When all the swamp critters flee your campaign and the most honest man in Washington is all who remains, you must be doing something right. That is exactly what has happened to Judge Roy Moore this past month. After The Washington Post published a potentially defamatory article about Moore, and women with obvious axes to grind came forward with stories of sexual misconduct, nearly every Republican politician in the nation condemned Moore, retracted their endorsement and/or demanded he exit the US Senate race in Alabama. One notable exception was Senator Rand Paul who maintained his support even as polls (some with questionable methodology) showed the Democratic nominee with the lead. The reason Paul stayed loyal may lie in Moore’s political positions.
We pledge to limit and restrain all federal government exercise of power that exceeds in any way the plain language of those few powers listed in the Constitution and to nullify all others that exceed such limit
In 2010 Roy Moore signed a resolution at the Tenth Amendment Summit, which included the above language. Notably, hardcore libertarian and current candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, Adam Kokesh, also signed the resolution. According to Adam Dick at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Moore’s embrace of the above message leaves “[n]o wonder [why] many people in the US political establishment [have] sought to prevent Moore’s Senate primary win.” With this view, in retrospect, the two instances that gained prominence for Moore (his refusals to remove the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court and refusal to recognize the faulty Obergefell decision) can be interpreted not just as an exercise of reactionary social views but as an attack on the over-encompassing authority of the federal government. On his campaign website, Moore proclaims, “All actions of state and federal officials must conform to the Constitution which should only be changed by amendments of the people, not decisions of activist judges. I support impeachment of judges and justices who knowingly and intentionally violate that principle.” The latter part of this statement reads more Kokesh-like than Dobsonesque.
In addition, Moore’s campaign website endorses a non-interventionist foreign policy, arguing “We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a President.” This is the same argument Ron and Rand Paul have been making for decades; an argument which runs counter to the military-industrial complex and thus the political establishment. Moore’s strong stance against victim disarmament in favor of the Second Amendment also strikes a chord among the gun-grabbing establishment.
While Moore does not claim to be libertarian, a label the media often affixes to Paul, Paul may see Moore as something of a fellow traveler. In many ways, Moore’s race has become a major battle of the War in Washington, of which Paul possibly became an unwitting target with the violent attack against his person at the hands of a partisan establishment Democrat. Like his father, Paul has been at odds with the political establishment his entire career and has made it a priority to limit the power and scope of government. The out-of-control political establishment fears politicians like Paul and becomes panic-struck at the thought of what Moore’s election could portend for their authority.
This same fear was on display during the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump, who borrowed heavily from Paul’s anti-establishment themes, drew the ire of the political establishment throughout the campaign. It attempted to upend his momentum with dubious allegations of sexual misconduct. Sound familiar? This is the same tactic currently being used against Moore. Like President Trump, Moore appears to have weathered the storm, but ominous clouds remain on the horizon. A “Senator Moore” would actualize the establishment’s worst nightmare and they may yet attempt to protect themselves through expulsion. We shall see in the coming weeks.