Trump defends Roy Moore

Even Republicans have distanced themselves from the hyperconservative creationist Alabaman Roy Moore, now accused of sexual assault and harassment, and previously infamous for installing the Ten Commandments in front of the Alabama Supreme Court and having been removed from a state Supreme Court judgeship not once, but twice. As you probably know, he’s now running as a Republican for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat. The Republicans have run away from Moore faster than if he were a skunk with his rear pointed at them, and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has floated the possibility of expelling Moore from the Senate for immorality and unfitness for office were Moore to be elected.

When someone’s seen by Republicans as a a discredit to their own party, you know he’s a disaster. Yet, according to CNN, Trump has just “all but endorsed” Moore:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended embattled Alabama Republican Roy Moore, all but endorsing the Senate candidate who has been accused of sexual assault.

“He denies it. Look, he denies it,” Trump said of Moore. “If you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours. He totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. And look, you have to look at him also.”
Several women have come forward and accused Moore of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, and several others also have accused him of assault.

. . . “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones. I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on military,” Trump said. “I can tell you for a fact we do not need somebody who’s going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad for the military, bad for the Second Amendment.”

Trump on Tuesday left the door open to campaigning with Moore.

“I’ll be letting you know next week,” he said, when asked whether he will campaign with Moore.

Trump repeatedly emphasized that Jones has denied the allegations brought against him.

Trump declined to say whether he believed Moore’s denials, but when asked he again pointed to the denials.

“Well, he denies. I mean, he denies. I mean, Roy Moore denies it. And by the way, it is a total denial. And I do have to say 40 years is a long time. He’s run eight races and this has never come up. Forty years is a long time,” Trump said, pointing to the amount of time that has passed since the alleged behavior.

And indeed, Moore does deny it, so I, at least, wouldn’t immediately pronounce him guilty of the initial count, and can’t really rule him unfit for having asked out women of legal age when he was older. But I believe that other allegations of sexual assault have come forth since I’ve been in Mexico and without the American news.

Regardless, though, even if he’s completely innocent of the accusations, he’s still unfit to serve. The man is simply a brainless ball of right-wing ideology marinated in evangelical Christianity. It’s a recipe for disaster, even for Republicans. If  Trump had any brains (a debatable issue), he wouldn’t endorse or campaign for Moore. But who has ever praised the neuronal complement of The Donald? So while the Republicans are destroying themselves through a lack of cohesion and an inability to get anything done, even with a Republican legislature, President, and Supreme Court, the Democrats have a chance to pull together. Sadly, we’re just as riven by identity politics as the GOP is by various degrees of cluelessness and stupidity.

Where is our candidate: the Democrat who can win in 2020?

56 Comments

  1. yazikus
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    having asked out women of legal age when he was older.

    I think the youngest accuser was 14 when she says he initiated sexual contact. He was banned from a shopping mall for badgering teenage workers, and thinks that because he never ‘dated a girl without her mother’s permission’ that makes it okay. We aren’t talking about a Romeo-Juliet age gap here, he was in his mid thirties and calling girls at their high schools (where they were pulled out of class to take his calls) to ask them out.

    • Craw
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      This sort of thing is dangerous. There is no evidence that the any mall ever banned him for instance, only reports of rumors, made decades later. The truth matters. I don’t care how much vilification I get here for stating that. Moore is a suck ass candidate who shouldn’t be elected Dog catcher. But you still are not entitled to peddle such stuff as fact.

