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No Moore: Bad candidates don't cancel elections

November 18. 2017 11:29PM

We generally do not weigh in on far flung Senate races.

Alabama voters can choose between Roy Moore, a loathsome huckster who was clearly unfit for office well before credible accusations of child predation surfaced, and Doug Jones, a generic Southern Democrat.

Some Republicans have been trying for years to stop Moore's clownish career, only to be thwarted by Alabama voters. They failed to look into rumors of Moore cruising the mall for teenaged girls.

Faced with the prospect of losing a safe Senate seat to a Democrat, Republicans are searching for a way to keep it.

The GOP could try to replace Moore on the ballot, despite a clear statute that requires his name on it. New Jersey Democrats pulled a similar switch in 2002 when scandal-plagued Sen. Robert Torricelli was about to lose. The liberal New Jersey Supreme Court let Democrats pinch-hit Frank Lautenberg.

The Alabama Legislature could convene in an emergency session to rewrite the special election laws.

Interim Sen. Luther Strange could resign, allowing Gov. Kay Ivey to reschedule the Dec. 12 special election.

To her credit, Ivey has said her state will hold its election, as scheduled. If nominating awful candidates were sufficient justification to postpone an election, we might never get to vote.

The Senate could expel Moore if elected, and hold another election in November 2018.

Such desperate maneuvers are not justified. The window to keep Moore off the ballot closed when he won the Republican primary. The GOP has to live with that mistake, even if that means a Democrat wins in Alabama.

Blame Bill Clinton for showing a truly shameless politician can keep his supporters loyal. Blame Dan Rather for convincing them that every unfavorable story about a Republican candidate is a smear. Blame Trent Lott and Tom Delay for destroying the credibility of the Republican Party to the point that voters would turn to someone as horrible as Moore.

Don't cancel an election because you're going to lose. Don't expect Moore to do the decent thing and drop out. If he were decent, we wouldn't be here.

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