Two columns bBy Quin Hillyer at Yellowhammer News;

Doug Jones’ Ad Crosses a Line

Roy Moore and his team are getting a taste of their own poison this week, but that doesn’t make the poisoning justified.

Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones’ latest ad highlights three Alabama Supreme Court cases in which then-Chief Justice Moore “sided” with defendants accused of sexual crimes involving minors. The obvious implication is that Moore sympathizes with such sexual abusers because he is one.

It’s not necessarily – in fact, it’s likely not – a fair use of those cases. It is, however, the exact same sort of out-of-context (mis)use of court cases that Moore’s team engaged in earlier this year to help torpedo the possibility for Alabama’s own federal appeals court judge Bill Pryor to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court. It was wrong for Moore’s team to take Pryor’s cases out of context, and it is wrong for Jones’ team to do it to Moore. (Note: In one of those columns linked above, I wrote that I thought Moore’s team was behind the slams at Pryor. I later confirmed that Moore-connected lawyers indeed were helping lead the charge.)… [Later in the column:]

Likewise, Jones’ team is wrong if it is taking Moore’s three cases out of context in order to do a political hit job on the judge. My preliminary analysis (not a full one yet) indicates this is likely what is happening here.

Jones’ ads highlight three cases in which Moore’s ruling favored the defendant in sexual abuse cases. Yet, just as what happened in particular with one of Pryor’s cases, all Moore did in one of the cases was argue a procedural point rather than address the merits of the defendant’s guilt or innocence….

[The full column is here.]

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.

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