      • yazikus
        Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Two police officers, a former DA and multiple mall employees corroborated the story. Not ‘reports of rumors’.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted November 21, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        @yazikus It was a deputy DA, Teresa Jones, but she said she couldn’t confirm the alleged mall banning, only that “It’s a rumour I’ve heard for years”

        New Yorker reporter Charles Bethea: “This past weekend, I spoke or messaged with more than a dozen people — including a major political figure in the state — who told me that they had HEARD, over the years, that Moore had been banned from the mall because he repeatedly badgered teenage girls. Some say that they HEARD THIS AT THE TIME, others in the years since. These people include five members of the local legal community, two cops who worked in the town, several people who hung out at the mall in the early eighties, and a number of former mall employees”

        The above are all cases of people reporting what they heard. I’m surprised nobody has been found yet who is more directly involved i.e. the person who issued the alleged ban or the people [security] who would have been told to enforce the ban. Seems close to rumours if the above is all there is.

        ‘Mall Security’ was, among others I assume, a Gadsden police officer, J. D. Thomas – he’s retired & it’s said he told people at the Mall that Moore was banned. Has anyone yet asked him? I assume he’s still alive.

        https://www.snopes.com/2017/11/17/roy-moore-banned-mall-harassing-teen-girls/

  2. Ken Pidcock
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Of course believes someone who denies such charges. It’s the only defense that he has.

  3. GBJames
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Trump sees himself in Moore. Not without reason, when you think about it.

  4. murali
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Were Adam an Eve created in adult form? If so, they must have been very young when they had sex. I am pretty sure they were at it before they were a day old 🙂

    • Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      People used to debate, IIRC, whether or not Adam had a navel.

  5. Eric Grobler
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    “Where is our candidate: the Democrat who can win in 2020?”

    Perhaps you should try to end this corrupt two party system. It has become tribal and democracy only in name.
    There needs to be some sort of proportional representation reform.

    People who are disillusioned by both the Republicans and Democarts are practically disenfranchised.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      +1!

    • Adam M.
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree. I believe that all we need is a move to something like choice voting or score voting, which would allow third parties to grow since people would no longer have to consider a vote for a third party to be a “wasted” vote.

    • Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      The democratic impact of independent candidates and third parties is almost zero (in the national/federal dimension of the “american” polity). I would love to see proportional representation in the US. However, that reform would be one of the hardest and least likley -just as the conversion into parliamentarism.

      • Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        “Likely”…

    • Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I’ve wondered about bootstrapping non-first-past-the-post systems here in Canada. It is hard to do: the Liberal government here claimed they’d do something about it, but they have not as yet – in fact they’ve claimed that there’s no support for it (after all?), but the only consultation was in my view a push-poll.

      How does one do it, because the existing parties benefit from the dysfunction, needless to say, and they are the ones who would have to craft legislation to change it!

      So: are there people here who live in countries where it *changed* and, if so, how did it happen without creating a new constitution (as with, say, Germany).

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    My first offering would be – Don’t concentrate so much on the one office. The fixed vision of democrats seems to be on the President and that is all that matters. While doing so you lose all the states, their legislatures and governors. All politics is local and if you don’t believe this, just look at Alabama. Look at what they will accept for a senator, this scum Roy Moore. Well, maybe they won’t but right now it is 50/50 so he might.

    Look at what happened in the elections just a couple of weeks ago. Democrats won big in North Carolina and in some other racing around the country. They did it big because they ran new people and mostly women against the tired old republican male whites. And the killed them. So what does that mean? In North Carolina they are tired of Trump and tired of republicans.

    Sooner or later the republicans are on the way out. They are a dead party that is owned by the richest people in the country and do not give a damn about the rest of us. Right now, as we speak, the republicans are putting everything they have on a tax bill for the very rich and a debt to the country of billions. It is a sick perversion and it is pure corruption of our so-called democratic system.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, that was Virginia, not Carolina.

  7. BobTerrace
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    A liar and sexual predator supports a liar and sexual predator. Is anyone surprised at that?

    • Posted November 21, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      My first thought when I heard that Moore had diddled a 14-year old was “did he find her at Drumpf’s modeling agency?”

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Let Roy Moore get elected; then let Mitch McConnell follow through with his pledge to expel Moore from the senate as unfit for office. The Republican Night of the Long Knives will surely be upon us.

