Fun With Witch Hunts! If The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck Has To Run Over Someone, Roy Moore Is A Great Choice, But Still…[UPDATED!]

From the New York Times:

“Republicans in Washington seemed near panic Thursday in the light of a news report in which four women said Roy S. Moore, the Republican nominee for a United States Senate seat in Alabama and an evangelical Christian, had made sexual or romantic overtures to them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, said Mr. Moore should step aside ahead of the Dec. 12 special election if the allegations were true.”

“Sexual or romantic overtures,” eh? We are now officially entering the Witch Hunt Zone. Bill Cosby has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women. Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexually harassing many women in the workplace, as well as committing sexual assault and rape. Kevin Spacey was first accused of throwing a 14-year old boy onto a bed,and laying on top of him until the boy managed to get away—30 years ago. Now a controversial politician—he’s controversial because so many Republicans somehow think he is qualified to be an elected official when he clearly isn’t, and the only controversy is over whether they have no scruples, or are merely too dumb to be let outside without a leash—is being accused of “pursuing” three girls ranging in age between 16 and 18 and one girl who was 14 almost 40 years ago, when he was in his early thirties.

Unlike in the cases of Weinstein, James Toback, and most (I haven’t waded through all of them) of the Hollywood types now riding the Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck, only one crime is being claimed against Moore. It is also worth considering that the age of legal consent in Alabama is 16. A thirty year-old hitting on teens that young is certainly creepy, but it’s not illegal, and if Alabama says its legal, it is also saying it isn’t so creepy that the State wants to discourage it.

Thus we are left with just one accuser, Leigh Corfman, whose accusation involves alleged wrongdoing by Moore.. She  says she was 14 years old in 1979 when  Roy Moore introduced himself to her and her mother as they were sitting outside an Alabama courthouse. Moore was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney at the time. He  offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.  Alone with her, Moore asked Corfman for her phone number, and later asked her out on a date. (We do not know if he asked her age.) On the first date, Corfman says, Moore drove her to his home  about 30 minutes away, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On the second and final date, 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. Corfman says she then asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Ew.

Except for the ages of the two people involved, that sequence of events is neither noteworthy nor remarkably different from the first two dates in millions of relationships since 1979. According to current Alabama law, however, it could be criminal for an adult to touch a child in the way described.  Of the four women, the youngest at the time of her involvement with Moore was Corfman, and she is the only one who says she had physical contact with Moore that went beyond kissing.

Observations:

  • Moore says the Post story about the four women is a political slime job, and if this is all there is, I think he’s right. It has been inevitable since the #MeToo drum started beating that old episodes with unpleasant sexual implications would begin being used as a sword of personal and professional destruction rather than as a means to protect future victims while exposing serial abusers.

With this attack on Moore, we are officially there.

  • There is reason to question the Post’s motives and ethics here. Bill Clinton had women with far more damaging accusations to level when he first ran for President, and somehow the Post never tracked them down. This looks like a concerted fishing expedition to derail Moore, and one that came up with a puny catch that the Post decided to fry up anyway.

Why, for example, does the Post show a photo from 1979 that it says shows Corfman when she was “about” 14? The story is about age. Was she thirteen? Fifteen? Is that a fair image to convey how she looked to Moore when he met her, or is it like the photos the media liked to publish of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, making them appear younger than they were when the events at issue occurred?

  • Moore denies all of it.  The story sounds credible in its details, and the fact that four women now say they were courted by Moore when he was twice their age strongly suggests that he indulged a preference for teens in his thirties. This wasn’t workplace harassment or sexual assault with the three older girls, and it even isn’t illegal to date a 14 year old when you are a much older district attorney, as long as there is no sexual activity.

The statute of limitations for the alleged sex crime with the 14-year old is past the statute of limitations by, oh, 37 years, and that’s assuming that the law then was as prohibitive as it is now. There’s a reason for such statutes: bring charges when so much time has passed that memories play tricks and evidence has evaporated is unfair to the accused.

  •  Mitch McConnell. Good lord. “If this is true”--what? If THIS is true? Roy Moore has already shown that he is untrustworthy, a liar, a theocrat, a bigot—Did I mention that h that he’s a moron?—who has defied the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of his state. He was thrown out of his high office as a judge twice. He says things in public like...

 

“Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting,” he said, apparently referring to Native Americans and Asian Americans by the ethnic slurs “reds and yellows. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A President? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”

 

and…

“There are some communities under Sharia law right now in our country…Up in Illinois….I understand that there are some.”

Moore also  suggests that a lack of faith in God may have played a role in the 9/11 attacks. In one speech, he quoted a passage from the book of Isaiah describing how when God’s message is rejected, sin will come like a high wall that suddenly collapses.“Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose breaking came suddenly at an instance, doesn’t it?” Moore said. Then he referenced a later verse that alludes to slaughters and towers falling. “Think that’s coincidence?” he asked. “You know, we’ve suffered a lot in this country. Maybe, just maybe, because we’ve distanced ourselves from the one that has it within his hands to heal this land.” Moore said that God may be upset because “we legitimize sodomy” and “legitimize abortion.”

