Another day, another dullard:
Nash Jenkins / TIME
— Senate candidate Roy Moore believes that professional athletes who take a knee during the national anthem are breaking the law. — In an interview with TIME magazine, the Alabama Republican argued that NFL players …
Not only is he wrong, but he’s pretty much B-F Crazy™ to boot. His legal illiteracy is well-known, having been removed from the Supreme Court of Alabama bench TWICE for ignoring law that he didn’t like. Now he wants to MAKE laws. But this is the Year of the Incompetent® so who knows?
In an interview with TIME magazine, the Alabama Republican argued that NFL players and others who have protested police violence are violating a section of the U.S. code which outlines how people should conduct themselves when the anthem is played. (The code merely outlines proper etiquette, and there are no legal penalties outlined in the law.)“It’s against the law, you know that?” he said. “It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.”
Wrong. W.R.O.N.G. Ok?
The Metaphysical Rube Goldberg machine
that manufactures this outright idiocy.
Here’s the really good quote from the 1943 Supreme Court case everyone is turning to. This is probably the best quote but the whole thing is well worth reading:
319 U.S. 624
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (No. 591)
Argued: March 11, 1943
Decided: June 14, 1943
… “As governmental pressure toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be. Probably no deeper division of our people could proceed from any provocation than from finding it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose program public educational officials shall compel youth to unite in embracing. Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast failing efforts of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.” — US Supreme Court
I posted a longer piece with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s magnificent concurrence in the 1989 Texas v. Lawrence case HERE: “The Unanimity of the Grave.” No need to repeat the post here.
We are at a crossroads in American history
We are in an existential crisis, as I’ve written many, many times before: the very nature of facts and reality is under siege from dark forces who would re-enshrine racism, bigotry, criminality, mob-rule, torture, and the other seeming GOP virtues.
This purblind nitwitticism from Moore (or less) is merely a symptom of our great societal malaise as reason and logic are thrown to the winds and only sentiment and bigotry prevail. It is the Masque of the Red (State) Death, as Poe might be forced to rewrite.
In many ways, Moore is the perfect Senate candidate for the Alabama GOP: ignorant, arrogant, clueless and worshipping the Confederate flag. Because, you know, all true Republicans defend and support the Confederate flag. Oh, wait.
Moore opines ignorantly:
He added that it’s a matter of the “the rule of law.”
“If they didn’t have it in there, it would just be tradition. But this is law,” he said. “If we disobey this, what else are we going to disobey?
No: it’s not law, and even burning said flag is clearly protected speech and has been definitively so since 1989. But Roy Moore lives in a hallucination of his own making. Still, here’s the inevitable conclusion:
And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
— Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842)