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Democrats Have Enabled Roy Moore

Don Rose 7 December 2017 No Comment

Hollywood, networks and other businesses acted swiftly to fire sexual abusers. Congress? Uh uh.

Numerous Republicans (except Donald Trump) called for Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama senate race after 9 women accused him of sexual abuse while teen-agers, one only 14 at the time. Democrats joined the chorus.


Moore’s winning poll numbers dropped down to a tie with Democrat Doug Jones–some showing a good lead for Jones. Moore denied all improprieties, inconsistently recalling the names of two of his accusers, now claiming he knows none.

Two other things happened. Trump began to attack Jones, without endorsing Moore. Meanwhile a couple of Democrats, Minnesota Senator Al Franken and Detroit Congressman John Conyers were accused of sexual abuse and the Democrats’ song changed.

Franken acknowledged the main charge–unwanted kissing and grabbing the woman’s breasts while she was sleeping, with photographic evidence. That while still plying his trade as a comedian. Later, as a senator, another woman accused him of grabbing her buttocks while taking a photo. Strong suggestions followed that this was not the only such case.

Franken apologized profusely and pledged to restore trust, but did not offer to resign and I don’t recall any Democrats suggesting he do so. Conyers denied improprieties with a female aide, but he had paid her off with a special congressional fund.

At first Nancy Pelosi said that this icon of the civil rights movement should be allowed due process, as did fellow Democrats. As the rumbles grew, he stepped down from the chairmanship of his committee, then later said he would not run again. Finally, after hearing the testimony of his accuser, Pelosi and others very belatedly called for his resignation.

Trump’s rationale was that Moore denies the charges and that no liberal Democrat should become an Alabama senator. Numerous Alabamians, even those who apparently believe Moore’s accusers such as the state’s female governor, echoed Trump and said they would vote for Moore anyway.

It’s obvious that no Democrats wanted to lose either Franken or Conyers. They are still not pressing Franken to depart, even though he would be replaced by another Democrat by Minnesota’s progressive governor, Mark Dayton.

The pundits these days call it all a “tribal” response–meaning highly partisan, even on the explosive issue of sex abuse by congressmen.

When it became obvious that partisan politics–not ethics, morality or criminality–was the driving force on both sides, the polls moved back to favor Moore–currently by 5 points. He will likely win next week.

Franken should have quit and Conyers too–though it pains me because I helped him in his first election more than a half century ago and have long admired him. Franken has no future, given the ridiculous photo of him leering as he reaches for his victim’s breasts.

It’s obvious that Trump, denying numerous abuse accusations against himself, had to stand up for Moore.

But the Democrats who protected Franken and Conyers made the tribalism explicit, thereby giving Moore’s doubters permission to swing back to him. Tribal politics made the Democrats enablers like Trump–and, in Alabama, probable losers.

Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

image Franken and Davis show on Saturday Night Live

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