Moore has proven himself to be, beyond a shadow of a doubt, an untrustworthy zealot who has no respect for the rule of law and the United States Constitution, but Mitch McConnell thinks that’s just fine for a GOP backed U.S. Senate candidate. Those two dates with that 14-year-old 40 years ago, though…Mitch won’t stand for that.

If it’s true? How would anyone but Moore and his accuser know it’s true? Why would Moore admit that he molested a 14-year-0ld? McConnell’s comment is meaningless.

  • For the record, I believe the story is true, because Moore is a really bad guy, a narcissist and a scofflaw. Really bad people tend to do bad things.

However, they still deserve the same fair treatment anyone would want, and an ambush during an election with a 40 year old allegation that can’t be proven is unfair.

  • If Moore did what is alleged with a 14-year-old at his home, that would justify prosecution, and certainly firing for cause from his post as an Assistant DA

There are so many reasons Roy Moore shouldn’t get a single vote in the Alabama Senate race before we get within miles of his dating history. I suppose the important thing is that he lose, and that voters punish the party that is so cynical and irresponsible that it nominated someone like him. Still, if he loses because of the Corfman story, it will make the already embarrassing saga of Roy Moore even more absurd than it already was, something I once thought was impossible.

This episode shows these late and unprovable accusations of sexual misconduct are becoming a serious ethics problem. Far better people than Roy Moore–a low bar, I know— will be unjustly destroyed before the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck runs its course.

[This article has been revised to reflect the fact that Moore’s alleged conduct with the 14-year-old would indeed violate current Alabama Child Molestation Laws.  The commenters on the original post helped me figure out how to get the story right, and Ethics Alarms is grateful for their assistance.]

_________________________

Sources: Washington Post, New York Times

108 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Religion and Philosophy, Romance and Relationships

108 responses to “Fun With Witch Hunts! If The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck Has To Run Over Someone, Roy Moore Is A Great Choice, But Still…[UPDATED!]

  1. valkygrrl

    *sings* Roy Moore loves the little children, all the children of the world.

    • But not as much as those Hollywood stars, right?
      Yeah, we all know who’s God these days.

      • valkygrrl

        Non sequitur.

        • Chris

          “The left is worse than the right” isn’t a non-sequitur here, valky. It’s first principles.

          • Oh, please. “First principles”, like give Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton, passes on what they did yesterday, and have a meltdown over a 40 year-old aborted date. Good lord. What utter hypocrisy and parallel standards. Incredible. Cover your mirrors.

            • Chris

              What on earth are you talking about? Who has given Harvey Weinstein a “free pass?” I’m agnostic on the Clinton allegations—I think Broaddrick has the most credible case—but they have nothing to do with lucky’s “let’s change the subject to Hollywood” comment.

              • You’re hilarious. Weinstein was happily accepted as Democrat glitterati and a VIP while his powerful friends and beneficiaries had to know that he was a serial harasser. Obama had to Know. Hillary had to know. He was given a pass by Hollywood and the democrats for decades. They didn’t care, as long as he spread his money around and made successful movies….and wasn’t caught.

                Try to keep up. What part of “Everybody knew” is confusing to you?

            • I had to come back and re-read, just to make sure that Chris and/or val would set me straight on my use of a deflection. Well done, val and Chris!

              Uh-oh! It’s a strawman, TOO! Thanks, Sparty!

              (Sorry for the lack of a sarcasm font.)

              Actually, even as I entered my comment, I thought that I might have been using Rationalization #2 (“They’re just as bad”) – but of course we all KNOW that isn’t true (and we know who/which is worse). But no – I am in the “terminal” stage, or “Stage 4,” of #1A (“We can’t stop it”).

          • Do I detect the smell of burning martyr?

            Lucky said “Hollywood stars”, not “the Left”. Though the Euler diagram has significant overlap, he did say “Hollywood”. And he didn’t say “the right”, he responded to “Roy Moore”.

            It’s a diversion, an odd diversion, but I think your response is revealing more of you than of him.

            But since you mention it, it’s not a 1st principle that the Left is worse than the Right. I think it’s a demonstrable conclusion, that in this phase of American history, the Left is worse than the Right – both in conduct and in ideology (bordering on totalitarian).

            But that doesn’t make the Right squeaky clean, the Right is still a mess in conduct and in some aspects of ideology as well as being unwilling to govern now that it has power.

      • Still Spartan

        What is this strawman Lucky? I (and just about every feminist I know), refuse to see Polanski or Woody Allen films. (Full disclosure, I saw Chinatown before I was aware of this.) I did not vote for Edwards when it was revealed that he was a creep and a liar. The allegations here against Moore are numerous and specific enough that I would not vote for him. And, even if I could not bring myself to vote for the other guy, at a minimum I would abstain.

