Some On The Right Defend Roy Moore Against Sexual Assault Allegations

By on November 10, 2017

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R-AL) is facing serious allegations that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with a 14-year-old girl while he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.

Moore allegedly met Leigh Corfman outside of a courtroom while her mother was dealing with a custody battle. Moore offered to sit with Corfman, eventually getting her phone number and meeting with her a few days later. He took her to his property in the woods, removed his and her clothing, and touched her bra and underpants, the Washington Post reports.

Many pundits on the right immediately came to Moore’s defense, including FOX News host Sean Hannity, who on his radio show insisted that the behavior “was consensual,” despite Corfman at the time being well-under the age of consent.

The comments from Hannity became controversial in their own right. The FOX News host late apologized on Twitter for his consent comments — but not for defending Moore.

A fellow Alabama politician also defended Moore. State Auditor Jim Zeigler, a Republican, suggested that the behavior by Moore was perfectly acceptable, citing the parents of Jesus Christ as justifying the inappropriate behavior.

Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.

Alabama’s age of consent is 16, which means that if the allegations are true a crime was committed.

Breitbart had two of its staff members make bizarre defenses of Moore’s behavior. Aaron Klein, the site’s senior investigative reporter, focused on a 17-year-old girl who also said Moore kissed her despite their age difference. “Moore [was merely] being romantic, reading poetry to her, and playing the guitar,” he said.

And Breitbart’s editor-at-large Joel Pollak tried to point out that relationships detailed in the Post article with the older girls — again, ages 16-18 — had “no business in that story.” “As far as we know, there’s only one relationship that’s been alleged that is problematic,” he wrote.

But Theodore Kupfer from the conservative National Review chastised that point of view. “How many 14-year olds saying Roy Moore touched them would it take to disturb Joel Pollak?” he asked.

That take is an important one to highlight, because it hints that not every conservative is feeling compelled to defend Moore. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for instance, signaled that he felt Moore should drop out of the race altogether if the allegations were true.

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” he said.

But that so many on the right are willing to overlook Moore’s misdeeds is a disturbing moment in our politics. Were this a liberal Democrat in the same position, these pundits wouldn’t be citing “Mother Mary” to defend his actions. We don’t even need to speculate about this — we know it, based on what happened with former Congressman Anthony Weiner, and how conservative media treated that story (and rightly so).

Yet now conservatives are deciding that a far-right extremist candidate is exemplary, even amid these allegations. Some say they’ll still vote for him if they bear out to be true. That is wrong on so many levels, and it puts the true morality of the GOP on display for all of America to see.