I don't blame Roy Moore's voters for sticking with him. And I still think it is notable that the biggest pile and rush to judgment has come from establishment Republicans who have always hated Moore. But I have contended all along that the accusers were credible. Now we have a signed year book that, in and of itself, is nothing, but added to the pile starts to take on weight. Add to both the New Yorker story and the local story about Roy Moore going to the Gadsden Mall and there is a millstone involved.
As an aside, the New Yorker's reporter , Charles Bethea, has written about me in the past a couple of times. They were not fluff pieces and while I might have preferred some things going differently, I cannot say I felt slighted, maligned, or otherwise taken out of context to advance an agenda. He was thoroughly fair and deeply probative to make sure he got his facts right.
The problem here is this one: Roy Moore may be innocent, but his campaign has had since Friday to put on a compelling defense and go on offense against the accusations. They have not. As a result, he has allowed others to define the situation and seen his major national support flee. If you want to stick with him, so be it, but at some point the ship of a campaign takes on too much water to be salvageable.
More that that, we are looking at real damage to conservatives in this who are beclowning themselves with some of the most absurd defenses of Roy Moore imaginable. I have a number of friends who adore the man. They believe him. I do not know him. I have never met him. But he has failed at basic campaign fundamentals in handling this situation, he has made it worse by his own words, and the drip, drip, drip of stories is starting to solidify in the minds of voters. He will not have an electoral college to save him.
I don't blame Alabama voters for feeling the need to stick with Roy Moore. But I do have to start wondering about national conservatives. This is not about what the other side would do, but what conservatives should do. At a basic level, if Roy Moore won't defend himself sufficiently, there is no reason for the rest of us to. At a deeper level, the allegations are disturbing and credible and putting someone in the Senate with that hanging over him is of questionable prudence that would all but eliminate the GOP's ability to be taken seriously on the matter of harassment, assault, and indecent behavior. Moore in public office, with that level of ineptitude in his ability to defend himself right now would just be used by others to harm both Christians and conservatives in politics.