Stephen Moore has withdrawn from the Fed — but our hero with the 1980s policies and 1920s opinions isn't going far

If you're worried this means you won't get to hear sage comments about 'vacations from women' and 'kicking a black family out of public housing' in future, calm down: Trump has made it clear Moore remains in the inner circle

Ali-Asghar Abedi
New York
Thursday 02 May 2019 20:18 BST
Moore had his fair share of controversies, including a court case for unpaid alimony
Moore had his fair share of controversies, including a court case for unpaid alimony (YouTube/ Bloomberg)

Tragically, President Trump announced today that Stephen Moore, “a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person”, has withdrawn his name for consideration on the Federal Board Reserve of Governors. I think we can all agree this is a loss for America. In case you’re unfamiliar with the man, the myth and the legend, however, let me catch you up: Stephen Moore is someone who combines the fashion of the sixties, economic policies of the eighties and social views of the twenties in one fantastic melting-pot.

He has decried women serving as refs and announcers in basketball games and questioned whether there’s a place where men can take a “vacation from women”. This was probably a desperate plea to be invited to his first bachelor party — or to become ambassador to Saudi Arabia. To be fair to Moore, the diplomatic post is the only way DC residents can be sure they won’t be bone-sawed, so you can’t blame him for trying.

As Americans reacted to the possibility of Moore joining the Fed, it became clear from various leaks and reports that Moore’s misogyny runs deep. He’s argued that women athletes should be paid less than their male counterparts because they do “inferior work”. He’s also argued in the past that women should not make more money than their husbands because it could be disruptive to family stability. Ironically, his own family stability was disrupted by his misogyny. Following his divorce, Moore was held in contempt of court for failing to pay alimony — I’m guessing he thought he could get away with it because he’s convinced that women struggle to count.

Misogyny can have some accidental perks for women, though. For instance, I wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen Moore only tips waitresses and refuses to tip waiters due to his belief that men should not be on wait staff. I also bet he opposed the Obama administration’s decision to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill because of his belief that with a woman on US currency, he wouldn’t be able to use the bill for approximately seven days every month. It’s said in the back rooms of DC that he’s particularly upset Democrats have hijacked the term “universal suffrage”, since the original meaning of the term is “the universe’s men suffering through women’s pleas for equality”.

Since his views were aired publicly, particularly by CNN, it looked like Moore’s path to confirmation was going to be seriously rocky — so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that he pulled out of the race earlier today. Then again, as a straight white man, he really should have given it a shot. Surely he could have calculated that Senate approval was inevitable once he was given a chance to defend his comments. To Liz Warren he could have said, “My comments can only be understood by white people”; with Kirsten Gillibrand he could’ve argued, “Blondes don’t get policy — it’s not your fault”; and to Susan Collins he could have suggested, “Just do what you did for Brett Kavanaugh.” Surely it was at least worth a shot?

Not satisfied by merely being misogynistic, however, it turned out Moore also had a history of racist comments. He described the Obamas’ departure from the White House as “kicking a black family out of public housing” while joking about Trump’s victory in 2016. It’s said that Ben Carson was particularly upset by this comment, chiding Moore by saying, “As HUD secretary, it’s my job to evict minority families from public housing.”

Additionally, Moore offended all Midwesterners when he described the region as the “armpit” of the country. Perhaps that one was the final straw. Most political commentators had denounced his comments by the time he announced he was no longer running; Anderson Cooper called them “gross” and Don Lemon described them as “disgusting”.

Conversely, Tucker Carlson expressed concern that Moore was auditioning for his position, using talk about the Fed as a temporary and convenient smokescreen. Perhaps he was. Either way, Trump assured us all via tweet an hour ago that he’d “asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth in our country”, so we can be assured that razor-sharp mind with its cutting-edge grasp of modernity won’t be going to waste. Whether on Fox News or in the White House, I look forward to hearing more of his incisive commentary soon.

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