Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/13/2017: Roy Moore Lost. Good.

Good Morning, y’all.

1 Stating the obvious that a lot of people won’t have the integrity to admit is obvious. Roy Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the special U.S. Senate election in super-conservative Alabama. This is solely because Moore, as Ethics Alarms discussed back in September, is such a horrible candidate that even Luther Strange, the corrupt Republican  he replaces (appointed to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat) would be a better choice. But literally anyone would. Moore is among the few candidates on earth whom to block from a position of power I would vote for Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump. We have a game at our house called “What candidate would make you vote for Roy Moore?” So far, he has beaten the shambling zombie of Richard Speck.

And Roy Moore lost by a little more than one percentage point in Alabama.

The news media is already spinning this as significant. Yes, it is significant: it means that about half of Alabama voters (and two-thirds of the whites who voted) are not up to the intellectual challenges of democracy, and the other half are at least able to recognize the unacceptable dangers of putting a cretinous, racist, homophobic theocrat in high elective office. Whoop-de-doo. It is not a “rejection of Steve Bannon.” It is not a “rebuke for Donald Trump,”  either. CNN’s openly anti-Trump hack Jim Accosta on Twitter: “Source close to WH: “It’s devastating for the president… this is an earthquake… Virginia but on steroids… the president has egg on his face” because of Bannon.” Trump opposed Bannon, Coulter, Palin and the other hard right jerks by endorsing Strange. This loss is only “devastating” to Trump in the eyes of those who want everything to be devastating for Trump. Will journalists ever go back to realizing that quoting an anonymous source like that as news is completely unethical and undermines trust in reporters? I know Jim Accosta won’t. It’s also interesting how many news reports used that term “earthquake,” especially since it is usually reserved for shock election landslides and ideological upheaval. What a coincidence!

Where was I? Oh…right…

It does not mean that “Alabama has turned blue.” It means that there are some candidates so incompetent and untrustworthy, and who represent such an insult to voters, that they can’t win no matter who runs against them.

2. Polls? We don’t need no stinking polls! So both the poll that said Moore was way ahead and the one that said Jones was way ahead were wrong. The polls that said it would be close were right. Who needed a poll to tell them that? Fake research.

3. Why didn’t Trump didn’t collude with God to rig the election? Roy Moore refuses to concede, and says that “God is always in control.”

What an embarrassment to people of faith, Alabama, Republicans,  conservatives, judges and homo sapiens he is!

4.  Right again! I read analysts last night who were certain that Moore’s loss would propel the President into an angry tweetstorm. Here’s what he actually wrote:

“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”

5. CNN’s not even trying any more..From the transcript of last night’s election coverage on CNN:

10:18:15 PM Eastern

JOHN KING: So, if you’re in the Jones campaign a little while ago you were biting your nails, and now you’re saying okay this math could work for us but we’ll see. Now, I’m going to check when the panel gets on the board here, again 72 percent Jefferson County, we’ll keep an eye on the margin there.

[Noise off camera]

They’re getting excited across the room there which tends to happen on election night.


10:19:16 PM Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Look at this! Wow, look at this.

KING: Just came in.

BLITZER: All of a sudden, Doug Jones is taking the lead.

[Hooting off camera]

KING: Hale County just came in, which puts him back in the lead.

Nice face-saving attempted cover by John King there, but he knows damn well that viewers never hear partisan cheering on the set during election coverage…that is, until now. This continued the ethics rot in broadcast election coverage that began last November, with alleged broadcast journalists weeping and openly mourning as Hillary Clinton got her well-deserved defeat. Last night, CNN showed that it’s culture is totally devoid of basic professionalism. An ethical news network would discipline every one of those “hooters” on its staff and apologize to its viewers publicly.

6. In related news... A new study of major broadcast coverage reveals that 90 percent of statements made by reporters and nonpartisan sources the last three months on ABC, NBC and CBS evening newscasts about the President and  his administration were negative.

And that was without CNN.

120 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/13/2017: Roy Moore Lost. Good.

  1. As I guessed, America and Alabama lost last night. (Which they would have if Moore had won)

    I find a little dark humor in the entire embarrassing affair Alabama ran itself through by the congratulations that Texas’ own Sheila Jackson Lee offered the winner:

    I do finding especially hypocritical are the knee jerk leftists I’m finding on the internet (who otherwise take every opportunity to ridicule all things Alabama since they are abject yokels and inbred swine in the eyes of progressive) suddenly cheering on Alabamans using quaint Alabaman cultural references that in any other commentary on the state would have been punch lines for offensive commentary. But hey, this is more good salve for the Trump Deranged Soul I guess.

    Enjoy 6 years of a Democrat Senator, Blue Alabama, once the GOP quits trying to play dirty and retakes the high road, ole Doug Moore (haw haw haw) will be putting out his resumes.

    Dear Republicans who rightly recognized Doug Jones’ extremist views on abortion (despite several commenters here insisting that the Democrat position is mostly moderate when it comes to killing the unborn babies), yes voting for anyone who holds such a position is ethically indefensible, but damn, you could’ve gone whole hog for a candidate who wasn’t Roy Moore while also not voting for Jones. As horrid as this election was (that you gave us by screwing the pooch in the run offs) the disciples of Moloch, though closer to their dreams, are still only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a step closer and in 6 years will be returned back, unless you great Alabamans scree the pouch again.

    • 3 years, actually – this was only to fill the rest of Jeff Sessions term, not for a full term. I’ll take it over Moore becoming the disaster he would have been.

      • I knew I’d be corrected. I tossed out 6 because I knew it wouldn’t be longer than that. I wasn’t invested enough in this to bother checked the remainder of the term.


        And yeah, 3 years might be tolerable for Alabama IF the GOP learns its lesson. That being said, 3 years kinda sucks for the Senate though with the Dems that much closer to a 2018 majority.

        • The midterms are not for almost a year. That’s a lifetime in politics. It’s counting the proverbial chickens before they hatch to talk about a blue wave building now.

              • In 2002, Americans instinctively knew in their gut that modern Republicans would be the party that would more likely prosecute a war the way it ought to be prosecuted, and in 2002, the wounds of 2001 still stung deeply.

          • Never say never, the Democrats did just take a seat in Alabama.

            But the road for Democrats in the seanate in 2018 is very hard. I can’t remember the exact number, but they really do have to run the table. 2016 was the Democrats best chance, and failing every single contested race hurt them for 6 years.

    • Are you a single issue voter Tex? There are no circumstances where you would vote for a pro-choice candidate?

      That’s interesting.

      • He’s certainly not the only one. I am personally acquainted with a lot of ostensibly “independent” Catholic voters who never vote Democratic because, as they see it, life is the most basic issue, and Democrats are anti-life.

      • No, I am not a single issue voter. I do however recognize how much that issue sways many voters, and I do think that too many people are analyzing modern elections from single narrow vectors…in the Roy Moore case, this is cast as “You don’t care about child molesters, you just don’t want Democrats”. Except that all elections are far more nuanced.

        I do consider a candidate’s stance on abortion a very important component of their worldview, weighted more heavily than other stances. It isn’t weighted the heaviest, but it is up there…and unfortunately NO Democrats can consistently cobble together enough positives to outweigh the massive negative they generate by supporting the killing of the unborn. (Democrats do not do themselves a favor since most of their other platform positions are essentially ruses for their increasingly more comfortable embrace of totalitarianism…which THIS American will NEVER vote for)

        I think I commented a few weeks ago about how the Democrats have earned me NEVER voting for them for at least 2 or 3 decades for ALL levels of government, and probably for life, since I don’t see them fixing themselves, and that the Republicans are doing a great job ensuring I don’t vote for them for several elections regarding National level positions.

        • I don’t want to rehash the abortion debate here (I think I have made my position known), but I do want to ask you how you think outlawing abortion would work. The way we see this in other countries is increased state control — isn’t this at odds with your fear of having a totalitarian government?

          • By making it illegal to provide abortions.

            The debate never gets to this point, but I acknowledge the impossibility of prosecuting a mother who takes the life of her own child when it hasn’t been born yet without breaching all manner of privacy issues, and therefore no regulation can truly touch on that other than as a clear statement of values.

            That being said, it’s a lot easier to stop institutions from providing abortions and policing them without having a totalitarian government.

            Yeah…got it…it raises the “back alley abortion” argument.

            • I’m not even talking back alley abortions (I think many would still happen in doctor’s offices, so maybe this is just a definition problem). Would we just have laws that are unenforced, or would we begin prosecuting women, nurses, and doctors? What would the punishment be? Will we put these women in prison? What will we do if they have other children at home?

              What about the fact that several hundred thousand unwanted children will be born each year? Only a fraction will be given up for adoption. That will have a huge impact on already strained social service programs — medicaid, food stamps, foster care, etc.

