tuition rates at all state colleges and universities for students from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who had to flee the islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. (State House News Service)

The Boston Globe series in racism delves into the world of higher education and finds African-American representation in the student body of area private colleges and universities has not budged in decades.

Boston Public Schools parents are poised to pack a School Committee hearing tonight to vent their opposition to new school starting times that will roll back the first bell at some elementary schools by more than two hours. (Boston Globe)

A Brockton student has been suspended after officials found a swastika and pro-Hitler message drawn on a desk in one of the city’s middle schools. (The Enterprise) Three small swastikas were found on a desk in a social studies classroom at Andover High School. (Eagle-Tribune)

A teenager and his father have filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association seeking to play basketball. The teenager, Chibuikem Onwuogu, transferred from Peabody High School to St. Mary’s in Lynn, and Peabody claims he should sit out a year because he was recruited. (Salem News)

A recent study by the Brookings Institution finds that students who get Pell grants have a lower six-year graduation rate than non-Pell students. (U.S. News & World Report)


The state’s Health Policy Commission authorizes a review of the merger of Lahey Health, Beth Israel Deaconess, and three other hospitals. (State House News)


South Coast Rail officials say the project is moving forward with project administrators filing wetlands review permits with some of the affected communities. (Herald News)


Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute say the rate of deaths among right whales from disease and entanglement could lead to “functional extinction” of the species by mid-century. (Cape Cod Times)

A federal Appeals Court panel upheld a lower court’s decision dismissing a $26 million suit by Westport officials against manufacturing giant Monsanto over cleanup of PCB’s at a town middle school. (Herald News)


Former governor Deval Patrick’s brother-in-law, Bernard Sigh, whose 1993 rape conviction became a flashpoint in Patrick’s first gubernatorial campaign as well as in a later legal showdown between Patrick and the former head of the state Sex Offender Registry Board, was arrested on new charges, including assault with intent to rape. (Boston Herald)

The state Appeals Court has overturned a judge’s decision and reinstated indictments against three men charged with seriously injuring a Plymouth Sheriff’s Department lieutenant in a bar fight in 2015. (Patriot Ledger)