PERISHING FROM THE EARTH: Mr. Lincoln may have been wrong!


Part 1—Feeling no need to explain:
We're going to end today's report with a question about, and also from, Abraham Lincoln.

That question will come later. We're going to start with Ruth Marcus' column concerning Roy Moore.

We're starting with Marcus for a very good set of reasons. Ruth Marcus isn't dumb, or crazy, or crazily tribal, and she isn't dishonest.

These may sound like left-handed compliments. Within the context of our modern press, these statements constitute the highest praise.

Marcus is neither dumb nor crazy. Indeed, she's thoroughly experienced, and she's perfectly bright.

That said, we'd have to say she's stampeding a bit when it comes to the case of Roy Moore. Most specifically, we're struck by the fact that she seems to feel no need to explain.

Within the context of modern punditry, Marcus started yesterday's column in a way which rates as brilliant. For the most part, she drew a distinction between the several "accusations" being directed at Moore.

She focused on the accusation which is brutally serious—the claim that Moore molested a 14-year-old girl in 1979. She didn't conflate that accusation with the other "accusations," including the deeply troubling claim, meticulously researched by the Post, that Moore once bought a glass of wine for someone who was 18, or maybe 19.

(The victim told the Washington Post that she wasn't sure.)

Should a 70-year-old Senate nominee withdraw his candidacy if he bought a glass of wine for someone who was 19, or almost 19, in 1979, when the drinking age in Alabama was 19? In our view, the craziness of that suggestion lets us see the ridiculous place into which our national experiment has now fallen in a dangerous way.

Marcus sidesteps that crazy place. Still and all, we'd say she soon wanders into error.

She starts by making a perfectly accurate statement. She says the claim being made by Leigh Corfman, who was the 14-year-old girl in question, is "entirely credible."

We'd have to say that's entirely true! But as we kept noting long ago, "credible" isn't the same as "accurate," "proven," "true" or "established"—and Marcus, who's almost entirely sensible, soon blows right past that point.

She does so in this passage shown below. In it, she seems to assume that Corfman's claims have been established as fact. Having made that assumption, she criticizes a range of people who have left open the possibility that the claims could actually be wrong:
MARCUS (11/12/17): How can claims from “many years ago” be allowed to “destroy a person’s life”?

Some answers: Because they are entirely credible. Because the girl, now a woman, has no conceivable ax to grind—she is a longtime Republican, a Trump voter even—and nothing to gain from coming forward. Because three other women related similar, although less disturbing stories, underscoring Moore’s interest in younger girls.

Because the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it. (Thank you, Mitt Romney, for saying that.) The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

Unless, that is, you are a politician dealing with a story you wish would go away. Then you turn instinctively to if-then-ism.
“If these allegations are true . . .” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), leading—or not—his prove-it caucus. Disappointingly, among them were women senators who ought to know better. “If it’s true . . .” said Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. “If the allegations . . .” said West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito. “If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations . . .” said Maine’s Susan Collins. Seriously, have you read this article? How can you think about serving alongside this man?
In that passage, Marcus mentions the stories of the "three other women." In fairness, she notes that their claims only track Corfman's claim up to a point—up to a tremendously limited point, we'd be inclined to say.

Corfman says that she was molested, indeed assaulted, by Moore. None of the other three women describes any such experience.

To that fairly substantial extent, their stories fail to establish a pattern in support of Corfman's charge, which is nonetheless fully credible. But Marcus is angry at people like Capito, Murkowski and Collins—people who have left open the possibility that Corfman's charge could perhaps be false.

Full disclosure! We'd have to count ourselves among the ranks of those people! We do that because "credible" differs from "true," and because Corfman is charging a very serious offense.

Her charge may be perfectly accurate, but for ourselves we can't exactly swear that it is. As the week proceeds, we'll add to the list of entirely credible accusations which have, in recent years, actually turned out to be false.

For today, let's consider some possible problems with Marcus' assumptions and logic. In particular, let's explore the fact that she seems to feel no particular need to explain.

"Seriously, have you read this article?" Marcus directs this question at Collins, referring the Washington Post's report about Corfman's charges. "How can you think about serving alongside this man?"

Tomorrow, we'll continue to detail an embarrassing fact. Just as a matter of fact, many of our most famous pundits don't seem to have read the Post report in question! (But then, what else is new?)

Presumably, Marcus has read the report in question. She seems to regard the charges it details as established fact, as plainly true.

That said, you'll note that Marcus' logic may perhaps take a wrong turn at this point. You'll note that Marcus didn't write this:

"Seriously, have you read this article? How can anyone possibly think that Corfman's charges might not be true?"

You'll note that Marcus didn't say that. Nor does she ever attempt to explain why she seems to assume that the charges are true.

