If Roy Moore were an insider, Congress would probably ignore the recent allegations of sexual impropriety against him. As a populist he poses a far greater threat to the GOP business-as-usual.
By Sophia Meyer
Accusations of sexual impropriety with teenage girls—and now a claim of attempted rape—continue to mount against former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Best known for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments statue from his courthouse and for ordering state probate judges to deny same-sex marriage licenses, Moore is currently the GOP candidate for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.
Republican politicians and pundits are quickly distancing themselves from Moore, but it seems clear that they are more motivated by the threat Moore poses to their leadership than a desire to stop sexual perversion given the GOP leadership’s past support for deviants.
In a Nov. 9 Washington Post article, three women claimed Moore inappropriately flirted with them when they were between 14 and 18 years old. Another woman, the article disclosed, also claims Moore sexually touched her when she was 14. At the time, Moore was an assistant district attorney in his early 30s.
Three of Moore’s four accusers told the Post they found his flirtation “flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older.” With Moore having just won the primary, they’ve apparently become troubled enough to publicly accuse him.
Moore immediately denied the allegations, calling them politically motivated, and threatened to sue the Post and other newspapers reporting what he is calling “libelous” news.
At a Nov. 13 press conference, another woman accused Moore of attempted rape when she was 15, reports “The Daily Beast.” Beverly Young Nelson said Moore choked her as he attempted to remove her clothes, then warned her when she escaped from his car not to tell anyone because she would not be believed. “You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County,” he said. And on Nov. 15, two more women accused Moore of inappropriately pursuing them as teens.
The Washington Times reports “Republicans in Washington have gone to war” with Moore. With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading the charge, politicians from Mitt Romney to Ohio Gov. John Kasich to Sen. John McCain, (Ariz.), Sen. Pat Toomey (Penn.), and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) are calling for Moore to “step aside.”
The White House, via statements from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, maintains the position that if the allegations are proven true, Moore should step down.
Even President Donald Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon of “Breitbart News” is beginning to indicate he may abandon the Moore campaign ship. Publicly, Bannon said on Monday, “This is just another desperate attempt by Mitch McConnell to keep power, and it’s not going to work.” But “The Daily Beast” reports Bannon’s private conversations are not nearly as supportive.
When it comes to the Senate seat, the GOP establishment initially supported Moore’s strongest opponent, Sen. Luther Strange. A longtime “good old boy,” Strange was a safe choice for those who want to maintain GOP politics-as-usual. The populist Moore, on the other hand, had the backing of Bannon and his fellow anti-establishment Republicans at Breitbart. Growing support for populist-leaning, America-first candidates poses a significant threat to the GOP establishment.
Thus, it seems likely mainstream Republicans’ immediate demands for Moore’s withdrawal may have much more to do with the potential threat to their control than any concern over his perceived ethical shortcomings or even criminal behavior. After all, the GOP has a history of avoiding, denying, and even covering up the sexual crimes and deviancy within their own party.
- Speaker of the House and pedophile Denny Hastert (Ill.) paid $3.5 million in hush-money to buy a former student’s silence and eventually admitted in court to sexually abusing boys while he was a high school wrestling coach. Yet before his sentencing, 41 people including former congressmen, a former CIA chief and Tom Delay, former House Majority Leader, wrote to the judge requesting leniency for Hastert.
- Florida Rep. Mark Foley, an outspoken crusader against child pornography, resigned after his penchant for exchanging sexually explicit messages and photos with young male congressional aides came to light. Ironically, Foley’s resignation was tendered in response to a threat from Hastert to “resign or be expelled” when it became clear leadership could no longer maintain silence on his perversions.
Hastert and Foley are only two obvious examples, but there are many more who demonstrate that the Republican leadership is more interested in power and money than doing what is right for the country.
Yet another example of corruption and sexual perversion in the GOP is former Utah Sen. Larry Craig. In 2007, Craig was arrested at the Minneapolis airport after he propositioned a male undercover police officer for illicit acts in a men’s bathroom. At first, Craig pled guilty to the crime and said he would resign from his position. Shortly thereafter, he changed his mind and said he planned to stay. He was allowed to serve out the rest of his term in the Senate but did not seek re-election. While certain members of the Senate did condemn Craig for his actions, Sen. Mitch Mc-Connell, who was Senate minority leader, only questioned whether Craig should hold leadership positions in committees.
Other notable Republican deviants include:
- Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who was outed by the infamous D.C. Madam for hiring prostitutes;
- Indiana state Rep. Phillip Hinkle, who was busted after he paid an 18-year-old man for illicit acts;
- Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who had multiple affairs with women while married; and
- Chris Meyers, the ex-mayor of Redford, N.J., who was outed in the national press for paying men for illicit acts.
None of these men faced the level of condemnation that Moore has so far, leading objective observers to deduce that Moore’s populist, America-first leanings are more concerning to Republican leaders than any sexual improprieties he may have committed.
Sophia Meyer is a freelance journalist, proofreader and web editor based in Florida. She welcomes your comments. Please send her a letter c/o AFP, 16000 Trade Zone Avenue, Unit 406, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.