Sen. Shelby could save Alabama from Moore

U.S. Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyRoberts under pressure from both sides in witness fight GOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial MORE, a proud Republican and proud Alabamian, sent a message of integrity and conscience to Alabama voters when he unequivocally denounced Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Sunday.

Shelby did not have to do it. He deserves a standing ovation because he did.

Shelby had already stated his opposition to Moore and warned about the consequences for Alabamians if Moore is elected on Tuesday. He could have played it safe, with his position so well known, but he spoke out again on Sunday because he felt a duty to tell the truth to voters, once again, because of the enormous importance of the election.

Shelby, a conservative Republican, understands that when nine credible women come forward with courage, it is not acceptable to dismiss them as not telling the truth. It is not acceptable to suggest that maybe they are all telling the truth but Moore should be elected anyway because Republicans need one more vote on a tax bill, or any bill, even if he abused all nine women. 


Roy Moore is a cancer on conservatism who has said that judges who do not decide cases in accordance with his viewpoints should be impeached. He has said that American citizens who believe a faith he disapproves of should not be allowed serve in Congress. He shamefully calls on conservatives to support or accept his attacks against all of the women who have come forward.


Shelby said that he would not vote for Moore and did not vote for Moore. He believes that some values are higher than partisan politics, and sometimes voters must take a stand for decency regardless of political party. Truer words are rarely spoken than the words Shelby speaks to warn Alabamians about the dangers of voting for Moore.   

The winner of Tuesday’s election is impossible to predict today. How many black voters will rise to take a stand against the dark vision of politics that Moore represents? How many women will turn out at the polls to take a powerful and historic stand against predators who abuse women?   

How many conservatives of conscience will refuse to vote for Moore because he embodies neither the values nor the behavior they believe in? How many business people will vote for Doug Jones because they fear the damage to Alabama’s economy if Moore is elected and repels business leaders who have the power to create more jobs in Alabama, or to relocate jobs out of Alabama?

It is impossible to predict today which voters will turn out at the polls, and why they turn out, and which voters will stay home and whether they decide the outcome by their absence. The Alabama Senate campaign is a textbook case of why every vote matters, and why every citizen must vote.

One thing appears likely. With an election approaching that could be decided by a close margin, the clarity and courage that Sen. Shelby has shown by speaking out again, at a critical moment, only days before the election, could have a decisive impact. It is possible that Shelby’s courage and clarity at this critical moment saves Alabama from the horrible consequences of electing Moore.

Shelby is a principled conservative, a staunch Republican, a proud Alabamian and a patriotic American who has performed a great service by reminding voters that, sometimes, an election should be about right and wrong — not about Republicans and Democrats. 

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.