Opinion: Roy Moore and the ‘binary choice’

Harvey Weinstein should’ve run for president, or at least Congress.

Let me explain.

Weinstein is by most accounts a despicable man, a Hollywood mogul who stands accused by a slew of women of using his position of power to get away with sexually harassing or assaulting them over the years. He has no business running doughnuts from the pastry shop to the green room, much less running a major business; that much has become clear as his colleagues and the public have turned against him. After years of getting away with it, he has met with immediate consequences since the New York Times first published the stories of some of his accusers, followed by other media outlets’ reporting of similar claims. Others in the entertainment industry, most notably the actor Kevin Spacey, have fallen with similar swiftness.

It is a swiftness we are not accustomed to seeing when it comes to those who want to run the government.

Bill Clinton was elected president not once but twice despite accusations not just of mere extramarital affairs but, in the case of Juanita Broaddrick, of rape. The left demonized Broaddrick and Clinton’s other accusers, most memorably in James Carville’s (in)famous phrasing: “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” Leading feminists were apparently too worried about losing on some other issues dear to them, and to most Democrats, to take a stand against an accused sexual predator and for his victims. On the contrary, they joined in the smear campaign against those women. Now, 25 years after he captured the presidency and a year after his behavior was raised as an issue in his wife’s near-miss of the White House, we get columns like this one in the Times today: “I Believe Juanita.” Even this concession and its long delay in coming about is couched in partisan terms, to the point the piece should have had a sub-hed: “But It’s Republicans’ Fault I Didn’t Before Now.”

Yet today, we see too many members of the party that criticized and even sought to impeach Clinton for his actions performing an about-face in defense of its own accused candidate. Roy Moore, the longtime religious conservative and twice-defrocked chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is on the verge of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate. Or he was, until last week’s publication of a Washington Post story in which four women now in their 50s say that some four decades ago — when they were teenagers as young as 14, and Moore was in his 30s — Moore sought and in some cases had romantic relationships with them. There is no indication he physically forced himself upon them, as Broaddrick said Clinton did. But then, there are laws prohibiting sexual relationships between adults and children precisely because age, and such a large age difference, in itself represents a measure of authority and thus a kind of coercion. There was no moral confusion about this sort of thing on the right — indeed, the right has persisted in, shall we say, promoting guidelines about appropriate relationships — until now. Because, you see, Moore is a Republican; if voters abandon him for violating their moral standards, they might elect someone who in Congress would help weaken their moral standards. Or something.

It is a measure of progress, I guess, that far more Republican leaders today have spoken out against Moore than did Democrats in the 1990s. But the ultimate measure is the ballot box, and opinion polls indicate many, perhaps most, Republican voters in Alabama are prepared to back Moore despite the allegations because the alternative is to vote for a Democrat.

Not that Moore is the first Republican to put the party’s voters in such a bind. Just last year, Donald Trump was nearing the end of his campaign against Hillary Clinton when he was accused of speaking about women in a degrading way (“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the” — well, you remember) and, soon afterward, of acting on what he had dismissed as “locker room talk.” Like Clinton before him and Moore after him, Trump denied the accusations and his supporters sought to vilify his accusers.

It was around that time, in relation to those accusations but also the rest of what Trump did contrary to, until then, standards for Republicans and conservatives, that we were given a devious phrase to explain why it had to be this way: “binary choice.”

You have to stand with a lout who makes you uncomfortable sometimes because, you know, it’s a “binary choice.” It doesn’t matter if the lout is a sexual predator who will protect abortion rights, or a local prosecutor who trolls the mall for high-school girls but insists the Ten Commandments belong in courtrooms. If he’s on your team, there’s nothing you can do because it’s a “binary choice.”

Here, I expect someone to tell me there are so many more examples of this on the other team. Or to tell me why their team’s political goals and agenda are so desperately necessary as to justify electing creeps and criminals to carry it out. And which team will that person belong to? Either one. In due time, we’ll hear it from both.

Then, soon enough, we’ll revert to our old debates about moral relativism and degradation on the one hand, and the sexual-assault epidemic and male privilege and mansplaining on the other. And why the other team is standing in the way of setting everything right in the world.

And maybe then Harvey Weinstein will realize why he should’ve run for president. Because he can’t offer his friends, or former friends, a “binary choice” as just another rich businessman.

Reader Comments 0

325 comments
McGarnagle
McGarnagle

So a women after years of keeping quite comes out with the story about Franken forcibly kissing her.


And yet multiple women come out with stories about Roy Moore and they are all liars and conspiring with main stream media.


Franken apologized. Which I think is what the accusers really want. A damn apology. Mr. Moore your turn sir.