        As for the legal age splitting of hairs, it’s just that — legal age. It still is unethical, and the 14 year-old girl is obviously illegal. Of course this man shouldn’t be convicted without evidence, but I can refuse to vote for someone if enough allegations surface. Just like I refuse to give money to Woody Allen — and he has never been convicted of a crim.

        And, let’s say she didn’t reveal her age. Don’t you think it’s incumbent on the older person in each situation (especially if there is a noticeable age gap) to inquire as to the other person’s age? Men used to ask me my age when I was younger. It never offended me and it made me feel more respect for the men in question.

        • I agree with all of this.

          So why were so many Hollywood “feminists” cheering Polanski, and still eager to be in Woody’s movies? Are they a different species than the feminists you know?

          Yes, I think it is incumbent on a man to ask. And if she says, “I’m 18,” when she looks 20 and is really 16, then what? Ask for an ID?

          • Still Spartan

            I’m not speaking for all women Jack. And, I imagine many actresses support Allen and Polanski for financial reasons.

          • Still Spartan

            Yes, if you are a 30 year-old dude, I don’t think asking for an ID is out of the question if you are trying to date women that look at least a decade younger than you. And, if you have to ask, she’s probably too young — even if she “legally” isn’t too young.

          • John Billingsley

            As I note below in a reply to valkygrrl, in Florida if she says she is 18, looks 20, shows you an ID that says she is 18, and is really 16 and you have sex with her you are legally as well as physically screwed.

          • Jack Marshall wrote, “I think it is incumbent on a man to ask. And if she says, “I’m 18,” when she looks 20 and is really 16, then what? Ask for an ID?”

            Asking for an ID won’t work, you have to be a mind reade.

            I know someone that got trapped in just such a scenario when he was a 21 year old bartender in the late 70’s. As the bartender, he had seen the girl’s ID numerous times before they started to date; I saw the ID too, it was a really good fake ID and she looked 20 years old all day long in any light. Those two dated for eight or nine months, he was quite taken with her before he found out that she had been lying about a lot of things and dumped her immediately, she immediately ran to the police just like she said she was going to do when he dumped her. He was arrested and thrown in jail. The police and the court knew she had been openly lying about her age since she was 16 – she had a juvenile record, they all saw the fake ID claiming that she was 19 but she was only 17 when they dated. I was another employee at the bar and witnessed her flirting with the guys and testified in his defense. Guess what, they said he should have known she was a juvenile and he was convicted of statutory rape, thrown in jail for a while, and he has to be registered for life in the sexual offenders database. It’s been 40 years and he really hasn’t beyond it; he did finally get married and when his children found out about this as adults, the social justice warriors that they are basically disowned him and barred him from seeing his grandchildren. This guy was always a decent person to everyone, wasn’t a drinker (I never saw that lying little b**** drunk either but she sure was a flirt), no drugs, no record of any kind before or after this; he was terribly abused by a system that was set up to destroy him; the whole thing was a horrible travesty of justice.

            • Today just an accusation of sexual misconduct will launch the social justice warriors in the court of public opinion to destroy your life.

            • luckyesteeyoreman

              What a tragic story, about that scammed bartender!
              Makes me wonder what became of the lying little b****.
              There surely is a shorter, or at least on average, overall more miserable life span for people like her. Although, I can’t imagine the pain of my own children keeping my grandkids forever apart and away from me.

  2. I’m at the point where I fully believe that it doesn’t matter who you had contact with in your past. It doesn’t matter how long ago the contact was, if the contact was 100% platonic or not, if it was multiple hello’s in the hallway, God forbid if someone witnessed you flirting with someone, or even if the contact had any sex or sexual overtones of any kind, if you are accused today of any kind of sexual “misconduct” by someone you had any kind of contact with in your past and you cannot immediately prove them wrong with physical evidence of contradictory witnesses then you are automatically considered guilty by the court of public opinion in our society and worthy of having your life completely destroyed. In today’s social justice warrior court of public opinion world it really doesn’t matter one way or the other if the accusation(s) are true or false, any accusation or even hearsay regarding sexual misconduct is proof enough for the court of public opinion, you’re done!

    Witch hunt is pretty accurate but it’s really beginning to look more like a feeding frenzy of hungry sharks attracted to a single drop of blood in the middle of a school of fish, you’re getting eaten because you are there.

    The shifting pattern of our society is clear the rule of law is fading and the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” is just an quaint saying that no longer really applies to our society. What’s next to go?

  3. Wayne

    Now this is an interesting chart. I note that the age of consent in a large number of states is 16, not 18 as I assumed it was. Moore is certainly a moron and creepy for chasing after school girls when he was thirty but I wonder why these women are coming forth with their accusations after 40 years. Is it money and a chance to get somebody like Gloria Allred as their attorney? Anyway, Mitch McConnell again shows he is a first class hypocrite.
    https://www.ageofconsent.net/states/alabama

    • That chart is not accurate, if you click on the states the age might be different than the color coding; the first one I tried was accurate, the second one I tried was inaccurate.

      • Wayne

        I checked out a couple of states in the West which showed up on the chart as 16 and other legal websites verified this. So you better check your state law if you’re going to be a 30 year old guy hitting on teen girls who probably shouldn’t have been issued a drivers license.

        • valkygrrl

          I’m shocked that you as a second amendment supporter have overlooked the obvious. If you’re going to be a 30 year old guy hitting on highschool girls in Alabama you better check that their fathers don’t have shotguns.

          • This worries me. Not for the first time, you read my mind. I had a sentenc to the same effect in the original post after I pointed out that what Moore is accused of is “Ewww” but not illegal. “Of course, it could get you shot” was my immediate thought.

            • valkygrrl

              Just be careful not to run afoul of 4. Marion Barry’s Misdirection. It isn’t just ewww, you can’t really say a 32 year old man putting the moves on high school girls is ethically neutral. Especially with the allegation that he used a position of trust as an assistant DA to gain access to a 14 year old. Hell, if if she’d been legal he still used (allegedly*) the offer of acting as a temporary guardian to try to score.

              *But who are we kidding.

              • Oh no! I agree with this too! But states muddle the question by calling teens adults. In this case, the law is vital for setting the norm. Civilization used to see nothing amiss with child brides. Islam was founded by a guy whose wife was what, 8? The whole area is fraught with shifting values and hypocrisy on all sides of the ideological divide.

                We know, for example, that humans mature at widely differing rates. But you can’t have a case by case standards of when a hook-up is wrong. There needs to be a line, and the line needs to be clear and hard…and then there will be the cases where the line seems obviously unjust. When I was a camp counsellor, there was a 12 year old girl among the campers one year who looked 20, and her idiotic parents let her dress like she was 20. She was about 5’8″, and flirted outrageously with every adult on hand. I often wonder what happened to her. Obviously an outlier and an anomoly, but that can’t waive the law OR the rules. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a mitigation if a Roy Moore comes along and forgets to ask, “How old are you, anyway?”

                It’s a gag at the end of “Animal House” : Pinto’s coming of age love is 13.

                • valkygrrl

                  When I was a camp counselor there was a 14 year old CIT (counselor in training) year old girl who looked 20 and I overheard a conversation between 18 and 19 year old male counselors about how attractive they found her but since she was a CIT it was wrong to make a move. So it seems even average teenage guys can see the problem abusing a position of trust.

                  On the other hand, from the linked article.

                  Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.

                  A guest speaker. A position of trust, a social equal to the teacher, an assistant DA, and he used that to try and get dates with highschool girls. It’s at least as indefensible as a college professor sleeping with the freshmen and they are for-sure adults. We’re not talking about a junior saying my boyfriend goes to college, he’s a real man not like these boys in school. This isn’t a case of 28 year old Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy with 20 year old Miss Elizabeth Bennet. It’s closer to 25ish George Wickham who tried to seduce (possibly succeeded) Miss Georgia Darcy when she was 15 and did seduce 16 year old Miss Lydia Bennet.

                  Would this be a bad time to mention that I rather dislike Animal House?

                  • Boy, how many desperate stretches can you put in one comment? Yes, it’s slimy and unethical, no, it’s not the same as teacher-student hook-ups, because guest speakers have no power—they don’t grade. The teacher situation is like workplace harassment. This isn’t.

                    You get big credits for the Jane Austen references, however. But she would have LOVED “Animal House.”

                    I now think that this is an example of the reverse of “The King’s Pass”, “The Creep’s No-Tolerance.” You don’t need this dirty horn-dog middle aged man stuff to ding Moore, and if Moore were a solid, smart, reasonable Democrat, it would be the GOP screaming for his head, while progressives said, “Hey, man, it was a date!” But te news media and pundits would be on that Moore’s side, because THAT Moore was a great public servant NOW.

                    • Chris

                      You don’t need this dirty horn-dog middle aged man stuff to ding Moore, and if Moore were a solid, smart, reasonable Democrat, it would be the GOP screaming for his head, while progressives said, “Hey, man, it was a date!”

                      Do you have any recent examples of Democrats making such arguments? I don’t recall any defense of Anthony Weiner when he was sexting teens.

                    • He was sending pictures of his junk to women! Not 40 years ago..now. This is evidence of mental illness. He also lied about it…which, as I said in this post, is another major ethics breach; it’s why I wrote that Moore’s denial was moronic.

                      Do I have to issue annotated versions of these posts? I’m not as unclear as your contrived comments would suggest.

                    • valkygrrl

                      But she would have LOVED “Animal House.”

                      Individual tastes may vary. My favorite living author loves stories set in the 19’th century that center around fox hunting and for some reason, completely alien to me, didn’t like Great Expectations.

                      But [the] news media and pundits would be on that Moore’s side, because THAT Moore was a great public servant NOW.

                      Yes, of course, I see all the love Anthony Weiner get when he surrendered himself to prison.

                      Oh wait.

                    • Chris

                      No, you’re being painfully unclear; you didn’t even answer my question.

