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The Mentality Of Roy Moore’s Defenders

Roy Moore Gun

Perhaps one of the most insane things to manifest itself in the wake of the reports about Roy Moore’s behavior toward teenaged girls in the late 1970s and 1980s has been the response of many of his supporters. Both in interviews with the press and on social media, there are people out there who are openly admitting they’d still support him even if the molestation charges are completely true.

Here’s one case in point:

Or consider this:

Granted, this is just two people on Twitter, and neither one of them has a very large amount of followers. In the days since the Washington Post report was made public, though, this is hardly an isolated opinion. As I noted in my post on Saturday, these are just examples of something that has been all to common in the days since the original report was released by The Washington Post. 

Take, for example, this comment by Alabama’s Republican State Auditor:

An Alabama state official on Thursday dismissed a Washington Post report alleging that GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl decades ago, saying there was an age gap between the biblical Joseph and Mary. The Post also alleged that Moore had pursued three others when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.

“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

In the Bible, Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Joseph became her husband. Beliefs about the specific story of Joseph and Mary and Jesus’ birth vary widely in Christian history and across traditions. Mary is referred to in scripture as a virgin, but there is disagreement about what that means. Generally, however, Christians believe that Mary was a virgin when he was born. Joseph is usually referred to as Jesus’ “father” or a father figure.

Toronto Star political reporter Daniel Dale documented on Twitter, that’s far from the case:

Politico’s Daniel Strauss find similar defenders where it really matters, in Moore’s home state

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Roy Moore’s supporters are shocked and angry. But it’s not Moore they’re upset with, after four women came forward to say that Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

(…)

Moore, a former state Supreme Court judge who was removed from the bench twice, has instead denied and denounced the charges against him. “These attacks involve minors, and they are completely false and untrue — about something that happened nearly 40 years ago,” Moore said Saturday.

His supporters focused more on the timing of the accusations and the messenger than on the content.

Many took aim at the Post, which reported the story on Thursday and has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s Twitter screeds against the media. (Moore called the story “fake news” and promised “revelations about the motivation and the content of this article.”)

“The Washington Post has about as little credibility as Hillary [Clinton],” said Bob Sanders, a former lobbyist and longtime Moore supporter who also attended the speech.

“I think that it’s politically motivated,” said Sallie Bryant, the Republican Party chair in Jefferson County, Alabama’s most populous county. “I am party chairman, and so therefore I am for the party’s nominees and for our candidates, but I really feel like the timing of this is very suspicious.”

Moore also cast doubt on the women themselves, accusing them of harboring political motivations. (Corfman told the Post she was a Republican supporter and voted for Trump in 2016.)

“I’ve been investigated more than any other person in this country. That these grown women would wait 40 years to come forward right before an election to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable,” Moore said to applause.

Moore is also being defended by the usual suspects on cable news and by Donald Trump’s former top strategist Steve Bannon, who is now back at Breitbart and leading the charge against the so-called GOP “establishment” figures opposing Trump’s agenda and speaking out against candidates like Moore, who Bannon endorsed in September’s runoff primary election against Senator Luther Strange. Among other things, Bannon has accused the women quoted in the report and the reporters who wrote it of trying to destroy Moore with false charges and compared the release of the claims just over a month before the December 12th election to last October’s release of the Access Hollywood tape where Trump could be heard making incredibly outrageous comments about a woman who he was trying to lure into a sexual relationships. One problem with Bannon’s analogy, of course, is the fact that the Access Hollywood tape was real and that the Trump campaign never denied its authenticity. Additionally, the release of that tape was followed by a plethora of claims by women who said that they had been sexually harassed by Trump over a number of years prior to the time he became a candidate for President. So, if this is akin to that incident, then Bannon is implying that there’s more to come out about Moore than what we learned last week.

Reactions such as this have led many people to wonder how anyone could be so incredibly partisan that they would actually defend someone who stands accused in a very credible report of having molested a young underage teenager, of openly pursuing relationships with teenagers half his age, something that co-workers at the time have said was open knowledge among his colleagues, and was providing said teenagers with access to alcohol at a time they were under the legal drinking age.

Strauss’s colleague Eric Vasco tries to explain what is going on inside the heads of the people defending Moore:

What’s going on? Partisanship often overrides religious or moral values in Alabama—which largely accounts for the divergent responses to Moore’s scandal in the state versus the rest of the country. But that also makes Moore’s case an interesting litmus test for Alabama, amid a national outing of sexual abusers in entertainment, government and the media. Will the state stand by a man who promises policies that much of the electorate wants and who holds similar religious views, or will it abandon him?

Moore, who has made a career touting the Ten Commandments and defying federal authority, is a hero to many voters in Alabama, a deeply conservative and religious state where half the residents identify as evangelicals and say they oppose both abortion and LGBTQ rights. Moore, to say the least, has been outspoken on these issues. And an estimated one-third of voters in the state Republican Party, which dominates in Alabama, consistently support him.

“Voters in this state have a history of ignoring sexual misconduct,” says Larry Powell, a professor of communications studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a political consultant and the author of books on state politics. “They voted for Trump, and he still has strong support in this state.” Steve Flowers, a former state representative turned political commentator, also cites “Big” Jim Folsom, who had a penchant for kissing women on the campaign trail, saying he would start “with the 16-year-olds” and work his way to older ones from there. Folsom fathered a child out of wedlock while Alabama’s governor in the 1940s and was again elected governor in 1954.

(…)

There is already a sustained campaign among some state GOP officials and supporters to dismiss the allegations as fabrications desperately cooked up by the liberal media and the Democratic Party. They point to media reports that one of Moore’s accusers was a sign-language interpreter for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats as evidence of a conspiracy. “A lot of people here won’t believe anything the Washington Post prints,” Flowers says. “Their attitude is, ‘If the Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle says it, I will believe it.'”

Many Republicans note the allegations are decades old and question the timing during a high-stakes election when Republicans hold only a thin margin in the U.S. Senate. None of the accusers went public when Moore was elected chief justice in 2000 and 2012 and when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 and 2010, making the women’s stories even more suspicious, many Republicans here say. In media interviews, the lawyer for Leigh Corfman, the woman who told the Post about a sexual encounter with Moore when she was 14, has said Corfman was afraid to come forward earlier out of concern for her now-adult children.

As the week wore down, many in Alabama wondered why it took so long for the allegations to become public.

“This has been the one that got away for more than one Alabama political reporter,” says Kyle Whitmire, a reporter and political columnist for al.com, which serves Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile. “The rumors have been there, but tracing them back to their sources has always led to dead ends and leads gone cold.”

Whitmire says he was approached a few years ago via social media by a person he described in an email to POLITICO Magazine as “a woman who claimed to be a friend of a friend of the woman in the Post‘s story.” The friends encouraged her to step forward, Whitmire wrote in the email, “but as I understood it at the time, she was very afraid of potential blowback—which has now proven all too warranted—and decided against going public.”