              • Please don’t rehash the “Abortion is only 3% of what we do” argument…

                If, I collect money from everyone (including you) and I spend $100 on several things, $20 of which goes to something you hate. It doesn’t count for me to say, “Don’t worry, I spent YOUR $20 on good things”.

                Doesn’t work that way.

              • Weeeeelll...they kinda do, right? If the US supports Planned Parenthood, then it supports abortions, and that’s just one tax-laundering example.
                Now, don’t get me wrong: the Hyde Rule is ridiculous, and if abortion is a right, and if its a legal medical procedure, there is no justification for NOT supporting abortion with tax dollars. The Hyde Rule undermines the finality of Roe. It’s unethical. But its not accurate to say that tax money doesn’t eventually end up, via the fungibility of $$,supporting and paying for abortions.

              • Meh. The IRS takes a ton of money from me each year, and the government spends it on a lot of things that I am against or downright detest.

                There are only several dozen Supreme Courts cases that tell me that I have no right to tell the government how to spend my money.

                Abortion funding (even if I except your reasoning) is just another one of those things.

                • But it’s not. We would all like be a line item veto on our tax dollars, but that’s not possible. I’m just being pragmatic.

                  • This is more along the lines that the entire reason for funding PP is a fraud. This money goes to abortions, first and foremost, and that has been proven over the past couple of years.

                    Understand your comment, and am not attacking you, Spartan.

                    • This is more along the lines that the entire reason for funding PP is a fraud. This money goes to abortions, first and foremost, and that has been proven over the past couple of years.

                      This is simply a lie.

                    • You are full of shit, Chris. This has been proven on this blog many times. Yet you persist in the dishonesty of pretending otherwise.

                      Love you like a brother, but calling your bullshit on this.

                    • For someone whose grasp of the Truth is perennially suspect, you sure throw around the liar accusation a lot.

                      Even in this scenario, an intelligent person would at least extend benefit of slickwilly misspeaking.

                    • ” This money goes to abortions, first and foremost, ” means that taxpayer funding for PP goes primarily toward abortions.

                      There is no evidence of this whatsoever, and you are lying once again when you claim that this has proven on this blog many times.

                      Of course, if you aren’t lying, you could easily link to the previous threads in which it has been proven that taxpayer money for PP goes primarily toward abortions, or you could link to another reliable source that proves that.

                      But you won’t, because you’re lying.

                    • My “tactic” is not allowing you to make absurd statements like “Most of the funding for PP goes toward abortions” or “No, really, the Southern Realignment never happened, which is why it’s still totally Democrats flying Old Glory,” without providing evidence to support those statements.

                      Your tactic is to run away when I ask you to either support those absurd statements or concede that they are absurd.

                    • Your tactic, Chris, is to get schooled and then pretend it never happened. You act like the discussion never happened, then assert the same discredited talking point.

                      Nontheless, how about this upthread fro our host, Jack:

                      Weeeeelll…they kinda do, right? If the US supports Planned Parenthood, then it supports abortions, and that’s just one tax-laundering example.
                      Now, don’t get me wrong: the Hyde Rule is ridiculous, and if abortion is a right, and if its a legal medical procedure, there is no justification for NOT supporting abortion with tax dollars. The Hyde Rule undermines the finality of Roe. It’s unethical. But its not accurate to say that tax money doesn’t eventually end up, via the fungibility of $$,supporting and paying for abortions.

                    • Nowhere in Jack’s comment that you quoted does it say or imply that taxpayer funds go to abortions “first and foremost.” Try again.

                    • Spin all you like Chris. We know what is going on at PP, and you are picking nits to avoid looking at the dog. You lost the election, and change is on the wind. PP will lose that funding, I predict, as the progressive excess motivates more and more common Americans to look at the state our nation is in.

                      Enjoy the extra money in your paycheck this January, brought to you by Trump and a GOP controlled Congress. Maybe you can send a little along to PP, who is going to need progressives to send the love before long.

                    • Wow, Chris. Coming from you that is a compliment

                      Once again, you demonstrate fundamental lack of comprehension necessary to teach English, even in California. I can demonstrate many posts where credit was given when it was due, regardless of party. In addition, I am on record as against the Establishment GOP as much as the Democrats. I am a conservative, no more or less.

                      However, I DID just use one of your common progressive tactics against you (ala’ the alt right) and it burned, didn’t it? Will you have the integrity to realize the Golden Rule implications? Maybe realize that ideology and power are not justified by the means used to enforce them?

                      Have a very merry Christmas, Chris. Believe it or not, I have no animosity toward you.

