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Dickinson writes: "Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, has been accused in The Washington Post article of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 - and an assistant district attorney. Will the party that rode Donald 'grab 'em by the pussy' Trump to the presidency stand by an accused child molester as he runs for Senate?"

Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017, in Fairhope, Alabama. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017, in Fairhope, Alabama. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Will Republicans Send an Accused Child Molester to the Senate?

By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

11 November 17


A scandal breaks, and a door opens to a Democrat in Alabama's Senate race

oy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, has been accused in The Washington Post article of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 – and an assistant district attorney. Will the party that rode Donald "grab 'em by the pussy" Trump to the presidency stand by an accused child molester as he runs for Senate?

Here's what you need to know.

What's the allegation?

Leigh Corfman recounted to The Post that Moore separated her from her mother at an Etowah County courthouse in 1979, getting her phone number. Moore, she alleged, later drove her to his house, and during one encounter undressed the 14-year-old to her underwear, fondling her, before placing her hand on his bulge, under "tight white" underwear. The age of consent in Alabama was, and is, 16. The Post also interviewed three other named women who said the adult Moore pursued them sexually when they were teenagers. The detailed Post report is "based on interviews with more than 30 people."

Moore responded in a statement published by Breitbart: "These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign." Moore later cast himself as a righteous victim, tweeting, "The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal – even inflict physical harm – if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me," and even attempted to fundraise off the allegations.

Who is Roy Moore?

Moore is the Republican candidate to fill the seat vacated by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the special election is scheduled for December 18th. Now 70, Moore was already a lightning rod in Republican and national politics. He was twice elected to chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and twice ousted from that post – first for defying a federal order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments, and again for demanding state judges enforce Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage, which had been ruled unconstitutional.

Out of office, Moore has been no less controversial: He has attributed both 9/11 and the Sandy Hook shooting to America's declining godliness. In 2005, he said "homosexual conduct should be illegal"; just this week he declared "the transgenders don't have rights." Moore has railed against (nonexistent) "communities under Sharia law right now in our country" and wrote in 2006 that Rep. Keith Ellison should be denied his House seat because of his Muslim faith. During his primary, Moore recklessly brandished a revolver on stage at a campaign rally.

Why does he matter?

Moore has been embraced as an avatar of the Republican Party's new populism. His Senate bid has been backed to the hilt by former Trump presidential adviser Steve Bannon, who has returned to Breitbart. After Moore's primary triumph, Bannon said he heralded a "revolution" in Republican politics: "You are going to see, in state after state after state, people that follow the model of Judge Moore." Trump himself had backed Moore's opponent in the primary, but quickly made friends with his fellow birther after the election. "Spoke to Roy Moore of Alabama last night for the first time," Trump tweeted in late September. "Sounds like a really great guy who ran a fantastic race. He will help to #MAGA!" Moore has also been embraced by more establishment Washington figures urging party unity – including Texas Sen. John Cornyn.

What's the fallout from the Post exposé?

So far just one Republican has unequivocally called on Moore to withdraw from the race. Arizona Sen. John McCain, tweeted, "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."

Several other Republicans have couched a similar demand in conditional terms – "if" the allegations (in the scrupulously documented Washington Post piece) are true:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: "If these allegations are true, he must step aside."

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski: "I'm horrified, and if it's true he should step down immediately."

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby: "If that's true, I don't believe there'd be any place for him in the United States Senate."

South Dakota Sen. John Thune: "The allegations, if true, to me mean he needs to step aside."

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman: "If what we read is true, and people are on the record so I assume it is, then he should step aside."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: "These are serious and troubling allegations. If they are true, Judge Moore should immediately withdraw. However, we need to know the truth, and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations."

What happens next

Although Moore can withdraw, it is too late under Alabama law for his name to be taken off the ballot. A number of Republicans are talking up a write-in campaign for the man who lost to Moore in the primary – interim Sen. Luther Strange. But Moore, who has shown little ability to be shamed for his past behavior, could also choose to stay on the ballot – betting that the same conservative electorate that shrugged off multiple, credible allegations of sexual assault to elect Donald Trump will do him the same courtesy.

