As you drive home from work, you might be hearing that the latest bullet fired from the sexual misconduct assault rifle is aimed right at Roy Moore. The Washington Post story is damning. Four women claim Moore made inappropriate advances–or asked to “date” them–when he was a single prosecutor in his early 30s. This all occurred between 1979 and 1982; we’re talking 35 to 38 years ago.
In normal circumstances, it would be very difficult to make these allegations stick against a 70-year-old jurist who has been married to the same woman for over 32 years. But these are not normal circumstances.
Three words: “If it’s true…”
Therefore, it will be very difficult for Moore to fight these allegations, from a political standpoint. And when you’re a Senate candidate, that’s the only standpoint that matters. The problem is with three words. “If it’s true…” It doesn’t matter whether the allegations are true or not. What matters is they might be true, and there is enough credible evidence to meet that low bar.
The sexual misconduct gun is loaded and has a hair trigger.
Where’s the defense?
Moore’s campaign released a rather humdrum statement condemning the allegations. It’s weak because their best defense is “if this was true, it would have come out by now.” At best, this draws a jaundiced eye. Look at Kevin Spacey (30 years ago!), Harvey Weinstein (decades!), and now, sadly, Charlie Sheen. All these events were covered up for decades and didn’t “come out” until now. It’s really the worst possible excuse Moore’s campaign could come up with.
The “optics” as they say in political parlance, are very bad, and the lack of a stronger statement by Kayla, Moore’s wife, is troubling. In fact, the longer the campaign sits in the dark, the worse things are going to look.
WaPo’s collusion: Who did it?
Obviously, this was a political hit–true or not. The key paragraph from the WaPo piece that bothers me is this:
Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.
Heard? Where? From whom? Who planted this story? Where did the Post reporter get the names of these women, who didn’t know each other and therefore could not have given each other’s names? Someone knew all of them.
It smells really bad. Someone colluded to trash Roy Moore. His best defense would be to find who did it and expose the whole thing. Could the women have been set up or even paid to give their stories? It’s certainly possible, and therefore it’s in the public interest for WaPo to fess up and expose their source.
But here nor there, politics and the times being as they are, many are already calling for Moore’s head, including arch-enemy Mitch McConnell.
It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.” Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says.
After Endorsing Democrat in Alabama, Bezos’s Washington Post Plans to Hit Roy Moore with Allegations of Inappropriate Relations with Teenagers; Judge Claims Smear Campaign
The alleged incidents, all of which Moore strongly denies, allegedly took place between 1977 and 1982. Breitbart News obtained details of the forthcoming Post story from the newspaper’s letter detailing the allegations sent to Moore’s campaign for comment. Separately, Moore’s campaign said in a statement, “This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.” The campaign pointed out that Moore has been married to his wife, Kayla, for nearly 33 years and has four children and five grandchildren.
It is really remarkable that a Republican Party that hates his guts and worked to get him pitted against Luther Strange in a run off so as to beat him was too staggeringly incompetent to find this information about Roy Moore’s accusers. Moore is being accused of inappropriately touching several girls around 40 years ago. He has not been convicted, but the story is deeply troubling because these are multiple victims who do not know each other, all have similar looks, and they all have similar stories.
The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 9, 2017
If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 9, 2017
Democrats are trying to Herman Cain "Roy Moore" because they don't want him in the Senate.
— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) November 9, 2017
It’s sad that Moore will likely fall to this assault against him. He can’t weather it unless he proves the hit was engineered. If it was McConnell, then, as Erick Erickson muses, then why didn’t the hit come when Luther Strange was still in the race? Why lose the seat to a Democrat now? If it was the Democrats, this is a masterpiece.
Other questions. Did President Trump know this was afoot? He endorsed Strange but is more kindred to Moore. Yet nothing tweeted by POTUS (yet–plus he’s on the other side of the world). If this has been in Moore’s closet for so long, why was he so unprepared for it?
Like I said, it smells. But no matter, because it’s got just enough detail, and the patina of credibility, so it’s going to be the accepted narrative until disproven. I’d say the clock is running, with no time-outs, and rapidly winding down to zero for Moore. If he can’t come up with a stronger defense, and soon, he’s done.