Neither Democrats nor Republicans should ever look at sexual abuse/harassment allegations against one of their own and immediately accept or reject them. Truth supplants any personal preference or party line.
While the Kavanaugh drama plays out on center stage, some Republicans are busy comparing what is happening to President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee to that of Roy Moore, who lost the December 2017 special election for U.S. Senate in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones.
Any such comparison is absurd.
Those claiming that Kavanaugh is being “Moored” or that this is “Moore 2.0” have completely ignored the substance available to us. In general, they are still bitter that others within conservative circles despised the former judge then (and do so now). To these poisoned partisans, winning the Senate seat mattered more than anything. Forget whether it was morally correct to support someone who faced highly-corroborated allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women who were minors at the time. Then again, many of these people turned a blind eye toward the sexual abuse/assault allegations (“When you’re a star, they let you do it!”) against the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, so it’s not at all surprising.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh faces sexual misconduct allegations from one woman regarding an incident that is said to have occurred when they were both teens. There is little actual detail to these allegations. We know generalities, but nothing specific like time, date, exact place, and the like. The only other person said to have been in the room at the time is a man named Mark Judge. According to him, he has no memory of the event. Furthermore, there are no contemporaneous accounts that would back up the accuser’s claim. Christine Ford even admits to not mentioning it until therapy sessions in 2012, decades past the actual incident.
Last, but certainly not least, we have dozens and dozens of individuals who have vouched for Kavanaugh’s character. Women from the same time period as the allegation point to him as being a stand-up guy whose actual behavior, even when drinking, doesn’t match that of the portrait painted by the accuser.
And then there’s Roy Moore. Good ‘ol boy Roy. As Rick Lowry from National Review so perfectly put it, Moore is a “Republican from another moral universe.”
Contrast the allegations against…the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. A key accuser from decades ago told friends about her relationship with Moore at the time. There was more than one allegation — indeed, Moore had a reputation for unsavory interest in teenage girls. When he first reacted to the stories, Moore gave a mealy-mouthed denial.
David French also points to the solidness of claims against Moore and others while noting the paper-thin ones against Kavanaugh.
Given the totality of the evidence, I believe it is more likely than not that Bill Clinton committed rape and sexual harassment. I believe it is more likely than not that Donald Trump has committed sexual assault. I believe it is more likely than not that Roy Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with underage girls. But the evidence against Kavanaugh falls far short of the evidence arrayed against each of these men.
With Clinton, Trump, Moore, and many other politicians and celebrities, there was ample contemporaneous corroboration. Here, there was not. According to the Washington Post, “Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband.”
We could get into how unfit for office Roy Moore is and mention his constitutional illiteracy, his disregard for the law, and how he believes politicians should undergo a sort of faith test in order to hold office. But, we won’t. Suffice it to say, the claims against Moore are enough of a case on their own.
The allegations against Kavanaugh, however, are nothing of the sort. At least based on everything we know.
I realize that it feels satisfying for those who resent Republicans/conservatives over condemning Moore to the sidelines to try and point out some sort of hypocrisy between reactions to the two controversies, but any attempt of the sort falls completely flat. With all that’s yet to come, if we get to a point to where there is enough evidence/corroboration to show that Kavanaugh is not a man of stellar integrity, then we should absolutely support a retraction of his nomination and someone else should take his place.
That’s the correct way to go about it, people.
However, from all that we have been made aware of, Brett Kavanaugh is still known for his excellent character even in the face of allegations.
You couldn’t say the same of Roy Moore.