                  • The military isn’t private enterprise because common defense is an obligation placed on all members of the community, even if a large number of those individuals do not directly participate in the fighting. Such a service cannot be effectively provided by the free market in any manner that holds it appropriately accountable with any permanency to the body politic nor can it be effectively provided by the free market in any manner that would render it’s services in a timely manner to meet the demands that the service provides–namely rapid defense in the face of an attack. The market works to slowly to provide an effective military defense against a sudden attack…so slowly the market would be destroyed before it ever rendered a solution.

                    So we collectivize the service to ensure enough of a standing army to provide an immediate defense (at a bare minimum – in the modern era we’ve obviously expanded the immediate capabilities of our military).

                    So the military cannot be a private enterprise.

                    • So, you’re okay with me refusing to allow my tax dollars to go to private military contractors? We are using these services more and more now — as I’m sure you’re aware.

                    • I haven’t made an argument that we should be able to pick and choose where our tax dollars go after laws are passed directing where those tax dollars go.

              • That would be my tax dollars for a Constitutional use, though. One of the very few of those, too. The rest is discretional spending being forced on the US by those in power, for their benefit, even if it is not to the benefit of the nation.

      • Wanna know how Dems would have swamped Moore in a landslide?

        Run a Democrat that opposes abortion.

        Wanna know how Dems could swamp Republicans nation-wide in landslides?

        Back off of extremist abortion positions or even occasionally support an anti-abortion position or two.

        But they can’t. It’s a key tenet of the “religion” of the Left at this point. (and yes, religion is the right word).

        It’s like the opposite effect…wanna know how Republicans could swamp Democrats in many ‘purple’ states?

        Back off issues touching on homosexuality.

        • Yup. I was thinking that yesterday. But the Democrats are the lockstep party. There are no John McCains, no iconoclasts, no Joe Lieberman. There are pro-abortion Republicans, and gay Republicans, and pro-gay marriage Republicans, but the Democrats would rather lose an election than admit that a fetus might be a human being with rights.

          That attitude is what makes that party the one on the slippery slope to totalitarianism.

        • I disagree. The Democratic base is pro-choice. So, if an anti-abortion Democrat ran, he/she might pick up more Republican votes, but he/she would lose Democratic votes.

          I think — under your circumstances outlined above — what we would have is further decreased voter turnout on both sides.

          I’m not sure what “extremist” abortion positions are. I think abortions should not be allowed if the fetus would be viable outside the womb. If that fetus needs care in a neo-natal unit, the State should pick up the tab if private insurance does not.

          Even with medical advances, three months of gestation is still a good benchmark. As distasteful as abortion is, we can’t keep a fetus alive at 12 weeks so I would not support a law that outlaws abortion in the first trimester.

          Is that position extremist?

          • “I’m not sure what “extremist” abortion positions are. I think abortions should not be allowed if the fetus would be viable outside the womb.”

            That’s good for YOU!

            But that wasn’t the position of the candidate that the Democrats JUST elected to be Senator for Alabama, who in typical roundabout politician fashion, indicated he’d defend positions that protected the ability to kill unborn babies up to time of birth.

            So, there’s that for the moderate stances of the Democrats.

            • I’m not trying to be provocative here Tex, I’m just trying to understand the Republican mindset a bit more.

              Send me some links to our new Senator’s opinions on abortion — if you have them handy.

              • “I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years. It’s a position I continue to have.

                But when those people — I want to make sure that people understand that once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right to lifer.”

                • Well, that involves you filling in a lot of lines to say this is extremist, right Tex? Right now, this is the abortion law in Alabama.

                  In Alabama, the following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of July 1, 2017:

                  A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion, and then wait 48 hours before the procedure is provided.
                  Health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion if the woman’s life is endangered, rape or incest.
                  The use of telemedicine to administer medication abortion is prohibited.
                  The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.
                  Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
                  A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer her the option to view the image.
                  An abortion may be performed at 20 or more weeks postfertilization (22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period) only if the woman’s life is endangered or if her physical health is severely compromised. This law is based on the assertion, which is inconsistent with scientific evidence and has been rejected by the medical community, that a fetus can feel pain at that point in pregnancy.

                  Is our new Senator on record saying that he doesn’t support this law, or wants to see the 20-week standard increased?

                  Re the language about supporting mothers who have living children, well that is just part and parcel of the Democrat agenda of increased spending on social programs, this does not mean AT ALL that he would support the right to choose in the third trimester.

