First GOP senator finally breaks with party, supports a Democrat over alleged pedophile


Republicans are circling the wagons around alleged child molester Roy Moore, but one has finally decided to support his Democratic opponent instead.

The Republican Party is officially backing a lawless bigot who is accused of molesting and harassing teenagers.

But one Republican senator — and only one — has decided to put bare minimum decency over party by supporting Democrat Doug Jones instead.

Arizona's Jeff Flake, who is retiring next year instead of running for re-election, made a small but symbolic donation of $100 to the Jones campaign on Tuesday.

Flake is not exactly a profile in courage. Despite making critical statements of Donald Trump, he has been a reliable vote in the Senate for Trump's egregious agenda, proving that his harsh language is mostly for show.

But even Flake apparently had enough of his party's renewed support of Moore. When the allegations first surfaced, Republicans reluctantly condemned Moore, hemming and hawing before suggesting Moore should take himself out of the race.

That was never going to happen. Moore was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court twice for refusing to comply with the law; he certainly was not going to be bullied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's tepid objections.

But those objections have disappeared too, with Trump loudly and repeatedly endorsing Moore and attacking his accusers. Other Republicans senators have followed his lead, insisting they have no choice but to accept Moore into their caucus if he wins — and refusing to encourage voters to elect Jones instead.

When the Republican National Committee announced Monday that it was resuming its financial support for Moore, it was painfully and embarrassingly clear that the party officially prefers an alleged pedophile to a Democrat.

It's a shameful choice, but not a surprising one, given that the exact same party proved a year ago that it also prefers an admitted sexual predator in the Oval Office over a Democratic woman.

Flake's next step should be to spend every day between now and Election Day on Dec. 12 loudly encouraging his Senate colleagues to follow his lead by choosing "country over party." Sadly, though, they have made it very clear that's not a choice they will make.