Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly sexually abused a then-14-year-old girl, the Washington Post reported Thursday. Moore quickly denied the allegations, calling them fake news. Many Republicans in Congress called for Moore to step down — but gave him the benefit of the doubt. “If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said. Many of his fellow congressional Republicans offered nearly identical comments in response to the allegations against Moore…. [M]any lawmakers and public officials in Alabama are singing a different tune Thursday, offering outlandish responses to the bombshell report. Asked about the allegations by the Washington Examiner, Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler said Moore is “clean as a hound’s tooth,” turned to the Bible. “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler said. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
My first reaction to this was to wonder how Alabama’s good, God-fearing, Conservative Christian patriots would react if Judge Roy Moore was a Democrat. Not that I’d need to wonder for long, of course. All one need do is look at the case of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman to understand how Alabama Republicans treat politicians who aren’t part of their club.
Judge Roy Moore is one of their own…and so Alabama Republicans are heavily invested in downplaying the allegations that Moore is/was a child sexual predator.
David Hall, the Marion County GOP chair, also wrote off the allegations, telling the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale that it was irrelevant to the race.
“I really don’t see the relevance of it,” Hall said. “He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She’s not saying that anything happened other than they kissed.”
The reporter told Hall that the story said Moore tried to get the girl to touch his genitals, and Hall said that although Moore might have tried to, it doesn’t change his vote.
I mean, who can blame the guy? He was single, she was attractive and willing. So she was 14; boys will be boys, amiright? Anyway, he’s always been morally upright…so where’s the fire?
Consider that line of reasoning for a moment…and then ponder the reality that if Moore was a Democrat, the torch and pitchforks brigade would’ve immediately been out in full righteous outrage. Moore would’ve been forced to leave Alabama for his own safety, and it would’ve been difficult to feel much sympathy for him. Because he’s a Republican (and a card-carrying member of the America Taliban ©), Moore’s defended as being as pure as the driven snow and the victim of a politically-motivated effort to besmirch the name and reputation of a good man.
A good number of Alabama Republicans simply don’t believe the accusations. If they’re uncertain about the allegations, they rationalize their lack of outrage by considering them to be politically motivated. After all, there’s no telling how low those nasty, unscrupulous, and heathen Democrats will stoop in order to drag the name of a good man through the mud.
I find it fascinating how one man accuses Kevin Spacey of one instance of sexual abuse many years ago…and everyone takes him at his word and condemns Spacey for being a sexual predator. Spacey is ostracized, no one will work with him, and he’s forced to seek treatment in an effort to save his career. Four women accuse Judge Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were teenagers (one was 14)…and the Republican response is…SO??? Republicans on Capitol Hill say that “if true,” Moore must step aside and those in Alabama are defending Moore as being the victim of a witch hunt. He’s one of their own, and there’s the whole presumption of innocence thing…which evidently isn’t a universally applicable consideration.
“I don’t know how much validity these claims have to them,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told ThinkProgress Thursday. “I know Judge Moore to be a man of character and integrity and I find it very shocking that this information is being introduced at this time in his career when he actually has been on the ballot dozens of times before this election cycle, and it’s just now being introduced. That’s very, very surprising to me.”
Merrill added that people “make things up all the time” and that he thinks it’s possible Thursday’s story about Moore was made up, too.
One can argue about the appropriateness of charges being leveled now over actions which, “if true,” occurred almost 40 years ago. In the case of child sexual abuse, though, does the passage of time mitigate the gravity of the crime? I’d argue it doesn’t and that Moore should be deemed unfit to serve and repudiated by Republicans. Except that it takes a lot for Republicans to turn on one of their own. Of course, if Moore was a Democrat….
Move along, people; no double standard here….