Moore allegations put conservative Republicans at a crossroads

Moore allegations put conservative Republicans at a crossroads
© Greg Nash

For a long time, Democrats have scratched their heads as conservatives espouse evangelical Christian values while they turn their backs on policies that would help the neediest, the poorest and the most marginalized — those whom the Bible states we just strive to help.  


But many of these conservatives are facing a real conundrum now with the very credible pedophile-like sexual assault allegations against current GOP Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore.  


Before last night, there were four women who had come forward alleging that, when they were teenagers, Roy Moore, then a popular and powerful district attorney, had pursued romantic relationships with them.

The youngest, at 14 years old at the time, alleges that Moore sexually molested her during one of their dates when he took her to his house.  

Then, Monday night, a fifth woman came out to allege she also had been sexually assaulted by Moore in a parking lot inside a car when he forced himself on her and tried to push her to commit sexual acts on him.

As expected, Moore denies all of this. Regardless of the tight reporting by the investigative journalists from the Washington Post who broke the story, Moore is yelling and screaming that this is a political ploy by the Democrats and establishment Republicans to bring him down.  

The problem with that argument is that these women are not political hacks. The accuser who was 14 at the time is now a Republican who voted for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE. They did not seek out the Washington Post reporters; the reporters found these women after hearing talk of Moore’s penchant for dating teenage girls when he was in his 30s.  

So, contrary to all of those howling at the wind, claiming they had never heard any of this about Moore and that he has lived an exemplary life, the truth seems to be far from these claims.  

There are two issues unfolding across the country that highlight the hypocrisy of so many conservative Republicans who excuse the hideous behavior of their beloved politicians as long as those politicians espouse the very same Christian values that are defining that hypocrisy.

The first issue is the floodgates that have opened on the issue of sexual harassment and assault that began with the Bill Cosby case and followed with the high-profile cases of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, both of whom had a series of women allege sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior and outright assault.  

The allegations kept coming, in the media world and then in the worlds of Hollywood, journalism and comedy.  

The most famous, long-standing and particularly heinous of these are the allegations against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, brought down by the powerful, myriad voices of the actresses he preyed upon while they strived to excel in their chosen industry.  

There is no question these women deserve kudos, respect and admiration for coming forward and telling their painful stories.  

It was supposedly the beginning of a watershed moment in our culture, as more and more women came out to tell their stories of sexual harassment and abuse by powerful political journalists, other A-list actors, comedians and, now, the powerful GOP senate candidate from Alabama, Roy Moore.  

Why do the women who come out against Hollywood titans, media moguls, actors, comedians and journalists seem to be much more easily believed than the women who come out against powerful politicians who are slandered as political operatives or hacks paid by the opposition party to bring down the politician at hand?

We should give credit where credit is due and thank those common-sense Republicans who, from day one, have believed Moore’s accusers and stated in no uncertain terms that he should step down.  

Like many other Americans, these Republicans believed, even before the grotesque allegations arose, that Moore was unfit to represent Alabama. His history in Alabama politics is checkered with out-of-the-mainstream, extreme right-wing views that see certain Americans as less than human and that do not respect the Constitution of the United States.

But it is refreshing that many of these Republicans’ condemnations of Moore are unequivocal — as they should be. And one Republican stated: “If Roy Moore is elected, it will be a stain on the Republican Party.” True.

The second issue unfolding leaves a gaping question about the first: How can there be a real watershed moment of women being believed in these situations instead of attacked, when we have a sexual predator in the White House?

Many of these same Republicans, who now believe Moore’s accusers, nevertheless looked the other way when, a few weeks before the 2016 election, Trump boasted on tape of behaving in a predatory manner and getting away with it.

Where were these voices of support and reason then?

The hypocrisy of many conservatives in the Republican Party who espouse “family values” but then helped a known sexual predator get elected to the highest office in the land will be a lasting stain on America.  

There will be no redemption or absolution until the hypocrisy is rooted out and the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is seen by his own party as the same kind of vile stain on the Republican Party and conservative values as many have rightly judged Roy Moore to be.

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.