The damage is done.

When the situation is so bad that it unites opposing political voices during an era of rigid political divide, it leaves little doubt about what should come next.

Roy Moore should withdraw from the U.S. Senate race.

It no longer is about guilt-innocence or politics-morals. It no longer is about voter confidence in Roy Moore. It is simply stating the fact: Roy Moore can no longer be projected as an effective senator.

Furthermore, he should withdraw immediately so that Alabama’s Republican Party can muster its best strategy for still providing its supporters a viable option in the Dec. 12 special election; or offer a stronger argument for having the election postponed.

Not this time

It is an easy avenue of escape for Moore, a conservative Republican, and his most ardent supporters to point a finger at dirty politics being played by liberal Democrats. That serves well for any politician in the deep red state of Alabama these days, and for many voters, that’s all they need to know.

But not this time.

Although it remains true that credible evidence is lacking on the table, the circumstantial evidence from charges that continue to come in waves accusing Moore of inappropriate behavior, including sexual contact and relations with underage girls, has become too much to dismiss as merely political gamesmanship.

Top-ranking Republican – not just Democrat – officials both from Alabama and Washington have reviewed the situation and found themselves unable to dispute or dispel the accusations from women claiming to be victims of abuse from Moore.

It’s also important to note that among them is Alabama’s own Jeff Sessions, the man who formerly held this Senate seat, who was Republican President Donald Trump’s earliest high-clout government supporter, and who now serves as our nation’s attorney general.

Sessions has not ruled out an embarrassing federal investigation into Moore if he is elected.

Trump, likewise, has not shown a willingness to support Moore and has remained cautious on the matter, which in itself is telling, given that Trump seldom is cautious about anything.

Fact or fiction, deserved or not, no one outside of Moore’s bandwagon wants to work or be around this man in Washington.

That’s a problem of national concern, and it’s a much, much bigger problem for the representation of Alabama in getting our state’s voice heard in Congress.

The job is too important

The latest accusations against Moore are far from the first test of Moore’s character and of his commitment to American law.

He has made clear that his personal interpretation is more guiding to him than the edicts of any supreme court, or of any action from the Congress he seeks to join. All Alabamians should well know by now how he’s twice been stripped of his previous roles in office.

Were his 10 Commandments stand and his refusal to respect gay rights more heroic or opportunistic?

Likely, a mixture of both, for those who believe in his sincerity, but here’s the fact that remains:

Far beyond Moore’s personal baggage is the now complete ineffectiveness rendered toward him should he become elected a United States Senator.

National leaders have made it clear in recent days: If Alabama’s voters don’t correct this, they likely will.

The U.S. Constitution says both the House and Senate have the power to punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with a concurrence of two-thirds, may expel a member.

Not since the Civil War in 1862 has that happened. Yet, sitting senators already have rushed the research to confirm the ability to remove Moore from office if he is elected.

His election would seriously harm the Republican Party’s image, which already is deeply bruised. His run has cast such a dark shadow over the real needs facing the state and nation that few can detail anything about his political platform beyond self-proclaimed moral values.

If Roy Moore truly cares about Alabama, he will withdraw from the Senate race.

He should do so, and he should do so now.

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