Roy Moore was always a terrible choice to fill Jeff Sessions’s slot, and that has only become more apparent over the past few days. It is true that we do not know if the sexual misconduct allegations leveled at Moore are true—only Roy Moore and his accusers know that—but then again the accusations seem as credible as any you’re apt to find, corroborated as they are by compelling evidence and independent testimony. The Post‘s report is genuine crackerjack journalism—right down to the backstory of the report’s origin, which, if true, is movie-level stuff—and anyone who sincerely doubts Moore’s accusers must ask themselves what, exactly, it would take for them to at least consider that it could be true: a grainy 35mm film strip of Moore grinding up on a 14-year-old? Creepy old dog-eared mash notes? Come on.
Moore will face the voters, and hopefully—felonious teenage groping or not—he’ll go out with a whimper and retire to the ignominy that he really deserves. But in light of his potential misconduct, and the ongoing perv-a-thon exposé that has gripped the political and celebrity world over the past few months or so, it is worth bringing up the perennial subject of Bill Clinton, who actually stands accused of far worse behavior than even Moore does.
Clinton’s own star status on the Left—and that of his wife, who years served the dutiful role of Chief Bill Apologist—is an embarrassing marker for progressives who claim that Moore’s alleged misconduct disqualifies him from even running for office. Bill Clinton, remember, has been credibly accused of rape—his accuser, Juanita Broaddrick, is at least as trustworthy as the accusers of Roy Moore, and she has the added advantage of being on-record with and consistent about her story for a few decades now. If you sincerely believe Roy Moore is guilty of trying to bang a young teenager, then why should you doubt that Bill Clinton is guilty of sexual assault?
In the face of this perfectly legitimate criticism, liberals have formulated what, to them, must seem like a clever response: “Bill Clinton isn’t running for office. Roy Moore is.” Which is true—and also, from the perspective of anybody who remembers the last twenty years of American politics, irrelevant. Yes, Bill Clinton isn’t running for office. But he has been valorized on the Left for decades now—years and years after Broaddrick’s accusations went public. And liberals voted for his wife—several times, including en masse for President of the United States—even as she herself stands accused of covering up an act of sexual assault.
To his credit, MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted last week: “As gross and cynical and hypocrtical as the right’s ‘what about Bill Clinton’ stuff is, it’s also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him.” Let us so stipulate that there are indeed cynical hacks on the Right who are simply trying to leverage Bill Clinton’s sordid past as part of a tribalistic warfare volley. For the rest of us, the question is genuine and sincere: why should we care about allegations that Roy Moore attempted to have sex with a 14-year-old when we’ve been shown, repeatedly and unequivocally, that we shouldn’t care about allegations that Bill Clinton raped a woman?
I don’t know if the Left has an answer for this, beyond mumbling something about vast right-wing conspiracies. A very liberal gal I knew years ago once said to me, “Bill Clinton couldn’t keep it in his pants, but he sure was a good president!” Juanita Broaddrick would surely agree with the first part. Bill Clinton is out of reach of the voters, of course, and so his alleged dalliance has no bearing on whether or not he will be elected to office. But, as we move through this welcome and overdue new era of exposing and denouncing sexual predators, is it too much to ask that we apply the same standards of evidence to the Left’s all-time favorite politician that we apply to some scrub judge from Alabama?