To a large degree, I think the biggest factor for many of the people defending Moore and saying that they would still support him over a Democrat or alternative candidate even if the allegations are true can be explained by the partisanship that Vasco found in his discussions with Moore supporters. Just as with the people who have been diehard supporters of Donald Trump ever since he entered the race regardless, or even because, of the outrageous, insulting, and shocking comment he made in campaign speeches, media appearances, and on his Twitter feed, the diehard supporters of Roy Moore seem to be supporting him for a combination of two reasons.

First, there’s the fact that they largely agree with him when it comes to the political views he espouses, even when it comes to the idiotic and offensive things he says about gays, lesbians, and transgender Americans, immigrants, Muslims, and others. The fact that he was booted twice from the State Supreme Court for defying the orders of a Federal District Court Judge is seen by them as a badge of honor rather than a disqualifying factor. In part, this is because the reasons he was booted include refusing to comply with an Order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the Supreme Court and, in the second case, it was for refusing to comply with an Order to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges and his effort to get Probate Judges across the state to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. To these people, this is a sign of a man standing up for there values, and the Judges are seen as trying to enforce outsider values on their state even though, in both cases, the Judges in question were also born and raised in Alabama or other parts of the Deep South. We can see this in the fact that they voted overwhelmingly for him when he sought to return to the State Supreme Court in 2012. To them, this attack from The Washington Post is another example of outsiders attacking Roy Moore for his politics, and they dismiss the claims of the women precisely because of the source of the original report.

In addition to politics, the other thing that clearly seems to be motivating the staunchest of Moore’s defenders is clearly cultural. To these people, the attacks on Moore, whether over his actions as Chief Justice or as a candidate for political office, are coming from people and parts of the country that they quite obviously consider to be cultural enemies. The fact that the women accusing Moore of improprieties now are all fellow native Alabamans doesn’t matter to them. What matters is the fact that the reports originated with the so-called “enemy” in what Sarah Palin dubbed, and these conservatives now call the “lamestream media,” which is the enemy as far as they’re concerned. The fact that this attitude is reinforced by the news sources they follow — such as Fox News Channel, Breitbart, the conservative blogosphere, and talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin — just reinforces what they already believe, that the outsiders are out to get them. This is why we see reports such as the news that Evangelicals in Alabama are saying they are more likely to support Moore after the charges contained in the Post report, that Sean Hannity listeners are quite literally destroying their Keurig machines because the company pulled their ads from Hannity’s Fox News Channel show after he defended Moore, why white southerners believe they are “under attack,” and why Roy Moore will probably win on December 12th notwithstanding these revelations about his past. As long as people believe things like these, getting them to change their minds isn’t going to be easy, and having a rational discussion with them is basically impossible.

I have no idea at this point what’s going to happen in Alabama on December 12th. Polling in the race has shown it to be tighter than one would normally expect for a statewide race in Alabama, and as Steven Taylor noted yesterday, initial polling since Thursday shows the race tightening further. At this point, though, the poll average still shows Moore comfortably ahead. Perhaps things can change if Democrats put some last minute money behind Doug Jones, but I wouldn’t be too optimistic about that. This is Alabama we’re talking about after all.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hal_10000 says:

    It’s pure tribalism. We’ve seen a version of this before with people who would casually write off allegations against Clinton, Kennedy, Trump, even Packwood for a time. The simple fact of American politics is that we’ve long been willing to tolerate sexual misbehavior as long it’s from our guy. But like every other partisan tendency, this has curdled into something particularly vile in this case. In the past, this manifested as denial (these women are liars, if you drag a $100 through a trailer park, etc.). This is the first time I’ve seen, “Even if it’s true, so what?”

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  2. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Remember how torqued off these same people were about Pizzagate, and completely imaginary child rape? Now that behavior is just fine.
    The award for self-awareness goes to Kelly Anne Conway, who says that anyone who has abused women should step down from office. I’m not kidding.

    If there’s anyone currently in public office who has behaved that way to any girl or woman, maybe they should step aside. In a country of 330 million people, we ought to be able to do better than this

    Maybe she hasn’t seen the pussy-grabbing tape?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  3. Franklin says:

    I guess I’ll just continue my boycott of Alabama and their “Welcome to Pedophiles” state motto.

    Seriously, I think I’ve visited 44 different states if I’m counting right, and Alabama isn’t one of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  4. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    Doug, thanks for the article, but I recall you as a so-called independent stating that there was no conceivable reason for you to vote for a Democrat on more than one occasion during my lurking here. I hope that this article represents a sign that you are evolving and wish 2 things for you: first, that you continue to evolve and eventually begin to see the moral and intellectual flaws in Libertarianism, and second, that you never find yourself needing to decide on whether to vote for a pervert officer of the court over electing a Democrat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  5. drj says:

    @Hal_10000:

    It’s pure tribalism. We’ve seen a version of this before with people who would casually write off allegations against Clinton, Kennedy, Trump, even Packwood for a time. The simple fact of American politics is that we’ve long been willing to tolerate sexual misbehavior as long it’s from our guy.

    I call bullshit on “tribalism.”

    The reason that I tend to casually write off allegations against Clinton (both Bill and Hillary), is because Republicans actively and maliciously made up literally dozens of those, which makes it reasonable to not even pay attention to the next one.

    So yeah, Bill Clinton may very well have been guilty of rape. But he also killed Vince Foster, didn’t he? (Or was that Hillary? I can’t even remember.)

    In fact, right now, I feel kind of bad for pretty much immediately dismissing the allegations of Juanita Broaddrick – even though at one time she filed an affidavit stating these allegations were untrue.

    But it was not unreasonable at all to assume that the Broaddrick allegations were made up, especially for more casual political observers.

    So it’s not tribalism as such. It’s not “both sides do it.”

    Instead, it’s Republican tribalism; and Republicans who are doing it.

    Because Democratic Party officials are not maliciously making up completely ridiculous stuff about Trump. Democratic Party officials are not egging on their voters to believe outrageous lies about the other guy.

    And when a Democrat is caught, he is not defended at all costs, because “the other side is worse than pedophiles.”

    The mentality of Roy Moore defenders is a Republican mentality.

    Saying otherwise is utter nonsense.

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  6. Mark Ivey says:

    Alabama is making Oklahoma look good on this.

    Never saw that coming.

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  7. CSK says:

    Yesterday, Moore told his fan club that he plans to sue the Washington Post.

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

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  8. Han says:

    Wow. It’s almost like these people are, what’s the word? Deplorable.

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  9. @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    As a general rule, I can’t support the ideology of the Democratic Party any more than I can support the ideology of the Republican Party.

    But why is this about me? And what possible relevance does that have to the Roy Moore matter?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  10. @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    the moral and intellectual flaws in Libertarianism, and second, that you never find yourself needing to decide on whether to vote for a pervert officer of the court over electing a Democrat.

    And what if I choose to vote for neither one of them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  11. Hal_10000 says:

    @drj:

    1) Read what I said: I did not say they were equivalent; I said they flow from the same tendency; that this is a much worse version of what we’ve been seeing for years. Dismissing allegations against Clinton, covering up for John Edwards, proclaiming Ted Kennedy a hero. We have now reached its apotheosis. If you don’t think that what’s going on with Moore is the continuation of that trend of ignoring sexual abuse allegations when it’s our side, please send me three pounds of whatever it is you’re smoking.