                      You said that if Moore were a Democrat, we’d say it was “just a date.” You should support this. I’ve already shown you one example of Democrats *not* displaying this attitude—no one said “It’s just a picture!” for Weiner—and your response was to…point out that what Weiner did was wrong, which no one disagrees with, while also pointing out that it was forty years ago, which is irrelevant.

                    • valkygrrl

                      It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a politician entangled in a large scandal, must be in want of a rationalization.

                  • John Billingsley

                    The issue of age difference in dating couples is quite interesting to me. My wife of 45 years is my senior by 13 years. Leaving aside the present day legal issues of abusing a position of trust and age of consent, is Moore at 32 dating Corfman at 14 really that much different than Seinfield at 39 picking up and dating Shoshanna Lonstein who was 17 and still in high school? I think both should be placed in the same group with Wickham and Miss Bennet.

                    Asking a potential date who appears fully mature and older than 17 her age provides no protection against changes of sexual battery in Florida should she choose to lie or even produce false ID or other proof of age. The Florida Statute 794.02 states, “When, in this chapter, the criminality of conduct depends upon the victim’s being below a certain specified age, ignorance of the age is no defense. Neither shall misrepresentation of age by such person nor a bona fide belief that such person is over the specified age be a defense.” I have personal knowledge of a young man only a few years older than the girl who was prosecuted in such a case and ending up being required to register as a sex offender. I guess the rule must be along the lines of caveat emptor.

                    • valkygrrl

                      I didn’t know that about Seinfeld, creepy.

                      Slight pedantic aside. Lydia was Miss Lydia or Miss Lydia Bennet. Jane was Miss Bennet until she married Mr Bingley, and at that point Lydia was already Mrs. Wickham.

                    • La Sylphide

                      The young man – was he a police officer by any chance? I remember a similar case.

                    • John Billingsley

                      No, he wasn’t a police officer.

            • Still Spartan

              Ha! When I was 18, my older, scary, large, gun-toting brother made a 28 year-old divorced man go away. I liked him too. And I was legal. My brother was unconcerned with these facts.

      • For sure Arizona and Wisconsin are color coded incorrectly, I stopped searching after I found two blatant errors.

  4. luckyesteeyoreman

    “[E]xcept for the ages of the two people [Corfman and Moore] involved, that sequence of events is neither noteworthy nor remarkably different from the first two dates in millions of relationships since 1979. It is also not criminal.”

    I am not so sure about that, especially that “not criminal” part.

    But, hey: These are the days of The Acceptable [Unethical] Rationalizations. “Lef-ty loves the little [non-aborted] chillllll-dren…” “Minor Attraction.” “Equality!” “Smash white supremacy!”

    Americans and their political candidates (and parties) will go on – indulging their preferred sex, their abortions, their booze, their marijuana (and other smoke-ables), and their gun abuse (make that, abuse of others, using guns). Governments will keep growing in size, unaccountability, intrusiveness, heavy-handedness, and all-controlling-ness (along with incompetence and in-our-faces corruption) – no matter who the elected are, no matter what hanky-panky those elected did over 30 years ago. Yeah, the media can stop now (but of course, they won’t): We all know who is God.

    Jack, you knew that Mitch McConnell has called for Moore to “step aside,” right? Allow me to add a sentence to one of your bullets above: “Mitch McConnell has proven himself to be, beyond a shadow of a doubt, an untrustworthy zealot who has no respect for the rule of law and the United States Constitution, including and especially due process.”

    McConnell should resign from the Senate immediately.

  5. Inquiring Mind

    Alabama law does make sexual contact illegal in some circumstances.

    That said… the real problem is that over the last 12+ years, the media has convinced about 50% of the country that they are not objective purveyors of information. If the Washington Post said the Milwaukee Brewers played home games at Miller Park, a Trump voter would probably go to Wikipedia to check it out.

    The fact is… the bill for the media’s left-wing bias has come due with interest, and so has the Democrats’ history of overlooking sexual misconduct from Ted Kennedy to Bill Clinton and so on. Enough Republicans got tired of the double standard and they have adopted Kurt Schlichter’s approach – something along he lines of “OK, if these are the rules, then fine.”

    You can only take advantage of someone’s willingness to take the ethical high ground, good will, and civility for so long. Too many Republicans have been pushed past that point.

    Couple the decades of double standards/abuse of good will with the totalitarian direction the Democrats/Left have taken (if a Republican had said a progressive media outlet had “no right to exist” would we have heard the end of it? Yet nobody on the Left complained when one of Hillary’s campaign aides said just that about Breitbart News), and it should be no surprise that there are many on the Republican/conservative side that have adopted a “win at all costs” mentality.

  6. This whole train wreck is turning out like the Kern County sex abuse cases.

    The Kern County sex abuse cases did a lot more damage to the ability to prosecute child sex abuse cases than anything Graham Spanier (the former president of Penn State) was alleged to have done.

    As for the specific allegations against Roy Moore, the statute of limitations expired. The accusations are non-justiciable.

  7. Tom R

    Can you write a post about the Louis CK thing? Curious what you think.

