I’ve been asking this exact question since Republicans decided suddenly that sexual assault accusations by 5 women mean Roy Moore should step aside, as they push the tax cuts of President Trump, who was not only accused by 16 women of sexual assault, but admitted it on a hot mic.
Why do Republicans only believe the women accusing Roy Moore, but not the women who accused Donald Trump?
Jennifer Bendery and Igor Bobic of the Huffington Post spent Tuesday asking exactly this question. The answer seems to be “Only Roy Moore right now” and “But Bill Clinton.”
Or, as the reporters wrote, “Few could offer a convincing argument, instead opting to shrug their shoulders, pivot or abruptly walk away.”
A few examples:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told HuffPo, “Look, we’re talking about the situation in Alabama. I’d be happy to address that if there are any further questions.”
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) said the women accusing Moore of misconduct “appear to have the preponderance of the evidence” but “Asked if he believes Trump’s accusers, Roberts replied, ‘I don’t know them.’ He started to leave but turned back and said, referring to Moore’s accusers, ‘I don’t know the others, either.’
Perhaps realizing his answers made no sense, Roberts turned back again and said with a smile, ‘Or [Bill] Clinton.'”
When Republicans are going for “But Bill Clinton,” you know they’re desperate.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said Moore’s accusers “certainly seem credible” but then couldn’t respond to why Trump’s 16 accusers do not. “You’re obviously asking what everybody’s asking. You know, what about all these other folks.”
Insert “Lengthy pause” here. And then, the Bill Clinton pivot.
“You know, I don’t know. Without going into [Bill] Clinton, or Trump, or anyone else, I’ll just stay with where I am with Roy Moore.”
Well, see, the thing is, Donald Trump is president right now so obviously that matters more than Bill Clinton. But just in case Republicans are concerned, they might remind themselves of the vast amounts of money they spent impeaching Bill Clinton over this very issue. So it’s not as if it was ignored at the time. But it is also not relevant today.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) thought the “sheer volume and the level of detail” against Roy Moore helped him conclude Moore should withdraw from the race.
But of course if sheer volume and level of detail were at issue, Burr would then not be able to support Donald Trump.
Burr told HuffPo he was “only addressing Roy Moore.”
Republicans are lining up to slay Roy Moore over sexual harassment and assault accusations after they falsely dismissed Donald Trump’s admission on tape as just “locker room talk.”
The truth is that they not only don’t like Roy Moore and never wanted him, but most importantly they see Roy Moore costing them this seat, which is to say, putting much of their agenda at risk.
Republicans are getting the added bonus, they seem to believe, of finally appearing to side with women. But the problem with that is they only side with the women when it serves their political agenda. Which is to say, not very often.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.