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GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito–Alito’s Flag Flying’s “Some Kind of Neighborhood Thing” June 16, 2024 We now know that Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito who claims the High Court is “impartial”

GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito–Alito’s Flag Flying’s “Some Kind of Neighborhood Thing” June 16, 2024


       We now know that Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito who claims the High Court is “impartial” (NOT) loves to fly more than one flag that shows his right-wing ideology “trumps” (pun intended) everything. Not only did he and wife Martha-Ann fly an upside down flag from their main Alexandria, Virginia home.They flew a second flag from their Long Beach Island,  New Jersey beach house.This second flag was the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, known as the Pine Tree flag, which dates back to the Revolutionary War. Like the inverted flag, the Pine Tree flag was also carried by January 6, 2021 Capitol rioters attempting to stop Joe Biden from taking office as President. The Pine Tree flag has been co-opted by “Stop the Steal” believers who want to remake the American government in Christian terms, the extremist Christian nationalists who are part of Demagogue Donald’s coalition (Jay, C., kos.com, 5/22/24) These Christian nationalists don’t seem or don’t want to understand that under our Constitution’s First Amendment, church and state are separate and there is to be NO established religion under our form of government.


         Far too many GOPers are ignoring these awful breaches of judicial decorum. Other “Team Red” members are making excuses for the Alitos’s behavior. West Virginia GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito argued, “It sounded like some kind of neighborhood thing (cnn.com, Barrett, T. & Shen, M., 5/21/24).” I guess in hard-right GOP Appalachia, neighborhood spats are settled with nasty provocative behavior which the Alitos employed. Let’s meet Shelley Moore Capito.


          Second-term  Shelley Moore Capito (70) is West Virginia’s junior Senator. She is the Mountain State’s first Republican to sit in the Senate since the 1950’s as well as its first female U.S. Senator (Cohen & Cook,  2022 Political Almanac). Politics is embedded in her DNA. A native of Glen Dale, WV, Moore Capito is the daughter of Republican Arch Moore who served in the House from 1957-1969 and was elected to three terms as WV’s Governor in 1968,1972, and 1984 (Cohen & Cook 2022). Moore Capito grew up in northern WV and in the D.C. area. She attended Holton Arms prep school in Bethesda, MD. She received her bachelor’s degree from NC’s Duke University and her master’s from the University of Virginia. She worked for two years as a career counselor at West Virginia State University and then as  director of that state’s Educational Information Center from 1978-1981. She is married to a banking executive and has three children and four grandchildren. From 1997-2001, Moore Capito served two terms in the WV House of Delegates. Shelley Moore Capito and her father are not the only politicians in the family. Her son Moore Capito served in the WV House of Delegates as well (Cohen & Cook 2022, holton-arms.edu, Vol. Summer 2018).


        When the Dem. Cong. in her WV district ran for Governor in 2000, Moore Capito ran for Congress, following her father. She initially backed abortion rights. She started as an underdog against her Democratic rival. However, her Democratic opponent, despite spending $6 million of his own money, came out of a divisive primary and ran a poor general election race. Moore Capito won 48%-46%. It didn’t hurt that Moore Capito was a Cherry Blossom Contest Princess winner (Cohen & Cook 2022, thehill.com, 3/18/08).

         In the House, Moore Capito now and then broke from her fellow hard-line “Team Red” associates and by GOP standards had a relatively “moderate” voting record. In her state, which ranks just above lowest rated Mississippi in median household income and is neck and neck with MS for the lowest labor force participation in the country, she pressed for continued funding of rural air service and opposed drastic cutbacks in food stamps. However, she did get involved in political controversy. Moore Capito, a member of the lawmaker board that oversaw the teenage congressional page program, stated that until the matter became public, she was unaware of the allegations made against former GOP FL Rep. Mark Foley in which he was accused of inappropriate sexual contact with House pages (Cohen & Cook 2022).


      After Democrat Obama’s election as President, Moore Capito became much more partisan. Obama was extremely unpopular in WV. At that time, she took over as chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. She focused on the regulatory burdens facing banks and credit unions, GOP obsessions. Her husband’s role as a banking executive raised eyebrows, but Moore Capito stated she made her own decisions (Cohen & Cook 2022). Moore Capito was easily reelected in all her House contests (wiki). 


        After winning re-election in 2012, Moore Capito announced she would challenge Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller in 2014. Facing health problems and wanting no part of a tough race against Moore Capito, whom he was trailing in a poll, Rockefeller retired. In the general 2014 election, Captio clobbered her Democratic opponent by 27 points, 62%-35% (Cohen & Cook 2022).


          In the Senate, Moore Capito, gets along well with GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) another Senator from a state’s coal producing area. She has joined McConnell’s leadership team. In 2016, McConnell, then Senate Majority Leader, appointed Moore Capito as one of his counselors (Plummer, S., 1/06/15, register-herald.com). We should not at all be surprised about Moore Capito’s attempts to defend Justice Alito on the flag flying issue. When Justice Scalia died in early 2016, Moore Capito joined Sen. McConnell in opposing a hearing for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, (now Attorney General), so close to a presidential election (Gutman, D., wvgazettemail.com, 2018). She voted for both of Trump’s first two Supreme Ct. nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. She voted for Kavanaugh even after he was accused of sexual assault and even though more than one thousand Holton Arms School alumnae personally delivered a letter to her saying they believed Kavanaugh’s accuser (fox5dc.com, 9/20/18). And though she refused to have a hearing for Merrick Garland in March 2016, in October 2020, less than two months before the Biden-Trump election, when voting had already started, Moore Capito supported an  immediate vote for Trump’s third nominee to the High Court, Amy Coney Barrett (wiki). Moore Capito– a proud member of the G H P, Grand Hypocrite Party.