  8. A.M. Golden

    Has anyone picked up on the fact that, in 1979, after being hit on by Moore, the 14-year old Corfman still went on a date with him? Creepy, yes. But, it was 1979, and people were more liberal then about dating relationships. This hardly seems like she was being sexually harassed or coerced into anything.

  9. Chris

    Nevertheless, except for the ages of the two people involved, that sequence of events is neither noteworthy nor remarkably different from the first two dates in millions of relationships since 1979

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

    I’m really not following the argument here—are you saying the women coming forward to tell the truth about Moore’s unethical behavior are acting unethically? They are not. Are you saying the media reporting on the accusations of Moore’s unethical behavior are acting unethically? They are not either. As valky correctly points out, the voters of Alabama have a right to consider this information. I would want to know if any politician had a record of perving on teens, but as Moore has campaigned explicitly on sexual ethics, the fact that he has none just adds an extra layer of hypocrisy. The media, thus, is absolutely right to report on the allegations. It would be irresponsible not to.

    But God forbid we ever give the media any credit for reporting on things the public needs to know.

  10. luckyesteeyoreman

    “But God forbid we ever give the media any credit for reporting on things the public needs to know.”

    (Quote above is at the close of Chris’s comment of Nov 10 at 11:35 am. I did not intend to reply only to Chris, but to post an un-threaded comment.)

    Perfect suggestion! (Thanks to Chris.) We do need more laws and regulations, in this era of unlimited government. Specifically, we need more laws and regulations that challenge the precious little Constitution – laws and regulations that specifically clarify the First Amendment (in only commonsense ways, of course, just like gun controls) .

    This late-breaking allegation shit, like we have now seen leveled against Senate candidate Roy Moore, must end, NOW. I would be giddy to see a “Late-Breaking Allegation Shit Prevention Act” passed by Congress.

    I envision a law that creates a “standing gag order” on all media, all political parties, all corporations, AND individuals with respect to reportage or other disclosure of “non-factual material” – including, for example, allegations of certain wrongdoings (that is, breaches of law) against any elective or appointive (? a word?) candidate for public office. The order would apply to allegations of actions that are alleged to have occurred at any time such that the alleged wrongdoing has passed the relevant statute of limitations.

    The order would become effective immediately upon first official public disclosure of the candidate’s or pending appointee’s candidacy, and would extend throughout the pre-election (or “pre-confirmation”) and post-election (post-confirmation) period, up to and including the day that the candidate or appointee officially takes office.

    Civil and criminal penalties for violation of the L-BASPA must be robust and severe – including automatic and permanent status of “lack-of-standing” for trial, and forfeiture of all eligibility for award of any and all civil monetary damages by any party pursuing legal action against the person or persons for the alleged wrongdoing whom the allegators (that’s MY word!), i.e., allegation-disclosers, are alleging.

    I could go on, but minds with better knowledge of how to articulate how the law could prevent late-breaking allegation shit could go on better.

    • Chris

      Of all the issues people choose to abandon the First Amendment over, you’re really going with “To protect the reputations of cradle-robbers?”

      • Really Chris, sometimes you do sound like an idiot. The First Amendment says that the press can print whatever they choose to. They make news judgments all the time. Saying that they have misused their privilege to elevate an unsubstantiated story unfairly is not “abandoning the First Amendment.”

        Again, the issue is standards. When the Juanita B, allegations surfaced, NBC said that it decided not to run the story because it might unfairly affect the upcoming election. This story, equally unverifiable, was deliberately run TO affect the election. See the problem?

        • Chris

          I was responding to lucky, who did advocate restricting the 1a.

          • luckyesteeyoreman

            Second try…

            HA! Just now checked the Wikipedia article on Roy Moore (to check his age). Guess what party he was part of (before 1992), before he was a Republican? So…guess which party he was role-modeling, back in those heady “cradle-robbing” days? Stick that in your church and worship it.

            No wonder Moore, the “ex-Democrat,” is compared to Donald Trump.

            To answer your question (from an earlier comment): Yes.
            (Oh, spare us your mock incredulity, and tell us what you REALLY think.)

            Of course I was (and still am) advocating restricting “the 1a” – but only in commonsense ways. Juuuuuust like gun controls, heh-heh…

            So 30-something year-old Democrat Roy Moore was a-courtin’ teeny-boppers. (It’s unclear exactly when he got married.) Lessee…he’s about the same age as one Bl Cnton – SHAZZAM! You know, the young (also married) governor of Arkansas who sent state troopers to bring his picks of lovelies out of the crowds and into his hotel room, to “just kiss it.” OOOH! Same party affiliation – I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

            Look, Chris: Man, don’t knock my proposed L-BASPA. You never know which of your favorite fellow teachers (students, too) could get snagged, decades from now, by continuation of the currently permitted seedy practices. Hmmmm…maybe you DO know… so stop being so damned conservative!

      • No, to reinforce statutes of limitations.

        There is a plausible legal argument that the proposed policy satisfies strict scrutiny.

