Saturday, November 11, 2017

#315 / Politics Of The (Not) Perfectly Acceptable

Roy S. Moore, the Republican Party candidate for Senate in Alabama, is pictured at the very bottom of this blog posting. Pictured above is Jim Zeigler, the Alabama State Auditor. I will get to Mr. Zeigler later, but to give you a hint about Zeigler, I obtained the picture I have reproduced above from a website that put this headline over the image: "Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler speaks at headquarters of White Nationalist hate group the League of the South."

Before talking about Zeigler, let me first draw your attention to Roy S. Moore. Wikipedia says that "Judge" Moore, as he likes to style himself, is "best known for being twice elected to and twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court. He also is the founder and president of the Foundation for Moral Law." 

Moore is the Republican Party nominee in the special election on December 12, 2017, to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by former Senator (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. Up until very recently, it has been thought that Moore was pretty much a shoo-in to win the Senate seat. However, four women have now come forward to accuse him of having made improper sexual overtures to them when they were teenagers and when Moore was in his 30s. 

The New York Times ran an article yesterday in which Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party majority leader in the Senate, is quoted to the effect that Moore should step aside if the allegations are true. Senator John Cornyn, of Texas, the second-ranking Republican, said, "If these allegations are true, [Moore's] candidacy is not sustainable." Vice President Mike Pence joined this chorus, in an official statement: "If true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office." Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is of the same mind. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who represents Alaska in the Senate, said, "If in fact what I just read is true, he needs to get out of this race immediately. I think it's pretty clear cut."

Let's be clear; Moore says that the allegations are not true. The truth of the charges, however, is not the central question for Jim Zeigler, who is also mentioned in The New York Times' story. Mr. Zeigler is not calling for Moore to step out of the race, even if the charges against Moore are true. For Zeigler, it is definitely not "clear cut" that Moore did anything wrong: 

“There’s nothing to see here,” said Jim Zeigler, the state auditor and a longtime supporter of Mr. Moore. “Single man, early 30s, never been married, dating teenage girls. Never been married and he liked younger girls. According to The Washington Post account he never had sexual intercourse with any of them.” 
Mr. Zeigler said the account given by Ms. Corfman was “the only part that is concerning.” As Mr. Zeigler described it: “He went a little too far and he stopped.” Had the girl been 16 at the time and not 14, he added, “it would have been perfectly acceptable.”

The Washington Post was a bit more specific than The New York Times about what Moore may have done. Here is how The Post tells the story:

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. 
“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”
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.

This is the conduct that Zeigler thinks would have been "perfectly acceptable" if Leigh Corfman had been 16-years-old instead of 14-years-old. Really?

Most would not agree. Most Republican Party leaders, in fact, don't agree, as their statements reproduced above make clear. 

All over the country, outrage about such conduct towards women is being expressed, as documented in an Op-Ed by Lindy West, which is currently one of the most popular pieces in the paper. The title of her Op-Ed? "Brave Enough To Be Angry." It's worth reading.

In politics, there is a tried and true way to deal with conduct that might make you angry. It is usually phrased as below. It is a saying that definitely fits the situation here:

Don't get mad. Get even.

Say goodbye to "Judge" Roy S. Moore!

Roy S. Moore

Image Credits:
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1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the comment, though I don't agree with it. If you review my past postings in this blog, I think you will find that I have never "defended" the Democratic Party politicians you mention. Please also note that the politicians quoted in the article are ALL Republicans, so the criticisms of Mr. Moore have not been "trumped up," to use that phrase, by Democrats. In addition, the woman who made the central charge is also a Republican Party voter (she's now in her early 50s).


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