                  • Well, Doug Jones won’t be affecting Alabama laws, but will affect national laws.

                    And when I say “I do not defend a baby’s right until they are born”, there is a logical reversal of that that says “I support a woman’s ‘right to choose’ up until that baby is born”.

                    That’s the politician speak I was alluding to. Provides enough deniability while clearly communicating an extremist position.

                    • I think we have to disagree about “clearly communicate.” This is sloppy speaking certainly, but I’m pretty sure that he would not support a law recognizing third trimester abortions as a right (for example).

                    • Abortions at that point in time do not happen unless there is a medical need. They just don’t. No woman decides suddenly at eight months that they want an abortion.

                      My guess is Jones opposes new laws outlawing “partial birth abortions” because a) they’re unnecessary, b) they are just a way for pro-lifers to say “Look! We did something!” and c) the fear that they could be used to stop necessary, life-saving abortions.

  2. The biggest danger in all of this Republic undermining election is that both parties are taking away all the wrong lessons. (Though I suspect Republicans are taking away a bundle of good lessons as well)

  3. I have to admit I’m surprised, I figured it’d be close, but I also figured Moore would win. But then I figured Hillary would win…. So maybe I should just say the person I don’t expect to win in close races is going to win, and call it a day.

    I do find the congratulatory nature of progressives on Twitter gratuitous. Jones won by a percentage point. Against a child molester. 8% of registered Republicans who voted, voted for Jones. That’s not happening in a normal election. It’s not some kind of Christmas miracle, or a condemnation of Trump, ya’ll were insanely close to losing to a pedophile. Take a bow.

    • Not a pedophile. There is no evidence that Moore is attracted to pre-pubescent girls. Just statutory rape (if he succeeded).

      • Splitting legal hairs, but true. The fact is that most normal people are repulsed by the idea of a grown man being attracted to a girl who is underage.

      • Is it just me, or does anyone else get a little “ick”ed when someone makes the pedophile/hebephile/barely illegal distinction? I mean…. Really? We’re talking about this, and that’s the bone you pick?

        • Not icked, but there is a certain amount of annoyance at the pedantic distinction between someone attracted to the prepubescent vs. the physically mature but still underage vs. the of age but still with a huge age gap. Like it or not, an older guy attracted to a younger female can’t win, and maybe he shouldn’t be able to. Otherwise you get the Roman Polanskis and the Bill Clintons.

        • The distinction matters to me only because when most people think “pedophile” they think someone molesting small children. Not to imply that being attracted to young teens isn’t creepy, but I would say it’s distinctly LESS creepy to be attracted to someone physically mature but inappropriately young, vs a child. Conflating the too allows for insinuations and word games- right now everyone knows the story of the teen girls, but a decade or so down the road when all people remember about Moore is “oh yeah, that pedophile from Alabama,” it creates a much more sinister impression.

          I see it as similar to the current trend of conflating all inappropriate sexual behavior under the umbrella of “sexual assault” or “sexual violence” in common usage. Sure, repeatedly commenting on your coworker’s butt is inappropriate and wrong- but when it’s commonly tossed under the umbrella of sexual assault it allows for sinister implications that the guy is a rapist rather than an asshole. Then, pointing out that he didn’t do what’s being implied can be met with “oh, so I guess you think what he did is OK?”

    • The real issue here is that (despite Moore being a bad candidate) the left used dirty tricks to win an election. Don’t think the Right is not watching the tactic… and don’t think the left is immune to the same accusations.

      Another prediction: suddenly EVERY Republican running for office with have unproven accusations come forward… at the worst possible moment.

  4. Well, I agree with most everything you wrote here Jack. This is no great awakening in Alabama. Despite the money and press covering the election, only about 25% of people showed up to vote (that number might not be entirely accurate, I did not check final results). And black people overwhelming voted for the Dem, and white men overwhelmingly voted for the Republican. A majority of white women voted for the Republican as well.

    And, it was still a nail biter! I personally think the real lesson here is that Republicans will keep control of the South as long as they run a white Christian man who has NOT been accused of having sex (or trying to have sex) with teenagers.

    Nothing to see here.

    • Au contraire, Sparty. This election DID show that, although the race card has probably become a bit tattered from overuse, the sexual harassment card is the new poison arrow to bring down a conservative. It may be even more effective, since the poison of old, unprovable allegations remains potent years and even decades after the fact and there really isn’t much of an antidote available now. Look for 2018 to have a LOT of accusers from decades ago emerge from the woodwork to accuse a lot of Republican candidates of all kinds of nefarious doings 10, 20, and 30 years ago, then quietly fade back into obscurity once the candidate loses.

