Archive for Monday, November 20, 2017

Opinion: If he wins, he should be expelled

November 20, 2017

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“If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” James Madison argued in Federalist 51. But he went on to say, “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

These words were written to argue for a system of checks and balances in our Constitution, but they have some relevance to the controversy over Alabama Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Roy Moore.

The people of Alabama may well choose Moore as their senator, despite continuing allegations that Moore engaged in predatory behavior toward young girls when he worked as an attorney in Gadsen, Ala., and, in two instances, may have sexually assaulted underage girls. Moore’s supporters disbelieve the women who have come forward and blame the media and so-called establishment Republicans for a witch hunt. Moore’s wife has spread false rumors that the accusers were paid to tell their stories, and others have defended Moore’s actions by comparing the then 30-something attorney to the Biblical Joseph and his betrothed Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. That devout Christians are not sickened by such comparisons speaks worlds about the state of our politics today.

If Roy Moore were a decent man, he would step aside. But I said the same thing about Bill Clinton in 1998, when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, and we all know what happened. Instead of doing the manly thing, Clinton clung to power and put the nation through the spectacle of semen-stained dresses and “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” Clinton’s defenders were liberals, including feminists who saw nothing wrong in a 51-year old commander in chief engaging in sex acts with a 21-year-old intern in the Oval Office. Their defense was that his policies were good for the country, never mind his “private” behavior. Moore’s supporters say much the same today.

The most disheartening aspect of this story — even in the context of many dozens of stories of sexual misconduct by powerful men in Hollywood, the media and, now, Congress — is the double standard being applied by those in the Evangelical community. There was a time in the not too distant past when personal character mattered a great deal to Evangelical voters. But that view has been eroding for some time now — among all groups — but especially among Evangelicals. In 2011, only 30 percent of Evangelicals said, “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life,” but by 2016, 72 percent agreed in a poll taken by PRRI/Brookings.

So, what should happen if the good people of Alabama elect Roy Moore, despite credible allegations of misconduct? As Federalist 51 says, “experience has taught the necessity of auxiliary precautions” when the people fail. The rules of the U.S. Senate don’t allow the option not to seat Moore if elected, but they do allow, under Article I Section 5 of the Constitution, that the Senate may expel him by a two-thirds vote. If Alabama voters send Roy Moore to Congress, the Senate should exercise the extraordinary means at its disposal. Those who defend Moore say he deserves “his day in court,” so give it to him by allowing both accused and his accusers to testify under oath before the Senate. And if the accusers’ testimony holds up — as I believe it will — the Senate should vote to expel him.

It would be far better for everyone involved if Roy Moore did the honorable thing and stepped aside. But given the credulity of his supporters and the current state of our politics, I don’t expect that to happen, which is why James Madison’s argument for “auxiliary precautions” has never been more relevant.

— Linda Chavez is a columnist with Creators Syndicate.

Comments

Steve Jacob 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Al Franken should be gone too then. We can't make this partisan.

Cait McKnelly 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Moore sexually assaulted underage girls. Franken engaged in tasteless behavior with consenting adult women. I suggest you look at ALL of the pictures and videos from that USO tour. There's a reason Leann Tweeden doesn't want a Congressional investigation. There is no comparison.

Cait McKnelly 3 weeks ago

Because she wasn't asleep and he didn't touch her. Look at the picture.

Bob Smith 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Expecting politicians from either side of the aisle to do the honorable thing is futile. Remember that there was an actual Klansman in the Senate (Robert Byrd) until 2010.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Hey, Bob, just what does honorable mean to you? I'd be really interested in your definition. Not just in this situation, but honorable in general.

Brock Masters 3 weeks, 5 days ago

So apparently, allegations are the new convicted beyond a reasonable doubt? Clinton and Franken have admitted to their misdeeds whereas Moore has denied them. Furthermore, so-called evidence put forth to prove the allegations has been discredited. The fact that they fabricated evidence to “convict” Moore taints all the allegations.

And, as Steve Jacob said, we can’t make this partisan, so all those congressman that had their misconduct go away by way of payoff need to resign too. So does Menendez since it was alleged he engaged in sexual misconduct.

And Obama would never have been president since he committed misdemeanor and felony drug crimes in his youth.

See with allegations being the new conviction and anything done in your past being fair game, no one is safe, probably not even Mother Teresa.

