Calling a spade a spade: Moore laying ground for campaign

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, January 9, 2016

Let’s not argue about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision on same-sex marriage. People are for it or against it, and there’s no gray.

But let’s do call a spade a spade.

Roy Moore wasn’t really hoping to change the practices of Alabama probate judges who are issuing same-sex licenses when he raised the topic again this week.

Roy Moore is running for governor.

The current chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court – who was removed from office previously for defying a federal court order – will be past the age limit for seeking office as a judge when his term is up in 2018. But there are no such limits for running for governor. Moore has run before – heck, he’s even talked about running for president – and it appears he will run again.

In case you missed it, Alabama’s chief justice made news this week when he ordered the state’s probate judges to halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples until conflicts over “existing orders” from the Alabama Supreme Court can be resolved and the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges clarified. It’s basically the same order he issued last year. Four probate judges followed the new order on Thursday; most of them resumed the sales of licenses on Friday.

The campaign tactic Moore used this week is an old and familiar one.

“Demagoguery is as much a part of the American political tradition as kissing babies. It is the engine that drives voters to kick the can down the road and into the voting booth,” wrote Gov. George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, this week in an op-ed piece headlined “Roy Moore is more dangerous than my father.”

Kennedy went on to say that her father was playing politics when he stood in the schoolhouse door for a fight he knew he wouldn’t win. Moore, on the other hand, she argued, as a judge has an obligation to uphold the law.

The more folks on the left decry his order, issued this week, the more folks on the right will vow to support him in the future. And that’s the support he needs to run for governor.

Getting his name in the news also doesn’t hurt fundraising for his Foundation for Moral Law, presided over by his wife, Kayla. The Foundation for Moral Law reported income of $707,818 in 2010, $547,553 in 2011, $557,870 in 2012 and $427,141 in 2013, according to published reports.

“Roy Moore is delusional about Roy Moore,” opined one state newspaper.

I’m inclined to disagree.

Moore knows exactly what he’s doing.


Michele Gerlach is publisher of The Star-News. She can be reached at