The Roy Moore situation has people tossing out phrases like “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty” as if those terms have significance with regard to making a judgment about a candidate’s character prior to casting your ballot. (Let’s ignore for the moment that a lot of the people demanding due process for Roy Moore were chanting “Lock Her Up” about Hillary. Even I’m getting tired of pointing out double standards. )
Roy Moore’s problem handling the allegations against him is that he is not convincing in his own responses. His story changes depending on who he’s talking to. Surrogate talking heads are good at spinning the story but the man who knows exactly what happened 40 years ago can’t keep his story straight.
When Moore was interviewed by Sean Hannity he admitted to knowing at least two of his accusers. He admitted to dating teenagers while he was a grown man in his thirties. He seemed genuinely ignorant that a lot of people think a 32-year-old man dating high school girls is at the very least quite odd. The interview was clumsy and awkward on Moore’s part and he will probably never find a more friendly softball pitcher than Hannity. If Moore got tripped up it wasn’t the result of getting badgered.
The key point to remember though is that he admitted to knowing some of the women who have come forward and he didn’t rule out that he had gone out on dates with them because this week he said he didn’t know any of the women who have come forward. He said that during a campaign speech in a church.
Speaking inside a nearly 150-year-old church in south Mobile County, Moore also accused one of the nine women who have come forward of having an agenda to stop his political career.
“The attacks have been false, numerous and vicious,” Moore said during a 22-minute speech interrupted twice by protestors, one who was anti-Moore and another who was a Moore supporter. The speech occurred less than two weeks before the Dec. 12 Senate special election pitting Moore against Democrat Doug Jones.
“I do not know any of these women,” Moore said. “I did not engage in sexual misconduct. It’s simply dirty politics. It’s a sign of our times.”
Shades of Bill Clinton…I did not have sexual relations with that woman….It’s a vast right-wing conspiracy… Politicians in the midst of a scandal don’t care about the truth. They only care about making you forget about their negatives long enough for you to vote for them because once elected they act as if they have a clean slate.
If you’re interviewing a man for a job and you ask him why nine former coworkers say he routinely stole office supplies and photocopies his butt at every holiday office party and his answer is that he may have done those things but one of the nine has a grudge against him, chances are that’s not going to assuage your concerns about his character. You’re going to make a decision based on your impressions of his honesty, and you’re not going to hold a jury trial to try and unearth the real truth. Due process doesn’t apply to a judgment call.
Roy Moore just hasn’t been convincing enough for me to throw my support behind him, for what little that would mean. Playing the victim-of-dirty-politics card would work a lot better if he could coherently explain himself and his behavior.