Bob Summers 3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Bob Summers 3 weeks, 5 days ago

He behaves like a Liberal.

He may test out as one through amniocentesis.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Bob, that procedure is carried out on fetuses not yet born. Maybe you meant DNA analysis but we're too enamored of your dictionary-like vocabulary to actually know the meanings of all those two dollar words. Although Moore seems to be hiding in the womb of the Alabama Republican Party, which is kind of the same protective cavity. Toodleoo!

Louis Kannen 3 weeks, 5 days ago

If he wins, he wins. Then and only then, if found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, show him the door. Accusatory rhetoric has it's place and is vitally important to any Democratic Society as a valid means to valid solutions of valid problems. Accusations taken simply on their unsubstantiated face- value become nothing more than 'shouting matches' which justly serve no one.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Moore does like them young. His wife is 14 years younger than he is. Maybe they are more at his maturity level if he gets them young. She had gone to school with one of his accusers.

Bob Smith 3 weeks, 5 days ago

LJW is staying strangely silent regarding all the other sexual harassment scandals in the news. For instance: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/politics/al-franken-inappropriate-touch-2010/index.html

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Franken has done some inappropriate things with women and the "left" is not taking it lightly, like you conservatives do. I mean, you even elected one as president, didn't you? But, at least Franken isn't into children. Do you really believe it's okay, because Jesus' mom was a teenager? And Franken didn't brag about walking into a pageant dressing room.

“Before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” he said. “You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.” “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’” he continued. “And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”

or

"I'm automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the pu**y. You can do anything."

Bob Smith 3 weeks, 4 days ago

".... But, at least Franken isn't into children..." I believe the phrase is "damning with faint praise.

Cait McKnelly 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I find it amusing that Kayla Moore is defending her husband so vociferously, given that she first came to his notice when she was 15 and he was 30.

Richard Aronoff 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Dorothy: Did you notice in your accurate quote that Trump didn't say he did it -- he said to Billy Bush that he could do it. But since you want to get political, let's remember that at the time, Roy Moore was a Democrat.

I thought the NPR executive was number one on my allegations list. But Charlie Rose??? That's priceless!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks, 5 days ago

And there are several women who said that Trump did it, including the pageant women. And this is a non partisan issue, except conservatives refuse to condemn their own. Is it because of your cave man attitude towards women? Oh and I left out the part about how he admitted he came on strong to a married woman, because it was even more graphic. He did do that; he admitted it. And he committed adultery. But you go on worshipping him. You will love him even if he murders someone. He said that his supporters are that stupid.

Just read an interesting article about alt right women and why there are so few at rallies or few online. The alt right men, who also think women shouldn't have the vote, leave their little women at home to "protect" them. One online alt right guy talks about how it's okay to beat your wife. And I've even heard fundamentalist preachers say the same thing. They don't make women wear a hijab, but other than that what makes them any different than Middle Eastern Muslim men? Good little conservative women do what they are told, right? Even if it means dating a guy 14 years older than you are, like Mrs. Moore. Roy was scoping her out when she was much younger, and since she married and divorced young, with a baby to support, she was even more vulnerable. He's the reason she didn't become a welfare mom, which conservatives hate so much.

Gary Stussie 3 weeks, 5 days ago

There is no defending sexual harassment or abuse of young girls by grown men.

A few thoughts on the letter and comments...

If 40 year old accusations can derail a slam dunk election or if a crude picture can get a seated senator (who use to be a crude comedian) to be forced to resign, guess what we are in for from now on!

Louis Farrakhan never allowed himself to be alone with a woman. Since the majority of business and political power brokers in the world are male, who will pay the price should it become necessary to protect oneself from this type of potential vulnerability?

Amazes me how how selective Democrats are when it comes to moral authority.

Definition of sexual harassment is getting pretty strained. How does a person know that a sexual advance is unwanted unless it is actually advanced? Also seems inconsistent with the modern approach which seems to be "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".

"Moore does like them young" ... "at least Franken isn't into children" . Inconsistent, in the Frankin picture that lady appears to be at least 15 years younger then he ... just like the age difference you point out between Moore and his wife.

"Moore does like them young" ... someone needs to read up on human nature. Attraction is hardwired into both sexes!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks, 4 days ago

The differences in Moore and his wife's age isn't disturbing now, it's the fact that he may have had his eye on her when she was in school. One of the accusers was in the same class as Mrs. Moore when Mr. Moore was pursuing her.

