The Morning Jolt

Politics & Policy

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 [the] 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 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 piece of 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 have 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?

As Lefties Used to Say during the Bush Years, ‘I Question the Timing . . . ’

As mentioned above, we’re apparently entering a media “reckoning” about the allegations against Bill Clinton. I’m pleased, but let’s not kid ourselves. As I write today on NRO, this reckoning comes at a convenient time for Democrats, too late to really have any impact on the political fortunes or future of Hillary Clinton or Bill. I find it very comparable to the fascinating-looking, apparently hard-hitting forthcoming film, Chappaquiddick. I prefer a delayed truth to a permanent lie, but let’s remember that the truth wasn’t been locked away in some hidden tomb somewhere. It was visible to many of us, and obscured by those in powerful positions who didn’t want to believe it.

And perhaps some people were quite happy with the way Bill Clinton was rewriting the social rules for men, women, sex and the workplace.

Was Bill Clinton a role model for how men can indulge their worst impulses and get away with it? Since the 1990s, how many men in powerful positions have seen Bill Clinton in that light? After all, all sorts of powerful people — from prominent feminists to powerful lawyers to the leaders of Clinton’s party — came to the consensus that the whole Lewinsky mess was a “private matter.” Perhaps the affair with her was — although Americans are right to expect better from a president — but the claims of Jones, Willey, and Broaddrick were not private matters in the slightest.

 After the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, Lee Smith, writing in The Weekly Standard, asked a difficult question that few Democrats will really want to confront. Would the enormously consequential New York Times article detailing the accusations about the Hollywood producer have been published if the 2016 election had ended differently and Weinstein had the president of the United States on speed-dial?

Biden: ‘I Would Have Banned the Gun Used By the Hero in the Texas Church Shooting’

Wow. This is the sort of comment that should throw some cold water on the “Biden 2020” buzz:

Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared on NBC’s “Today” on Monday where he said the hero who shot the Texas church gunman should not have had the weapon he used to stop the murder spree.

Biden’s remark came as a response to a question from someone in the audience who asked him to justify the Democrat’s call for more gun control – even though the shooter was stopped by a good guy with a gun.

“Well, first of all, the kind of gun being carried he shouldn’t be carrying,” Biden said. “Assault weapons are, uh, I wrote the last serious gun control law that was written and that was law for 10 years, and it outlawed assault weapons and it outlawed weapons with magazines that had a whole lot of bullets and so you can kill a whole lot of people a lot more quickly.”

He added, “The fact that some people with guns are legally able to acquire a gun, and they turn out to be crazy after the fact, that’s life and there’s nothing you can do about that.” Top to bottom, a terrible answer.

ADDENDA: Did you ever notice that things that are obvious to conservative media tend to get picked up, months later, by non-conservative media as sudden revelations?

Democrats are rethinking their future — but doing it with the leadership of old men and women deeply rooted in the past. The top three House Democrats in leadership are all nearly 80 years old.

By the numbers: The average age of Democrats serving under them is 61. Three of the most talked-about 2020 contenders are Sen. Bernie Sanders, 76; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 68; and former Vice President Joe Biden, 74.

Why it matters: Older Democratic leaders are unwilling to give up their seats, even as younger Democrats call for “a new generation of leaders,” as top House Democrat Linda Sanchez said when she asked for Nancy Pelosi to step down. And former DNC Chair Howard Dean told MSNBC: “Our leadership is old and creaky, including me.”

The elderly trend among Democrats: A recent CNN poll found that five of the six people voters view as the leaders of the Dem Party average 71 years old (Sanders, Clinton, Schumer, Warren, Biden).

How many times have I joked that the Democratic leadership looks like the cast of Cocoon? What’s more, beyond Obama, this was true all the way back to 2009. It’s not like Harry Reid, John Kerry, Steny Hoyer, or Dick Durbin were youngsters, either.

By the way, thanks to Tony Katz for having me on his program this morning.


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