    Trump fears two things above all else: Vladimir Putin and the wrath of his own base. His decision today to come out in favor of a kiddie-diddler can be explained only in terms of the latter (unless the former gave him orders during their hour-long phone call this afternoon).

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Let’s get Jones elected and leave the worthless republicans in our smoke. If Moore gets elected and removed, the Alabama governor will just appoint another cruel republican clone. I doubt McConnel would follow through on censoring Moore anyway; he’s doesn’t have the courage to enrage Trump’s base.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I think this order comes from Bannon. The primary thing is the senate seat. Must stay red or they have almost no chance with the tax deal. Hope the tax deals fails but if a demo gets in there it is surely dead.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The moral decay of the gop on display once again. Child molester better than democrat. It is truly amazing how a couple decades of conservative hate-radio and FOX news has turned democrats into a scapegoat for evil, god-less, baby-killers. Propaganda is a powerful tool indeed. Will it become dangerous in some areas of the country to have a Clinton bumper sticker?

    I’ve given a couple hundred bucks to Jones’ campaign. I hope others around the country who don’t live in Alabama understand how important it is that Moore does not become a Senator.

    It is also important to note that Moore isn’t just your run-of-the-mill evangelical. He’s a dominionist that believes biblical law precedes the Constitution; he’s a theocrat through and through.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      There is no bottom for Trump and his band of crazies; it’s moral black hole all the way down.

      I was cynical before; now I’m dumbfounded.

  10. Posted November 21, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    “But who has ever praised the neuronal complement of The Donald?”. The very Donald, of course. He is very smart, Jerry, very smart. He can tell you, the smartest -something like a little idiot called Fredo in “The godfather”…

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Definitely has all the best words. Covfefe rules!

      What is the cure for the Dunning-Kruger effect?

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted November 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Education. Of which Drumpf has very little.

  11. Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I am of the mind that several accusations, with similar modus operandi, from different women is more than enough to conclude that ‘he done it’. I believe them. The odds that all of these women are liars is just too improbable.

    • yazikus
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I think everyone even in the GOP agrees ‘he did it’, they’ve just moved on to ‘and it wasn’t wrong, either’.

    • Craw
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      But what are the “charges”? That he dated teenagers, and there was no sex. There are several women who say that, and Moore admits it. There could be hundreds of those and they would not, by their sheer numbers, lend evidence to the claim he attacked anyone. The reverse actually right? A track record of not doing X is not evidence of doing X in a disputed case. Quite the opposite usually. What if, now, one grad student accuses Coyne of plagiarising his work? Coyness long record of not plagiarizing is relevant evidence right?

      We cannot abandon standards of fairness, evidence, and logic just because it’s convenient to do so with Roy Moore.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 21, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        But what are the “charges”?

        Have you not read the original Washington Post article, or the follow-ups as additional charges have been leveled, or seen the taped interviews these women have given?

        The charges are: as to Leigh Corfman, that the 32-year-old Moore met her and her mother outside the courthouse where he practiced as an assistant district attorney, that he offered to babysit this 14-year-old so she would not have to accompany her mother to a divorce hearing regarding her custody, that while her mother was gone he asked her for her telephone number, that he took her out on two “dates” (for which he directed her to walk two blocks from her home so he wouldn’t have to pick her up in his car at her house), that on the second “date,” at Moore’s home, he stripped her clothes off down to her bra and panties, felt her up, then put her hand on his chubby through his tightie-whities.

        As to Beverly Young Nelson, that Moore offered to drive her home from the restaurant where she worked when she was 16, that he instead drove her around the corner to the alley behind the restaurant where he parked by the dumpster, locked her in his car, began kissing and groping her, and tried to force her head onto his crotch.