She savages Collins, Murkowski and Capito for withholding belief. But what an absent-minded slip! But she never explains the basis on which she herself does believe that the charges are true!

Marcus never tries to explain why Corfman's claims should be regarded as established facts! Instead, she announces the "correct response," then takes a pitiful turn:
MARCUS (continuing directly): The correct response came from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who—without hedging —termed the allegations “deeply disturbing and disqualifying” and called on Moore to withdraw.

If-then-ism is the rhetorical cousin of what-about-ism, a bid to deflect attention by questioning whether those complaining about “x” were equally inflamed by “y,” when “y” involved someone on their side. If-then-ism represents a similar effort to avoid casting a politically inconvenient judgment.

It is better, sure, than the jaw-dropping alternative: so-what-ism, remarkably flagrant among Alabamians in response to the Moore report. “Much ado about nothing,” State Auditor Jim Zeigler told the Washington Examiner. Joseph did it with Mary, he observed. Except, um, minor theological point here—did he?"
That feels good! For starters, we're told what "the correct response" to these allegations is.

As in days of olde, it comes to us from Saint McCain, whose responses were always treated as correct, for instance when he was blatantly misstating basic facts about the vile Candidate Gore. To the pundit corps of that insane era, "he always gave the best advice," as sacred Homer once said of noble Nestor, the seasoned charioteer.

Marcus is taking her scripture from Saint McCain. On the other hand, note this:

We now know what "the correct response" is—but we're never told how we can know that this response is correct! Instead, Marcus takes that pitiful turn. As many of her colleagues have done, she cites one of the dumbest statements which has been offered in support of the accused. Instead of explaining her own view, she invites us to laugh at one of the dumbest bunnies she can find Over There!

By any normal sensible standard, that's a terrible way to proceed. But it gets us where we want to go. We ourselves now offer a point:

We're so old that we can remember what happened in The Spring of 99, which served as a sequel to The Summer of 42. Members of Marcus's guild, mainly the lovesick boys, stood in line to swear on their Trojans that the well-dressed Kathleen Willey was the most honest person on earth—that what she was saying about Bill Clinton was blindingly obvious, true.

Uh-oh! By the time Robert Ray issued the formal report which ended the reign of Kenneth Starr, the worm had turned on that testosterone-driven group judgment. In that formal report, Ray formally reported that his team has considered charging Willey with perjury, she had lied to them so!

As told in pearls on 60 Minutes, Willey's original story had been "entirely credible." But we're so old that we can remember what happened:

As it turned out, it almost surely wasn't exactly true.

That didn't stop the boys, and even a few of the girls, from staging one of their trademark stampedes. The boys and girls are stampeding again, even now as we speak.

They're stampeding this time against Roy Moore, an extreme political throwback who we can't seem to beat at the polls. And so we adopt our increasingly common stance, in which we try to get him locked up, or at least thrown off the ballot.

For ourselves, we tend to think of Abraham Lincoln at times like this!

Corfman's claims are, in fact, "entirely credible." That doesn't necessarily mean that they're true. although they certainly may be.

These distinctions rarely bother the clan when they start a stampede. Meanwhile, Lincoln regards the scene from inside his famous memorial.

In a visit to Gettysburg, he said a war was being fought, a war in which many people were dying, so that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

He seemed to think that dissolution of the original union would signal to the world that government of the people couldn't succeed. That's the bet that Vladimir Putin, and his niece, are making again today.

Can government of the people succeed? As the various boys and girls misstate various obvious facts, our nation's current devolving state suggests that Lincoln may have been wrong if he thought that horrific war had somehow settled that question.

As in 1999, so too in yesterday's Washington Post! Ruth Marcus, who entirely isn't a nut, forgot to explain why she thinks she knows those accusations are true!

In response, Lincoln came to us late last night with a question. Can a modern, continental nation continue to function this way?

Tomorrow: "Corroborated [sic] eyewitnesses backing up the case?"

So stated, with fervor, on Meet the Press! Sunday of the chimps!


  1. The standard of establishing guilt beyond doubt exists for situations where the law will be depriving someone of their liberty as punishment for a crime.

    Being a senator is a privilege, not a right. Moore would not be deprived of life, liberty or property if he is not elected senator. At stake are the lives of constituents, not the office holder. That means extra care must be taken to ensure a good choice is made at the polls.

    Marcus understands this. Why doesn't Somerby. Candidates must avoid both the reality and the appearance of scandal. There is no benefit of the doubt because Moore has no right to the office. He doesn't yet hold it, so failure to elect him deprives him of nothing he already has. He is not the presumptive electee.

