The last thing the world needs is another opinion on the Roy Moore scandal, so I will spare you my revelatory and game-changing lowdown on the whole thing.
I will, however, say this: If you think this is bad, just wait until 2018.
By this time next year, the Moore story will seem like one of those weightless, superfluous amuse-bouche concoctions the server gives you courtesy of the kitchen, which always turns out to be more of a vanity project of the chef than anything intended to satiate you. Yet it arouses your appetite, and after you’ve gorged yourself on multiple courses, shifting uncomfortably in your chair from overindulgence, cursing your excess yet gratified by the experience, the amuse bouche is long forgotten. But it was the first bite of the feast.
If Doug Jones wins the Alabama senate seat next month, Democrats will need two more pick-ups next year to take control of the U.S. Senate. (According to the recent Cook Political Report, just two Republican seats are now listed as toss-ups: Arizona, a state Trump won, and Nevada, a state Trump narrowly lost. The rest are in safe R states.) Although the outlook for Democrats to regain control of the House of Representatives is bleaker—“if Democrats were to hold all of the seats we rate as leaning towards them, all 12 of the Toss Ups, and half of the seats in Lean Republican, they would still fall two seats shy of a majority,” according to an October 6 analysis in Cook—Dems are now emboldened by big wins in Virginia earlier this month and the dumpster fire that is now the GOP panicking over Roy Moore’s stubborn candidacy.
While most normal people view the Roy Moore scandal as another example of America’s rotting political sewer, Democrats are downright giddy about what they think is an early Christmas present. Party operatives—and their minions who work in the media—are undoubtedly plotting how to replicate this debacle, resuscitate long-dormant rumors about sexual misconduct, lure victims out of the shadows and into Gloria Allred’s loving talons, er, arms. No yearbook or shopping mall will be spared. It is but a small, if tawdry, taste of what’s to come.
There are already ominous clues about what 2018 will offer our hide-the-children electorate. Liberals are now in self-flagellation mode over how they handled serial-abuser Bill Clinton for the past 25 years. A generation raised on Clinton-worship is learning a history they probably never knew, and victims who have been vilified and ignored are finally getting some measure of justice in the court of public opinion. But don’t kid yourself; this collective mea culpa is nothing more than a way for Democrats and the media to erase their past culpability to regain future credibility. How can they attack Republican offenders next year if they defended Clinton for so long? They learned a lesson when voters seemed largely anesthetized to allegations against Donald Trump, and the media will not let that happen again. So, now that they have offered up their phony apologies—and have an arsenal of tweets and articles to prove their repentance—the left has immunized itself against criticism. It’s about as cynical a move as you can get.
At the same time, Congress is about to blow the lid off its own simmering cauldron of sexual deviancy. On Tuesday, the House Administration committee held a hearing, “Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Congressional Workplace,” to address new measures to prevent and litigate occurrences of sexual abuse on Capitol Hill. The female representatives were passionate, and visibly angry about a climate that has been tolerated in Washington for a very long time. Barbara Comstock, a Republican congresswoman from a Virginia district that Hillary Clinton won by ten points, said this: “Whether it’s Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey, or one of our own, it’s time to say ‘no more’.”
She relayed a story about “a member who is here now, and I don’t know who it is, but somebody who I trust, who told me this situation. This member asked a staffer to bring them over some materials to their residence, and the young staffer, it was a young woman, went there and was greeted with a member in a towel. It was a male, who then invited her in. At that point, he decided to expose himself. She left, and then quit her job.” Comstock said it was time to “name names” and to “hear more from the people who have been in the shadows.” Yikes.
The effort is led by Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California who incidentally has a harrowing personal story about being shot five times trying to flee Guyana after the 1978 Jonestown massacre. She seems loaded for bear and ready to bare whatever needs exposing on the Hill: “There are two members of Congress—Republican and Democrat—right now, who serve, who have been subject to review, or not subjected to review, who have engaged in sexual harassment. These propositions such as, ‘are you going to be a good girl?’ to perpetrators exposing their genitals to victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor.” (Sadly, this is why the politicization of sexual misconduct is so dangerous: it cheapens these legitimate allegations about sexual abuse and intimidation in the workplace while political gravediggers look for bodies to bury.) Speier later told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd—who said that finding out there is sexual misconduct in Congress is like finding out “that there was gambling going on in Casablanca”—that the House has paid out $15 million in taxpayer funds to settle sexual harassment claims over the past 10 to 15 years.
But 2018 won’t be about justice or accountability. It will be about political power, and the Democrats understand that. As we have seen from experience, Democrats will smear any victim, protect any miscreant, justify any misdeeds, blame any outside party, and break any rules to win. Then, years later, when it doesn’t matter, when an untold number of perpetrators and victims lie in their wake, they can sit up and say, “oops, my bad.”
Republicans have never understood this game—or that it is a game—and they have no shot either at playing by the same rules or at defending their own against incoming attacks. In some instances, Republicans—including “conservatives” who oddly wear political losses as a badge of honor—have sided with the enemy in a virtue-signaling effort to brandish their principles. But when Democrats win—in part thanks to you, dear conservatives—don’t bitch to me about abortion, higher taxes, single-payer health care, and transgender teenagers.
So, if you liked this week, don’t fret. There is a lot Moore ahead in 2018.