Does this mean the Democrat might win – in Alabama?

The allegations against Moore do open the door for Democrat Doug Jones – previously an enormous longshot in one of the reddest states in America. Jones is a celebrated former U.S. attorney, nationally prominent for his role in prosecuting and convicting two Klan members for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which killed four black girls.

What about the politics?

The Moore scandal heaps trouble on an already terrible week for Republicans – reeling after Democrats ran the table in pivotal elections earlier this week in Virginia, New Jersey and Washington state. If the controversy permits Democrats to steal the Senate seat, the GOP's narrow 51-seat majority will make it even tougher to move legislation like long-promised corporate tax cuts. But if the former judge somehow takes office in D.C., every Republican candidate in the country will be forced in 2018 to reckon with this question: Why are you running in the same party as Roy Moore?


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+33 # indian weaver 2017-11-11 16:10
The title is incredibly silly. Of course they will. The Republicans just put a sex maniac woman molester in the White House. No problem doing the same or worse in congress, for the GOP. Makes perfect sense, in fact, not even a question.
 
 
+30 # PeacefulGarden 2017-11-11 16:58
Isn't the White Christian Militia State incredibly bizarre? It is like you just cannot find the bottom, like nothing else matters but God, Guns, and.... Sex?

So, if a one eyed monster who was convicted of rape some how became politically popular, and out of its mouth came utterances about God, Guns, and how bad non-white people are: the general Republican voter would just pull the lever?

Anyone want to drive through Alabama? Shesh? I think Chris Christie should be forced to work down there, set up a law practice or something.
 
 
+16 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-11-11 18:38
"Will Republicans Send an Accused Child Molester to the Senate?"


They probably will. It would not be the first time. There were even stories about Reagan's child molestation. It seems to run in the republican party.
 
 
+17 # bread and butter 2017-11-11 19:25
*************** SARCASTIC COMMENT******** *******

Satan worshipping Catholics, and Hollywood liberal elite atheists are all pedophiles.

That's why I'm a southern Evangelical. We don't have that problem!

*************** SARCASTIC COMMENT******** *******
 
 
+9 # Carol R 2017-11-12 04:32
We sent an accused sex offender to the White House and the Republicans have no complaints. Why should they complain about having one in the Senate.

The GOP has lowered the bar so far down that any deviant behavior is acceptable. In the past things probably happened but now such behavior is out in the open and it doesn't seem to matter.
 
 
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-11-12 09:19
Ah, Republicans: the Party of tax evasion & theft, wars of aggression, drone murder, false imprisonment, often with cheerful torture, & sexual assault of women & children.
 
 
+6 # futhark 2017-11-12 09:56
My late mother probably said it best when she observed that when a person puts as much time and thought into judging other peoples' sexuality as the evangelical crowd does it must trigger prurient thoughts in their own minds about what they may be able to get away with themselves without being caught or censured. It seems to be a challenge they cannot resist.
 
 
+3 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-11-12 12:20
The operative word in this meme is “accused”. Not “convicted”. Not even “charged”. I realize that the chances of charges being filed are small, much less Moore getting convicted of anything (this IS Alabama), but that doesn’t give us, people who despise people like him, the right to throw out the basis of our criminal justice system: Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Luckily all this is distraction. Whether or not he’s guilty of “molesting a child”, he IS a terrible choice for the US Senate, especially when his opponent is such a good choice.

Instead of worrying about Moore’s sexual proclivities, I hope Alabamans LISTEN to what the two candidates want to do for them, what their views are on what direction our country should be going. If all you know about a candidate is that he hates this or is against that or got a divorce, then you don’t really know much about him at all.
 
 
+9 # librarian1984 2017-11-12 15:22
I remember being shocked to discover, years ago, that it was evangelical Christians more than any other group who still used corporal punishment against children.

There is nothing they cannot justify, absolved beforehand by their belief that they are righteous, much as we justified killing Native Americans, enslaving and then imprisoning blacks, and subjugating women. Might makes right. Manifest Destiny.

We are moral infants, and seem unwilling to progress, especially if money is involved.
 

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