    2) Democrats have made stuff up about Republicans all the time. The October Surprise, for example. The investigation turned up nothing and Democrats insisted this just proved we needed more investigation. All kinds of allegations against Bush — the Killian documents, the supposed lies about WMDs, etc. Mitt Romney gave a woman cancer. Newt serves his wife with divorce papers in the hospital. And with Trump, we have an entire Democratic Party that has lost its goddamn mind insisting that the election was stolen, the election was hacked, that Trump is a traitor — all with very little evidence to go on right now. Every tiny spending cut is draconian; any change to a program is malefic. You guys made a multi-millionaire out of serial liar Michael Moore. So spare me the usual Democrats Are Too So Much More Reasonable line. Yes, it’s gotten much much worse now. But the Fake News thing didn’t just spring fully formed from head of Zeus in 2016.

    A huge part of the reason people are defending Moore (and Trump for that matter) is because of the extraordinary hyperbolic rhetoric that has been unleashed on just about every Republican for the last four decades. They are Nazis; they are sexist; they are bigoted; they hate poor people. And it’s gotten to the point where when we have someone who truly *is* repulsive — Trump or Moore; when we have a GOP that really *has* gone off the rails into terrible policy — Obamacare repeal, the tax cut — the Democrats are the boy who cried wolf. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a Republican about something like this and been met with, “Yeah, they always say that.”

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  12. Hal_10000 says:

    (And yes, Republicans are much worse on the whole “boy who cried wolf” thing. After you’ve denounced a conservatively-tempered left-moderate like Obama as a Kenyan Communist anti-Christ radical, I have no idea what you’re going to do if someone really dangerous comes along.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  13. KM says:

    @Hal_10000 :

    This is the first time I’ve seen, “Even if it’s true, so what?”

    Exactly. That’s what’s really going to kill them in purple districts. Red’s gonna stay red but those slowly drifting blue states gonna see a rapid jump. It’s one thing to throw support being “your guy” while deflecting about “liars” because you damn well know how odious it is. To admit straight out you don’t care either way is a step too far for those with tentative ties. We saw it in Virginia – the tepid response to the Nazis as “good people on both sides” drove a good chunk of voters away.

    Moralists like the cover of pretending to be moral. They don’t like having to dodge their reflections in the mirror and flat out admitting 14yr is fair game in order to win has many uneasy. If you aren’t firmly in the tribe at this point, this is the exit ramp you want to take. The rest are going over that cliff with or without you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  14. Terrye Cravens says:

    There is a new poll out that has Jones ahead by 2. I doubt if he will win, but I would like to think that the people of Alabama are not complete idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. MarkedMan says:

    Regular readers of the comments section here know that I compare Trump voters to Marion Barry voters. (BTW – There is now a statue honoring Barry going up in DC. It is Ward 8’s version of confederate war statues.) The Alabama / Moore issue is a perfect distillation of this mentality. There is literally nothing more important than sticking a finger in the eye of the people they hate and despise. I used to shake my head at the self destructiveness of the Barry voters. Didn’t they realize the message they were sending? Good businesses, decent people, stay away from here. Shysters, liars, pimps and druggies are welcome.

    Can’t Alabamians see who they are drawing to their state with these votes? The Catholic Church became a haven for pedophiles because they wouldn’t deal with the bad apples. Eventually, those bad apples reached the highest levels of responsibility in the church. Alabamians are sending the message that if you are pedophile, you just have to say Jeebus ten times a day and you will be welcome here. And what decent executive wants to walk into a boardroom and make a pitch to his colleagues that they should build a new facility in Alabama. How many of those colleagues have children or grandchildren? And how many want to invest a billion or so only to find themselves on the hot seat every few months trying to deal with the next Bama outrage?

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  16. KM says:

    It’s victim mentality writ large – a martyrdom culture waiting to happen. General feelings of “persecution” (either of their faith, race or general “culture”) are coalescing for Moore and he’s gleefully taking advantage of it by using the terminology. That’s why you keep seeing references to him being a “man of God” and all the sickening Biblical comparisons.

    Like Trump, voters are projecting their inadequacies onto him and sympathizing with someone who’s “fighting for them” but is the victim of an unfair media. They’ll give him a pass on this because it’s the media’s fault for bringing it up, not Moore’s for doing it. True or not, they view it as an unjust hit piece and therefore a reason to support him even more. After all, if he pisses the libs off so much, he *must* be doing something right.

    Moore’s going to win but by God it’s going to cost them in the long run. He doesn’t have the charismatic appeal Trump does so he’s going to turn off independents who see this as confirmation the GOP has lost it’s damn mind. Keeping this Senate seat may be the reason they lose big in 2018.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. Yank says:

    A huge part of the reason people are defending Moore (and Trump for that matter) is because of the extraordinary hyperbolic rhetoric that has been unleashed on just about every Republican for the last four decades. They are Nazis; they are sexist; they are bigoted; they hate poor people. And it’s gotten to the point where when we have someone who truly *is* repulsive — Trump or Moore; when we have a GOP that really *has* gone off the rails into terrible policy — Obamacare repeal, the tax cut — the Democrats are the boy who cried wolf. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a Republican about something like this and been met with, “Yeah, they always say that.”

    Bull****.

    Many conservatives like to peddle this childish excuse because they are unwilling to accept responsibility for what they have done to their party since the late 60’s. The GOP pandered and turned a blind eye to the worst elements of their party and now since the establishment GOP has been discredited, they have completely lost control of it.

    Republicans have demonized Democrats for years and yet you don’t see this kind of tribalism in the Democratic party. This isn’t a both sides thing, it is a GOP issue and it is their own damn fault.

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  18. reid says:

    I don’t know who those first two Twitter-quoted people are in the article, but wow, they are lunatics. Democrats are worse than child molesters and as bad as ISIS? These people need help. The propaganda campaign on the right has been incredibly effective.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  19. Mikey says:

    @drj:

    Because Democratic Party officials are not maliciously making up completely ridiculous stuff about Trump.

    Who would need to? The man is his own fountain of ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  20. Paul L. says:

    Missing are the words “Duke Lacrosse” and “UVA”that Progressives find so distasteful and gauche.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 23

  21. drj says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you don’t think that what’s going on with Moore is the continuation of that trend of ignoring sexual abuse allegations when it’s our side, please send me three pounds of whatever it is you’re smoking.

    [my emphasis]

    I most definitely don’t. And I’m not smoking anything.

    Clinton and Lewinsky was consensual. Edwards and whoever it was, was consensual. Ted Kennedy, to my knowledge, was never accused of sexual abuse. And anyway, that guy is from way before my time.

    Moore and Trump: not very consensual at all.

    Major difference, no? If you can’t even see the difference, there is something very wrong with you.

    For whatever it is worth: I don’t think having a consensual affair (and lying about it) disqualifies someone from holding elected office. (Being hypocritical about it, however, is something entirely different.)

    Democrats have made stuff up about Republicans all the time. […] And with Trump, we have an entire Democratic Party that has lost its goddamn mind insisting that the election was stolen, the election was hacked, that Trump is a traitor.

