Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sam Moore, Sex Offenders, and Your Preferred Narrative

Yesterday newly elected representative to Georgia House District 22 Sam Moore was publicly excoriated, humiliated, and denigrated for introducing House Bill 1033 before the Georgia Legislature. It was a move that revealed a lack of political savvy on Moore’s part. More on that in a minute.

I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment yesterday morning with my son when I read the news on facebook. A long-time Georgia Republican friend now working in Washington D.C. was irate that a freshman rep would be so foolish as to introduce such awful legislation that stupidly gave cover to sex offenders. He lamented the setback it would be to Georgia’s stellar political reputation, probably on a nationwide scale.

Without even knowing what bill this friend was referring to, I knew he was talking about Sam Moore. How did I know? I’m accustomed to Republican ‘outrage’ when anyone ‘new’ introduces anything, especially anything that doesn’t go through the normal vetting process, e.g. doesn’t adhere to the elbow rubbing, back patting, pay your dues-ing, lunch eating, waste-of-time protocol HB 1033 so clearly must have avoided. The arguments from these Republicans are always over how such actions discredit the party, or Georgia, or them individually as they tirelessly work for the good of Georgia’s great citizenry.

I already knew instinctively that whatever bill Moore introduced wasn’t what the press and pundits wanted to claim it to be. I knew it had to be part of some greater effort toward smaller government and more liberty. I also knew from experience that the mischaracterization of these efforts to limit government gives great joy and glee to many who make their living reporting on the expansion of power and those in power themselves.

What I wasn’t prepared for, however, were Moore’s natural allies in the legislature, most of whom I know personally, taking the road my insider Republican friend did and going along with the ‘for the children’ scare tactics by making loud public pronouncements against Moore and the bill. Particularly when I’m certain these legislator friends knew the true objectives behind Moore’s legislation:  the intent to return many of our 4th and 5th Amendment constitutional protections back to Georgians.

Let me repeat, I’m very doubtful that those legislators didn’t know where Moore was headed with this bill, a bill which basically attempts to make right the burdensome requirements to identify oneself to law enforcement even if one is not suspected of a crime.

Instead of using the controversy over Moore’s legislation as an opportunity to educate their constituents on the broader purpose of Moore’s legislation and where Moore was probably wrong or right, these legislators let their confused constituents pat them on back for a job well done in ‘protecting the children.’ That’s something I’m accustomed to seeing Democrats do. Republicans don’t usually brag about letting the emotional argument get in the way of being rational.

Furthermore, any of these legislators could have said to Moore privately, “Let’s work on this. You’re going to get a knife in your back if you go ahead with this.” And for all I know they might have talked privately with Moore. But they certainly didn't hesitate to step on Moore’s back publicly in an easy effort to further their own reputations in the eyes of their colleagues and constituents.

There are already people out there making the connection between Sam Moore’s first failures as a new legislator and a rehash of the election he just won. His old opponent vowed yesterday to fight him again in May. Some surmise that Sam’s legislation was handled in a unusual way procedurally to exact vengeance against him for winning without GOP insider support. I will let others make those arguments.

For me I’m content to shame those who would impugn Sam Moore’s motives and character just because it suits their preferred narrative. This fight is not about giving sex offenders access to school children. That’s a stupid, simple-minded argument, since there are literally dozens of laws written to protect children against child predators. The fight is about power at the Gold Dome and what happens when someone refuses to play the game. That so many used the ‘for the children’ argument to try to bring down this bill proves once again that ‘the children’ are easy pawns for too many in this fight. I refuse to be swayed anymore by those invoking ‘children’ as a political tactic.

I would remind those legislators who spoke out against Sam yesterday that in the near future they will be asked to distance themselves from legitimate legislation simply because leadership doesn’t like who introduced it.  At that point those legislators will be irrelevant and will know it and all their short term gains will be at the expense of the long term.
Lastly, so what if Sam Moore didn’t handle the introduction of his bill right this time? He is fighting to uphold a populist conservative philosophy that rests on smaller and less-intrusive government at all levels. Something I support passionately. We will send you reinforcements, Sam, and together you all will get it right eventually. I personally don’t think you did too much wrong for your first piece of legislation, anyway.


  1. Thanks, I agree 100%

  2. I agree the house cleaning has begun. More will follow Moore. Georgia holds a dual distinction this year; it is the # 1 State for government corruption and the # 1 location to do business. We voters are imposing on their territory when we dare to elect anyone who challenges the status quo. On any bombing mission, you know you are over the target when you see flack.

  3. You eloquently voiced many of the points I tirelessly pushed on every snarky FB post put out by some prominent GaGOP leaders. I thank you. More people need to speak out because the furor that erupted and spread nationwide is due solely to our hysterical and malicious leaders. They have damaged our party in a year when we are fighting outside money to take our Senate seat and undermining our majority party gains. These actions were childish and leadership needs to be brought to account.

  4. Instead of waxing philosophical, wouldn't it have been more efficient, more effective and more useful to explain the duplicity of the opponents and the real rationale behind the bill to the great unwashed and in the doing expose the treacherous crowd under the Gold Dome? Many of us have seen this modus operandi before when liberty issues are placed in the hopper. Many are quite disgusted.

  5. You're right. I'll work on it. The point of this post originally was to say that the legislators who piled on did so to curry favor with the legislature leadership.

    Thanks, folks, for reading.

  6. As a Liberty movement we will get no where...when we eat our young...If a fellow liberty person or a personal friend is making a mistake..I will give them a private call first...not a public blasting...We need our people to work together as a team..most of what we do is inside baseball stuff...but calling him out has made it bigger news and has caused more damage...yes a reporter/blog has the free will to print what they want..I understand that...but don't act like you are doing it for the good of the movement..
    Doug Craig Chairman of the Libertarian party of Georgia and national board member

    1. Have you made a phone call to Jason Pye?

    2. My goal is not to call anyone out by name...I will hopefully see Jason in a few weeks..but I have worked with Jason in the past and I know he wants what I want...smaller government... Doug Craig

  7. Um, from your comment it sounds like you're implying that I said what Moore did was wrong. To be clear I support Sam Moore's effort and feel that other Republicans were wrong in grandstanding on the back of Moore's effort.

  8. Valerie, so pleased that I found you on twitter (@gowest2GA). Sadly, the mantra of "It's for the children" is so effective that few will dare to question or seek out the facts. As you stated: "This fight is not about giving sex offenders access to school children." But, for those who sincerely believe that it is, it's time to get educated about child molestation. 95% of sexually abused children are abused by a family member or close friend. "Stranger danger," by comparison, is quite rare. Putting one's head in the sand (or covering your eyes) won't protect your children... nor will the Loitering laws of Georgia. If you truly want to to do something "for the children" please go to ==>

  9. Sorry Valerie ..I am talking about the people who posted the article on another site....I know you have not sat on the have got out there and busted your butt...I am pointing fingers at the desk jockeys...The arm chair libertybacks....telling people how to fight for smaller government with only a typewrite....Sorry if my post was weak...Doug Craig

  10. Thank you, @gowest2GA, for your comments. I will go check out your link. I hope others will too.