Political resume: After being appointed and subsequently elected as a local jurist, Moore won election and served as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2001-2003 before being removed for not following the direction of a federal judge and removing a monument depicting the Ten Commandments. Moore has also run unsuccessfully for governor in Alabama in 2006 and 2010. He announced his presidential exploratory committee on April 18.
On campaign finance/election reform (three points): As a columnist for WorldNetDaily, Moore opined that McCain-Feingold “restricts First Amendment rights of free speech regarding political matters while making it easier for incumbents to strengthen their hold on their offices.” He’s right on the button, and I suspect he would be in favor of voter ID as well. I’ll give him two points.
On property rights (five points): While it was hinted in this article he penned that Moore was against the Kelo decision, the fact that he stood up for private property rights at a rally shows me he’s likely on the right side. Five points.
On the Second Amendment (seven points): This short treatise shows he gets why there’s a Second Amendment. Seven points.
On education (eight points): Roy states on his issue page that, “the federal government should not hamper the education systems of various states, as there is no authority for federal involvement under the Constitution. Competition between the states and freedom of various educational structures should be available to parents who are charged with the responsibility to teach their children. Charter schools, vouchers, tax credits, home schooling, Christian schools, and technical training should be encouraged.” The only part I don’t like is the part about tax credits, since I think controlling behavior through the tax code is a no-no as a permanent solution. So I’ll give him six points.
On the Long War/veterans affairs (nine points): There are parts I like about Moore and his philosophy and others I’m not so sure of. He wants a missile defense system (good) and more funding for the military (probably good, but I don’t think they need a blank check.) He believes “we should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of any President.” (I can buy that.) But to say “we must treat sovereign nations as we would want to be treated” doesn’t leave a lot of room for hammering them when needed. Maybe I’m misunderstanding his intent, but I have to grade him a step down from some others. Seven points.
On immigration (eleven points): He has a somewhat similar view to that of Jon Huntsman in that he would “allow” states to take the lead in border security. But he has a moral position on the issue as well, and I think he would be just fine on the issue because I take it he has a security “floor” in mind which states can exceed if they wish. I’ll give him seven points.
On energy independence (twelve points): “We need independence from foreign oil by freeing access to our own natural resources and developing other sources such as nuclear, solar, wind, and fossil fuels. Coal and oil supplies should be developed. Off-shore drilling should be increased but subject to reasonable regulations.” That’s the extent of Moore’s views on energy. It’s the problem with having no legislative record to back things up – I have no definition of things like “reasonable regulation.” And I’m troubled that he equates unproven pieces of the puzzle like solar and wind with items we use now. So I can only give him five points as well.
On entitlements (thirteen points): I like one statement he makes: “Churches and charitable organizations should be encouraged to help the needy and poor.” Now, if he has fidelity to the Constitution as he says he does I think he should follow through on eliminating entitlements altogether – please find for me the point in that document where Americans have a right to entitlements. I’m going to give him nine points.
On trade and job creation (fourteen points): Moore believes that we can return manufacturing by “revoking unfair trade agreements,” but doesn’t define what constitutes an unfair agreement. But he does understand the problem, as evidenced in this local paper: “Why don’t we have jobs? We’ve regulated them. We’ve taxed them out of existence. We’ve made free trade agreements and sent them south,” Moore said. I’ll give him eight points.
On taxation and the role of government (fifteen points): Roy favors a government with fealty to the Constitution and either a flat income tax or consumption-based system of taxation, either of which would be a vast improvement over what we have now. Aside from the contradiction in tax policy regarding tax credits for education it’s exactly the type of thing I am looking for, so Moore gets fourteen points.
Intangibles (up to three points): On the positive side, Moore opposes same-sex marriage, is pro-life, and supports our national sovereignty. He would defund Planned Parenthood as well. And because he doesn’t advocate a Constitutional prohibition on these items (presumably leaving them up to the states) he has no negatives so he gets all three points.
Total (maximum, 100 points): Moore scores an impressive 73 points, placing him among the top contenders.
One intangible that I didn’t add in because I wanted to discuss it at more length was standing up for principle even if it’s not politically correct. Judge Moore was removed from the bench not for malfeasance or scandalous activity like taking a bribe, but because he refused to follow an order which he felt differed from the intent of the Constitution. If you assume we are a nation where we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and the Ten Commandments come from that same Creator, one can understand why Moore sacrificed his position on principle.
And while he has flirted with the idea on at least two other occasions (2004 and 2008) it’s commendable that Moore has chosen to remain in the ranks of the Republican Party rather than run on the Constitution Party line as some have wanted him to do. Granted, he may still do so if his longshot bid for the GOP nod doesn’t succeed – and his electoral history seeking executive office would indicate this will be the case – but at the very least he can bring some good issues to the table if he could only get enough support to be placed in the debates and forums.
As my friend Heather Olsen commented, I’m taking a risk in doing those candidates who may not be around in October first; Moore may decide he’s not exploring anymore after tomorrow. But conservatives should pay heed to Moore’s campaign if they don’t have confidence in the sometimes gaffe-prone Michele Bachmann or the fading Herman Cain bid. He will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Judge Roy Moore is a TEA Party favorite for good reason.