    This, actually, is to a significant extent true.

    Bush & co lying about WMDs?

    You might want to get all technical and call it a reckless disregard for the truth, but “lying” works for me.

    Pizzagate? The uranium deal? Not so much.

    So spare me the usual Democrats Are Too So Much More Reasonable line.

    *cough* global warming *cough*

    I know you don’t like it, but it happens to be very, very true.

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  22. Mister Bluster says:

    “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

    If this excuse works for Roy Moore it works for everyone.
    I can only imagine that all these righteous rationalizers know this.
    ………………………………

    More Fake News from CNN
    McConnell on Moore: I believe the women,’ Moore should go

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  23. charon says:

    @Hal_10000: @KM:

    You guys are getting the motivation wrong.

    A lot of Moore’s continuing support is from people who are genuinely perfectly ok and approving of his behavior.

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/11/11/roy-moore-and-the-evangelical-culture-of-child-sexual-abuse/

    https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/10/16633478/roy-moore-sex-abuse-scandal-evangelical-support-culture-wars

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  24. Yank says:

    George freaking Bush has positive favorabilties among Democrats these days that alone should debunk the whole “both sides have issues with tribalism” narrative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  25. charon says:
  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: At least one item in your list raised a red flag when I read it. The story of Gingrich grew over the years but the reality is pretty close. His wife was in the hospital to have a tumor removed, which turned out to be benign. There was a lot of concern because she had cancer before. He came into the hospital room intending to challenge her on the divorce and they got into a fight. Here is the Washington Post talking about the original story:

    Accounts of what happened next vary in detail, but primary sources agree on a central point: Gingrich wanted to talk divorce with his hospitalized wife.

    According to the first published account of the visit — a story by David Osborne in Mother Jones magazine in November 1984 — Gingrich went to Battley’s room with a yellow legal pad on which he had written a list of items related to the handling of the divorce.

    Osborne attributed this anecdote to Lee Howell, Gingrich’s former press secretary, whom he quoted as saying: “He wanted her to sign [the list]. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.”

    In an interview this week, Osborne said Battley confirmed the story when he interviewed her for his article. He also said Gingrich never explicitly disputed Howell’s account.

    In a follow-up story in The Post in early 1985, two months after the Mother Jones story was published, some elements of the story were different. Neither Battley nor Gingrich mentioned a yellow legal pad or a list to be signed in The Post article.

    Like virtually all stories, in the retelling, people made it worse. She was “dying” rather than worried about a relapse of her cancer while having a tumor removed and checked for malignancy. Instead of asking her to sign the divorce settlement, he asked her to sign agreement on a yellow legal pad upon which he had written demands.

    Gingrich calls these things a lie, but not only is Gingrich a member of the Party of Lies (aka the GOP) but he is one of the prime movers in shifting the Repubs platform away from facts and truthfulness. Gingrich is a liar, he’s been a liar for decades, probably his whole life. If you are basing your assessment that this is a lie on Gingrich’s protestations, well, his word isn’t worth anything. And it was Gingrich’s former press secretary, a Republican, who told the original story, not the “Dems”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  27. Mikey says:

    @Paul L.: Two incidents of false accusation, compared to thousands where the women are telling the truth.

    But I guess when you’re determined to support a child molester, any old whataboutism will have to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  28. Hal_10000 says:

    @drj:

    Clinton and Jones: not consensual
    Clinton and WIlly: not consensual
    Clinton and Broadrick: not consensual
    Kennedy and and the waitress he and Dodd made a “sandwich” of: not consensual
    Kennedy and Cristina Ford: not consensual

    Try again.

    A lot of Moore’s continuing support is from people who are genuinely perfectly ok and approving of his behavior.

    If Moore were a Democrat, those same people would be demanding he be run out of town on a rail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: BTW, in saying about the modern Republican Party

    They are Nazis; they are sexist; they are bigoted; they hate poor people.

    What part of this isn’t true. Haven’t we just seen march after march of literal American Neo-Nazis where Trump, the Republican Party leader, was idolized and praised? Sexism is universal and both parties certainly suffer from it, but isn’t it true that the Repubs have a fraction of the senior leadership position in female hands as compared to the Dems? And isn’t the party leader the Pussy Grabber in Chief? Next: Bigoted? See the first point. And of course, the leader of the Republican Party is a proven racist (proven in court that he instructed his employees to mark dark skinned applicants for his apartments with a “C” for colored). And wrt to the less well off the Republican Mantra is a combination of “they are lazy”, “they are stupid”, “they make bad life choices”, and “they deserve their fate”.

    And lest you say “But NOT ALL Republicans, just Trump” let me remind you that Trump has an 80% approval rating among Republicans.

    So, yes, not all Republicans are Nazi, bigoted, sexists who hate poor people. But it is the Party that welcomes those people, with the Party leader being a fairly extreme example of all of those characteristics.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    I’m finding it hard to believe that this is the same Mitch McConnell of 2010. Maybe Outer Space Aliens have taken over his body.

    Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. charon says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Clinton and Jones: not consensual

    Paula Jones had no credibility. Her deposition was posted online, reading it makes it impossible to take her seriously.

    Clinton and Broadrick: not consensual

    Again, serious credibility issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  32. Gustopher says:

    Roman Polanski is accepted because he is a great filmmaker, and it was just one girl. There are lots of individuals that have a problem with him, but he continues to work in a field that requires millions of dollars from pretty mainstream sources to get anything done — he’s accepted.

    The Republicans get to choose whether Roy Moore in the Senate is more important than just one girl. If you believe abortion is murder, then the answer is almost certainly yes — stopping the plague of mass murder is well worth putting up with an unctuous and disgusting sin (but, this also allows “so, he killed three teenaged campers and ate their flesh… what can you do?”)

    I disagree with a lot of what the evangelicals believe in (including that abortion is murder), but I’m not willing to call them deplorable for picking the lesser of two evils.

    There is, however, no excuse for anyone to have supported Donald Trump in the primaries, or to wear a MAGA hat now — he’s a disgusting excuse for a human being, and utterly unqualified for the office. The correct, proper, morally acceptable behavior at this point is to be calling for his resignation.

    And so, when the Republicans in Alabama continue to support Roy Moore after the election, rather than spending their time calling his office and demanding he resign, then I will call them deplorable. Also, I haven’t seen a post-child-rape Roman Polanski movie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  33. Hal_10000 says:

    Haven’t we just seen march after march of literal American Neo-Nazis where Trump, the Republican Party leader, was idolized and praised?

    1) The fact that Repulsive Person X praises person Y does not mean person Y agrees with person X. The neo-nazis are the barnacles of American politics. They tend to latch on to whatever politician they perceive as … something. For years, they used to attach themselves to Libertarian candidates. That is, they supported candidates who believed in open immigration, decarceration and drug legalization. They will attach themselves to anyone their perceive as an outsider since they are the ultimate political outsiders.

    2) That having been said, Trump has been awful at dealing with this. The bulk of the GOP has been more than happy to denounce them, since denouncing Nazis is like, the easiest thing in politics.

