Seventy years ago, way back in 1947, Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg lent vocal support to President Harry Truman’s flailing post-war foreign policy efforts, likely costing him the opportunity to seek his party’s nomination to seek the Presidency himself. The bipartisan Vandenburg Resolution passed by an overwhelming margin and is generally considered essential to the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
When asked about crossing party lines to assist Truman, who was about as weak as a President could be back in those days, Vandenberg’s answer became more well-known than the act of bipartisanship that preceded it. He said, “we must stop partisan politics at the water’s edge.”
After being thrown out of the Republican Party for such patriotic nonsense, Vandenberg was forced to change his name and make his way in the private sector. It took some time, but his import/export business did catch on and make him a wealthy man.
Oh, what a difference seven decades makes.
If the allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore have taught us anything, it’s that the water’s edge is no longer the holy line of demarcation. Today, we actually have to ask if partisan politics stops on the lips of a fourteen-year-old girl as she is being assaulted by a thirty-two year old man. Based on the verbal tapdancing of those actually defending Moore, it appears the answer is a resounding “nope”.
This is a real headline from The Washington Post:
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore declined Friday to rule out that he may have dated girls in their late teens when he was in his 30s, though he said he did not remember any such encounters and described such behavior as inappropriate.
“If I did, I’m not going to dispute these things, but I don’t remember anything like that,” Moore said on Sean Hannity’s radio program, when asked whether he had dated 17- or 18-year-old girls at the time.
In the same interview, Moore denied outright the claim of Leigh Corfman that he had initiated sexual encounters with her when she was 14. “I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,” he said. “The allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false.”
When you’re done vomiting, continue reading.
Some Senate Republicans are speaking out against Moore, but even then their protestations are predicated with qualifiers like “if the allegations are true”. These are the same people who had no problem immediately believing the Democratic party was running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop, so let’s not pretend they’re waiting for forensic evidence to come back from the lab or something.
Because he’s the Republican nominee for a seat the Senate Republicans cannot under any circumstances afford to lose, way too many of our supposed moral leaders are looking the other way from clear allegations of pedophilia. I never knew membership in the Republican Party came with a “Get Out of Sexual Assault Free” card, but in retrospect, it explains a whole lot. So let’s acknowledge that the leaders of the Republican Party are willing to fiddle even though Roy Moore diddled and move on to what really matters- the voters of Alabama. (Scared yet? Yeah, you should be.)
And let’s not forget that even before Moore’s proclivity for sexual assault became public knowledge, he was already very Trump-like in his flagrant disregard for the rule of law. Apparently, the people of Alabama have gone “all-in” on the concept that the hallmark of a good lawmaker includes loving Jesus, hating homosexuals, and obeying the Constitution, in that order.
What this all means is that the people of Alabama are our last best hope for stopping at the water’s edge and making a sane and mature choice on Election Day. And honestly, how could these fine folks ever let us down?
No kidding, Alabama. We’re willing to forgive a lot of your bullshit if you come through just this once and keep Roy Moore out of the US Senate. There is just no way this asshole can possibly conform to any interpretation of those “Southern Values” us liberal elitists are apparently too obnoxious to understand.
It used to be that there were only two things we could all stand up to as just plain fucking wrong- Nazis and child molestation. Then 2017 happened. All of a sudden Nazis are somehow supposed to be cool again, and now you’re telling me child molestation fails to disqualify you from the United States Fucking Senate?
The following are actual quotes from actual alleged human beings defending and/or dismissing the claims against Roy Moore. I know it will come as a shock, but they’re all old white guys.
“There are going to be instances where men and women make accusations like this where the accuser is the victim and then there are going to be instances where the accused is the victim. I believe, in this instance, the accused is the victim.” – Alabama State Representative (and Bucket of Hot Garbage Water) Ed Henry
“I think it is a typical Democratic, Democrat, ploy to discredit Judge Moore, a sincere, honest, trustworthy, individual” – Mobile County GOP Chairman John Skipper
“Single man, early 30s, never been married, dating teenage girls. Never been married and he liked younger girls… Also, take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.” – Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler
“It was 40 years ago. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She’s not saying that anything happened other than they kissed.” – Marion County GOP Chair David Hall
Sorry, but I don’t want to hear any excuses for supporting this guy because there just aren’t any. I’m a lifelong Democrat who held public office for eight years. During that time, I specifically did not vote for certain Democrats who I personally thought were creepy due to moral character flaws I witnessed firsthand. You don’t have to be an automaton when you go into the voting booth. Believe it or not, you can actually exercise your personal values and beliefs and still be a Patriot, even if it means looking past whoever has an “R” next to their name on the ballot. The willingness to do so is a big part of what being a patriot really means.
So please, on behalf of every American who still clings to the fading belief that we are still capable of leaving politics at the water’s edge, do not find a way to be manipulated into supporting this alleged child molester. Stay strong and resolute, and make the right choice on December 12.
We got your backs, Alabama. Seriously, just don’t fuck this one up.