    Because Marcus is a reasonable person, Somerby should reconsider his strongly held opinion on this matter. Why is he demanding absolute proof in a situation where none is possible? Why is he so ready to doubt Corfman, who has nothing to gain, and so willing to believe Moore, who has a lot to lose and much less credibility?

    This seems like an example of male privilege. Moore gets believed instead of Corfman because he is the powerful person, the player in this situation. Corfman is nobody but Moore is a candidate! Moore is older, a judge, someone with heft. Corfman is a female with no power, who has dared to accuse Moore. In this situation, men are generally believed while women are presumed to be lying, which is the necessary conclusion if you decide Moore may not be guilty. It is somehow easier for Somerby to believe Moore is truthful and Corfman is lying. Why, when there is nothing to suggest that is true?

    Bros before ho's. I'm not sure how much longer I can read this blog. Dressing this up with the words of Abraham Lincoln is despicable. Somerby's choice is sordid but it reflects the dilemma women face when they decide to come forward with their complaints, as they have the right to do. But Somerby illustrates how and why men get away with mistreating women. He should be ashamed.

    1. The word for the above is c-a-n-t.

      No one btw is "believing" anyone. That's the point.

      Some of you guys are adamant about going out of your way to prove everything that Bob has been talking about. And it's going to backfire politically.

    2. Bogus allegations of sexual misconduct only work when Republicans make them against Democrats.

    3. Oh please, if this was an accusation against Obama you'd be demanding rock solid proof.

      All this is the standard 'if it's someone in my tribe, I demand proof, if it's one of the others, I need none'.

    4. @Anon 1:02: Your missing of the point is comical. I even gave you the "bogus" part, and asked you to remember Clinton. He was impeached; will Moore be elected?

    5. Yes, you'd be demanding to see his birth certificate. Which he provided.

  2. Why are the accusations most likely true?

    1. Moore admitted dating teenagers, including buying them wine.
    2. Three girls, in addition to Corfman have been willing to describe Moore's advances to them.
    3. The advances made toward the three other girls are similar to those described by Corfman.
    4. Corfman told other people at the time, over a span of years, about "dating" and being touched by Moore when she was 14. Those people describe the same facts as Corfman, so her story has not changed.
    5. Despite efforts to investigate Corfman, there is no evidence of payment or other reward for coming forward with her story.
    6. There is no political motive, since Corfman is apparently a Republican and voted for Trump.
    7. There is no publicity benefit to Corfman -- she is not a model, actress, or aspiring celebrity.
    8. Colleagues of Moore's from the time when he was in his early 30s report that he "dated" young teens when they knew him. Moore has not disputed this.
    9. Moore said he "generally" doesn't date very young women, but when he does it is with their mother's permission.

    But this isn't enough for Somerby. If this is the evidence on one hand, what is on the other hand?

    1. Corfman may have been paid by opposition to discredit Moore, although no proof of this has been provided.
    2. Women don't come forward after 40 years (this is untrue, but it is what they are saying).
    3. Corfman could have spoken with Moore by phone as she claims because her mother says she didn't have her own phone in her room. This calls into question the truthfulness of everything else she said, according to Breitbart.

    Somerby weighs this up and finds Moore more plausible than Corfman, since Corfman doesn't offer a stained blue dress to support her claims.

    What a fair-minded guy! We all know that women lie.

    1. Then by the same standard of evidence we have to have immediately believed all of the many accusers of Bill Clinton.

      Can't have it both ways.

      Jesus. Any kind of doubt and introspection over this issue and the outrage commences. Such irrationality.

    2. No, this doesn't follow.

      The accusers of Clinton were not credible because their stories fell apart, were inconsistent, because they were paid for them, because there was no corroboration, etc. Corfman meets that standard while the others did not.

    3. The problem is everything on your list, except point 4, is irrelevant. You're only including them to put your thumb on the scale to make Corfamn's claims seem more credible.

      Somerby makes no such claim that Moore is more plausible than Corfman. He's merely pointing out that "credible" claims are proven untrue all the time, and at this point we have no idea who is telling the truth and who the liar is. And yes, women do lie, even about being victims of assault.

    4. These things may be irrelevant in a court of law and excluded from testimony, but they are part of the test of common sense that people use in daily life.

    5. @Anon 12:50 pm:
      How many of Harvey Weinstein's accusers were lying? How many of Louis CK's? What are the statistics on women lying about sexual assault/misconduct? What constitutes proof in a court of law? Is physical evidence necessary to convict?

    6. The stories of the accusers of Clinton fell apart AFTERWARDS.

      The point here is about the immediate response when these stories first break. Believe the women when the accused is a right-wing Republican, but let's be skeptical when it's a Dem.

    7. Um, Anon 2:19pm, how long have you been reading Somerby's blog? The press and the right-wing endlessly chased Clinton with the sex stories. He was never presumed to be innocent. No skepticism at all there. Pay attention!

