Abandoning Roy Moore is the only option for the GOP.
The level of hypocrisy coming from so-called conservatives over the last few months is appalling. But the continued defense of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has proven that many in the Republican Party stand on the brink of moral bankruptcy — and they stand on the brink of no return.
In a detailed report from the Washington Post, including open testimony from multiple women, it is evident that Roy Moore has a history of inappropriate sexual relationships with young teenage girls. Had this been a scenario devoid of political consequence, those now defending him would have viewed Moore as a sick man guilty of a lack of values at best, or a sexual predator at worst. But since Moore is running for political office on the national stage, common sense and decency — of course — has been thrown out the window. Wider agendas have come into play, prompting pundits and some Republican elected officials to double down in support of Moore.
Some of the lines of defense are sickening, especially those that have tried to use the bible of all things, to shield Moore from criticism. Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner, “Take Mary and Joseph. 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.” Moore’s brother is on the record stating that Roy is being persecuted “like Jesus was.” Invoking faith to twist these allegations into something that may be seen as acceptable is appalling. Also, let’s not forget that Moore himself has not denied having relationships with teenage girls while in his thirties. And if you’re sitting there haggling over age of consent laws, give me a break. We’re talking about a man running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. This even being a conversation piece should be disqualifying and reason enough to stop supporting Roy Moore.
Why is it the first response of many on the Right to simply downplay the allegations and cast blame on the media for being “Fake News?” In just the last few weeks we have watched countless Republicans have a field day against the recent sexual harassment and assault allegations against the Hollywood elite like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and many others. This is completely warranted as the allegations demonstrate a disgusting display of behavior and a pattern of moral decrepitude. But why now when allegations surface against “our side,” it’s simply seen as a grand conspiracy to destroy Republicans? An apparent cultural shift that those in politics are actually protected from serious charges such as this, simply because they fall in line with one party or the other. Democrats are equally responsible for this too when their figures are placed in similarly compromising situations.
“Right and wrong is not synonymous with Republican and Democrat.”
But I am sick and tired of the argument made by Republicans that goes as follows: “Well, Bill Clinton is guilty of something similar. Where was your outrage then?” Poor behavior cannot be allowed to excuse poor behavior. We cannot allow ourselves as a nation to tie morality to political party. Right and wrong is not synonymous with Republican and Democrat.
The other line of defense from the Moore stalwarts is that these are simply accusations and nothing has been proven in a court of law, and that is valid. But when you are running for public office, you’re exposed to the court of public opinion. Those running for office should be held to a higher standard — regardless of party. Mitt Romney said it best on Twitter: “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.” An election is essentially a job interview on a grand scale. Imagine if you were an employer and had Roy Moore walk in looking for a job at your company? I bet you would be hard-pressed to find any business owner worth their salt eager to hire Moore in light of these serious allegations. Guess what folks: in our Republic, we are the employer.
Credit must be given to some in Republican leadership, like Mitch McConnell, who came out strongly against Moore, and even pulled fundraising support from the Alabama Republican. Even Donald Trump said that if the allegations were true, Moore should step down as a candidate. The argument over values aside, there will end up being a consequential political component to this whole situation. Losing a singular Senate seat would not be the end of the world for Republicans, and in this situation would likely serve as a net gain in the long run.
However, if Republicans do not apply enough pressure on Moore to step aside, he may actually win. And would thus place Republicans in an untenable situation. It’s an attack ad that writes itself. It would be used as ammunition against every Republican candidate in the midterms, and would serve as a serious obstacle to passing vital pieces of legislation. Additionally, every future comment, action, or accusation involving Roy Moore will have to be owned by the party. He will serve as a national villain with the Republican Party as his benefactor. If Roy Moore reaches the Senate, what we are seeing now will be just the beginning.
Follow this author Twitter: @crizzuto10