4 months ago

Quin Hillyer: Moore’s ad spreads a big lie



Roy Moore’s Senate campaign is running a TV commercial featuring a cheap lie that harms public faith in our constitutional system.

On a personal level, the lie isn’t as vicious as the smear-by-out-of-context-innuendo to which a recent Doug Jones ad has subjected Moore. In terms of systemic damage, though, Moore’s commercial is somewhat worse, as it adds to a long series of claims, events and trends that wrongly convince many voters our system is “rigged” by shadowy, powerful forces.

When Richard Hofstadter wrote his infamous essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” in 1964, it surrounded the germ of truth with a bunch of highfalutin’ claptrap used as a way to take cheap shots at conservatives. Unfortunately, though, today’s political world truly does exhibit a vast amount of outlandish paranoia all across the political spectrum; Moore’s TV spot cynically plays on, and exacerbates, that paranoia.

The Moore ad references the now-famous sexual-impropriety accusations against Moore by calling them “false allegations” (maybe) resulting from “a scheme by liberal elites and the Republican establishment to protect their big-government trough.”

That second part, about the alleged scheme, is a lie. (If it’s not, the Moore campaign should prove its contention. Put up, or shut up.) It features photos of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (with a crown on his head) along with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, while big-dollar bills erupt out of the U.S. Capitol dome.

Before examining this further, let us be clear: The word “lie” is used here very carefully. Not every falsehood is a lie; some are just mistakes. A falsehood is a lie only if the one telling it either knows it not to be true or if he spreads the information with willful disregard for whether it is true or not – for self-serving purposes, with no real attempt to ascertain if it is indeed accurate.

The allegation that the Republican establishment and liberal elites are colluding to invent false accusations against Moore is the latter kind of lie. Not only is it untrue, but it relies on absurdist logic and/or a serious ignorance about how our government and politics actually work.

To be clear, McConnell has much for which to answer in this race. He and his team screwed things up at every step. But not only is there no evidence that McConnell or his team had anything to do with scheming to bring down Moore with these allegations, there also is not a shred of reason for them to have done so. The idea doesn’t just lack sense; it runs directly counter to all logic and all political reality.

As soon as the primary was over, Moore was the Republican candidate – and McConnell desperately needs a Republican to win. With only a two-vote Republican majority in a Senate full of GOP lone wolves, McConnell clearly was looking past his doubts about Roy Moore and starting to help Moore. That’s why the National Republican Senatorial Committee was helping support Moore’s campaign, financially and organizationally – because in a choice between Moore and the liberal Jones, of course the Republican establishment wanted Moore to be the senator.

And the very last thing they would want is an official Republican nominee to suddenly be credibly charged with teen abuse, and for the party to be faced with a damned-either-way dilemma in which a huge swath of the country would believe Republicans willingly overlook ephebophilia.

Meanwhile, here’s some news for conspiracy mongers: Roy Moore, in his self-appointed role as principled Christian conservative, represented not a single threat to the supposed “big government trough.” The DC ethos surely is flawed, but the system – especially the financial side of it – wasn’t threatened by a single junior senator in his 70s, especially one whose actual record and public advocacy on non-cultural-hot-button issues actually is rather moderate.

(Remember, too: The McConnell henchmen spent far more money and effort attacking Mo Brooks in the first primary than it did attacking Moore. Brooks, not Moore, was the one they really feared.)

There was no reason and no motive for McConnell’s minions, after Moore was the nominee, to have concocted false allegations of such a nature against Moore. Zero, zilch, nada. And there is no evidence they did so. (Indeed, through the journalistic grapevine, the story I’ve heard of how the Washington Post stumbled onto these allegations is a classic of a shoe-leather reporter being in the right place at the right time, with utterly apolitical sources.)

Mitch McConnell wants a vote for conservative judges, and a vote to replace Obamacare, and a vote to undo regulations. The last thing he wants is to be stuck with no choice other than one between a Republican colleague who is thought by many to be a sexual abuser and a liberal Democrat who will vote with Schumer 90 percent of the time.

Indeed, what’s truly insane in the Moore ad is the idea that somehow McConnell and Schumer are on the same side of anything, or that they are self-consciously protecting a system whose insider privileges are more important to them than are their vast policy, political, and personal differences.

To spread this myth, to feed this paranoia, about a political “class” whose ties supersede their partisan differences, all at the expense of their own constituents, is to undermine basic, small-‘r’ republican understandings among the populace.

There is no grand conspiracy. Period. End of story.