    8. @Anon 2:19
      I call bullshit. Believe the women (and the men) and let the chips fall where they may. For the most part, these are not legally prosecutable, but they ARE credible accusations from multiple witnesses, and the men who are accused are all in positions of power and influence; lib or con, they should all be struck off the list.

      What does that mean? Discredit and disempower them, to a man. Seriously, show me one liberal voice supporting Harvey Weinstein or Spacey or Weiner (before he was jailed) - I'll point out a thousand conservatives supporting Moore to the bitter end.

      I say bring all the monsters down, I don't give a shit what their political or sexual spectrum. Users and abusers be damned.

    9. Believe everyone, eh?

      The Weinstein/Spacey etc comparison is absurd. There was a LONG history of such stories, over and over again.

      As a left winger, I don't believe all of those, either!

  3. Somerby pretends that Willey's story was as credible as Corfman's, but that isn't true.

    1. If you really believe that "Somerby pretends that Willey's story was as credible as Corfman's," methinks that you need to reread the piece.
      Reading comprehension seems to be becoming a "lost art."

    2. He says Corfman should be disbelieved because Willey was a liar who was treated by some as credible.

    3. The point is that we all should have IMMEDIATELY believed it at the time.

      We believe the one right away and not the other? This was no 14 year old telling it.

    4. You believe one and not the other because one story is more credible than the other.

      No one is saying that all women should always be believe, knee-jerk style. We are saying that their story should be taken seriously and investigated, which means testing the accuser's story as well as the person accused. Investigate and then decide. What is currently happening is that women's stories are being automatically disbelieve and men are being excused because the consequences would be bad for them.

    5. No one's immediately disbelieving anyone.

      But if we're going to take seriously one, we have to take seriously all. From the very beginning.

      Which of course will lead to complete paralysis. Accusations = end of business.

    6. Any celebrity receives accusations from people who hope they will settle and give them easy money. These are easy to discredit because there is no substance to them. An accusation doesn't necessarily turn into a credible complaint. willey and Flowers and the others were not credible. They hung around because they were funded by the right and encouraged by the media. Abetted by enemies of the Clintons. Somerby's point is that there was no substance to their claims but the media colluded by pretending there was. That isn't what is happening with Moore. The substance has been made public and it is sufficient to concern Republican leaders who now want to distance themselves from him. That didn't happen with Clinton because the facts weren't there to support the accusations.

    7. The facts supported the Clinton accusations and where facts were scant he didn't get the benefit of the doubt for credibility because he was a known liar.

    8. "... because he was a known liar."

      It that what's he was known as around the Kremlin, Pavel?

  4. Somerby's rigid black and white thinking on this matter, and others, is typical of someone with Parkinson's disease.

    1. Or someone who...

      ...has a rich benefactor with Trumpian views

      ...has as his great hero a moral degenerate a philosophy student studied too much Burke and too little Bentham

      ...was beaten silly with a rolled-up adult coloring book

  5. "In response, Lincoln came to us late last night with a question. Can a modern, continental nation continue to function this way?"

    Lincoln was a politician; politicians make all kinds of pretentious and pompous speeches. Have you read Mark Twain?

    There is no other way. Never has been, never will be.

    1. Does Vladimir Vldimirovich make pretentious and pompous speeches? Give us some examples.

  6. All stories should be disbelieved until proven credible. Roy Moore will win because the right is succeeding in casting the Washington Post as a more detestable enemy than a teen predator in his 30's.

    1. Credible means believable. It doesn't mean proven. We are not a jury determining guilt; we are deciding whether to vote for the guy. You can believe Corfman and still vote for Moore because you don't like Democrats, but lets not call Corfman a liar. That is damaging to the other women who are watching what happens to her before deciding whether to mention their own experiences.

      People who vote for Moore because they dislike the Washington Post will get what they deserve if he is elected.

    2. No one's saying she's a liar.

      And where btw IS she? No Barbara Walters interview?

    3. If you say Moore is not a child abuser, then you are saying Corfman is a liar.

    4. He's not a child abuser. Post-pubescent.

      I mean, if people are going to change the language to make things more convenient for them and their pieties, we're all doomed. It'll be like Fox News everywhere.

    5. See, that's part of the problem. You want to use special language to describe kids who have started puberty (which happens as early as 8-10 these days) so that they can be seen as more accessible to men. They are still children. Using them sexually is still child abuse. Failure to feed them or clothe them would be child neglect (not post-pubescent teen neglect). Calling them post-pubescent is changing the language for the convenience of predators, making their actions seem like less of a perverted crime.

    6. Well put 12:24. Reserving judgment does not mean calling into question the accuser's truthfulness or assuming Moore's guilt. The question should be irrelevant for voters since it is unlikely that evidence will emerge that proves Moore guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the only ethical standard of proof.

