It is time for conservatives to abandon Roy Moore.
Running for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Moore has now been accused by a second and third woman of sexual assault. It is noteworthy that those accusing Moore aren’t hiding behind anonymity: they are named, on-the-record sources.
On Monday, Beverly Young Nelson came forward and claimed that she was assaulted by Moore when he gave her a ride home from her job at a restaurant in 1977. She says that Moore, at the time an assistant district attorney in Etowah County, parked behind a dumpster, groped her, and forced her head into his lap. Nelson was 16 at the time.
Yesterday, Tina Johnson claimed that she had been groped by Moore in 1991. She was 28 at the time and Moore was married, according to CBS News:
“He kept commenting on my looks, telling me how pretty I was, how nice I looked,” Johnson told the news outlet. “He was saying that my eyes were beautiful.”
She said she was at Moore’s office to sign over custody of her 12-year-old son at the time to her mother, who was inside the room during the meeting. After her mom left the room when the meeting ended, Johnson says Moore came up behind her and groped her, grabbing her buttocks.
“He didn’t pinch it; he grabbed it,” Johnson said. She says she didn’t tell her mother about it at the time, but later confided in a sister.
Late last week the Washington Post reported that when he was in his 30s, Moore dated or tried to date four teenage girls ranging in age from 14 to 18, with the permission of the parents, Moore points out, as was the custom in Alabama at the time. One accuser, Leigh Corfman, claimed Moore had dates with her in 1979 when she was 14. On the second date he took her to his house where, in the newspaper’s words, “he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants … and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.”
Three other women confirmed to the Post that Corfman had confided in them at the time that she had dated an older man.
Moore denied ever knowing Corfman and, so, that accusation boiled down to “he said, she said.” He has also denied ever knowing Nelson, but that denial is implausible. Nelson has produced her high school yearbook from 1977 in which someone wrote, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas.’ Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A….Olde Hickory House.”
Now, with a third woman coming forward, a disturbing pattern is emerging. And if this is anything like the cases of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, once two accusers becomes three, three soon becomes four, and so on.
Moore seems so convinced of his righteousness that he will never step aside. Once the accusations against Moore begin to snowball, conservatives will do immense damage to their credibility if they don’t abandon him.
Such credibility matters. If we lose it, it will come back to bite us in the ass.
In the early 1990s, Democrats and liberals howled that Clarence Thomas was unfit to be a Supreme Court Justice because he allegedly sexually harassed his employee, Anita Hill. A few years later they hounded Republican Sen. Bob Packwood out of office after numerous women came forward claiming he had made unwanted sexual advances. But when their boy Bill Clinton was accused of similar (if not worse) offenses and of lying under oath about it, Democrats and liberals circled the wagons. Clinton stayed in the Oval Office for a full eight years, in no small part because the left showed that they would sell out their principles for power.
Fast forward to October 7, 2016. A video is released of Donald Trump, then a candidate for president, boasting to TV host Billy Bush about grabbing women “by the pussy.” Trump, being quite cunning, held a press conference the next day with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, all women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. At the presidential debate that evening, Trump was questioned about the Billy Bush tape. Naturally, he brought up Bill Clinton’s tawdry record and the fact that Hillary had attacked Bill’s accusers. After that, how could the left respond? “Hillary is better that Trump because he’s a preda… well, just shut up!”
The Billy Bush tape would have ended just about any other presidential campaign. But Trump was able to neutralize it because about two decades earlier liberals had abandoned their principles for politics.
If conservatives want to avoid similar blowback at some point in the future, it is time to abandon Moore.
Crossposted at Bombthrowers.