Franken has probably ruined his chances of being reelected, because liberals don't go around talking about values. They live them. CBS is not paying out millions to quiet the accusers of Charlie Rose, like FOX did for more than one of their employees. Mark Sanford goes AWOL from his governor's job to play with his mistress, but gets elected as a rep, and Moore will probably get elected. You elected a many who has had 3 wives, and would have probably already traded the present one in for younger trophy, if he hadn't run for president. I've already started a pool on how long he will stay married after he is no longer president.

All I am asking is that you admit that you think it's okay, if you are a Republican or an evangelical to treat women like objects, and that your family values are rooted in a time when women were property. At least don't be a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another.

Bob Smith 3 weeks, 4 days ago

And now John Conyers (D-Michigan) is the dirtbag of the day.

Armen Kurdian 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Hard to believe that all the accusations against Moore aren't true. Remember Bob Packwood? Al Franken now...and I believe there was another Senator around 96-97 that also resigned due to sexual misbehavior. too much of it.

Bob Smith 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Best not to forget due process. Accusations are not convictions. "If he is found guilty, he should be expelled."

Steve King 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I think what's missing in the conversation about Moore is his arrogance. This man was twice removed as a Judge for refusing to follow the law. He refused to acknowledge a Supreme Court ruling. And was removed from office for it. You want someone in Congress that flouts the SC authority?

Gary Stussie 3 weeks, 3 days ago

"Hard to believe that all the accusations against Moore aren't true. "

I, myself, am skeptical. In most cases (Hollywood and business) the victim should be believed. However, in the political arena unproven/unprovable accusation is just another tool of the opposition. Subsequently, I feel we need to demand a higher level of validation before we pass judgement.

Seems to me that labeling the conservative opponent a racist or homophobe has been used so much that it doesn't carry the same weight ... tool of the day is sexual harasser/abuser.

Read some of the hate-filled posts on this site and ask yourself if you could/should put stock in a 40 year old accusation made by one of them against a someone with an opposing view.

Also ... "What's missing in the conversation about Moore is his arrogance".

Can anyone who voted for or supported Obama question the arrogance of any political? Obama blew off Congress and most of the American people to pursue his vision.

Don Brennaman 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Revenge, I hear, is best served cold for an election.

Richard Heckler 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Yet President Trump made reference to the word pussy and using hands to demonstrate yet he is still in office?

Apparently at least a dozen women have put up allegations of Trump sex harassment which is not hard to believe due to his own seemingly public disrespect for women and women's rights.

In fact the conservatives very public war on women is sexual harassment beyond belief.

Steve King 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I think you have that wrong Gary. Congress blew off Obama. Remember Mitch was going to make him a one term President?

Richard Heckler 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Roy Moore seemed to have been well known for his stalking of young women no matter what.

Richard Heckler 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Yes there is a lot of activity in the news regarding sexual harassment. It is good thinking to take a closer look at the issue in order to document the many sources of sexual harassment. How pervasive is the issue?

War On Women = Sexual Harassment http://www.politicususa.com/proof-war-women-2

War On Women = Sexual Harassment 1. The Battle Against Birth Control 2. The Contraception Coverage Debate 3. Intensifying Attacks on Choice 4. Stopping the Violence Against Women Act 5. Fighting Equal Pay Laws 6. Conclusion

http://www.pfaw.org/report/the-war-on-women/#battleagainst

If Republicans Love One Thing, It’s Attacking Women By Michael Keegan, Contributor President, People For the American Way https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/if-republicans-love-one-t_b_7842450.html

Brock Masters 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I think we all can get behind releasing the names of Congressman who are on the settlement list and if still in Congress demanding their resignations.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Allegations are not convictions. No matter how much you dislike someone's politics, they still deserve due process.

Gary Stussie 2 weeks, 4 days ago

"Franken has probably ruined his chances of being reelected, because liberals don't go around talking about values. "

Congress spent $17M taxpayer dollars to settle harassment claims in the last decade. When that list gets published, let's just see how many of those liberal are living their values!

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Matt Lauer just got fired from NBC. You wouldn't have caught Hugh Downs doing that sort of thing.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 3 days ago

The AP is reporting that Garrison Keillor just got fired over inappropriate behavior. https://twitter.com/AP/status/9359218...

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