    7. Special language?

      Pedophilia is sexual interest in pre-pubescent children. It's not making out with teenagers.

      Jeez, this is getting wearyng, all these lies and misrepresentations.

    8. (Actually, making out with teenagers IS a lesser perversion than going after young kids. Hate to breaking to you, people. When did the opposite opinion gain traction?

      And at what age is it no longer perverse? Eighteen and zero days?)

  7. Roslyn Corrigan says George HW Bush squeezed her butt when she was a sixteen-year-old child.

    1. That was clearly a wrong thing for him to do. I doubt anyone would disagree.

    2. Wonder what Noam's take is on this, imp?
      Any insights?

  8. Pretty good job here, if Bob didn't indulge his old grudges (St. John McCain) it would have been even better.

    Yet.... Is it possible Bob doesn't get that Marcus is stretching the rules to get Moore because of the many things he has done in full view of that do indeed make him unfit for office, things Bob will never write about because he feels so sorry for the dunces of Alabama who will vote for him?

    Also, if Facebook is any indication, and I suspect it is, we are in the middle of a full court left/fascist assault on basic standards of fair play where one is found guilty until innocent and is then still guilty? To appease feminist ninnies, principles leftists once fought and died for are being thrown in the trash. Scary? you bet it is. I don't know how it will play out but it won't be pretty.

    1. No one is saying he is "guilty." They are saying he is unfit for office. Those principles apply in court but this is beyond the statute of limitation, so he is a free man, guilty or innocent. That doesn't mean he should be elected to office.

    2. And if he's "guilty", what about the right/fascist attempt to sweep it under the rug? Or maybe the right/fascists are behind it. McConnell REALLY wanted Strange to win.

    3. He's unfit for office because people think he's guilty!

      No? Why else is he then unfit?

  9. Louis CK could have denied the allegations made against him, and his accusers' stories might have remained "credible, no reason to doubt them" but never "proven" or "established."

    Except that he admitted they were true.

    And that brings up a problem with cases of molestation: there is often no physical evidence. And yet prosecutors bring cases, and juries render guilty verdicts all the time. I don't know what would constitute "proof" for Somerby in the Moore/Corfman case, but his stance on this could preclude a true victim from obtaining justice in a court of law.

    And the monumental straw man that Somerby erects: He finds Corfman credible, i.e. a 14 year old molested by a 32 year old, but then wonders "Should a 70-year-old Senate nominee withdraw his candidacy if he bought a glass of wine for someone who was 19, or almost 19". Say what? And here I thought it was the credible story of the molestation of a 14 year old that had people calling for Moore to step down.

    (I note also that many Republicans have disavowed Moore's candidacy, including elected officials and others like Mitt Romney, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, Charlie Sykes, etc. It's not just a liberal bandwagon. )

    Perhaps Moore should publicly swear on the Bible that it never happened.

    1. I think what Bob was getting at with the wine accusation is that it was hardly "corroboration" of anything. And corroboration was being screamed about on MSNBC.

      The MSNBC crowd never made it clear (deliberately?) that the Mateus purchase involved an 18 year old. O'Donnell in fact carried on like it was a heroin shipment.

      And what's the deal with HIM? He doth protest way too greatly on this topic.

      "Older men ... dating younger women!"

    2. Isn't it problematic when a person who is part of the legal system shows a casual disregard for the law? He did this when he was unconcerned about legal age and again when he bought wine for someone short of 19, the drinking age. He seems to think bending the rules is OK and that wouldn't be my first choice in a prosecutor or judge. Or a senator.

    3. If it is established that Moore thought nothing of dating High School Girls, then the story of the woman claiming She was 14 is more credible.

    4. Then where are all the other 14 year olds coming forward? So far, none.

      16+ is legal in Alabam. Big difference in those two ages.

      Yes. There is.

      Someone might want to ask the MSNBC women how old THEIR boyfriends were when they were in high school.

    5. Jesus, the guy poured an 18-year-old girl a glass of wine.

      Call Aunt Pittypat! Attention, Mr. Pecksniff!

      Bob's right. People are going NUTS. Not just crazy.

    6. The wine is to loosen up the young woman so that she will be more receptive to further sexual advances. Just as men do when they offer wine to older women. Except older women are familiar with the effects of alcohol and presumably know enough to maintain their judgment in a social situation that involves drinking. As we see from college binge drinking situations, that isn't necessary a correct assumption.

      There's no reason to give an 18 year old wine otherwise.

    7. Well, nothing apparently happened.

      That's what's so funny about the first four Moore stories. He was a pretty chaste guy for the times.

      Which makes the fifth "violent temper" one suspect.

