Let me be clear: If Roy Moore is guilty of the alleged case of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old 38 years ago, and the latest charge of a sexual attack of a 16-year-old, I think he should step aside in the Alabama U.S. Senate race. I also think Bill Clinton should have stepped aside or been forced out by his party when it was discovered he had sexual relations with a White House intern – in the Oval Office no less – and that Ted Kennedy should have suffered the same fate after it was revealed that he failed to call for help for a drowning, much younger Mary Jo Kopechne.
In the case of Judge Moore and the 14-year-old, the charges against him may have been unearthed and/or massaged by overly aggressive, politically motivated reporters at the Washinton Post who went on a deep-diving fishing expedition before the Alabama special election, which is just a few weeks away. However, it is the most recent charge brought by Beverly Young Nelson, presented by dumpster-diving attorney Gloria Allred, that fails the credibility test.
In building a case against Judge Moore, the Washington Post relied on interviews with three women who claimed to have had dated or been asked for a date by Moore as teenagers when he was in his early 30s, with the full knowledge of their mothers. The worst the Post could come up with is that Moore, while dating the teens, was a gentleman, or in the case of the 14-year-old, stopped the alleged seduction attempt and took her home when asked.
So why would a young man who was well-known in the community risk everything he had worked for by attacking a teenager in his car behind the restaurant where she was working? By all accounts this eligible young man had no trouble getting dates. According to the Post, Moore was considered “good husband material” by their mothers.
In light of the somewhat sketchy dirt in the Post story, the Allred allegation staggers the imagination! It is completely out of character for what we know about Moore or what the Post even alleged.
It is no secret that men, more often than not, pursue younger women. If that were declared a crime, most men would be behind bars. Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the late Ted Kennedy are three high-profile examples – well-known politicians who snagged much younger and considerably more attractive wives.
John McCain, that paragon of virtue calling for Moore to drop out of the race, married his current wife, who is 18 years his junior, just five weeks after dumping an older model.
That tawdry episode of Bill Clinton’s involved a woman who was 27 years his junior. Monica Lewinsky was technically of age, but age is relative. Lewinsky was a still a schoolgirl and had never been independent of her parents.
Let us remember that in 1979 things were a lot different. In 1979, the median age of marriage for a woman was 22. Today it is 27, and many forgo marriage altogether. In 1979, it was not unusual for young girls to marry in their teens. Few obtained college degrees. In 1979, it was rare to find a woman in her 30s who hadn’t tied the knot. So, where was a man like Moore, who had spent his 20s at West Point, in the military and law school, going to find a 30-year-old to date? In fact, Roy Moore ended up marrying a woman who was 14 years his junior.
The alleged incident with the 14-year-old was 38 years ago. In contrast, the late Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., was an exalted cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan and was welcomed to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1953 and to the U.S. Senate in 1959, a mere seven and 13 years, respectively, after writing a letter to the grand wizard stating, “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.”
My point is this: If Moore is guilty of sexual impropriety with a 14-year-old back in 1979, I would expect a man of his character to step aside. Moore has denied it, so unless it can be proved, the Republican Party should let him alone. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is salivating while they still celebrate Byrd, Kennedy and Clinton as great Americans.