    3) “March after march” makes it sounds like this is bigger than it is. In C’Ville, they drew about 300. From the entire country. Later rallies were a few dozen. I don’t want to downplay the concern, especially when they’ve literally murdered people. But this not a national wave of fascism that threatens to engulf the GOP. This weekend, Poland saw 60-damned-THOUSAND Neo-Nazis march. THAT is a scary movement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  34. wr says:

    @Paul L.: “Missing are the words “Duke Lacrosse” and “UVA”that Progressives find so distasteful and gauche.”

    Also crepuscular, onomatopoeic and pudding, as long as we are now just throwing in words randomly as opposed to using them to form sentences that convey a coherent thought.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  35. Slugger says:

    “Leigh Corfman, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Leigh Corfman: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Leigh. Corf. Man. She was Leigh, plain Leigh, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. But in my arms she was always Leigh. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Leigh at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? ”
    BTW, the guy that says this is a horrific monster that ensnares our sympathy until we awaken to the evil that he has done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  36. Gustopher says:

    If my choices are to support pedophiles or democrats then yeah, I would rather support a pedophile. A pedophile only screws kids while democrats screw everyone. As an independent voter, I can’t see any reason why I should ever vote for a democrat / socialist again.

    I know this is exhibit A for depraved Moore defenders in this post, but I totally understand, and mostly approve of it. I think the twit is woefully wrong about Democrats, but beyond that… I would vote for a child molester over a Republican for any meaningful office, and I would proudly say that. First, it’s a really good, snarky quip; second, at a moral level, it checks out.

    Also, let’s not minimize things by calling Moore a pedophile. Pedophiles have an attraction to children, which is icky, but not in itself harmful. Moore has (allegedly) inappropriately touched children. He’s not just a pedophile, he’s a child molester. Allegedly, but almost certainly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  37. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher:

    I would vote for a child molester over a Republican for any meaningful office, and I would proudly say that.

    I wouldn’t. That’s a bridge much too far for me. Such a person should never be in a position of authority, because they’ve already proven they’ll abuse it to prey on the most vulnerable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  38. drj says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Clinton and Jones: not consensual
    Clinton and WIlly: not consensual
    Clinton and Broadrick: not consensual

    Dude, I originally brought up Broaddrick myself, didn’t I?

    You are deliberately trying to miss the point. (No suprise there.)

    At the time, pretty much the only woman one could safely believe was Lewinsky.

    Had the Whitewater/Vince Foster freak show been less ridiculous, I might have had far fewer reservations believing the other women as well (probably with the exception of Jones, though).

    So no, disregarding the Clinton accusations is not the same as defending Moore, who, actually admitted to dating teenagers as an adult.

    Let alone that the one thing somehow followed from the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  39. charon says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Kennedy and and the waitress he and Dodd made a “sandwich” of: not consensual
    Kennedy and Cristina Ford: not consensual

    Whataboutism running wild.

    I can not recall ever hearing about Cristina Ford or waitress sandwiches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  40. Modulo Myself says:

    We all should just admit that sexual violence and manipulation was and is a completely legit as an activity. If women actually desired to have sex in order for sex to occur, the number of sexual encounters in the history of the world would be reduced by 98%. Men have been totally fine with this dynamic and to be frank, my experience is that women can be very unclear about their desires within the legal framework of consent.

    And I think in general men have never cared about actual women at all. There’s statues and goddesses, and famous couples dying for each other, but that’s about it. Any man in his thirties into teenagers has no interest in women–he’s there for the power. But how different is it than any other encounter? I don’t think most conservatives actually care about a guy raping a 14-year old, simply because it’s in a continuum of sexual aggression that can be translated into seduction, which has always been partly about force.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  41. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Funny how examples of the Democratic response to accusations like these always back to Kennedy, Clinton, and Edwards (i.e. a decade plus in the past) *and* are not allegations of sex crimes against children, when Anthony Weiner exists.

    Boy, that sure is weird.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Like I’ve said previously – American democracy is fundamentally & irrevocably broken. The grand experiment begun 200+ years ago has failed.

    No other conclusions can be drawn from statements like this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  43. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @charon: Their attitude towards these cases with Moore absolutely exists within the same worldview as the Quiverfull Movement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Hal_10000 says:

    @reid:

    Democrats are worse than child molesters and as bad as ISIS?

    Well, here’s the crazy thing: Moore’s opponent is not “Democrats”. It’s A Democrat: Doug Jones. And it’s not like Jones is some crazy left-wing liberal. He’s fairly mainstream, favors increased defense spending and gun rights. He’s left on some culture-war issues (abortion, LGBT rights) ands supports Obamacare. But he’s no radical. The thing he’s most famous for is prosecuting church bombers. Honestly, this should not be such a tough choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  45. Mister Bluster says:

    @Modulo Myself:..If women actually desired to have sex in order for sex to occur, the number of sexual encounters in the history of the world would be reduced by 98%.

    This has not been my experience.
    U po’ fvcker u.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. KM says:

    @Hal_10000:

    But he’s no radical. The thing he’s most famous for is prosecuting church bombers. Honestly, this should not be such a tough choice.

    Ah, Hal? The church that got bombed wasn’t one of *theirs*. It was a church that got “radicalized” by “them outside agitators and negroes” during the Civil Rights movement in it’s Bombingham days. The fact that it took so long for prosecutions to happen – and that Baxley’s famous “Kiss my ass” letter to the KKK was even a thing – goes to tell you that his involvement in that is a net negative to a lot of “traditional” GOP voters.

    Evangelicals will take a (nominally culturally-approved) child molester with pretensions of faith over someone who stood up for the faithful that were attacked in their house of worship. That’s it’s even a choice in the first place goes to show what kind of people Alabama has as voters and citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Jen says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Oh, that’s easy. Weiner doesn’t fit with their “Democrats let their own get away with it” narrative because, well, he was dumped pretty quickly and is currently in jail.

    Bottom line is that Dems have come to terms with how our society has changed–how woefully inadequate the responses were in the past, and how things need to be handled now–and Republicans just keep insisting that because of who they are (you know, the Rightful Defenders of All that is Virtuous), anything that one of their own does is either: a) not as bad as a Democrat, or b) isn’t actually wrong at all (aka, the “Mary & Joseph defense”).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  48. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Hal_10000:

    You’re smart about some things and catastrophically misinformed on others. So like most of us, I guess.

    Not sure what the goal of all this whataboutism is …about. I mean, FDR interred Japanese-Americans, therefore we should never trust Democrats on race for all time?

    In the here and now, Republicans are becoming more actively malign, corrupt, and in total opposition to anything resembling governance. Just because Democrats were right for once shouldn’t twist your panties in such a snarl.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  49. Jen says:

    …and, a fifth accuser. She alleges she was 15 when Moore assaulted her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    A REPUBLICAN said this:

    “I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office,” said Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”
    Politico

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  51. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Jen:

    HE SIGNED HER GOD-DAMN YEARBOOK AS ROY MOORE, DA.

    WHAT THE FLARK IS AN ASSISTANT DA GOING AROUND SIGNING HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOKS FOR?

    “It’s muh culture! You big city libs don’t respect us God-fearin’ folk!”