      • The sexual harassment arrows don’t fall along party lines Steve — Franken is the Dems’ most recent casualty. And Moore was not accused of harassment, he was accused of statutory rape. Big difference.

        • Again, splitting legal hairs. Perhaps I should broaden the category to be the sexual misbehavior card. Yes, Al was the Democrat’s sacrificial lamb so they can point to him and say “whaddaya mean we only accuse Republicans?” (although Al did a dandy job setting himself up to be that sacrificial lamb). My main point stands, it’s very easy to dredge up the old and the unverifiable to bring someone down.

            • Ah yes. He should have gone to jail the first time out, but of course he didn’t because he had friends in high places. Let’s also not forget Scott Ritter, the arms inspector turned peace activist who got trapped by a cop playing “to catch a predator” on his own, went to prison, and is now right back out there writing articles for Huffpo.

          • That’s a legal hair worth splitting, though, Steve. I have had to wrestle my hand to the ground to avoid correcting all of my social media friends who kept saying that Moore was a pedophile. Words matter: he isn’t a pedophile. He was a child molester, in all probability, once. Like anyone who has sexual contact with a pubescent female below the age of consent.

            Here’s Norma Jean Daugherty (that is, the future Marilyn Monroe) when she was about 15, for example:

            I’m sure 30-year-old Roy Moore would have been aroused, but she’s no pre-pubescent child here.

            This kind of creeping erasure of real lines and distinctions is how rape and actual assault became indistinguishable from unconsented kisses and symbolic rather than actual groping to kick Al Franken out of the Senate.

            • “This kind of creeping erasure of real lines and distinctions is how rape and actual assault became indistinguishable from unconsented kisses and symbolic rather than actual groping to kick Al Franken out of the Senate.”

              I think that’s revisionist. I’d never heard the word “hebephilia” until a year or two ago when people started to point out that there were a whole slew of Slate articles trying to normalize pedophilia, and the distinctions were necessary, in the eyes of the authors. As far back before then as I can remember, “pedophile” referred to any adult having sexual relations with any minor. I suppose my experience could be outside the norm, but I tend to think that I’m not particularly special. Whether the common parlance was technically correct or not, the drawing of these “real lines” seems like a recently discovered construct, not some kind of time honored institution under assail.

              • All you’re saying, though, is that most people either used the term incorrectly or didn’t know what it meant. That Slate issue was about men having sex with little boys, and being sexually attracted to per-pubescent children. The definition hasn’t changed. It’s like “racism” and “Xenophobia” and “lying.” The fact that many or most people start misusing a term doesn’t change the fact that there was a reason the term was as narrow as it was, and someone has to yank it back to its intended meaning.

                Lucky, our esteemed commenter here, has stated (more or less facetiously) his fondness for Sydney Spies, whose yearbook picture, taken when she was 17, was censored. He’s not a pedophile. For all we know, Moore’s 14-year-old date was a dead ringer for Sydney:

                • Third try…

                  [Reply to Jack’s Dec 13 at 11:40 am]
                  Thank you, Jack, for enhancing the beauty in this thread![insert wink emoji]

                  While I am, and for the whole time have been, completely facetious about an erotic attraction to Sydney, her image above, plus that pic Jack shared of Marilyn at a pre-stardom age, does explain well, I think, how it can be so easy for so many older males to find young ladies like Sydney and Marilyn “irresistible.” (Back to being half-facetious for a moment: Sydney could tempt me, if she were dressed like that, initiated an encounter with me, and said all the right things to me…but only if she took it all off – all that damned lipstick, I mean. I saw that photo of Sydney before; so, how does she manage to look even skinnier now than she looked the first time I saw her?)

                  Doug Jones will alienate and motivate enough Alabama voters soon enough to guarantee himself a 3-year term in the Senate. My employment situation at present is tenuous; I’m not young, but I’m younger than Roy Moore (and I have better sense not to try to ride a horse), so a move to Alabama to seek nomination as a Republican to run against Jones is looking more and more attractive to me (as are all those hot college babes I see on TV at every Auburn and U of A football game).

                  • I don’t get it. Marilyn’s pretty but looks like a pretty teenager. I’d understand the straight boys and gay girls near her age being interested but I still see a kid.

                    Sydney with the baby face and the skinny body looks like a sexualized 12 year old. Gross.

                    • “Well, that’s ANOTHER theory blown to hell…”

                      Jack: I’m slow and about to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. Will you please elaborate and explain what theory you mean? (Sydney and I both want to know.)

                    • The “theory” that V-Girrl was secretly a post-pubescent heterosexual male, see, and it was blown to hell because she saw nothing sexually attractive in Norma Jean and…oh never mind. She didn’t get it either.

                    • So Sydney really doesn’t look like a child to you?

                      With that photo I really want to wash her face and give her a dress so she doesn’t have to prance around in her underthings.

                    • Norma-not-yet-Marilyn could pass for a college student of her day, young, but not too young to talk to. Sydney does look way oversexualized, but not more so than most of the bikini babes we see every day in magazines or on Instagram. BTW, it DOES make me uncomfortable that a fair amount of underage girls post bikini or otherwise underclad pictures in full view of the world. It’s one thing to pass those pictures around with the family in the context of “this is our Malibu vacation” but it’s not ok to put them where anyone might see them.

                    • There are monsters out there. My daughter was virtually stalked at 13 through a conversation app. I was able to prove to her that her ‘female friend’ was male (leading conversations and ‘interactive story writing’ that led to sexualized content) and that the pictures she was being sent were fake (Tin Eye to the rescue!)

                      My family has a very small digital footprint: my job in the military was using such clues to analyze how to find and destroy an enemy, and social media makes this a simple exercise. If I had my way, my daughter’s picture would never appear on any social media at all, but she is 15 with many friends who post, and all I can do is try to control the content that can be traced back to her.

            • As a lawyer, I agree that written standards have to be given their established meanings. If I had a daughter, I would probably say that as a father, I don’t care whether my daughter is 7 or 17, no grown man is going near her, yada yada yada, and as long as she’s living in my house on my dime, no significantly older guy is going near her either. I think that kind of feeling is prevalent and very easy to tap into. A similar feeling exists, ignited by questions like “how would you feel if it was your sister/cousin/other significant female” that this guy did this to? Again, that feeling is very easy to tap into.

              Yes, 15yo Norma-not-yet-Marilyn was cute. I have known of and been acquainted with many girls in the 14-18-year range who were head-turners. That’s not a license for anything, even talking to them. If a grown custodian or security guard chatted up a 16yo student, at a minimum he’d get a talking to. If a grown neighbor photographed your teen daughter, minimum you’d tell him “don’t do that.” If a grown teacher offered to mentor your daughter, at a minimum you’d politely ask for a referral to another teacher of the same gender in the mentor program.

              All these things are perfectly legal (though the first and last might be governed by workplace policies), but they set some serious alarm bells ringing, or should in anyone with a functioning moral or ethical compass. In life ringing alarm bells usually bring out the emergency services, and in this case the emergency services are those intense emotions. Moore didn’t have a functioning moral or ethical compass, apparently.

              • I won’t defend Moore, but apparently he was operating in a culture where the taboo regarding underaged teens was quite a bit different than it is today. The idiot’s way of expressing that was “well, their mothers gave permission.”

              • The credible claims about Moore said that he never went past 1st base with them, asked their parents’ permission, waited until they were legal in Alabama (Where the age of consent is 16 years old). There were others who claimed outrageous behavior, but the details of their claims fell apart upon further examination. Furthermore, soldiers in his unit in Vietnam allegedly considered “fragging” him because he was so intolerant and by-the-book. This history of moral inflexibility extended to his time as a jurist, when he was removed from the bench because of his apparent determination to impose his religious views on others.

                That doesn’t sound like a guy without an ethical compass, but like someone whose compass doesn’t point exactly the same way everyone else’s does. While I wouldn’t approve of a 32-year old man dating one of my daughters when they were just 16, I might not have objected if I had been confident he would treat them respectfully.

            • And this is why I need to finish the thread before commenting- I commented nearly the exact thing upthread a bit, right down to the comparison to the fuzzy terms for sexual misbehavior.

        • He was never charged with rape. All the accusers said he kissed them but not rape. All that is except the one who was caught in a lie and the one I found least believable. I, as a woman, can tell you that I would not need to read note cards to tell you about a sexual assault. I will add this, as a victim of a real sexual assault at the age of fifteen, I do not need any notes to help me talk about it today at the age of 67. I got off lucky in that I was able to get away yet I never told anyone until this year when I finally told my husband of 50 years. Ask me why I never reported it and I will tell you I had reasons that only an expert could explain.

  5. #2)

    The only poll that matters is Election Day.

