One of America’s greatest sages once observed, “It’s much easier to fool a man than it is to convince him he’s been fooled.” And before Will Rogers charmed us with that one, the great Mark Twain admonished us to “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” So I reckon that’s why my doubt gauge is blinking bright red after the Washington Post published a story on Thursday that alleged famed Alabama judge Roy Moore had sexual encounters with little girls about 40 years ago.
It seems to me something like that wouldn’t have stayed bottled up for this long, particularly with as colorful a life as the judge has led in Alabama. But now that he holds a double-digit lead in Alabama’s hotly contested Senate race that is less than a month away, the timing of such a revelation is downright peculiar. What’s worse is that this is almost what we feared would happen during this era of rancor and hate.
Judge Moore has vigorously denied any wrong, saying such allegations are "very hurtful to me personally -- I have the highest regard for the protection of young children." He also denied he has ever provided alcohol to a minor and has given his word that he has "not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone."
The Constitution of the United States – which Judge Moore has upheld for decades -- flatly declares a person is innocent until proven guilty but the lawmakers in Washington seem to have misread it. “Look, I’m sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore’s nomination was a bridge too far,” said Tennessee Senator Bob Corker when, in truth, Bobby would have been far better served keeping his mouth shut unless…well, unless the GOP choir boys needed Corker’s Southern clout to stage a bogus set-up.
Think for a minute. The story just broke Thursday but by yesterday every Republican in Washington should have been flagged for piling on. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was on CNN and said with a trace of worry, “It appears that there is a significant issue here that needs to be addressed … if the allegations prove to be true, he should step down."
On another network, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway sang her verse. "The President and others in the Republican Party have made clear that if the allegations are true, this man should step aside," she said on ABC. "But I've gone farther than that, and I've reflected something the vice president said as well, which is everybody should know that conduct is disqualifying."
What? If “conduct” is disqualifying in Washington – versus viable proof – we might as well send everybody home on a one-way ticket.
But it was Senator Pat Toomey, (R-Penn) who was so full of himself he tipped the GOP ‘hold cards.’ Toomey was on “Meet the Press” when he allowed that "Luther Strange would be a strong candidate for a write-in.”
But -- wait -- Strange was President Trump’s choice for the key Senate seat before the state’s former attorney general was soundly defeated by Judge Moore in the primary. Brother, what we have here is a bridge getting longer! Toomey even gave a peek of the final act. “We've got a 40-year-old allegation that is unprovable, probably," Toomey explained as the stage lights dimmed for the sinister end of Judge Roy Moore.
"Despite that, many of us are suggesting that the preponderance of the evidence seems to support the accuser and, therefore, many of us, I'll speak for myself, would prefer for Roy to step aside. I think that's a responsible way to approach this," Toomey said and, oh my goodness, I don’t know how he kept himself from smiling like a Cheshire cat.
Isn’t it odd that with everybody in Hollywood claiming they were groped, it suddenly and without warning came Judge Moore’s turn with the election less than four weeks away? If I were the rulers of the Republican Party I would demand better script writer than this, lordy goodness!
Seriously, what’s keeping some covey of women from alleging Senator Corker, Senator Toomey or Secretary Mnuchin touched any of them 40 years ago? Each would instantly deny it, just as the Judge has done, and while those women could never prove it, would it still disqualify any of the men for such behavior? Please, if you never did it, how can you misbehave?
“I’m not an expert on this issue, but what I would say is people should investigate this issue and get the facts,” the Treasury secretary said. “And if these allegations are true, then absolutely, this is incredibly inappropriate behavior.”
Excuse me! I say this is an incredibly inappropriate response by our leaders in Washington. Roy Moore graduated from West Point, served our nation as a combat officer in Viet Nam and has been re-elected by the people of Alabama time after time after time. He and his wife have four children of their own. This entire ruse is preposterous and, man, “innocent until proven guilty” definitely has no behavior loophole.
Don Graff wrote a newspaper article in which he stated, “It is not good news that the news business in this country is not in such a good repute with the people of the country these days. The press, if we are to believe what we hear, is widely regarded as arrogant, overbearing, biased, and obsessed with sensation and more interested in getting a story than in the rights of individuals and the interests of the nation.”
On Sunday a story broke that some lady in Alabama was offered “thousands” by a writer at the Washington Post if she would say Roy Moore acted like some pedophile 40 years ago. The woman said she would not. But she now says she has a tape on the conversation. She claims she sent it to the local district attorney in her county.
She didn’t give it to the FBI because … well, the FBI is making its own news. Add she is one of a growing number who are increasingly distrustful of where Corker, Conway, and Toomey stay. But she told a friend she still has the original tape because it’s like Carl Sagan, the noted astrophysicist, once said: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Now, you can either believe this hastily drawn GOP chorus or you can believe Judge Roy Moore with his 70-year track record. But come what may, believe this: Bobby Corker is going to darn sure wish he had kept that “bridge too far” tucked away in his hip pocket by the time the curtains are drawn on Dec. 12.