The swiftest pile on over Roy Moore has come not from Democrats, but from a bunch of Republicans who have hated his guts for years. And now it's pay back time. Look, I know I'm going to get set on fire for this piece, but I think it needs to be said.
If the allegations are true, Roy Moore needs to step aside. But how do we know? I have to tell you that this seems like a political miracle for the Democrats with a most convenient timing and most convenient pile on. To listen to most, if Roy Moore is guilty he needs to step aside and if he is innocent he needs to step aside and clear his name. Moore's opponents have constructed the argument in such a way that the only way forward is for him to get out of the race. That's awfully convenient for a lot of people who hate him for political reasons.
Part of my character disposition is that when I see the whole herd running in one direction I tend to stop and wonder if I really should and I have reached that point with Roy Moore. I actually reached it a couple of days ago and it has taken me this long to decide it is worth saying anything given the undoubted blowback from a bunch of people whose opinions I really don't care about (and a few whose opinions I do) when it gets right down to it. I think it is.
I don't know whether Roy Moore did this or not, but I do know the timing and pile on, right when everybody is finished talking about Virginia, the President is out of town, everyone is talking about sexual abuse, and thus the story can capture maximum attention.
There is no love lost for Roy Moore here. I would have preferred Mo Brooks and only endorsed him in the runoff because Luther Strange is a McConnell flunky and also, I think, corrupt. And I would far rather a Democrat in the Senate than a kid toucher. But how do we know that is true?
Here are some undisputed facts.
Roy Moore has been happily married since 1985. There have been no allegations of infidelity in that time.
Roy Moore ran for Governor of Alabama and these allegations never surfaced when he was battling against people who savor nasty political character assassinations. He stood defiant about the Ten Commandments as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and no one dragged this stuff out when he was in the national spotlight. He stood defiant on gay marriage and again no one brought out any of this stuff. In his first run for Chief Justice, a statewide office, these allegations did not come up. In his run for Governor, a statewide office, these allegations did not come up. In his next run for Chief Justice when he has a big national profile and all sorts of leftwing activists gunning for him, these allegations did not come up.
Only now, 38 years after the fact and while running an aggressive Bannonite/Trumpist campaign the establishment GOP would love to smother in its crib., the Washington Post is fed the information, tracks down the victim, and gets a story that Roy Moore denies. There are 30 people who participate in the story and, though everyone should acknowledge it is creepy, they come up with a narrative that Roy Moore was in his early thirties, back from Vietnam, dated two girls of legal age who say Roy Moore did not force them into a relationship and did not have non-consensual sex with them, and one girl who was fourteen claims he molested her. Again, there are 30 people willing to come forward now who did not do so through multiple high-profile statewide campaigns run by Moore over the years.
I tend to think that when patterns fit we need to take these things seriously. And we have multiple girls who all look about the same and do not know each other and they all have similar stories -- except they don't. We have two women who say they were of legal age and dated an older man, one with parental encouragement. They say nothing untoward happened. Then Moore gets married in 1985 and has been happily married since.
To hear most of you reading this tell it, Moore is a serial child molester. In fact, I dare say Moore is hurt by his cultural, social conservatism because it is a common view among the left and probably even more than a few on the right that anyone who is outspoken about homosexuality is a closet homosexual; anyone outspoken about child abuse is a child abuser; and anyone who lives a reserved public life with a happy marriage is really a closet deviant. So much of the attack on Moore is premised on this leftwing view that everyone culturally conservative is privately a deviant and everyone really knows. The Los Angeles Times is already in on the act with an op-ed claiming sexual abuse is rampant among evangelicals. They all do it, so it must be true! Who can fight back against that? You can't really, which is both why I'll be accused of defending Moore by writing this and why the only option for Moore is to withdraw from the race and and hand it to the Democrats.
Maybe Roy Moore did it. But I have to tell you that the pile on and rush to condemn and destroy the man increasingly strikes me as more politically motivated than based on the allegations, which just provide a nice cover.
If Roy Moore did do to a 14 year old as he is accused of, he should quit the race. (and the alleged victim's prior unwillingness to tell her story does, in my mind, tend to boost her credibility) But how does Roy Moore go about proving his innocence? We're to demand he drop out of the race and just disappear whether he is innocent or guilty? I know most of you would like that, but then you all hated him to begin with. When a man is piled on top of by the press and his political enemies at the most opportune moment in the most convenient way to capture national attention and shut down the Bannonite rebellion you're all opposed to, I think we need to slow down and ask if it is fair. And I'm not sure it is.
Roy Moore beating Luther Strange was, for me, all about fighting against Mitch McConnell. Whether Moore goes to the Senate or not, McConnell has been impacted in the way he deserves. But when I see a man who has been the target of both the left and Republican Establishment get attacked in this way and brought low so quickly with few mentioning the man has been happily, loyally married since 1985 and there is just one allegation of something illegal, unproven, unreported, but supposedly widely rumored from all the way back in 1979, I wonder if his enemies are railroading him with a willing press more than his sins are finding him out. Are we sure about Roy Moore, or do you all just hate so much that it does not really matter?