From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
Hannity to Moore: I Want Answers! I Think I’m Entitled! I Want the Truth!
Go figure. Even Sean Hannity has his doubts that Roy Moore gave him truthful answers in that interview.
“Here’s where I am tonight,” Hannity continued. “Between this interview that I did and the inconsistent answers, between him saying ‘I never knew this girl’ and then that yearbook comes out. For me, the judge has 24 hours. He must immediately and fully come up with satisfactory explanations for your inconsistencies that I just showed. You must remove any doubt. If he can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race.”
Hannity went on to say that this country “has way too many issues and problems” and that the American people deserve “100% truth and honesty” and need correct answers “the first time.”
“Judge Moore, you owe that to the people of Alabama, the Republican Party that you represent and to the country which is suffering under so many problems,” he concluded.
Obviously, it is unlikely that Moore will meet Hannity’s demands. The candidate is putting forth an ultimatum of his own. The people of Alabama must accept his imprecisely worded, occasionally contradictory denials and endorse his contention that all of his accusers are making it up out of whole cloth in an organized partisan effort to destroy him . . . or vote against him. (Or not vote.)
It’s more difficult to get figures in politics to fall on their sword these days. No one wants to step down for the good of the party. New Jersey senator Bob Menendez won’t do it. These scandals are often brought on in part by ego and narcissism; the perpetrator believes that they are irreplaceable and that no one else can do what they do. Recent history has taught these men that they have a chance of surviving the scandal by just waiting it out. Bill Clinton did it. (More on him in a moment.) Gary Condit sort of did it. Larry Craig did it. But it doesn’t work for everyone. Former health and human services secretary Tom Price and Congressman Tim Murphy couldn’t weather the storm.
Another lesson from the Clinton scandal-survival playbook is to lie and make counter-accusations. As Guy Benson observes, Moore’s wife, Kayla, has shared on Facebook some claims that are false. On November 12, she shared a letter from 50 pastors declaring, “We are ready to join the fight and send a bold message to Washington: dishonesty, fear of man, and immorality are an affront to our convictions and our Savior and we won’t put up with it any longer. We urge you to join us at the polls to cast your vote for Roy Moore.” What she did not make clear is that those pastors signed the letter back in August, before all these revelations. Several pastors said they were not contacted about the letter, and asked for their names to be removed.
Kayla Moore also shared a post claiming that the restaurant that the latest accuser says was the site of her meeting with Moore did not exist in the late 1970s, that it opened in 2001; thus the accuser’s story cannot be true. That claim is false; the restaurant existed in the late 70s, judging from business records and advertisements in newspapers at the time.
As Guy puts it, “This does not prove that Ms. Young worked there, that Moore was a regular, or that he assaulted her — but it does prove that a foolish, baseless claim repeated by Moore’s wife to undermine Young was complete garbage.”
Some as-yet-undetermined percentage of Alabama voters will not care, of course. They put their faith in Moore a long time ago, and are not willing to entertain the notion that he fooled them all these years. The idea that his wife is telling lies in his defense will strike them as an understandable reaction – not something that undermines the credibility of his denials.
Colonel Jessup was right; we can’t handle the truth. The truth is that it’s very likely that America’s favorite sitcom dad of the 1980s spent many years slipping drugs to unsuspecting women, that Kevin Spacey might as well have never broken character, that much of Hollywood knew one of its most powerful and hailed producers was a serial predator and looked the other way, that Fox News permitted and enabled a frat-house atmosphere of harassment that started at the top, that the Catholic Church covered up horrifying cases of child abuse, and in the 1990s many Americans voted twice to make a rapist the President of the United States. Is it any wonder that given the option of a soothing, reassuring lie — that the leaders they’ve put their faith in are genuinely good people — so many people choose to believe the lie?