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Nope, Roy Moore is not a genius.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

“There are plenty of unusual things about Roy Moore. His stated policy positions are not among them,” Matthew Walther chirps in The Week. “The genius of Moore is that he is unwilling to join in the usual proceduralist games that social conservatives in this country have been playing and losing for decades.” Moore, Walther insists, cares about morals instead of money and bears little resemblance to Trump:

Moore is light years away from considering this tension, but it is heartening to think that there soon might be at least one person in the United States Senate for whom Christ is more important than Milton Friedman.

This is unreasonably optimistic. There is no evidence that Moore is anything but an orthodox Republican on economic questions. (“He’s going to be for tax reform, I think,” Rob Portman told Politico, summing up the ethos of the modern Republican Party.) Trump may not have a Christian bone in his body, but what he shares with Moore is a hatred of Muslims and a history of unabashed racism. Moore once spoke to the white supremacist group the Council of Conservative Citizens and referred to “reds and yellows fighting” in a recent speech. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported seven years ago that Moore’s foundation hosted the 2010 Alabama Secession Day Commemoration, “featuring speakers tied to the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that considers slavery ‘God-ordained’ and advocates for ‘the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions.’” These are all facts that Walther either doesn’t know, or chose to ignore.

Moore’s empowerment spells oppression for nearly everyone else. The hyperbole people typically apply to conservative evangelicals actually applies to Roy Moore. He is a proud and explicit theocrat, who wants to criminalize homosexuality and make Christian doctrine the law of the land. If R.J. Rushdoony found a way to upload his consciousness into another person after death, the result would look a lot like Moore. He is a walking Chick tract. He is Charles Coughlin in Protestant skin. There is no joy to Moore, whose dedication to forced purity represents religion at its very worst. And the darkly funny truth is that when people like Moore are in power no one, not even Matthew Walther, is safe. We all fall short of the glory of Roy.