Reality Check: How Roy Moore survived charges of sexual misconduct to lead Senate race
By this time next week, there’s a very good chance, that Alabama will be represented in the U.S Senate by Judge Roy Moore. He’s the pistol-packin’ candidate accused by nine women of making sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers, and he was a 30-something district attorney.
When the scandal first broke a few weeks ago, Moore became a pariah to his own party.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell called for Moore to step aside. Other Republicans said if Moore won, they would refuse to seat him. And the Republican National Committee yanked its financial support.
But this week, the RNC announced it’s restoring funding, and McConnell and other party stalwarts now say it’s up to Alabama voters to determine the fate of Judge Moore.
So why the change of heart?
Perhaps it’s because it now appears Moore will win. And politics loves winners.
Today, if you’re accused of sexual misconduct, it appears you have one of two choices: admit your behavior; apologize to your victims; and accept the consequences.
Or, you deny the charges; attack the women; and blame the media.
Moore decided to go with plan B. Possibly, in part, because he saw it work a year ago in the Presidential election.
In fact, President Trump is giving Moore his unqualified endorsement, primarily because Moore denies the charges-- and he’s not a Democrat.
And, while the press has focused on the accusations against Moore, the political reality is that a pro-choice Democrat would have a hard time being elected in deep red Alabama under the best of conditions.
None of us know enough about this to judge the Judge.
We’re forced to either believe the women-- of which there are several-- or believe Roy Moore.
The problem for Moore is that he’s denying knowing the women, when they have produced evidence to the contrary. And, he’s admitted to asking the parents of his dates permission to go out with their daughters.
If you’re a grown man, dating someone who needs their parents' permission, chances are she might be a little young.
Whether you believe Moore or believe his accusers is likely determined by your politics more than anything else.
The same can be said about how you feel about Senator Al Franken or Congressman John Conyers.
The impacts on Conyers and Franken and the fall of celebrities like Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose have empowered women to come forward to tell their stories. And their message has been powerful.
Next week’s election in Alabama may very well send an equally powerful message-- and for many women, a message that's equally familiar.
Time magazine just named The Silence Breakers as their Person of the Year. The women who came forward to break their silence about abuse at the hands of powerful men in the media, business and politics. A recognition that finally shows that America believes the women.
We’ll find out next Wednesday what the voters of Alabama believe.
John's opinions are his own and don't necessarily reflect those of Denali Media or its employees.
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