    Yes, because your Gods are apparently Ares, Dionysus, and Mammon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  52. the Q says:

    drj, sorry, but you prove Hal_1000’s point.

    You condone Clinton’s incredibly stupid, idiotic actions by claiming they were “consensual”.

    Was it also “consensual” that he made his wife, daughter and Cabinet members lie for him?

    That he bald faced lied to all his supporters with the “I didn’t have sex with that woman” remark?

    Clinton disgraced the office, his country, his party and his family. He should have resigned in ignominity and let Vice President Gore assume the office for two years and the disastrous W admin never would have happened. President Gore and the power of incumbency and peace and prosperity certainly would have been too formidable for W to win.

    Clinton’s approval rating went up to 63% during his impeachment which means over 80% of Dems approved of his performance.

    If this isn’t the same kind of tribalism that infect’s Moore’s supporters, I don’t know what is.

    I found it utterly bewildering that Clinton could be so incredibly stupid as to have an affair (whether consensual or not) in the White House, then lie about it and drag the country through the crap of impeachment.

    Look at the similarities between George Takei and Moore. Both fondling accusations of things that happened over 40 years ago. They both deny the charges. Yet, does anyone see Takei
    taking the PR beating that Moore has? Do any of you really think for a second if Takei was running for office in LA that suddenly all the liberals would vote for a Darrel Issa or Dana Rohrbacher type of Republican moderate instead of the liberal?

    No way. And please don’t defend Takei by pointing out the teenage aspect of Moore’s issue. Groping someone of any age is sexual abuse. Period.

    I used to totally agree with some of my GOP friends who couldn’t believe the Dem support of Clinton’s affair with Monica and all the other accusers. He should have resigned, just as that dimwit Moore should step down.

    But please neolibs, stop defending Bill and his behavior vis-a-vis his sexual accusers as they have should have gotten the same sympathy as Moore’s accusers. To this day, the NOW people and other liberal women’s groups shun the Clinton accusers.

    So, I think Hal made a good point about the different sides overlooking the flaws of “their” candidates in an obvious hypocritical manner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

  53. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Can’t wait to see how his defenders contort themselves trying to explain him signing a high school year book when he was 30 years old. That’s not creepy…at all….
    GOPGross Old Perverts

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  54. Electroman says:

    @charon: Cristina Ford was one of the wives of Henry Ford II., and has been dead for about nine years. Now that we know who she was, we can proceed to “WTF does she have to do with this?”. I can’t answer that, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. reid says:

    @Hal_10000: True, good point. Would they say those things if the were asked about Jones specifically? Maybe not in such strong terms. I suppose it’s easy to demonize to such an insane degree a faceless group. (Or with the cursed Hillary and Obama as the faces.) How many millions of people share their views? There is something very wrong with our society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. KM says:

    @the Q:

    So, I think Hal made a good point about the different sides overlooking the flaws of “their” candidates in an obvious hypocritical manner.

    Except two wrongs do not make a right and another man’s sins do not pardon your own.

    Every single time Moore defenders bring up another person’s issues, all they are doing is deflecting and you are humoring them by allowing the subject to be changed and minimizing the current problem. We are discussing Roy Moore – he is the one running for election, he is the one with the troubled past that’s trying to run as a man of God and he’s the one pointing fingers at everyone else like that excuses what he did.

    We cannot change the past but we can affect the future. Don’t allow distractions to let this sleazebucket squirm on by you to victory while they scream Clinton, Weinstein, Takkei, WTFever. If he gets elected, it sends a message to every creep out there that they can and will prosper even if their victims stand up. A Moore win is a loss for victims everywhere, regardless of their abuser.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  57. Yank says:

    @the Q: There is a big difference between a consensual affair with an adult and sexual assault of a minor. It is mind boggling how people are making such a false equivalence.

    If Roy Moore had been only accused of having a sexual affair with his 23 year old intern, this wouldn’t even be a story.

    Also, Al Gore shunning away the popular outgoing president was a bigger reason for his defeat then Clinton getting a blowjob in 1998.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  58. Kylopod says:

    @the Q:

    You condone Clinton’s incredibly stupid, idiotic actions by claiming they were “consensual”.

    First, let’s get something out of the way. No evidence ever emerged that Clinton forced himself on Lewinsky, and she has never alleged that he did, not now or back then. Therefore, the statement that it was consensual isn’t a “claim”; it is an objective fact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  59. Yank says:

    Look at the similarities between George Takei and Moore. Both fondling accusations of things that happened over 40 years ago. They both deny the charges. Yet, does anyone see Takei
    taking the PR beating that Moore has? Do any of you really think for a second if Takei was running for office in LA that suddenly all the liberals would vote for a Darrel Issa or Dana Rohrbacher type of Republican moderate instead of the liberal?

    Takei isn’t running for anything, while Moore is. That is the primary reason why Takei isn’t getting as much heat.

    Also if Takei was a Democratic candidate and this stuff came out, he would have been forced out. This is the same party that forced Anthony Weiner out for sending a pic of his dick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  60. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: More than that: Lewinski has repeatedly said that she pursued him. Yes, as the one in the position of power, he should have exited that situation like a bat out of hell, but the point is made–it was a consensual, but extremely ill-advised, relationship between two adults over the legal age of consent.

    I don’t have a clue why Q doesn’t seem to get this. Yes, the entire thing was a disgrace, but a far cry from taking advantage of a minor CHILD.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  61. the Q says:

    KM.

    “The popular outgoing President”…yes, popular among Dems, not so much with the GOP and indies who felt Clinton was a disgrace.

    Also, again, you keep on harping on Monica and completely exclude the other women who said Clinton assaulted them. Why no mention of the others? Its because Dems never believed the others. It was part of a “right wing conspiracy”. But, liberals do believe the Moore accusers? Again, YOU are proving Hal correct.

    I hate wingnuts. Moore is an pedophile. Moore should step down. But this neolib defense of Clinton’s affair with Monica is a total bullschite denial of the seriousness of what that sex addict did to besmirch the office.

    You are like the wingnuts trying to “justify” Clinton’s behavior by saying “at least he didn’t molest a teenager” to deflect from what he did do. Again, its just not Monica that I am talking about, but the obvious many affairs he had a during his political life. And the Dems elected and re-elected a serial adultery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  62. the Q says:

    Yank,

    So if a married, Bible thumper running for Senate was found to be scroggin’ his court intern, this wouldn’t be a big story? Are you insanely stupid?

    That liberals would give Moore and pass because he was committing adultery with a 22 yr old consenting underling, the Post would have killed the story?

    And Jen, again you are guilty of liberal bias. You mention ONE out of the dozen women who says it was consensual.

    Where is your sympathy for the women who claimed Bill raped them? No sympathy there? No NOW intervention or women’s groups coming to their aid and support? The reason is women on the left felt the EXACT same way as the Moore supporters…admit it, you don’t believe any of the Clinton women who claimed rape, but you side with the Moore women who claim inappropriate fondling.

    Please, neolibs, quite insulting my intelligence defending Clinton’s adultery. Its pathetic.