Hannah.Lily
Hannah.Lily

ḕḀṙṆḭṆḠ ṁṏṆḕẏ ṏṆḶḭṆḕ ẇḀṠ ṆḕṼḕṙ ḃḕḕṆ ḕḀṠẏ ḀṠ ḭṮ ḧḀṠ ḃḕḉṏṁḕ ḟṏṙ ṁḕ Ṇṏẇ. ḭ ḟṙḕḕḶḀṆḉḕ ṏṼḕṙ Ṯḧḕ ḭṆṮḕṙṆḕṮ ḀṆḊ ḕḀṙṆ ḀḃṏṳṮ 75 ḃṳḉḲṠ ḀṆ ḧṏṳṙ. ḠḕṮ ṁṏṙḕ Ṯḭṁḕ ẇḭṮḧ ẏṏṳṙ ḟḀṁḭḶẏ ḃẏ ḊṏḭṆḠ jṏḃṠ ṮḧḀṮ ṏṆḶẏ ṙḕqṳḭṙḕ ḟṏṙ ẏṏṳ Ṯṏ ḧḀṼḕ Ḁ ḉṏṁṖṳṮḕṙ ḀṆḊ ḀṆ ḭṆṮḕṙṆḕṮ ḀḉḉḕṠṠ ḀṆḊ ẏṏṳ ḉḀṆ ḧḀṼḕ ṮḧḀṮ ḀṮ ẏṏṳṙ ḧṏṁḕ. Ḁ ḶḭṮṮḶḕ ḕḟḟṏṙṮ ḀṆḊ ḧḀṆḊṠṏṁḕ ḕḀṙṆḭṆḠ ḊṙḕḀṁ ḭṠ jṳṠṮ Ḁ ḉḶḭḉḲ ḀẇḀẏ……….

        ░A░M░A░Z░I░N░G░ ░J░O░B░S░

°°°°°°http://ow.ly/pqaC30fgvnI 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Well Speaker Ryan got his job now it's up to McConnell. Of course with the RINO's in the senate it will be a heavy lift. Don't know if Manchin and a couple of other vulnerable Democrats are prepared to commit political suicide or not.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@SGTGrit


Senator Johnson from Wisconsin doesn't like the bill. Wants to fix it. Which then might cause others not to like it. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@McGarnagle @SGTGrit 

Most would agree that there should be better parity for small business and corporations. The problem is revenue. I think they'll work something out with Johnson. Collins will be a no, so that leaves Flake, Corker and McCain. They can only lose one of them.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@SGTGrit @McGarnagle


Lol. They can only lose one. I think they lost all 3. But think McCain and Corker will play along. I see Flake maybe being a nuisance.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@McGarnagle @SGTGrit 

They still have to assuage the senators in the high tax states and I think that they will. I've already mentioned Johnson with his understandable concern. Collins can be written off as a no vote she's a RINO and a hypocritical one at that. It will get down to Flake, Corker and McCain thinking long and hard about ruining the Republican party out of their hatred for Trump. I give it a 50/50.

Caius
Caius

Republicans have a real problem with handling Moore and accusations of his sexual assault of young girls.  Namely the guy in the White House who has been accused by over 20 women.

Democrats have a problem with a former guy in the White House accused by several women.

"Let he who is without sin........................".

So what do you do when Alabama, aka Gomorrah, sends Moore to the Senate? Not seat him?  Seat him and then Expel him? Seat him and pretend he is not a pedophile?

Does the Senate eliminate the high school students acting as pages as long as Moore is there? Is the Senate knowingly going to place teens in harms way?



McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@Caius


This potential train wreck will be fun to watch. But its something the GOP has brought on itself by entertaining the idea of electing loons like Moore. 


But Sarge made it perfectly clear. Moore is not a pedophile. He is a sexual predator.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@McGarnagle @Caius 

Depends if you want to make up your own definition of pedophile or accept how it's defined in the dictionary. You could also call Moore a reformed sexual predator since the alleged incidents of 40 years ago seem to be all there is.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

I would call upon the Washington Post to immediately dispatch their tabloid I mean investigative reporting team to Franken's hometown to see what they might find lurking in his past.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@SGTGrit


You can rest assure. Brietbart has their own investigative team on the case. You make it seem like WaPo is the only outlet with investigative reporters.

Caius
Caius

@SGTGrit They did that several years ago when he first said he would run for office.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

There is more to Franken's transgression than the photo circulating.

The girl stated in an interview the photo of Franken almost touching her breasts while she slept was taken on the way back home from the trip.  That before, her and Franken was to be in a skit and Franken wanted to practice it beforehand.

Franken pushed his tongue into her mouth.  She rebuked him at the time.

McConnell has called for an ethics investigation.