        Seven other women have come forward to say they received unwanted romantic or sexual advances from Moore, six of them while they were teen-aged high-school students (one of whom he tried to ply with alcohol while she was underage). The statements of all of these women are corroborated by their voluminous contemporaneous statements to family and friends. The 16-year-old’s, corroborated further by Moore’s signature and note in her high-school yearbook. In addition, witnesses have come forward both from the DA’s office where Moore worked, and from the mall where some of the girls worked, to say Moore was known to have a problematic interest in teen-aged girls. (Let us also not forget that Moore’s own wife first caught his eye while performing as a 15 or 16 year old in a high-school dance recital.)

        In response to these allegations — all made on the public record, in the witnesses’ own names — Moore has offered no even-remotely plausible response. Even Sean Hannity and his right-wing panel, after listening to Moore’s equivocating, inconsistent, implausible answers to Hannity’s softball questions during their interview, adjudged him as having been dishonest.

        Given his risible performance during his two tenures as Alabama’s chief justice, Roy Moore was a ludicrous candidate in the first place. Now, with these essentially uncontested allegations against him, it’s beyond the pale to think he might yet serve in the US Senate.

        • yazikus
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          Good summary- thanks.

        • Jake Sevins
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          Really well-written, articulate and pretty compelling, Ken.

        • Blue
          Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          in re “unwanted,” … …
          .there. are the “charges” … …
          being questioned.

          Period.

          Thank you, Mr Kukec.
          Blue

        • Craw
          Posted November 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          That’s a good summary but your final claim is false. The first two charges have been denied. Moore denied them flatly. The other cases, asking teens for dates, he has admitted. And as I explained, they are not corroboration of the two contested charges.

  12. allison
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    “Trump repeatedly emphasized that Jones has denied the allegations brought against him.” – apparently a typo in the CNN article, since Jones is not the one with allegations against him.

  13. Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    “a brainless ball of right-wing ideology marinated in evangelical Christianity” is my new favorite quote.

  14. Jake Sevins
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    I think if you give the benefit of the doubt to accusers, Trump is on balance much worse than Moore on the sexual harassment/abuse scale: Moore never advocated kissing women on his own whim, nor grabbing them in private areas at at will. And Moore would likely not have barged into teenaged girls’ dressing rooms hoping to find them naked. At least he thought to ask the parents for permission first.

    I’m not saying Moore has nothing to answer here, just that Trump seems to be much much worse on this score.

    Remember when Clinton defended Bush Sr. against sexual harassment charges: “I didn’t like it was happening to me, and I don’t like that it’s happened to him”. These guys need to stick together…

  15. Posted November 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The last sentence hits the nail right on the head. There is no reason why Trump should not have lost in a Macronesque landslide in 2016. There’s also no reason the Republicans shouldn’t lose massive ground in 2018 and 2020. Alas, the Democrats are managing to insert their heads so far up their nether regions that they can only manage to focus on which bathroom to use to best extract it…

    • Historian
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      The 2018 mid-term elections will tell two things about the Democrats. First, whether the momentum from the 2017 will continue, thereby allowing them to make significant gains in the House of Representatives. Second, whether attractive, young presidential candidates will emerge, who can unite the factions within the party. Currently, the Democrats have no such person. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are making noises about running. Although these men are loved by many Democrats (even though Sanders is an Independent), it is absurd to think that the way to the future will be led by a person nearing 80 years old.

    • Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:16 am | Permalink

      Yes, so, do you have any suggestions for a Democratic presidential nomination? It’s not the only important choice, but it’s one of them. A poll in 2016 found that 13 percent preferred a giant meteor destroying the earth, rather than see Hillary or Trump elected. Hint for Democrats: try not to run one of the least liked politicians in the country, ever again.

      • Posted November 27, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        I think Sanders’ age would work against him. The most viable candidate to me at this point is probably Joe Biden. Yes, he is no Spring chicken, but neither is Trump. I like Elizabeth Warren too, but I fear Trump could play the same games with the left’s obsession with identity politics as he did with Hillary should Warren run. I think she doesn’t carry the baggage Hillary does and would stand a shot at winning and while I don’t buy the narrative that sexism alone cost Hillary the election, I fear there would be am element of it to consider again with a Warren campaign. This is especially true given her backing of Hillary. Trunp would inevitably play that to his favor. I’m not deeply immersed in party politics, so who knows if the Dems have a younger star that could rise. I really liked Jon Ossoff in the GA runoff, perhaps there are more people like him out there. Kamala Harris is another possibility.