  11. Rich in CT

    Am I missing something? Stipulated, that two people of any age voluntarily taking their cloths off is not criminal; voluntary physical contact is not criminal. Very stipulated, the 14-32 age discrepancy is icky.

    Are we left with a he-said, she said, whether the encounter as described was consensual? On the one hand, the women is now stating she wanted none of it at the time, imply the undressing and touching were sexual assault. On the other hand, would be Moore’s unspoken counter argument that the women initially allowed the encounter, though apparently regretted it quickly, and both voluntarily halted before it crossed into assault or statutory rape.

    Thus, being a “he-said, she-said” situation regarding consent, and neither party admitting criminal conduct assuming consent were present, there is no crime to prosecute?

    Follow up question: Had this encounter become public contemporaneously, could it ethically be used to question the Moore’s judgement as an officer of the court?

  12. Mike

    Not a shred of evidence that Judge Moore is guilty of the offense. Just some very convenient for the demoRats accusations. Some might wonder just how much the accuser was PAID…………..or maybe what harm was threatened if the accuse did not play along. BTW, please note that false accusation is just about the most unethical behavior there is.

  13. Rich in CT

    Am I missing something? Stipulated, that two people of any age voluntarily taking their cloths off is not criminal; voluntary physical contact is not criminal. Very stipulated, the 14-32 age discrepancy is icky.

    Are we left with a he-said, she said, whether the encounter as described was consensual? On the one hand, the women is now stating she wanted none of it at the time, imply the undressing and touching were sexual assault. On the other hand, would be Moore’s unspoken counter argument that the women initially allowed the encounter, though apparently regretted it quickly, and both voluntarily halted before it crossed into assault or statutory rape.

    Thus, being a “he-said, she-said” situation regarding consent, and neither party admitting criminal conduct assuming consent were present, there is no crime to prosecute?

    Thus, since there is no fair evidence of a crime committed forty years ago, it is a not a fair incident to use to discredit Moore today? Had this encounter become public contemporaneously, could it ethically be used to question the Moore’s judgement as an officer of the court?

    • Bingo. This is the correct analysis, Rich. Explain it to Chris. I’m tired.

      • Chris

        But it wasn’t just “icky.” It was unethical.

        • It was unethical by my standards, but as a general proposition, in that era, with those people, its not ” a stain that lasts a lifetime unethical”, like sexual assault, rape, a crime, or other serious breaches. It’s far less unethical than sexual harassment, and in the culture of Alabama, and the South, and culture matters a lot.

          I put this in the same league with the post dredging up old private school classmates of Mitt Romney to say he was a bully then. It is most similar to Anita Hill’s cheap shot on Clarence Thomas. At some point, unless there is a current reason why an old account is relevant to present conduct (as in Spacey’s case, if Rapp knew about it) this is two wrongs don’t make a right territory. Whatever the line is, 40 years is over it.

          And asking the 16, 17 and 18 year olds out is just icky. Alabama says so. Unless you really want to say there is some official, culture wide ethics limit to age gaps among couples. On what basis would you draw that line? Alabama says they are capable of consent. The girl’s parents were involved in the matter. Are you saying that Alabama’s standards are unethical? Based on what? I’d say its an abuse of power and authority, but it’s a tough case to make. I might argue that the ex-judge is a hypocrite, calling a man who dates a man a sinner, but seeing no problem with an adult dating a child, but he’s a Bible literalist: the Bible saw nothing askew with child brides.

          On the other hand, I KNOW Moore’s recent professional conduct is unethical, beyond question.

          • Chris

            It was abuse of power and authority, thus it was sexual harassment.

            This isn’t “two wrongs make a right,” as there is nothing wrong with the women coming forward or for the media for publishing their allegations. You may think 40 years is long enough ago that Moore shouldn’t be judged for this conduct today (though the Romney comparison doesn’t wash; unlike Romney, Moore wasn’t a teenager, he was a grown man dating teenagers), but that should be up to individuals to decide for themselves.

            • Chris: it is NOT sexual harassment, which is a workplace offense. You cannot claim sexual harassment under such facts. No wonder you think this is something it isn’t.

              • Chris

                I think you are in error when you say that sexual harassment can only happen in the workplace.

                • I teach it, train in it, and I have read the cases. You don’t know what you are talking about. it’s pretty ridiculous to say “I think you are in error” when 1) you obviously are talking to someone who knows more than you 2) on a topic they work on for compensation 3) that involves law and that individual is a law and 3) when you haven’t even done minimal research. As a term of art, “sexual harassment” is a workplace offense. This is why it is covered by EEOC regulations and law. Someone may use the tern colloquially, just as someone can say “you robbed me!” when there is no actual crime. The definition on the EEOC site:

                  “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”

                  There are no laws making “sexual harassment” illegal outside of a workplace setting. It relates to the workplace. Harassing some is unethical, but without definitions it is a subjective accusation. Outside of the workplace, you can ask someone out on a date 100 times until they say yes. In the workplace, that’s illegal, unless the person doesn’t mind.

