In Alabama, a Bible-Thumping Bigot Gets His Comeuppance. Come Enjoy the Schadenfreude With Us. | News

In Alabama, a Bible-Thumping Bigot Gets His Comeuppance. Come Enjoy the Schadenfreude With Us.


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  • Roy Moore, U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama and accused child molester
This story is shocking, sure. But I didn’t find it altogether surprising. In case you missed it, yesterday The Washington Post released a bombshell report that, as a thirty-two-year-old prosecutor, Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore—a man best known for erecting a huge replica of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom—sexually molested a fourteen-year-old.
  • Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore. It was early 1979 and Moore—now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat—was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.”
  • “Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.”
  • “Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact. Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.”
  • Moore denies: “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.”
  • Moore, of course, made a name for himself as a champion of cultural conservatism—the “Ten Commandments judge” who was twice kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court: the first time for defying a federal court order to remove the Ten Commandments statue, the second time for refusing to recognize the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. In 1990, he ruled in a divorce case that a woman who had a lesbian affair couldn’t see her kids unsupervised or with his partner because “the minor children will be detrimentally affected by the present lifestyle.” In 2002, he compared homosexuality to child abuse. In 2015, he was the only Alabama Supreme Court justice to argue that a seventeen-year-old raping a twelve-year-old wasn’t really rape.
WHAT IT MEANS: Again, shocking, not surprising. How many self-appointed arbiters of morality have we seen with skeletons in their closet? And I’d be lying if I didn’t confess some schadenfreude at seeing a bigot get his comeuppance. But this story is more important than just another Bible-thumper caught with his pants down. It could affect the heretofore safe-GOP Alabama Senate race, which in turn could affect Trump’s agenda, including tax reform.
  • Trump and Republican leaders have called for Moore to step down “if” the charges are true.
  • They may want him gone, but they’re also probably stuck with him. After being opposed by Mitch McConnell and Trump in his primary, Moore owes nothing to the Republican Party. Besides, “some absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, which appears to make it impossible to install someone in place of Moore on the Republican Party line.” Any replacement might have to be a write-in candidate.
  • Moore has shown no signs of backing down. In fact, hours after the story dropped, Moore was fundraising off of it. "The Obama-Clinton Machine's liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I've EVER faced.”
  • So now Alabama voters have a choice: an accused child molester versus Doug Jones, a Democrat who successfully prosecuted two Klansman for killing four African-American girls. I guess we’ll see how deeply tribalism runs in red America.
  • And if Moore still wins, Republicans in the Senate will be stuck with him for six years—not just as a damn-the-torpedoes firebrand, but now an accused child molester to boot.
MEANWHILE: Moore’s ardent supporters are tying themselves in knots to justify his alleged misdeeds. The state auditor, for instance, said it was no big deal because, well: “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.” (I guess he’s never heard of the Immaculate Conception?) And overpaid propaganda tool Sean Hannity was forced to apologize for calling Moore’s alleged relations with the fourteen-year-old “consensual.”

This post was excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here.


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