  10. Senator Corker has said that before these allegations that Moore was a bridge too far.

    1. Yeah, that's the deal. The GOP kingpins are hardly being noble here. Media depictions of them as being so right now are laughable.

    2. Moore and Trump perfectly emblematize current Republicans.

      Non-Republicans (Kevin Drum, for example) often make the mistake of believing (or relying on that the fact that) there are any reasonable Republicans left or that they will somehow do the right thing.

    3. There's nothing brave or noble about all these Repubs wanting Moore to drop out.

      They've all wanted him out anyway! That's some stretch in their part.

  11. CK admitted they were true, but he neither apologized nor admitted that they were sexual harassment. He just said it was unfair/exploitative for him to have done then under his old understanding of consent.

    Big difference.

    1. I think the reaction to Louis CK, media companies pulling all content, basically ruining his career, has been unfair. Our society hasn't fully achieved equilibrium on this issue.

    2. What about the careers of the female comics he and other male comedians harassed and tried to drive out of the business through this kind of bullying?

    3. Anon 2:42
      I say the world is better off without abusive and exploitative alpha males. I don't care if they're libs or cons, take them down and leave them there. Because MEN are the problem here - specifically men in power. Let this be a lesson: if you abuse others, female or male, if you take advantage of your position, of your dominance, you will be destroyed. Bill Cosby will not come back. Louis CK, done. Spacey, toast. O'Reilly, gone forever. Moore, worm food. That is as it should be. And I speak as a male and a liberal who gives no quarter to bullies or creeps. Fuck 'em all.

    4. sherrlock -- would you include Bill Clinton in that list?

    5. Did CK commit a crime? What crime?

    6. sherrlock, I’m in agreement, but I’ll even go further. Moore is such a detestable Christian fascist that I don’t really care about Bob’s analysis, cogent as it is. I don’t care if Moore is innocent. The fact that, as Chief Justice, he was removed from his position due to his radical and illegal religious beliefs (in Alabama!) is all I need to know about the man.

      As Garrison Keillor quipped, maybe Moore could bring back stoning. This religiously insane sack of shit should be moved as far away from the levers of government as is possible. By whatever means necessary, aside from outright physical assault. Slander – if that’s what the accusations really are – works just fine for me. The man is a danger and a menace. We’ve been heading towards a fascist theocracy for some time now, Moore would be a deeply disturbing indication of its ongoing success.

      Can you imagine such a creature actually legislating? With the current crop of Republican shitheels in power, nothing is unimaginable.


    7. DinC:
      I detest Bill Clinton and have since he signed off on the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, who was so brain-damaged he set aside his dessert to eat the morning after his death.

      Your Breitbart-hack deflection, however, reveals that you are, like so many cons, soul-sick and bereft of human values. Let's make a deal, DinC - I'll condemn Bill Clinton as an adulterer and a sleaze ball who repeatedly cheated on his wife (and whom I despised as a president because he was a creature of the right more than the left) if you will call out Trump as the immoral, moronic, destructive and disrespectful douchebag that he is. Yup, insert Bill into the deepest infernal pits you like; he IS an asshole. Then send your own beast of hell along with him. Deal? Or like the rest of your kind, is it just politics all the time. At long last, have you no decency, DinC?

      And who said CK committed a crime, at least a prosecutable one? For years and years, he exposed himself and masturbated in front of women over whom he had power. They felt threatened and assaulted. Sorry you're a fan, but he's a bully through and through, and no amount of regret after the fact will change that.

    8. Defenders of CK:

      Again, this is decades of mal- and misbehavior we're talking about, aided and abetted by other powerful men who, only now, express regret.

      Here's from today's NYT:

      'Louis C.K.’s former manager, Dave Becky, has apologized for not confronting Louis C.K. after two women said he masturbated in front of them in an Aspen, Colo., hotel room in 2002.

      After the incident, the women, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, began telling others what happened but said they felt threatened by Mr. Becky, who was angered that they were talking about it openly. “I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover-up sexual misconduct,” Mr. Becky wrote. “This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong.”'

    9. Indecent exposure is the name of the crime.

    10. Well put, Leroy, except for your opinion that Somerby's analysis is cogent.

      His cut-and-paste "analysis" has gotten sloppier and sloppier since the Plame-Wilson-Libby fiasco, if not before.

    11. It's indecent exposure if there's lack of consent. Those comedians granted consent.

      That's the whole weird thing about it. And it wasn't in public view, which is the legal def. of "indecent exposure."

    12. When did CK and his buddies drive any "female comics" out of the business?

      This is the kind of nuttiness the "left" is getting into I guess. And I've always been left.

