Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the ever-increasing list of politicians and celebrities accused of sexual assault or harassment. The latest news cycle has brought more instances of strategic belief or non-belief. When Clinton was accused in his first term, many of us wondered how Democrats would ever be able to regain their credibility on future sexual harassment cases. The solution is simple. You delay your believing until it no longer costs you politically or personally.
President Donald Trump indicated that it was better to elect Roy Moore over a liberal to guarantee a majority in the Senate. Trump’s advisor KellyAnne Conway also made highly controversial comments that appeared to dismiss the allegations against Moore as less relevant than the loss of his vote on the tax bill. It is one thing to say that you simply do not believe the allegations and quite another to want to secure this vote at any moral cost. As I have previously stated, I found the allegations of these women (who are largely Republican, Trump voters with no partisan axe to grind) to be highly credible. It is not enough to simply dismiss the allegations as “unproven” or (as noted by President Trump) denied by the accused. Even if the statute of limitations had not run, there would be no time for a trial before the election. Voters have to reach their own conclusions based on the credibility of women and their allegations. That is what many voters (and President Trump) did in finding the accusers of Clinton credible despite Clinton’s denials. Many struggle to ignore the large number of women alleging a pattern of abuse by Moore — accounts supported by an array of neighbors and former colleagues (including a police veteran who came forward yesterday to say that she was told to keep Moore away from teenage cheerleaders). It is still an inconvenient time to believe alleged victims despite the different standard applied to Clinton’s controversies.
What is striking is that some do believe these women but still insist that the need to secure a GOP vote takes priority over the concerns that Moore is a possible pedophile or even a rapist. These people are selling their ethics (and the ethics of Republican Party) quite cheaply. It is not everyday that one is able to establish your specific price on ethics. In this case, it is a vote on a tax bill. For others, there is no choice but to draw a line in the sand . . .with Moore on the other side. Indeed, when so many politicians are standing on principle in Washington, you know that there is no real alternative. If you find these women credible, there is no principled way to vote for Roy Moore. I find them quite credible.
Here is the column: