* The Washington Post has a well-documenented story about how Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted a 14 year-old girl when he was in his 30’s.
…[Moore] 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.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.
It also describes how he pursued other teenage girls doing those years. You can read their stories at the link. But in addition to two friends who corroborated the story about the assault, here is how the Post backed up their reporting:
Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another…
This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up.
Once this story circulates, we’re likely to hear a lot more allegations like this. The behavior Moore exhibited fits the pattern of a predator.
* Roy Moore has issued a statement about the story. In it, he mirrors Trump by saying “Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena” and goes on to call it “fake news.” But this is as close as he comes to a denial:
After over 40 years of public service, if any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now.
* Some Republicans in Alabama are responding to this story in a truly unconscionable way.
“There is nothing to see here,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.”…
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler said choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded.
The sick claim being made here is that when the sexual assault of a 14 year-old girl stops short of penetration, it’s no big deal. I have some words for Mr. Ziegler on that, but they are not ones that are appropriate for publication on this site.
* Here’s another response:
Me: “The story said she said he tried to get her to touch his genitals.” Hall: “Well, she said he may have TRIED to. But we’re talking something that somebody SAID happened, 40 years ago. It wouldn’t affect whether or not I’d vote for him.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
After a long pause, Alabama Bibb County Republican chairman Jerry Pow tells me he’d vote for Roy Moore even if Moore did commit a sex crime against a girl.
“I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn’t want to vote for Doug,” he says. “I’m not saying I support what he did.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
* Otherwise, we’re hearing a pretty standard response from Republicans.
A growing chorus of Senate Republicans including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have called on Senate candidate Roy Moore to withdraw from a special election in Alabama if allegations prove true that the former judge initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl nearly four decades ago.
“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” McConnell said in a formal statement on behalf of all Republican senators.
* I’m having a hard time getting past my reaction to all this. Basically, I’m with Julian Sanchez.
I had thought I was past being shocked, but the speed with AL party flacks are pivoting to defending adult men preying on adolescent girls is, in fact, pretty shocking.
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) November 9, 2017
Jesus take the wheel if I’m ever not shocked by anyone who attempts to excuse a grown man preying on children.
* It’s time to close out for the day. Corny as it is, this is the song I wanted to hear.