This is an update of the Daily Eruption post If These Allegations Are True. Representative clip from Fox News, 11/9/17.
As we sadly know, the GOP candidate to replace Alabama’s Jeff Sessions in a December special election, ex-ex-Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, is a piece of work. Discharged from the bench twice for defying federal court orders to remove religious symbolism from his courthouse and permit legalized gay marriage, Moore has now been accused via the Washington Post by four women of juvenile seduction, including that of a 14-year-old (now 53) named Leigh Corfman who says on their second “date” he disrobed and fondled her in his bedroom.
Moore immediately lashed back, Trump style, with a quartet of tweets.
The Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I’ve EVER faced! We are are in the midst of a spiritual battle with those who want to silence our message. (1/4) #ALSen 6:46 PM – Nov 9, 2017
I believe you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values! Our nation is at a crossroads right now — both spiritually and politically. (3/4) #ALSen 6:47 PM – Nov 9, 2017
A spokesman for the Moore campaign added, “This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.” If that’s the case, let them sue Leigh Corfman and the others for slander and the Washington—which broke the story—for libel. Fake news or not, it was clearly stage-managed. There must be a reason why all four females popped out of the woodwork in close proximity at this particular time. After all, according to the WaPo article (11/9/17), the three other women were above the age of consent at the time and all say they had no sexual contact with Moore (one never went out with him as her mother forbade it). There just wasn’t enough meat that met his eye 34 years ago to make a media meal that will fully satisfy the public’s appetite for scandal, it seems, so this will have to do.
The Alt-Right gets this. Knowing that its followers would take up the slack, Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News spun the story, noting that the Post had endorsed Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones two weeks previously. That article garnered 35,264 comments (!) in two days, a great many vilifying WaPo. And why not? In the age of Weinstein, the muck that WaPo stirred up makes for pretty thin gruel. Whether overblown or bogus, for them WaPo’s exposé has a rank political odor.
At the same time that many on the right are flocking to Moore’s defense, GOP honchos are coyly distancing themselves. Speaking on Trump’s behalf, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that he “believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life … However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.” Strong stuff, eh?
Mitch McConnell and other GOP bigwigs have said pretty much the same thing. The McConnell-controlled Senate Leadership Super PAC tossed big money into Alabama (98% of its spending this cycle ended up there). FEC data lists $3,236,458.80 in media buys against Moore, but Open Secrets shows that McConnell’s SLF spent $6.4M to put Moore’s primary opponent, appointed incumbent Luther Strange, over the top. Despite all that grinding away (mostly negative ads), Moore walloped Strange 54.6-45.4.
John McCain—well known for an appetite for red meat—went further than McConnell and Trump, saying Moore should simply withdraw straightaway. That’s a little odd. It implies that the conservative Republican would rather a Democrat assume Jeff Session’s seat than Roy Moore, which would loosen the GOP’s stranglehold on the Senate. The Maverick strikes again.
“If these allegations are true” is, of course, fake probity, because sexual harassment cases, especially against prominent personages, take time—years, usually—to work themselves out, and the special election is a month away. Expect GOP pols to play the innocent-until-proven-guilty card, meaning that until a court of law finds moral turpitude, Moore should stay in the race.
Sadly, media outlets take such feigned outrage at face value. Any proof forthcoming will surely come too late to matter anymore, as usual. Even though it might endear them to paleoconservatives who hate the likes of McConnell (and John Boehner before him) for their big government ways, the MSM won’t call their bluff, perhaps fearing that sources would dry up if they exposed the GOP leadership’s hypocritical stance on Moore.
Moore, of course is a devout Southern Baptist and a point man for theocracy. In his defense, Alabama State Auditor and amateur theologian Jim Zeigler told The Washington Examiner “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
What’s unusual is Zeigler’s exegesis. The Holy Scriptures tell us that Joseph and Mary were husband and wife, and of course Mary was a virgin, and Lord God managed not to pop her cherry when implanting fetus Jesus. Isn’t that, as SNL’s Church Lady used to say, special.
Even more special is the animus that WaPo seems to have for Moore. Last month it disclosed that he received $1M plus major perks from the Foundation for Moral Law after he said he would not draw a regular salary. Moore set up the foundation with the mission “to restore the knowledge of God in law and government” in 2002. His wife heads it and two of his kids draw salaries there. However, it seems his Foundation gave Moore a promissory note for his back pay that he hasn’t yet collected on. So technically speaking he hasn’t drawn salary. Still, that IOU might come in handy as collateral for campaign loans and other purposes. Oh, and as the promised payments exceed the nonprofit’s declared cash on hand, the IRS has gotten involved.
So here we have a likely Senator, a scofflaw who brands himself as an Old Testament patriot, proclaiming in debate with Luther Strange: “Our foundation has been shaken. Crime, corruption, immorality, abortion, sodomy, sexual perversion sweep our land. When we become one nation under God again, when liberty and justice for all reigns across our land, we will be truly good again.”
Good again to do what? Foundations and nonprofits are coin of the realm for perspicacious people with money to hide, and many such institutions reward their principals lavishly. The Clintons and of course the Donald have aggrandized themselves through their own nonprofits, so why not a good boy judge intent on doing God’s work?
Surely the four female plaintiffs should get their day in court sina mora. But that won’t happen soon, and in any case theirs is not the scandal we should be talking about. If anything, WaPo’s set pieces about them will probably gain votes for Moore in a state populated by so many “values voters” who have no use for the East Coast establishment. The real scandal, it turns out, is our two-party system and the grift that keeps on giving.