Can Roy Moore Actually Make the Senate Worse?

I wonder if I am alone in thinking that is scarcely matters whether or not Roy Moore wins the December special election in Alabama and becomes a U.S. Senator. Naturally, it would mean something if he lost to Democrat Doug Jones. What I mean is that I don’t really believe that having Moore in the Senate would add to its dysfunction or meaningfully change how the chamber functions. As far as I am concerned, he might as well already be there.

Sure, we can point out how insane Moore is and predict that he’ll make a spectacle of himself in Washington. He’ll probably try to follow through on his promise to make his first order of business the impeachment of the five Supreme Court Justices, including Anthony Kennedy, who “legalized sodomy” in Lawrence v. Texas. I expect him to talk nonstop nonsense, like his recent take that it’s against the law not to stand and place your hand over your heart during the National Anthem.

Moore might bring a little of the flavor of the House to the Senate. I’m reminded of Rep. Louie Gohmert’s famous performance in committee when he stammered, “I cannot have a witness challenge my character! The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus!” I don’t doubt that Judge Moore can top Rep. Steve King’s immortal claim that for every DREAMer who is a valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” It’s true that Moore has this kind of rich potential.

But will he vote or commit forms of obstruction that really distinguish himself from his predecessors Jeff Sessions and Luther Strange? Individual senators have a lot of power, especially in a narrowly divided Senate, so I don’t discount the possibility that Moore could cause the same kind of problems we’e seen recently from members as diverse as Rand Paul, John McCain, and Susan Collins. But the overall behavior of the congressional Republicans is already so detached from reality that I don’t believe Moore can do much to make things worse.

I guess that’s bad news if you think he’ll come to DC and drain the swamp. But it’s actually bad news because things are so bad that it’s now really difficult to make them worse.

Leave a Reply