In the aftermath of a series of allegations that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore molested and assaulted teenage girls, the Republican National Committee, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have cut ties to Moore.
If elected, several senior GOP senators including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have predicted his expulsion.
The Constitution Party in standing by Roy Moore, and is endorsing and fundraising for him
One political party, however, is standing by Moore. It’s the so-called Constitution Party, and it is dedicated to “restor[ing] American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations.”
The group has announced that it is taking the unusual step of endorsing and fundraising for Moore, who officially remains the Republican nominee in the December 12 special election.
Initially founded in 1991 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, the far-right minor party rebranded itself as the Constitution Party in 1999. Since then, it has become a mainstay of the third-party scene, and generally ranks as the fifth most popular party, after the Libertarians and the Greens, although it is usually far, far behind both of those parties.
In recent elections, the Constitution Party has struggled to obtain ballot access. In 2016 their presidential nominee, Tennessee attorney Darrell Castle, was on the ballot in 24 states, and won 203,010 votes nationwide.
That’s 0.15 percent of the popular vote. Castle came in only sixth place nationally. Independent conservative Evan McMullin, though only on the ballot in 11 states, received 731,788 votes, for fifth place.
Despite its patriotic-sounding name, most observers regard the Constitution Party as an extremely theocratic party, based on the fundamentalist Christian ideology of dominionism.
An extremist political party from another day and age
The party’s platform, among other things, calls for the recriminalization of pornography and homosexuality. They are militant in their opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, and the separation of church and state. Even the presence of non-Christians in the party has caused controversy, which has in turn lead to disputed accusations of anti-semitism.
Moore is not new to the Constitution Party, either. In 2004, shortly after being removed – for the first time – from his state supreme court position, Moore heavily considered a run for president as the party’s nominee. He ultimately decided against that, instead running unsuccessfully for governor in the 2006 GOP primary.
Despite turning down its offer to run for president, Moore has maintained a close informal association with the Constitution Party. He went on a speaking tour campaigning for their 2004 nominee, Michael Peroutka. As recently as earlier this year, he spoke to the party’s national meeting, which was held in Huntsville.
So it’s no surprise they’re sticking by their man, even if he officially has an “R” after his name, for the time being. In the press release announcing their decision, the Constitution Party disputed the accuracy of the charges against Moore, and also pointed to his long history of friendly ties to the party.
If Moore is elected on December 12, might he officially switch to the Constitution Party?
Which raises an interesting question: If elected on December 12, might Moore officially switch to the Constitution Party?
Moore will owe nothing to the Republican Party, which has eagerly been trying to push him aside and even threatening to expel him.
Such a move would revive the sagging fortunes of this far-right micro-party, and probably result in more attention than they have ever before received or merited. It would also mark the first third-party member of the Senate in decades, not counting a handful of no-party independents who’ve been elected to the chamber.
It would be the ultimate way for Moore to stick it to the GOP and its dreaded establishment.
Of course, that’s only if he wins. The race has become neck-and-neck, with some polls showing Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the lead. Even in deep-red Alabama, the thought of electing an accused child molester like Moore to the Senate will surely move some votes into the Jones column.
(Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama Judge Roy Moore speaks during a news conference with supporters and faith leaders on November 16, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.)