  16. revelator60
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    There’s something everyone should know about Doug Jones, the Democrat running against Roy Moore. As a U.S. attorney for Alabama, Jones successfully prosecuted two of the Klan members responsible for the infamous 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which killed four little girls. Without Jones’s efforts, these murderers might have escaped justice.*

    And yet Donald Trump has the GALL to accuse Jones of being terrible on crime. This vile excuse for a President would rather support a child molester than a man who prosecuted the perpetrators of vile hate crime.

    Jerry asks where the Democratic Presidential candidate for 20120 is. I don’t know, but an even more immediate priority is to vote in congressmen who will thwart Trump and the Republican’s vicious agenda. If you are in Alabama please vote for Doug Jones, or if know anyone who can vote in Alabama, or have any influence there, please put in a good word or donate to his campaign. If 51 Democrats are in the Senate, the horrific tax “reform” and any continuing attempts to destroy Obamacare will be stopped dead.

    * For more on the Birmingham case, try this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/11/09/an-alabama-senate-race-conjures-the-awful-1963-church-bombing-that-killed-4-black-girls/

  17. Dale Franzwa
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Who will run against Trump in 2020? Here’s a thought. Today Meg Whitman resigned as head of Hewlett-Packard. On CNBC, a market commentator/analyst (or whatever) Kevin O’Leary (hope I spelled his name right), also known as “Mr. Wonderful” (I don’t know why, but the ladies all seem to smile when he’s on) predicted Whitman would enter the race against Trump and be nominated by the Democrats (never mind that she ran as a Republican against Jerry Brown in CA). We’ll see if Mr. Wonderful is onto something. He says the debates will be nothing like we’ve seen yet (Meg is a tough cookie).

  18. Million
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    > Where is our candidate: the Democrat who can win in 2020?

    He’s in California: the Lt Governor, Gavin Newsom. That’s the guy. Normally one would run for prez after being governor, but that’s not necessary when going against Trump.

  19. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    The Washington Post makes a good argument that Roy Moore is basically a con artist.

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/oct/16/inside-the-sprawling-controversial-500m-museum-of-the-bible

  20. Damien McLeod
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Trump and Moore are both sexual deviants.

  21. sensorrhea
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Moore has really flushed out the deep tribal feelings of Republicans, especially southern ones. A number of prominent Moore supporters have literally said they’d rather have a pedophile than a “Demon-crat” because Democrats are evil and immoral by definition. This is dangerous.

  22. Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    While holding all these ridiculous positions for many years AND being accused of praying on underage girls, Moore is still very popular in Alabama. What is wrong with people in that part of the country? Perhaps we should have allowed the South to secede? Oh yeah, forgot about the slavery thing for a second there.

  23. eric
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Trump has just “all but endorsed” Moore

    If evoking Trump does for Alabama Republicans what it did for Virginia Republicans, then I’m really not alarmed by this development. More like…happy.

  24. Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Legal question: aren’t sitting politicians not supposed to comment on what are (soon to be?) pending legal cases?

    • GBJames
      Posted November 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think there is a pending legal case against Roy Moore. But it is certainly the case that Presidents aren’t supposed to chime in for fear of poisoning the case when a trial is involved.

  25. Posted November 27, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    An interesting followup to the discussion about recording just broke with the Washington Post. While I’m sure recording could help innocent people in certain circumstances, there’s another side to the coin as well:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/a-woman-approached-the-post-with-dramatic–and-false–tale-about-roy-moore-sje-appears-to-be-part-of-undercover-sting-operation/2017/11/27/0c2e335a-cfb6-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.42672353a882


%d bloggers like this: