Short Views

The New Deplorables

After Roy Moore secured the Republican nomination to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat in the U.S. Senate, the Washington Post ran an article claiming that, roughly four decades ago, Moore had dated two teenage girls and asked out a third in front of her mother, who did not approve.  These girls were over the age of consent (16), and none of the dates involved more than kissing, according to the Post account.  The article also claimed that Moore had sexually assaulted one teenage girl, Leigh Corfman, 14 years old at the time.  Later, another woman, Beverly Nelson, claimed that Moore had sexually assaulted her in 1977 when she was 16, and also pointed to what she said was Moore’s handwriting in her high-school yearbook to buttress her charge.

The Post’s obvious intent was to deprive the GOP of a seat in the Senate: The story did not run until it was too late to remove Moore’s name from the ballot.  Numerous media outlets used the Post story to brand Moore as a pedophile and a predator.  They had energetic allies among “conservatives” who had opposed Trump’s candidacy.  Rod Dreher, who had sought to convince Christians that it was immoral to vote for Trump, used his perch at The American Conservative to announce that he would vote for “the pro-abortion radical Doug Jones” if he lived in Alabama and to argue that evangelical...

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