    All other polls can only serve to sway voters, and therefore are unethical. The only thing that should sway voters are the issues and values argued in those issues.

  6. Moore was no treat, but I’m with John Nolte on this one:

    I do not agree with what Roy Moore believes about homosexuals; that gay sex should be criminalized. And I do not agree with what he believes about Muslims; that they should not allowed to serve in public office. Nevertheless, too many within the Republican establishment (and in Alabama) fell for the media narrative that said those beliefs are disqualifiers for public office.

    Sorry, no — no, they are not. In a perfect world we might have the luxury to aspire to such pure ideals, but we do not live in a perfect world. Rather, we live in a world where Democrats and the media are on a secular crusade to crush the individual and strip us of our civil rights.

    For anyone concerned with personal freedom — the very issue that must be, by a wide margin, the highest priority of every good American — supporting and voting for Roy Moore should have been the easiest choice in the world. Because the alternative, the reality of life in a country where Democrats and their media run things, is unthinkable.

    With what is now coming out about senior members of the Mueller probe, and Obama DOJ-Fusion GPS collusion in conjunction with past Democratic scandals around the IRS, maybe we defeated an accused pedophile and empowered totalitarians.

    • Welcome to America in 2017, where a vote for a bigoted theocrat is a vote for personal freedom…

      We’re through the looking glass here, people…

      • I concur. But “forget it, Jake, it’s Breitbart Town.” John Nolte once called me about a post he wanted to link to. Now I’m ashamed…

        It is a good exposition of the fallacy in single issue voting, though…

        • I can’t say I agree or disagree with Nolte, but in that article, what exactly is the single issue Nolte is hung up on?

          If it’s “personal freedom”…that’s an awfully big umbrella to call “single issue”.

          He may or may not be wrong about his assessment of the Democrats quashing personal freedom, but I’m not sure his article is an example of the problem of single issue voting — even though single issue voting can be a problem.

          • He throws in other things, but I take this as an “anything but abortion” position. The better description is absolutism, perhaps. To say that voting for a complete theocrat like Moore is a “no brainer” shows no brain, and no ability to hold more than one principle in mind at a time.

  7. Despite my preferences (Conservative Christian), I was concerned about Moore’s record as a judge. He seemed unwilling to consider the impact of his uncompromising stance on religious issues, or of how such a stance conflicted with current interpretations of constitutional law. Despite his apparent intelligence, he was also prone to foolish, ill-considered comments in front of the press (America was better in the 19th Century? Really?).

    Nonetheless, this tenor of this election was frustrating. This is a man who is has been married to the same woman since 1985, apparently happily (you can rest assured that if there were any evidence to the contrary, the press would have been all over it). The news ignored Moore’s record as a judge (and his opponent’s extreme views) to focus on accusations of sexual misbehavior from the 1980s. Even worse, many of their claims were not credible. Coached by the odious Gloria Allred, women who apparently had an axe to grind threw out accusations of sexual misbehavior that were inconsistent with each other and with the claims of numerous witnesses. the evidence is clear that Moore preferred his dates “innocent and pure” (and barely legal), but the claims that he did more than kiss these girls fell apart once the details were examined.

    Because Moore lost, I expect we will see more of these dubious claims. They are apparently Conservatives’ kryptonite.

  8. Well one thing I feel comfortable thinking about Moore’s defeat: It’s driven a wooden stake through the heart of Al Franken’s dream of postponing his resignation indefinitely and staying on in the Senate to counter Roy Moore’s presence. Sorry, Al. The Dems won in AL, you lost. Ironic, huh?

    • Glad you commented about Franken, OB. I lay awake last night, pondering running against Jones in 2020, and for a moment considered what might yet happen, for an irony-to-iron-all-previous-ironies: Franken just might be emboldened now to withdraw, or recant, his resignation. Let’s watch.

  9. The news media is already spinning this as significant. Yes, it is significant: it means that about half of Alabama voters (and two-thirds of the whites who voted) are not up to the intellectual challenges of democracy, and the other half are at least able to recognize the unacceptable dangers of putting a cretinous, racist, homophobic theocrat in high elective office.

    I wish this were true.

    I wish it were true that almost all, or even most, of those voters opposed Moore’s contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law.

    Sadly, it is more likely the case that these voters were swayed by the unethical tactic of dredging up untriable allegations far past the statute of limitations (especially as documentation was fabricated), as well as the blatant use of double standards.

    And this election was a ratification of both unethical tactics and double standards.

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