    13. Sherlock "For years and years, he exposed himself and masturbated in front of women"

      What is your source for this claim? The New York Times only mentions three women he masturbated in front of. The most recent being 12 years ago. On what do you base your claim that he has done this for years to women?

    14. Sheerlie - let's make a more precise and accurate claim and try to strip it of your sanctimoniousness and righteous indignation: CK has admitted to masturbating in front of three women in his entire life, the last one being over a decade ago. That is a more precise and accurate claim. l

    15. Three women put their names on the record. We don't know how many other times this happened.

    16. That's why the claims need to be precised. All we know is that he has been accused and admitted to masturbating in front of three women over the last 25 years or so. So we should be careful about making broad claims that imply that it's more than that. Because there's no proof of that and no other accusations have been made. So we have to be careful not to jump on bandwagons and kill the pig.

    17. Apparently CK obtained consent for this -- although he admits now that that wasn't proper, and still exploitative.

      I'd also love to know ALL the details of those evenings. The accusers tend to fudge a bit on the sequence of events -- as with Weinstein, where you find out later that a couple of them turned out to have been DATING him.

  12. Sherrlock -- I find Trump repulsive. I will call him immoral, disrespectful dishonest and a douchebag. I cannot call him destructive, because I am unaware of things he destroyed. And, I think his many successes show that he's quite intelligent. Really intelligence isn't quite the word. His many successes show a level of competence at achieving his goals. Of course his techniques of lies and character assassination are disgusting.

    IMHO you're too kind to Clinton when you merely call him an adulterer and sleezeball. Getting oral sex in the Oval Office shows a unique level of disrespect. And, he has been credibly accused of rape (although he hasn't been convicted, so we cannot be sure that he's guilty.)

    1. The White House was Clinton’s home. He lived there. He undoubtedly had sex with his wife there too.

    2. Our Own Precious Beancounter has been pushing this false equivalency for quite some time whenever possible. As so with all trolls, attempting to reason with him so that he can see the error of his ways is futile.

    3. "...he has been credibly accused of rape ...."

      Not in the real world - only in that Breitbartian construct you call reality.

    4. AnonymousNovember 13, 2017 at 9:00 PM -- you know the difference between the Oval Office and the residential portion of the White House. Reagan considered the Oval Office so important that he never took his jacket off when working there.

      Anon 9:24 The Atlantic Magazine says Clinton has been credibly accused of rape.

      Yet let us not forget the sex crimes of which the younger, stronger Bill Clinton was very credibly accused in the 1990s. Juanita Broaddrick reported that when she was a volunteer on one of his gubernatorial campaigns, she had arranged to meet him in a hotel coffee shop. At the last minute, he had changed the location to her room in the hotel, where she says he very violently raped her. She said she fought against Clinton throughout a rape that left her bloodied. At a different Arkansas hotel, he caught sight of a minor state employee named Paula Jones, and, Jones says, he sent a couple of state troopers to invite her to his suite, where he exposed his penis to her and told her to kiss it. Kathleen Willey said that she met him in the Oval Office for personal and professional advice and that he groped her, rubbed his erect penis on her, and pushed her hand to his crotch.

    5. The rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment allegations against Clinton are many and credible.

    6. Point is, DnC, WHY should we rise to your bait? Classic deflection, wheeling out Clinton when the subject is clear and present danger of a monster and pervert AND a foul hypocrite to boot assuming office.

      This is about Moore, an avatar of foulness even in the age of Trump. And it's about Cons like you who, regardless of the admittedly putrid character of your dear leader and his minions, end up in lock step with his swamp creatures. The bad behavior decades ago of a sleaze like Clinton doesn't give you cover. And your bringing it up over and over again, along with your Breitbartian/Fox and Friends cohort only reveals the utter bankruptcy of your positions.

    7. You guys are hilarious.

      The point is the standard being applied. If we are supposed to "Believe the Women!" at first blush, we have to believe the women.

      ALL of them. No picking and choosing. There's no way anyone can get around this without being a sanctimonious hypocrite. If the immediate response is "Guilt!" then guilt it is.

      As for me, I don't believe anyone!

    8. Yes, let us apply one standard to all sexual assault. Let us have the FBI and a special prosecutor investigate all of the sexual assault charges made by women against Donald Trump. Cause that was what happened with Clinton's accusers and Starr found none of them had any credibility.

      Inquiring minds don’t want to know: No one likes probing Mrs. Broaddrick’s allegations, but a press corps is obliged to do so. It is not the job of the political press to lead cheers for the people they like. When individuals make serious criminal charges, those serious charges must be examined. No one is forced to be a journalist. If pundits don’t want to be actual journalists, then by all means they’re free just to quit.

