The initial reaction by many on the right was disheartening in the face of allegations of pedophilia and sexual abuse on Thursday against GOP candidate from Alabama for the Senate, Roy Moore. By the following morning, a handful of GOP lawmakers, as well as the president who once endorsed Moore once he defeated Trump’s first choice, Luther Strange, responded to the women’s claims with lukewarm support.
Moore is now accused by four women, with 30 witnesses to the veracity of their stories, of preying on them as children – ranging from 14 years old to 18 years old – when he was in his 30s.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump did not believe that a few “mere allegations” from 30 years ago should “destroy a person’s life,” but that Trump “also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called the news “disqualifying if true.” Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and president pro tempore of the United States Senate Orrin Hatch (PA) echoed those sentiments. Of all the reactions from the right, these are the most sympathetic.
So sympathetic that now the questioning of four women and 30 witnesses’s integrity begins.
While no one on the right questioned whether allegations against Harvey Weinstein or even President Bill Clinton were true, and in fact pursued the women who made claims against Clinton (Trump even brought them to a presidential debate to tell their stories), there is a quick qualifier to believing the accusations against Moore. They’ll listen and believe the women and insist on Moore’s resignation…”if” the accusations can be proven.
By any standard of law, there is no legal way to prove the allegations. There is no DNA, no witnesses were actually present when Moore allegedly removed the clothes and touched the genitals of a 14-year-old girl. What the young and frightened girls did was tell their mothers and their close friends to seek support and healing from trauma.
Knowing this, the GOP can gloss over the accusations by saying they’ll believe these women “if proven” true, knowing that isn’t possible under their standards, and the voices of victims and those who witnessed their reactions of trauma following Moore’s deplorable actions can then be silenced.
Moore reacted to the news quite badly but in a way he knew that his and Trump’s rabid supporters would believe. This is all Hillary Clinton’s and President Obama’s faults.
His reaction was similar to those of Trump during his presidential campaign: these women are just opportunistic liars paid by Democrats to lie and discredit him. Although the exact same proof of Trump’s sexual abuse exists as those against Clinton and Weinstein – voices of the victims with corroboration from those with whom they shared their stories at the time – Trump and Moore get a pass from those who insist that without proving the abuses under the standard of law, they are simply not credible.
At what point will the GOP hold all of their colleagues to the same standards and rid themselves of the most deplorable among them?
Featured image screengrab via YouTube