It will be pure pleasure watching the arrogant piece of work squirm. 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb


Right. And this one is not political. Lol.


I think Franken should apologize to the young lady. And let the voters decide if they should kick him out. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@McGarnagle @JohnnyReb

Sexual aggression is sexual aggression regardless of the girl's age.

Dims are after Moore, which they should be, but they can't give others a pass and retain credibility.

Maybe I'm just fooling myself they care about credibility.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb @McGarnagle


If she wants to press charges against Franken then fine. Appears to me he went out of line by forcefully kissing her. I think she would want an apology and have him reprimanded. But Repubs would want to lock him up and throw away the key.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@McGarnagle @JohnnyReb 

He should at least be forced to resign as a United States senator. He's been proven to be unfit for service on the legislative branch of our government.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@McGarnagle @JohnnyReb

Franken being a comedian in the past can get a mild pass on the photo but not the aggression.

However, he obviously has not learned what was OK in a comedy club is not OK in real life.

I do admit political hatred toward him especially over Sessions.

So I'm OK with payback being a MF as he deserves it.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb @McGarnagle


Like I said. Political motivation. And you are one asking about credibility. Smh. I hope Franken man up, admit what he did was wrong, apologize, and be punish to a certain degree. That seems fair. You guys want payback.

Caius
Caius

@SGTGrit @McGarnagle @JohnnyReb Get the guy way more guilty out of the White House first. 

Franken and other Democratic senators have asked for a formal Ethics Committee investigation of Franken.  It will happen.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb 

Fox reported....

Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnndddddddddd I quit reading and doubled over with laughter.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Kamchak @JohnnyReb 

Gelastic seizures can be symptomatic of serious physical and mental health conditions. You should consult with a doctor.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Fox reported there is a millions of dollars slush fund in Congress used to settle harassment accusations against congressmen.

Some congressmen are claiming no knowledge of the slush fund.

The main point being the names of the accused are not made public.

It will be interesting to see who has been accused and of what by whom? 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb 

Do you think the WaPo will get their investigative reporting staff on this one?

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb @SGTGrit


Put on your tin foil hat. No wonder the Repub voter base is so easily conned. They believe any conspiracy theory you throw out there. The WaPo sat on this story for years until Moore ran for office. Lol.


Could it be that more media attention someone gets the more they vulnerable to personal scrutiny?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@McGarnagle @JohnnyReb @SGTGrit

Where did you get the set on it for years?

One would have to know the exact timeline but the perception is WaPo did not release until the time Moore could not be replaced on the ballot thereby helping ensure the Dim would win.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb @McGarnagle @SGTGrit


Too funny. There are folks out there that really believe WaPo probably knew years before and waited for the right time to publish story.


Like I said, easily conned. Just like the whole millions of illegal voters. I really see now how Trump took control of the party. He taps into your fantasys and crazy ideas. 

Caius
Caius

@SGTGrit @JohnnyReb WaPo has a team on it.  Read the paper! You guys don't read nothing.


The story was made public by a Democratic congresswoman from California in open testimony before a House committee.  She then appeared on very network I watched yesterday (for whatever reason I did not get to Fox except for part of  Bret Baier).

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Well Franken the senate clown just got busted with a picture to boot.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@SGTGrit

Yea, and the Progs will circle the wagons with enough manure to fertilize the back 40.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@bu22   

And Monica was 19.

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Monica Lewinsky was born on July 23, 1973 and her affair with Clinton was between the years 1995-1997.

First day of that brand new remedial arithmetic class?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Kamchak @bu22

Bill used his age, position and power on Monica just like did Moore on his victims.

One is morally corrupt to give Bill a pass but not Moore.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb

Not the point I was addressing, sport.

Monica wasn't 19 years old at the time. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Kamchak @JohnnyReb

She was 22 or so but that does not matter.

Bill took advantage of her star struck idiocy using his position and power.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb @Kamchak 

Well lets at least give Bill some credit he wouldn't show a teenager his cigar sex fetish.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb

You really are thick.

I made no assertion that it "matter(ed)" only that she wasn't 19 years old at the time.   

bu22
bu22

@Kamchak @JohnnyReb  Ok, so she only looked 19.  She was young and impressionable and Bill used his position to have an affair.

bu22
bu22

@Kamchak @bu22  No, I was mistaken.  I admit it.  I know that is a foreign concept to you, as it seems, is the ability to understand the concept of a person in power abusing that power (at least if they are a Democrat).

Kamchak
Kamchak

@bu22

  And Monica was 19.

Your words, sport.

I know that verifying a "fact" before posting it is a foreign concept to you, maybe because you are programmed by right wing media?

Perhaps you shouldn't post unless you are 100% positive about your assertion.