Jeremy Peters writes for the New York Times that the senate candidacy of Judge Roy Moore has significance well beyond the state of Alabama, reflecting a classic struggle brewing between the establishment ranks of the Republican party and ascending forces of populism, Christianity, and insurgency:
There was a time when the question of whether to disown a candidate accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl was fairly straightforward.
But the divisions in the Republican Party run so deep that the latest rallying cry for many on the right has become the case of Roy S. Moore, the Senate candidate in Alabama who faces allegations of preying on many young women, including a 14-year-old, when he was in his 30s.
The debate among Republicans over what to do about Mr. Moore has taken on a significance that extends far beyond Alabama’s borders. It pits ascendant forces in the party — the most conservative evangelical Christians and insurgent, anti-establishment populists — against the Republican leadership in Washington. And it is being fanned by many of the same emotions that helped stoke President Trump’s rise and election: a mistrust of government, a desire for a leader who disdains and disrupts the political status quo, and a suspicion that elected officials will stop at nothing to hold on to power.
Read the rest of the story here.