I don’t live in Alabama but if I did, based on what I know right now, I’d happily vote for Roy Moore for Senate next month.
Yesterday, the Washington Post broke a story in which it alleges that in 1979 Roy Moore inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl and kissed one or more women who were aged 16-18. Everyone, particularly Mitch McConnell and his allies who are still butt-hurt over Moore wiping the floor with them in the GOP primary and that growing caucus in the GOP that seems intent upon breaking its own ribs patting itself on the back over its righteousness are demanding Roy Moore “step aside.”
What his accusers are doing is parroting the star chamber procedures used on today’s college campuses in similar cases–a situation I’d mistakenly believed conservatives opposed. Once the accusation is made, guilt is decided. There is no need for inquiry or evidence. Just the accusation and a wild chant “believe women.” Hell, there are people out there who still believe Anita Hill so this is not surprising. It is more than a little surprising to find conservatives trying to lead the lynch mob.
There is really no reason that we are obliged to believe this story. Indeed, there are lots of reasons why we should look askance at it. It dates from 1979. Roy Moore has been on the ballot in Alabama several times and involved in all manner of controversies and the fact that it hasn’t come out before now leads me to say that a person’s word today is simply not good enough.
Anyone who tries to tie this to Bill Clinton is simply being disingenuous. None of Clinton’s accusers waited 40 years. None of the cases against Clinton were ambiguous. We actually had the DNA sample for crying out loud. Clinton actually paid a cash settlement to Paula Jones and was disbarred. If there is a takeaway from Bill Clinton’s escapades here it is that it is that we were told, mainly by the same people on their high horse over Roy Moore, that it is morally illegitimate to criticize a politician over his private morality.
The analogies to Harvey Weinstein are also nonsense. You can actually think it is wrong to rape someone (like Rose McGowan) and at the same time be skeptical about a 40-year-old claim about something that is definitely not rape. I know there are all kinds of reasons that someone might wait this long to make their claim, not all of those reasons have to do with fear or embarrassment.
If you want to condemn Moore based on this, well that’s your right. I’m not going to argue this with anyone because if you’ve already decided Moore is guilty then we have nothing to talk about. If you want to say I’m a bad person, knock yourself out I really don’t care. The adulation of people I don’t know is not one of my motivators.
But if you are saying Moore is guilty then don’t do it with blinders on and think this is not the way elections are not going to be run in the future. There is no politician that is not vulnerable to this kind of an attack where the only proof that is needed is the accusation itself.
So this is my last word on Roy Moore. I’ll be happy to revisit my opinion if actual evidence emerges and/or if we see, a la Harvey Weinstein, a battalion of 14-year-old victims coming forward to show this was a pattern Moore established over a period of years. But until such time I’m done with listening to the attacks on Moore or taking seriously most of the people making them.