The Moore miasma, cont’d

You can say this in favor of Roy Moore: he’s not a good liar. But he is a liar. That’s the conclusion I drew from his interview this past Friday with Sean Hannity regarding the Washington Post story raising the first wave of allegations against him. RealClearPolitics has posted a transcript of the interview along with the audio (below).

Hannity all but begged Moore to deny that he dated girls 15 years his junior when he was a 30-something prosecutor occupying a position of trust and authority. Because he held such a position, he might have had the opportunity to take advantage of a girl like Leigh Corfman, the one lady in the Post article who alleged some sexual misconduct. Moore denies that he knew her. She has led a troubled life, but her encounter with Moore, if it occurred, may have had something to do with it. Did he know her?

“I’ve never known this woman,” he told Hannity. He acknowledged that he “recognize[d] the names of these [other] two ladies, Debbie Wesson and Gloria Thacker[.]” Listening to the interview, I conclude that he certainly knew them. Late in the interview he notes the inconsistency of their accounts of his behavior with Corfman’s.

“Let me ask you this…would it be unusual for you as a 32 year old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15 year difference… Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?” Hannity asked.

“Not generally, no,” Moore answered. “If I did, you know, I’m not going to dispute anything but I don’t remember anything like that.” Put another way, it wasn’t his “custom” to do so. And he doesn’t remember dating any girl “without the permission of her mother.”

Translation: yes. He “dated a lot of young ladies.”

As to Debbie Wesson Gibson: “I don’t remember specific dates. I do not and I don’t remember if it was that time or later. But I do not remember that….I know her but I don’t remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go on dates then we did. But I do not remember that.”

Translation: they went out on dates.

As to Gloria Thacker Deason: “I seem to remember her as a good girl or I seem to remember I had some sort of knowledge of her parents, her mother in particular.”

Hannity tried again to elicit a denial: “But you don’t specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens even at that time?”

Moore responded: “I don’t remember that and I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.”

Translation: they went out on dates.

Moore couldn’t quite keep his story straight. When one can hear Moore speaking in this fashion, it is reasonable not to credit his word on the more serious matters raised against him. One can discount their veracity and their relevance, or say that winning is what matters, but there is a reason that respectable Republican officeholders such as Cory Gardner, Ted Cruz, Bill Cassidy and others have abandoned their support for Moore. It is not because they are holding down the fort of the hairy “GOPe” (the very typing of which is costing me brain cells I can’t afford to lose). It is not because they have insufficient appreciation of principle or of realpolitik.

Moore is abusing the trust of the people of Alabama. He needs to step aside and let those in a position to do so find a workaround if possible.


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