By Adam Pagnucco.
In a Facebook post in the wake of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s defeat, a Maryland GOP Delegate is questioning those who have criticized Moore’s history with teenage girls and the actions of other sexual harassers. That history was key to Moore’s loss.
Republican Delegate Jason Buckel (R-1B), who represents Allegany County, wrote on Facebook:
I’ve not said a word about the Alabama Senate election or the swirling world of accusations, admissions, rumors and varying degrees of bad behavior by men– from the clearly criminal to the truly appalling to the unambiguous acts of poor taste to the fairly innocuous and easily overblown. I think that trying to litigate in the court of public opinion what did or did not happen 20, 30, 40 or more years ago in momentary, fleeting encounters or relationships and then view those allegations through the light of modern prism, as opposed to the conventions and norms of the time in which they occurred, is fraught with danger, although clearly rape, physical sexual assault, and pervasive, consistent, degrading sexual harassment have never been and never could be acceptable under any circumstances at any time by anyone.
Buckel went on to praise the policies of the Trump administration while bashing Steve Bannon, Moore and other GOP candidates.
In a comment later on his post, Buckel said, “But who knows – While girls Roy Moore stopped by a mall to say hi to 40 years ago are national figures, 99.9% of Americans have no idea who Doug Jones is and chances are his senatorial career will be exceedingly brief.”
Let’s review the allegations against Moore. His first accuser, Leigh Corfman, described how he sexually assaulted her when he was 32 and she was 14. Another woman, Beverly Young Nelson, said Moore locked her in a car and tried to force her into oral sex when she was 16. Six of the eight women who came forward were under the age of 18 at the time that Moore pursued them. These incidents were not in keeping with the “conventions and norms of the time” as the girls and their families were disturbed by Moore’s actions and he was banned from stalking girls at the Gadsden Mall.
Right now, there is a national debate going on about differing degrees of sexual misconduct and what levels of punishment are appropriate. That debate will be playing out for a while before it is settled – IF it’s settled. But the allegations about Moore’s behavior with teenage girls are far outside the boundaries of any gray areas, past or present. He was not “saying hi” as Buckel stated above. Elected officials who appear to make excuses for the likes of Moore should beware the voters next November.