In the famous 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, the aging silent film diva Norma Desmond whiles away the time in a dilapidated mansion dreaming of former glories and plotting her triumphant return to a fickle world that long ago turned its back on her. It’s a cautionary tale about what happens to people who have lived in the spotlight for so long they don’t know how to live without it, and of the heavy price demanded by fame—a ravenous hunger that devours those who seek it, leaving only a legacy of pain, destruction and madness.
I’m guessing Roy Moore has never seen it.
Or if he did, he obviously never took its lessons to heart. How else to explain Moore’s stubborn refusal to exit the stage, even after the audience has left and the curtain has fallen? First it was his unwillingness to concede after blowing what was supposed to be a sure thing Senate seat in a solid red state, losing to Democrat Doug Jones after credible allegations of sexual misconduct from decades prior surfaced in the pages of the Washington Post. Now he’s back with a lawsuit that rehashes all that tawdry business, even as the rest of us have long since moved on:
An attorney for Roy Moore said at a press conference Monday afternoon in Gadsden that the former U.S. Senate candidate has filed a lawsuit in Etowah County Circuit Court for political conspiracy, among other counts.
The defendants include four women who have made accusations against Moore: Leigh Corfman, Debbie Wesson Gibson, Beverly Young Nelson and Tina Johnson.
And just in case you don’t remember—because Lord knows I tried to get the image out of my head—here are the details of those accusations:
Corfman was the most prolific accuser, saying when she was 14 and Moore was 32, he undressed her and touched her over her underwear while also encouraging her to touch him over his underwear. Nelson alleged that Moore attempted to sexually assault her in his vehicle and eventually pushed her from the vehicle. Johnson alleged that Moore grabbed her buttocks as she was leaving his law office.
Moore’s lawyer, however, seems to think there should be some statute of limitations on reporting that kind of bad behavior:
"Those accusations involved events that supposedly occurred from 26 to 40 years ago," the lawsuit said. "Yet they all coincidentally surfaced for the first time within a seven-day period, a mere 32 days before the December 12 general election."
Yeah, funny how that tends to happen when you’re running for national office—all the more reason to stay out of politics, especially when you’re a Republican, if your closet ain’t clean.
At any rate, the conspiracy that Moore alleges here makes for pretty weak tea, especially when you consider that there was a real conspiracy afoot—and it had nothing to do with women making specious claims. No, that bit of palace intrigue was orchestrated by none other than Mitch McConnell, who poured gobs of money into derailing Mo Brooks in the primary because McConnell figured it would be easier for his boy Luther Strange to beat Moore in a runoff. Of course, things didn’t quite break McConnell’s way—and so we ended up with a Democrat taking the seat. In Alabama. Where Republicans have a nearly twenty point advantage.
And people wonder why they call the GOP the stupid party.
Still, none of this really matters. Whether it‘s a desperate attempt to keep himself in the public eye, or some harebrained scheme to mount a comeback, Moore is just blowing smoke—and you know how I can tell? The curious lack of a certain defendant named in his lawsuit, i.e. the Washington Post. They were, after all, the newspaper that first brought the allegations of misconduct to light, and touched off a chain reaction of other women coming forward.. Seems to me that the Post holds the greatest responsibility for Moore’s misfortunes—and with Jeff Bezos owning the joint, it also has the deepest pockets. If the accusations really are bogus and Moore really wants to clear his name, why isn’t he going after the Post for libel?
Because he knows he’ll lose. And the women make for easier targets.