                  • Chris

                    Ok. My bad on the terminology.

                    What *would* you call a man in his thirties trying to pick up fourteen-year old girls, then?

                    • A cowardly refusal to accept that you were obstinately mistaken on facts and law, Chris. Snark is not acceptable.

                      He didn’t try to pick her up. He asked her for a date. Her parent approved. The ethical values breached are decency, responsibility, self-restraint, prudence, and consideration

                      It’s bad judgment, and mistreatment of a child.

                      But is is not sexual harassment.

                    • Chris

                      I thought “My bad on the terminology” covered my acceptance that I was wrong on the facts and the law on sexual harassment.

                      But it seems you are wrong on some of the facts as well:

                      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.

                      That’s a lot more than just asking a girl out on a date.

                    • I’m not wrong on the facts: I printed that section, and my description stands. That’s what people do on dates. Her mother consented. It’s covered by my list. She said no, she left, he didn’t do anything else. Icky, unethical, bad judgment. Not illegal, and not something that could be reasonably made illegal. It’s not sexual assault. It’s not corruption of a minor. It’s not battery.

                    • Checking the law, I think this is wrong. My mistake. The dates aren’t illegal. The touching would be.

                    • Chris

                      I’m lost. People have sex on dates, too; how is the statement “that’s what people do on dates” helpful? How is the fact that “her mother consented” at all relevant? Sexual touching of a 14-year-old isn’t illegal, or it wasn’t then, or it couldn’t reasonably be made illegal? Sexual touching of a 14-year-old isn’t corruption of a minor?

                    • There’s a law against having sex with a 14 year old. Pretty simple.

                    • Chris

                      I’m especially confused because you seemed far more outraged about Weiner texting a picture of his junk to a teenager. That is illegal, and should be, but certainly actually touching a minor over their underwear and having them reciprocate is at least as bad?

                    • This isn’t as hard as you make it, Chris. Weiner was texting his junk while in the US Congress. Yes, dating a 14 year old girl while in Congress would be similarly disqualifying. But Moore wasn’t in Congress. And this wasn’t now, it was alleged to have happened 40 years ago. So we have in Weiner’s case present, not past, member of Congress, violation of Congressional ethics rules, hard evidence, and lying.

                      I’ve made it clear that Moore shouldn’t be on the ballot, and is a disgrace to Alabama regardless of what he did 40 years ago. And his conduct as a judge was far more relevant than this, whatever you call it. As his his bigotry, homophobia, and defiance of the Constitution.

                    • Chris

                      It’s simple because you won’t answer my questions as asked.

                      I’ll try again: are there laws against sexual touching of a 14-year-old in Alabama? Were there at the time the events are alleged to have taken place?

                    • The law: “The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or to have a child assist any other person to engage in sexually explicit conduct” I’d say proving that would be tough. I’d also say if her description was accurate, it would be a crime under today’s statute. But the statute of limitations on child abuse is 2 years.

                      You didn’t ask that before.

                      If that was the law in 1979, then you have a lawyer and an ADA violating a law. But today, now, we can’t assume that. We can assume that he asked her on a date.

                    • Chris

                      Well, we certainly agree that Moore’s failings to uphold the Constitution as judge, among other unprofessional conduct, is more relevant than the abuses against minors he committed four decades ago.

                      But that doesn’t make them a) not abuses, b) irrelevant to the public’s opinion of him, or c) out of bounds for the media to report on, all of which seem to be the troubling implications of your post and subsequent comments.

                    • Out of bounds because they are not verifiable. The three teens 16-18 are not alleging crimes, and the 14-year old cannot be corroborated.

  14. NOTE: I just revised and updated the post quite a bit to reflect the fact that what Corfman alleges would indeed violate Alabama’s Child Molestation Laws. The comments were helpful in this: the idea, as always, is to get it right.

  15. Kat

    Are you serious it has to be true because Moore is a bad guy why because he has Ethics and a Christian, give me a break. If the allegations are true that this girl has accuse pastors of the same thing then truth will come out! And to be credible I don’t believe her to be credible whatsoever if this horrible thing happened to her at 14 you don’t wait 38 years to say anything you tell your parents right away you tell the school made an interest in the other women all work for the Democrats and Hillary. I’ve seen many allegations against other Republicans come to be false! I am a woman I know women can say anything doesn’t mean it’s true ! To say you believe this just because you don’t like the guy try actually finding some evidence that’s what I noticed this country doesn’t do it believes any stupid thing someone says without actual any evidence and that’s dangerous ! When I find is not credible if someone waits for women wait until the month before the election and come out with us for 38 years no one says anything give me a break !

    • valkygrrl

      Greetings fellow human name of Kat.

      I too am human american poster just like you ! I believe every word you typed even though problem is believes every stupid thing someone says without actual evidence. I believe you to be credible human woman why because you has Ethics and a Christian ! When I find not credible if someone uses English Language in ways not colloquial. I am a human woman I know human woman can say anything in ways human woman don’t talk and that’s dangerous !

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