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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Just What the 2012 Field Needed: Roy Moore!

Just when you thought the 2012 Republican presidential field couldn’t get much zanier, who should appear on the highways and byways of Iowa than Judge Roy Moore!
Yes, we’re talking Roy Moore, Alabama’s famous Ten Commandments Judge, who won brief notoriety by getting himself forcibly ejected from office for insisting on the installation of a large monument to the Decalogue at his courthouse, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Moore was treated as a martyr by theocrats everywhere, but his two subsequent bids for governor of Alabama–most recently last year, when he finished a poor fourth in the GOP primary–didn’t go much of anywhere.
Judge Roy has also been a fixture at Tea Party events, serving as the most visible link between that “movement” and the Christian Right. But resistance to GLBT rights has long been his go-to issue, and that’s what has drawn him to Iowa, where conservative activists are obsessed with an effort to overturn the State Supreme Court’s 2009 decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Indeed, Moore’s appearance at an anti-marriage-equality rally in Des Moines last month seems to have led directly to his decision to launch a presidential exploratory committee and stick around Iowa as a putative candidate. He’s being squired around the state by one of the co-chairs of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa campaign.
If nothing else, Moore’s move should help make Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain seem more moderate by comparison, though you do have to wonder exactly how much oxygen exists for multiple candidates associated with the harder-core elements of the Christian Right. The more conventional Iowa Republicans have to be getting a bit uncomfortable by now at the realization their state party has become a global wingnut magnet.

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