    As Hal said, there’s no difference in the two. Some women claimed Clinton molested them, to which people like Jen and Yank say they are liars. Some women claim Moore molested them and wingnuts claim they are liars.

    Tell me, where is Hal wrong is his comment about choosing sides and dismissing the obvious?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  63. Yank says:

    So if a married, Bible thumper running for Senate was found to be scroggin’ his court intern, this wouldn’t be a big story? Are you insanely stupid?

    That liberals would give Moore and pass because he was committing adultery with a 22 yr old consenting underling, the Post would have killed the story?

    No, it wouldn’t be a big story at all.

    People really don’t care about consensual extramarital affairs. Liberals would laugh at the hypocrisy, but you wouldn’t see any elected Republican take back their endorsement of Moore and he would still be up double digits on Doug Jones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  64. Kylopod says:

    @Yank:

    Also if Takei was a Democratic candidate and this stuff came out, he would have been forced out. This is the same party that forced Anthony Weiner out for sending a pic of his dick.

    I’m going to push back on this slightly. Not long before the first Weiner scandal that led to his resignation, another New York Congressman, a Republican named Chris Lee, resigned after being caught sending a shirtless pic of himself on Craiglist. Republicans abandoned him just as quickly as Democrats did Weiner.

    These things often depend on how much the party is giving up. Losing one seat in the House usually isn’t a big deal to a party; losing a Senate seat in a narrowly divided Senate is, losing a presidential election even more so. We can speculate how Democrats would have behaved if their presidential nominee had been caught on tape boasting about sexual assault less than a month before the election, but we really don’t know, because nothing like that has ever happened before to either party.

    One point that is not often brought up is how much we should hold people responsible for pushing candidates like this in the first place. I don’t know about you, but when the Access Hollywood tapes came out last year, I was not all that surprised. I know I’m not alone in this; James Joyner’s post at the time was titled “Trump Caught on Tape Being Trump, Shocking Trump Supporters.”

    It’s not always obvious that sexual predators are sexual predators, and it’s been dispiriting to see people I used to adore like Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey exposed. But long before the Access Hollywood fiasco it was well-known that Trump was a sexist pig who treated women like objects. It was even brought up at one of the first Republican debates, where everyone got to see him on live TV openly defending his disparaging remarks about women. And his popularity among Republicans only increased.

    Moore’s case is a bit trickier, but we all knew he was a backwards reactionary. He didn’t get called the “Ayatollah of Alabama” for nothing. In some ways I find his view that homosexuals should be imprisoned more disqualifying than the stuff coming out now.

    Sexual wrongdoing, including sexual assault, is a bipartisan tradition, and you can find men all across the political spectrum guilty of it. But it’s only one party that’s actively promoting horrible, backwards views about women, LGBT people, nonwhites, and non-Christians–and for people who hold those views, sexual assault really comes with the territory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  65. the Q says:

    Again, Moore is a redneck moron. I am NOT defending or condoning his behavior.

    Some here are trying to make the argument that someone who kills one person is better than someone who killed 100 people.

    What Moore allegedly did is reprehensible if you believe his accusers.

    What Clinton did allegedly is reprehensible if you believe his accusers.

    There is no middle ground here.

    Hal’s point is that libs didn’t believe Juanita Broderick and backed Bill while Moore’s supporters are doing the same with the many accusers now coming forward. “vast liberal conspiracy” is their cry. Sound familiar?

    Will you please stop defending Clinton’s behavior? It wasn’t just Lewinsky, there were many others who accused him of rape and assault. Same with Moore.

    I can’t believe that we can’t condemn BOTH, but libs here are bending over backwards to parse Bill’s adultery. I am sorry, both are unfit for the Senate or POTUS and if neo- liberals cant agree with that, they are no better than the Moore nutcase supporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  66. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Accrochez-vous bien à vos rêves, This is America, you can vote for whoever you wish, or not at all even. But don’t deceive yourself into believing that you can take a stand by “rejecting both.” If you lived in ‘Bama, voting for neither is more likely a vote for Moore than not.

    And it’s not about you, it’s about remembering that “I’d never vote for [x] party” is not limited to this one circumstance. This one may be worse, but closed mindedness is closed mindedness even if the choice is relatively benign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  67. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Hal_10000:

    After you’ve denounced a conservatively-tempered left-moderate like Obama as a Kenyan Communist anti-Christ radical, I have no idea what you’re going to do if someone really dangerous comes along.

    Vote for them if they’re on your side. What else?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. An Interested Party says:

    Look at the similarities between George Takei and Moore. Both fondling accusations of things that happened over 40 years ago. They both deny the charges. Yet, does anyone see Takei taking the PR beating that Moore has?

    Oh really? Does anyone see multiple people accusing Takei of this behavior? Perhaps Moore might have been excused, or at least been able to level a legitimate argument that he was innocent, if it was only one person coming forward, but now we have five people coming forward, with maybe more to come…this is one of the reasons why Takei isn’t taking the PR beating that Moore is…oh, and let us not forget the sanctimonious bull$hit that has come out of Moore’s mouth, criticizing the behaviors of so many others…yes, he’s such a good “Christian”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  69. charon says:

    @the Q:

    What Moore allegedly did is reprehensible if you believe his accusers.

    What Clinton did allegedly is reprehensible if you believe his accusers.

    You need to be either pretty fvkking stupid or pretty fvkking biased to not notice/disregard the differences in crediblity. Your argument is BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  70. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @charon:

    I can not recall ever hearing about Cristina Ford or waitress sandwiches.

    That’s how we know that both sides do it! The Democratic voters, instead of expressing outrage scream “la la la I’m not listening” and threaten to cancel their subscriptions to NYT and WaPo if they don’t spike the articles about it.

    (If Hal was really on top of this, he would have used Mary Jo Kopechne–she was both raped and murdered when he discovered she was pregnant–or at least that’s what we were told by the radical right media of the time.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  71. Jen says:

    @the Q: Dude, I was a Republican when Bill Clinton was in office. I thought he was a disgrace. Gennifer Flowers was also a consensual relationship, and for a while there we had no idea who had consensual affairs with Clinton and who didn’t. Yes he was an adulterer. And it was a HOT MESS and no one is excusing the behavior.

    But you need to take a step DOWN off your high horse and get your mind around the difference between something that is INADVISABLE and something that is ILLEGAL.

    Newt Gingrich was on wife number two and having an affair with the woman who would become wife #3 at the time Clinton was facing impeachment. That too is a disgrace, isn’t it? How about Rudy Giuliani, who had his first marriage annulled because it was to a cousin, who THEN went on to have several more marriages? How about our current occupant of the Oval Office?

    The reason that I haven’t been hammering on the hypocritical history of the Party of Family Values (TM) is because it isn’t relevant to the discussion at hand.

    I am really, really baffled by how hung up you are on the Clintons. It’s sort of obsessive and kind of weird.

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  72. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And what if I choose to vote for neither one of them?

    Then you have abstained, and can’t complain about what you got as a result.

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  73. Mister Bluster says:

    @DrDaveT:..Then you have abstained, and can’t complain about what you got as a result.

    Salami! Pastrami! Baloney!
    There is nothing in The Constitution that stipulates that Citizens must cast ballots in elections to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech.