        Although many in the media yammer about Sen. Moore Capito’s being a “moderate” Republican, she has voted with her hard-right party 96% of the time (projects.comwashingtonpost). What is a far-right GOPer today? A 99%-100% party line voter? Frankly, 96% is statistically insignificant from a 99%-100% score. Let’s talk about Moore Capito being a true “moderate” when she votes with her party in the 50th% range, which certainly has not happened. And look at her ratings in 2019-2020. According to the 2019-2020 Almanac, Sen. Moore Capito has a Composite score of 1% Liberal to 99% Conservative. Breaking that down, she has a 0% v. 100% Liberal v. Conservative rating on the economy, a 0% v. 100% Liberal v. Conservative Social score, and a 2% Liberal v. 98% Conservative Foreign Policy rating (Cohen & Cook 2022). That’s a “moderate?” Give me a break!


   And how does Sen. Moore Capito stand with Demagogue Donald? In 2016, before Trump picked Mike Pence to be his VP, Moore Capito was considered for that post and even met with Donald (Taylor, J., 3/12/15, thehill.com). Since that time, Moore Capito has talked a good game by sometimes criticizing  Donald. However, when the key votes are needed to support him, she is a “YEA.” After the “Access Hollywood” tape emerged, she said he should “reexamine his candidacy (nbcnews.com).” However, she still went on to support him for President (wvmetronews.com, 10/13/16). She stated she would be “impartial and fair” to both sides during Trump’s Senate impeachment trial over his withholding weapons from Ukraine unless that country gave him “dirt” on Biden. She strongly rebuked Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 riot. Still, in both these impeachments, she voted to acquit him  (Cohen & Cook 2022). Press release talk is always cheap and nothing but hot air. In Moore Capito’s view, it was better to side with her mentor McConnell than with the verdict of history which she admitted would “judge Donald harshly (Cohen & Cook 2022).” “Moderate” Moore Capito voted with Donald 94.9% of the time (Bycoffe, Aaron, 1/30/17, fivethirtyeight.com). Moore Capito was also thrilled that because of Trump’s 2016 election, “the war on coal is over.” She was also happy that with Donald’s help, she and her allies could now reverse regulations enacted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), regulations that aided the health and safety of millions of Americans. And although she professed having some qualms about the GOP’s plans to replace Obamacare, in the end, she supported its repeal, which fortunately, the Senate did not do.


      Sen. Moore Capito has called herself “pro-choice” and has taken a few votes on abortion rights that don’t completely ban abortion  (wiki). She voted for federal funding for family planning in the House, but also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a major abortion issue that really demonstrates where one stands on women’s reproductive rights (wiki)  She initially was against the anti-abortion funding Hyde Amendment, but now supports it (“ontheissues.org”). In 2018, she voted with her party to ban funding in federal facilities that promote abortion( votesmart.org).  In 2020, “pro-choice” (LOL) Moore Capito declared her support for “March for Life,” an anti-abortion movement (ghostarchive.org, 12/21/21).  As previously noted, she initially was pro-choice and supported “Roe v. Wade.” After the Supreme Court  2022 “Dobbs” decision which overturned “Roe,” Moore Capito stated she supported the High Court’s ruling and believed the issue should be decided by the states (wvpress.org, Smith, D., 6/24/22). Moore Capito voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and against repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (votesmart.org). Moore Capito has a 23% average  score on LGBTQ issues in five recent congressional sessions (See votesmart.org). As for gun rights, the NRA (National Rifle Association) has given Moore Capito a high 92% rating (votesmart.org). Sen. Moore Capito has received a basement rating of 17% from the League of Conservation Voters, an indication of a strong anti-environment voting record (scorecard.lcv, 7/03/19).

           Senator Moore Capito was easily reelected for a second term in 2020, pulverizing her Democratic rival by a “y uu ge” 43 points, 70%-43%. She will have no trouble getting re-elected in WV with her family name and conservative stances on issues (Cohen & Cook 2022). WV was formerly a strong Democratic state because of its union mine workers and the attention that the Kennedy family paid to raising their economic status. Now, because of its conservative evangelical Bible Belt majority, descended from Scots Irish Protestant settlers which oppose Eastern Democratic cultural views, and its belief that Democrats are hostile to the coal industry, the Mountain State has, since 2000, completely flipped to the “Team Red” camp. Democratic presidential candidates have not won the state since 1996 and have not won even a single county since 2008. Hillary was clobbered here by 43 points in 2016 and Biden by 39 points in 2020. When Sen. Moore Capito first ran for the House in 2000, there were no GOPers in the congressional delegation. Now, Sen. Joe Manchin, a friend of Moore Capito’s, is the only Democrat serving in an elective federal office in WV. WV has a GOP Governor and state legislature. Manchin is not running again in 2024, and GOP Gov. Jim Justice looks like a sure bet to replace him (See Cohen & Cook 2022). In order for Democrats to win the presidency, take back the House, and increase their Senate majority, they will have to get their votes outside the confines of the Mountain State.         


         


        


         


                          


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