But there is a cottage industry of political hacks, or of tactical Leninists such as the blowhard Steve Bannon, who see either money or political power to be snatched if they somehow convince the public to believe the lie that the conspiracy exists.

 Yellowhammer Contributing Editor Quin Hillyer, of Mobile, also is a Contributing Editor for National Review Online, and is the author of Mad Jones, Heretic, a satirical literary novel published in the fall of 2017.

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26 mins ago

10 million southerners remain under storm threat

The Latest on storms and damage across the Southeast (all times local):

8 a.m.

Forecasters say a storm system that battered Alabama and Georgia will threaten a large part of the Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

The national Storm Prediction Center says much of north Florida and the entire Georgia and South Carolina coasts will be at an “enhanced” risk for severe storms, which could include damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes.


A small part of the North Carolina coastline is also included in the area most likely to see severe weather.

The area most at risk is heavily populated, with more than 10 million people and major Florida cities such as Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Forecasters said storms could strike some communities Tuesday morning, and others Tuesday afternoon and evening.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

52 mins ago

The only solution to gun violence in schools is … more guns in schools

As I drove my five children to school this morning I heard on the radio that the bill allowing teachers to carry guns might be debated today on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives.

I’ve had my share of serious concerns about the proposal — training, oversight, unintended consequences — and have remained mostly unsure how we should proceed.

Until a few minutes ago.


My youngest wanted me to walk him to class, and when his little hand passed from mine to his teacher’s — and I felt that familiar sense of worry that all good fathers feel when leaving their children — I imagined … just for a moment … that his teacher was wearing a holstered sidearm.

And I felt a genuine sense of relief.

It’s time for our lawmakers to turn that fantasy into reality so parents across Alabama can feel that same sense of relief, knowing that if some insane shooter tries to harm our children they’ll at least stand a fighting chance because some of their teachers will be armed.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville), will need as much flexibility and local control as possible to avoid becoming a hinderance rather than a help, though. It already allows local school systems to determine if they want to arm their teachers, and that’s a good start. That way, if a community doesn’t like how their system decides, they can take it up with their locally-elected school board.

Still, lawmakers will likely need to make further adjustments next year once we’ve seen how the would-be law is implemented. There will surely be some tweaks tomorrow, but that should not be cause for complete inaction today.

Listen folks: In sane world I’d rather see a pencil-packing teacher rather than a pistol-packing teacher, but we don’t live in a sane world.

The neo-Marxist left, with the help of libertarians and the acquiescence of lazy conservatives, has attacked and weakened our traditions and promoted fifth and disorder everywhere, especially in our government-run schools. What we saw in Parkland, Florida, is a direct result of their campaign to reshape our society … and it’s certainly be reshaped.

There’s nothing left for those who seek to live in peace but to arm ourselves, and those who watch over our children.

I hate it, but that’s the reality we face.

And just as the only solution to hate speech is more speech, because we’re not getting rid of the First Amendment, the only solution to gun violence is more guns, because we’re not getting rid of the Second Amendment, either.

Whatever emerges from this legislative session, if it doesn’t end with more guns in schools — either by arming teachers, a volunteer security force, or more campus cops — then we’d have failed.

And the left would take our society another step down the road to ruin.

(Image: File)

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter.

1 hour ago

Karrie Webb gets US Women’s Open spot at Alabama

Two-time champion Karrie Webb has received a special exemption to the U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

Webb won consecutive U.S. Women’s Open titles by a combined 13 shots when she was at the top of her game. She beat Cristie Kerr and Meg Mallon by five shots at The Merit Club outside Chicago in 2000 and Se Ri Pak by eight shots at Pine Needles in North Carolina a year later.


The U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek starts May 31.

Webb received a 10-year exemption for her 2001 victory, and she has remained exempt through other categories every year since then.

The Australian is the first player to receive a special exemption to the Women’s Open since Pak in 2016 at CordeValle.

(Image: Keith Allison/Wikicommons)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

2 hours ago

Our problem is a widespread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns

One of the unavoidable tragedies of youth is the temptation to think that what is seen today has always been. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in our responses to the recent Parkland, Florida, massacre.

Part of the responses to those murders are calls to raise the age to purchase a gun and to have more thorough background checks — in a word, to make gun purchases more difficult.

That’s a vision that sees easy gun availability as the problem; thus, the solution is to reduce that availability.