      Mrs. Broaddrick’s failure to speak to the FBI raises a point we have mentioned before. One can’t help noting: Mrs. Broaddrick refused to make her allegation in any forum where she could be cross-examined. This does not mean that her story is false; again, we take it as obvious that it may well be true. But as we have said before: we shouldn’t create a press culture in which complainants feel free to take criminal charges to Lisa Myers. As part of their ongoing discussion, journalists should identify the obvious problem with Mrs. Broaddrick’s choice of forum. Good luck with this front-running bunch.

    9. Forgot to put the link.

      The fact is Broadrick signed a sworn affidavit saying it didn't happen. When you have an accuser swearing under oath it didn't happened, it tends to impeach your credibility.

      Kathleen Willey had some problems of her own.

      Unfortunately, it soon became clear that there was good reason not to believe Willey’s story. Indeed, Independent Counsel Robert Ray would eventually give up on Willey. In his formal report on the Clinton investigations, Ray said that Willey had lied to the FBI; he even suggested that he had considered prosecuting her for her conduct. But when these embarrassing facts became known, your “press corps” did the thing it does best. It kept the evidence from public view, conducting its latest scam on the public. Few recent events do a better job of showing the depth of this press corps’ dysfunction. The Willey affair shows how reflexively dishonest your contemporary “press” really is.

      The problems began on October 2, 1998, when Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr conducted his high-profile “document dump.” (This was a major news event.) Included was the grand jury testimony of Linda Tripp, who worked with Willey in the Clinton White House. In the course of her lengthy interviews before the grand jury, Tripp was repeatedly questioned about Willey’s relationship with President Clinton. And, as her transcripts made abundantly clear, Tripp substantially contradicted the story Willey told on 60 Minutes.

      According to Tripp’s detailed, sworn testimony, Willey pursued a romance with Clinton right from the start of her White House employment. Willey had speculated with Tripp as to how she might be able to set up an assignation between herself and the president. She routinely attended events at which Clinton would be present, wearing a black dress she believed he liked. According to Tripp’s testimony, she wondered if she and Clinton could arrange to meet in a home to which she had access along the Chesapeake Bay.

      Tripp also challenged Willey’s account of that Oval Office meeting. According to Tripp, Willey had arranged the meeting in part to see if her flirtation with Clinton might advance. And when Clinton and Willey did meet in the Oval, Willey rushed back to Tripp’s office to describe it. According to Tripp, Willey “smiled from ear to ear the entire time” as she described the event. “She seemed almost shocked, but happy shocked,” Tripp told the grand jury. Willey told Tripp that she and Clinton had smooched—but there was no talk of a sexual assault. In short, Tripp’s testimony threw into question the story Willey told in March—the story foolish pundits had sworn by. Clinton, of course, has denied that anything inappropriate happened during that meeting.

      The fact of the matter is the allegations were investigated. So don't fucking say there are two standards. Clinton's accusers were taken seriously and us taxpayers spent a lot of taxpayer dollars digging into them.

      Are you willing to say we should do the same for tRump? Who had a credible accuser claim he raped her when she was 13 years old?

      A copy of the California lawsuit (filed on 26 April 2016) shared via the Scribd web site outlined the allegations, which included the accusation that Trump and Epstein had (over 20 years earlier) “sexually and physically” abused the then 13-year-old plaintiff and forced her “to engage in various perverted and depraved sex acts” — including being “forced to manually stimulate Defendant Trump with the use of her hand upon Defendant Trump’s erect penis until he reached sexual orgasm,” and being “forced to engage in an unnatural lesbian sex act with her fellow minor and sex slave, Maria Doe, age 12, for the sexual enjoyment of Defendant Trump” — after luring her to a “series of underage sex parties” by promising her “money and a modeling career”:

      I want a special prosecutor looking into that. We don't want double standards, do we?

    10. You know btw that that's not "rape" under the law, if true? Not even under the newest and most liberal constructions of the definition.

      Rape is insertion. So let's be accurate here-- even about Republicans!

    11. Yes, I understand. I also understand one other thing, the media obstinately refused to report that accusation, even though it was a lawsuit on the docket in the NY State courts. I actually asked a CNN anchor why they weren't reporting it and he claimed because it wasn't proven.

      Compare that to the wall to wall coverage given to the Moore accusers.

  13. You can kvetch over the meaning of pedophilia but sex with barely post pubescent youngsters is worse than pedophilia. They are mentally incapable of consent as are younger children, and they can become pregnant or impregnate. Then they will be forced to decide to endure a pregnancy or kill their child. Stop excusing this disgustingly abusive behavior on the basis of desire. Calling criticism of it prudish isn't going to make you right, only more deplorable.

    1. Is that an argument?

      Whatever. It's not pedophilia. And if you have a problem with low ages of consent, complain to European countries, and move to Bahrain. I hear theirs is like 25.