Rand Paul, the self-styled libertarian senator from Kentucky, has given a full-throttle endorsement to Roy Moore, running as the Republican nominee in Alabama’s special election for the Senate. “Roy Moore has spent a lifetime defending and standing up for the Constitution while fighting for the people of Alabama,” Paul said. “We need more people in Washington, D.C., that will stand on principle and defend the Constitution. I look forward to welcoming him to the Senate very soon.”
The term of Paul’s endorsement are striking, since Moore is known for positions that are strikingly unconstitutional. Moore has advocated making homosexuality illegal and suggested that Muslims should not be allowed to sit in Congress. He was also ousted twice from the Alabama Supreme Court for openly defying the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Paul’s statement is the latest evidence that the Republican Party is going to fall in line behind Moore, despite his long record of political extremism. (Senator Mike Lee of Utah endorsed Moore yesterday.) In doing so, the party is following the pattern that we saw during Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. After the initial qualms about an unfit and extremist candidate, most Republican lawmakers came around to Trump, showing that partisan affiliation outweighed all other considerations.
The last federal election proved that the Republicans are the party of Donald Trump. But the party has since showed that, once Trump is gone, it is prepared to become the party of Roy Moore and whoever else might succeed him.