The vision that sees “easy” availability as the problem ignores the fact of U.S. history that guns were far more available yesteryear. With truly easy gun availability, there was nowhere near the gun mayhem and murder that we see today. I’m tempted to ask those who believe that guns are today’s problem whether they think that guns were nicer yesteryear. What about the calls for bans on the AR-15 so-called assault rifle? It turns out that according to 2016 FBI statistics, rifles accounted for 368 of the 17,250 homicides in the U.S. that year. That means restrictions on the purchase of rifles would do little or nothing for the homicide rate. Leaders of the gun control movement know this. Their calls for more restrictive gun laws are part of a larger strategy to outlaw gun ownership.

Gun ownership is not our problem. Our problem is a widespread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns. That decline includes disrespect for those in authority, disrespect for oneself, little accountability for anti-social behavior and a scuttling of religious teachings that reinforced moral values. Let’s examine elements of this decline.

If any of our great-grandparents or even grandparents who passed away before 1960 were to return, they would not believe the kind of personal behavior all too common today. They wouldn’t believe that youngsters could get away with cursing and assaulting teachers. They wouldn’t believe that some school districts, such as Philadelphia’s, employ more than 400 school police officers. During my primary and secondary schooling, from 1942 to 1954, the only time one saw a policeman in school was during an assembly period where we had to listen to a boring lecture on safety. Our ancestors also wouldn’t believe that we’re now debating whether teachers should be armed.

There are other forms of behavior that would have been deemed grossly immoral yesteryear. There are companies such as National Debt Relief, CuraDebt and LendingTree, which advertise that they will help you to avoid paying all the money you owe. So after you and a seller agree to terms of a sale, if you fail to live up to your half of the bargain, there are companies that will assist you in ripping off the seller.

There are companies that counsel senior citizens on how to shelter their assets from nursing home care costs. For example, a surviving spouse may own a completely paid-for home that’s worth $500,000. The costs of nursing home care might run $50,000 a year. By selling her house, she could pay the nursing home costs, but her children wouldn’t inherit the house. There are firms that come in to shelter her assets so that she can bequeath her home to her heirs and leave taxpayers to foot the nursing home bill. In my book, that’s immoral, but it is so common that most of us give it no thought.

There is one moral failing that is devastating to the future of our nation. That failing, which has wide acceptance by the American people, is the idea that Congress has the authority to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another American. That is nothing less than legalized theft and accounts for roughly three-quarters of federal spending. For the Christians among us, we should consider that when God gave Moses the commandment “Thou shalt not steal,” he probably didn’t mean thou shalt not steal unless you get a majority vote in the U.S. Congress.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

(Image: File)

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 hours ago

Huckabee touts Scott Dawson’s social conservative bona fides, Shrugs off 2017 special election fatigue

PELHAM – Monday before taking the stage at the Pelham Civic Complex to stump for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) offered Yellowhammer News his insight into the upcoming gubernatorial race and why he thought Dawson was the best choice in that race.

Huckabee explained that given the circumstances of disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley’s departure from the governor’s mansion and the disappointment some may felt because of it, the time was right for a candidate like Dawson.

“Obviously the people of Alabama have had some tough times,” Huckabee said. “I understand it because it is very similar to what the people of Arkansas went through. It’s an emotional gut punch to see governors get in trouble. I think Scott is the kind of governor that is not going to disappoint people. He’s got leadership skills. He’s got charisma. But he has something that keeps a person out of that kind of trouble, humility. If you don’t have some perspective and don’t recognize that you’re not being elected to be a king or a prince, but a servant. He’s got a servant’s heart, and I think that’s his greatest asset going in. He knows what he doesn’t know and the person that will get you in the most trouble is the guy who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”


When asked if voters might be reluctant to participate in this year’s primary or dispirited because of the loss suffered at the hands of Roy Moore, the perceived social conservative candidate, in last year’s U.S. Senate special election, Huckabee dismissed any similarities.

He explained that Dawson’s convictions were not born out of political expediency.

“It’s not the same because you don’t have the scandals,” he said. “You don’t have accusations. You don’t have the controversy that was even unrelated to the scandals of the senate campaign. You have a candidate who nobody has surfaced to say, ‘Let me tell you about this guy.’ And what they have said is, ‘Yes, let me tell you about this guy. I’ve known him since he was a little kid.’ That’s something that very, very dramatically different. He’s a social conservative that has truly lived it.”

“His views and convictions are not because of politics,” Huckabee added. “He’s in politics because of his convictions. That’s very different because I’ve seen guys – they’ve never thought a lot about these issues. But they run for office and then they know they got to take a position because that’s what the voters want them to do. But they really don’t have those core values or deep convictions.”

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

(Image: Mike Huckabee — Fox News Channel / YouTube)