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  74. B. R. Bong says:

    Vast Left Wing Conspiracy

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  75. B. R. Bong says:

    @drj: Democrats aren’t defended at all costs?
    Bill assaulted women. Some women even offered to give him a blow job just because Abortion.
    Ted Kennedy killed a woman.
    Chris Dodd. Waitress sandwich.
    Byrd. KKK. Mentor to famous senators.

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  76. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: Something that a lot of non-voters in the U.K. are now painfully realizing….

    Unfortunately, the Hard Brexiteers have the bit between their teeth and are running towards the cliff edge.

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  77. wr says:

    @the Q: Shorter Q: “Sex is icky.”

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  78. wr says:

    @B. R. Bong: Someone call the Russian programmers — the bots aren’t working right.

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  79. Dave Kopiniak says:

    @MarkedMan: Washigton Post in 2011 pretty much finished demolishing the thing on Gingrich. When a careful paper with a strong reputation goes deep to refute or support a story like that, you have to give it the benefit unless another equally qualified source with better facts comes around.

    @the q
    Clinton allegation of consensual sex with underlings are proven, but rape has not, and some of the conspiracy theories have crimes that remain prosecutable. With the current falling standards at DOJ (my former employer) who is facing incredible pressure to become a political hatchet team, you would think that Bill would get investigated.

    Bill is a jerk and I never voted for him, but I hope that someday the US can get away from political fantasy and back to solid and studied discussions. My own party is at fault in this I know, and should be the ones that fix it, but you have to start small like avoiding hyperbolic accusations.

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  80. Right wing extremist says:

    His support has nothing to do with geography and everything to do with ideology. I’m from New York and I strongly support Roy Moore.

    Roy Moore is on the right side of the issues, both literally and metaphorically. He is right about abortion – he is right about not allowing fudge packers to redefine marriage – he is right about Sharia creep – he is right about not letting transgendered freaks stock girls into the ladies room.

    Even if he is a pedophile, and he may well be, he is still preferable to a liberal Democrat like Doug Jones. The Democrats were perfectly fine with a guy who murdered his pregnant mistress by driving her off a bridge being in the Senate because they agreed with him on the issues. I’m fine with a pedophile if I know he will vote the right way. Without any question Roy Moore will have a right-wing voting record in the Senate. That’s why I support him.

    He’s a very imperfect messenger but we have to fight back against the abortionists, the homos and the Muslims.

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  81. Dave Kopiniak says:

    @Right wing extremist:

    Comrade,
    Were to begin.

    I assume by “guy who murdered his pregnant mistress” you refer to the Chappaquiddick incident involving the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne. Ms. Kopechne was a Boiler Room Girls for the Robert Kennedy campaign and not a close acquaintance Ted Kennedy. She was not pregnant at the time of her death. Kopechne was not murdered, she died in an accidental drowning. No qualified unbiased investigation has found otherwise. Thus the assertion that he murdered his pregnant girlfriend in an arcane and convoluted way is incorrect. Leave the inflation to the democrats. Kennedy was guilty of negligence in not reporting the accident in a timely manner. The main fishiness of the story was that he should have been handed a 6-month sentence for it since it involved a death, but was given a suspended sentence. This was likely a SOP to his political name.

    Most studies of the use of the term fudge packer show that it is used by people who are themselves troubled homosexuals with deep denial issues. You might want to ask yourself when your male coworkers bend over if you get a sudden electric thrill in your loins. In this case your use of this term and those strange feelings you feel may need to be explored. While I think conversion therapy is a load of crap, it is possible you may find it comforting and even life changing. Roy Moore has himself spoken on how many of his colleagues were conflicted on their sexuality in their youth and how they found conversion therapy a founding pillar that prevented them from straying into homosexuality. Apparently this is a big deal in Alabama politics.

    There is no current law that would stop “transgendered freaks stock girls into the ladies room” because most ladies rooms are not stocked with girls. The average ladies room is generally stocked with toilet paper, towels, and sometimes other sanitary products such as soap. In general there is rarely space for a rack of girls, and even if there was there would be little use for them.

    If you meant stalked, then you might want to look up crime statistics. Transgendered (freaks or not) have extremely low rates of stalking crimes, let alone the specific use of ladies rooms to stalk girls. Oddly enough crimes against girls in ladies rooms tend to be committed by men who have entered the space illegally (perhaps to qualify them for holding office in Alabama). In my career I have made no arrests of transgendered for sex crimes in bathrooms, I have arrested homosexuals for criminal a acts in bathrooms, but never for entering one that was different than there gender. The only point to all of this is that it is easy to tell everyone you will stop something if it never happens in the first place.

    Sharia creep, which i feel you mean the entry of Sharia into common law, is a case where you need at least a college education to understand the situation. European common law was based loosely on Justinian’s Roman Law reforms which were brought into western practice by Charles the Great and then transmitted to England after the Norman invasion. Oddly enough, many aspects of sharia law were adopted by the caliphate after 2 Fitna from this same Roman Law, and this Roman law was very influential in Sunni law centers and the early Muslim university movement. At the turn of the first millennia Pope Sylvester II did crib some Sharia for adoption by the Catholic church, but other than sharing a common ancestor in Roman law, the US has never had Sharia and there is no sharia creep. The main problem is that it is really easy to say, “there is all sorts of sharia happening in Indiana and Wisconsin” since most of Moores’ true followers cannot find those two states even with Mapquest and an iPhone, they believe it. Since the people of Indiana and Wisconsin are saying that Alabama and Georgia are being overrun by Sharia as well it is the perfect scam. Oddly enough i did find one cited article about Sharia in Georgia, but it turned out the author had mistaken Georgia in Asia with Georgia next door to Florida, making the premise of their work moot.

    Roy Moore may indeed be a pedophile, which i did not believe until i read his voting record on child molestation. That is creepy.

    —————————

    His support has nothing to do with geography and everything to do with ideology. I’m from New York and I strongly support Roy Moore.

    Roy Moore is on the right side of the issues, both literally and metaphorically. He is right about abortion – he is right about not allowing fudge packers to redefine marriage – he is right about Sharia creep – he is right about not letting transgendered freaks stock girls into the ladies room.

    Even if he is a pedophile, and he may well be, he is still preferable to a liberal Democrat like Doug Jones. The Democrats were perfectly fine with a guy who murdered his pregnant mistress by driving her off a bridge being in the Senate because they agreed with him on the issues. I’m fine with a pedophile if I know he will vote the right way. Without any question Roy Moore will have a right-wing voting record in the Senate. That’s why I support him.

    He’s a very imperfect messenger but we have to fight back against the abortionists, the homos and the Muslims.

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-mentality-of-roy-moores-defenders/#ixzz4ygbeBI8q

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  82. B. R. Bong says:

    It sort of reminds me of Bill Clinton supporters back in the day.
    It’s only sex.
    Drag a dollar bill thru a trailer park and you never know what you’ll find.
    #VRRC
    Offers to give bill blow job just because he’s a Democrat.
    All about politics.
    Why didn’t his behavior come up earlier.
    Who cares I’m voting for him anyways.

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