Okay, I have an idea where to start. This twisting of others trying to desperately explain it away must stop. The bottomline is that Roy Moore either sexually molested the underage girls as they themselves charge or he didn't. If he didn't, there's NO problem for him. If he did, there is NO defense.
That's it, that's the bottomline. The foundation for all discussion. Anything else is bonus material filling in the details.
Just to be clear, the stories about Roy Moore may or may not be true. BUT -- as some have tried to cry out, it is not a "fake news* story. It is valid, highly-researched news that quotes four named-sources on the record. Whether those named-people are telling the truth to the reporters is for the Moore team to contradict, if they can.
Here is how the Roy Moore people have responded -- in a tweet. In part he wrote --
"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.."
To be incredibly clear -- not only is this NOT about "Obama" (????) or "Clinton" (????)...it is also not even remotely about "liberals" either. The FOUR WOMEN who are named and on the record and who are charging Roy Moore with specifics that confirm one another are all Republicans. This is between ROY MOORE and FOUR Republican women.
What most leaps out beyond the main details themselves are how maniacally twisted so many in the Party of Family Values have responded to this.
On "Fox News," Sean Hannity excused the story as: “It was consensual.”
By "consensual," one hopes that he uses words somewhat differently than others and instead actually just meant "illegal".
To be fair, after an hour of basically trying to justify sexual abuse of a minor, he later when off the air acknowledged that he misspoke. Though how on earth do you misspeak about that?? Sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl. Even IF he thought 14 was the age of consent in Alabama, how do you a) not check first or have your staff check before putting yourself on the line for an hour on international television justifying sexual abuse of a child, and b) still think that's humanely okay and defensible, whatever you think may be "legal"?! When the United States took nations to task for human rights violations, we didn't ignore the violations because they had been "legal" in the countries where they took place. They were human rights violations. This was sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl. I guess when you're off-the-air, being reminded that advertisers might not be thrilled about being identified with your point-of-view is a powerful corrective
Ann Coulter, who I've rarely quoted for years since I long-since realized she just tries to be outlandish for effect, but is worth noting here since she fits in with so many others, defends Roy Moore’s predatory attacks on underage girls by saying: "This was nearly 50 years ago." Well, yeah, and slavery was 150 years ago. It's still considered a very bad thing. By most people, at least. I can't speak for Ann Coulter, or all of Trump's supporters.
Even Republican politicians showed their craven side, which isn't uncommon this past year, though one would have hoped to be unexpected when it came to child molestation. The always adorable Rep. Steve King (R-IA), for instance, chided those Republicans in the Senate who called on Moore to drop out of the race. Okay, they didn't exactly call for Moore to drop out (which should have mollified King), only John McCain did that -- the rest of the Republican senators asked all added a qualifier of "if" Roy Moore had done what was charged. And yes, that is a thoroughly reasonable qualifier to make, since it IS a matter of "if" to a court. Innocent until proven guilty by a jury, of course. But since the senators are not a jury and regularly called upon to voice their opinions passed on information given them -- like, say four Republican women going on the record and 30 sources on one side against a tweet blaming Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and liberals for the story -- I'd love Senate Republicans to have a better sense of forming an opinion. Qualifying your position with an "if" here is quite fine, it just helps a whole lot if one also includes the full context you're iff-ing about, like, "Because what is being charged by all those women is sickening and reprehensible."
But back to Rep. King who tweeted, "Judge Roy Moore told to withdraw by Senators who won’t or can’t help move Trump agenda."
Swell. Taking a criminal charge and trying to twist it into a political point. So cool. Though because of Twitter character-limitations it's possible that he must have left out at the end, "...because they are mortified and sickened by child molestation." On the other hand, Steve King doesn't appear to be.
The most twisted defense of Moore can from his fellow Alabama state officials.
Most notable for how bizarre it was came from Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler: He said, "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Forget that this was 2,000 years ago, and that as Bible experts pointed out to this that we have absolutely no idea the ages of Joseph and Mary. But as far as I understand the Bible story -- and mind you, I'm no expert -- my guess is that "Virgin Birth" suggests Jesus didn't come about from Mary in the old-fashioned way the Alabama state auditor is foolishly implying.
Or there's Alabama Marion County Republican Party chair David Hall who told Daniel Dale, Washington correspondent of the Toronto Star -- ""It was 40 years ago, I really don't see the relevance of it. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She's not saying that anything happened other than they kissed."
Sorry in advance for me about to be tasteless, but thanks to what the GOP chairman sickeningly said, it's the logical follow-up to his own justification -- but one wonders whether it would matter to Mr. Hall if any tongue was involved? That aside, he apparently didn't read the story, since more than "kissing" was involved. But then, even if that's what it was (it wasn't, but let's just pretend), it's STILL sexual molestation of a minor. And it was seemingly traumatic enough for the 14-year old girl because within two years she had gotten involved with drinking, drunk and had attempted suicide. But then, for all I know, that's normal for a 16-year-old girl in Alabama...
Dale also spoke to Alabama Bibb County Republican chairman Jerry Pow for his reaction, and Pow said that he would vote for Roy Moore even if Moore did commit a sex crime against an underage girl. "I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn't want to vote for Doug," he said. "I'm not saying I support what he did."
Seemingly, that's a bold stance in Alabama, not supporting what a child molester did. Note to GOP county chairman Pow, though: even if you are not supporting what Roy Moore did, you are giving it your acceptance.
In all, Daniel Dale (a reporter I've come to admire after coming across six months ago) tried to contact all 22 GOP county chairs in Alabama. He was only able to reach seven, but his total was "0 criticism of Moore."
But believe or not, shockingly it's worse than that! No, really! Because there's Republican State Representative Ed Henry who wants to prosecute. Oh, no, not Roy Moore, but the victims! Honest. “If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years, I think someone should prosecute and go after them," Henry ranted, before putting on his Pop Psychologist hat. "You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.”
Yes, Alabama, it's Ed Henry's "opinion" you have voted to rely on. But it seem like, being Alabama, there's a reasonable chance you're okay with that. Mind you, given that thus far there are zero Alabama county chairs who have been willing to even criticize Roy Moore sexually molesting underage girls, let alone responses like Ed Henry's, it's not terribly difficult to see why any woman in Alabama would be terrified to file actual charges against anyone, let alone a sitting judge.
The overriding thought I have each time I see an attempt by Alabama officials twisting every way possible to dismiss the idea of sexual molestation of minors as unimportant is that this sadly confirms all the bad jokes over the years about Alabama.
Reading quotes and comments and justifications from Alabama Republican Party officials, it's bizarre and sick to think that their motto risks becoming --
The Alabama Republican Party: We're OK with child molestation
The bottomline is that Roy Moore either sexually molested the underage girls as they themselves charge or he didn't. If he didn't, there's NO problem for him. If he did, there is NO defense.