As an academic who works in the world of words, it’s been by turns horrifying and fascinating watching Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his defenders try to rationalize his–alleged–history of sexual harassment, assault, inappropriate, and illegal (at the time–the statute of limitations now having expired) behavior with teenage girls.
Given that Moore and most of his supporters in the local Alabama political scene are attorneys, you might expect their statements to be peppered liberally with terms like “evidence” and “proof”–the kinds of words that lawyers use when arguing a case, and that carry very specific meanings in a court of law.
But instead, the phrase we see most often in these missives is neither…it’s “true.”
“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”
“These allegations are disqualifying if true. Anyone who would do this to a child has no place in public office, let alone the United States Senate,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.Vice President Mike Pence “found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office,” his spokesperson said.
“The president (Trump) believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she has voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016. She says she thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them. She also was concerned that her background — three divorces and a messy financial history — might undermine her credibility.
And maybe it’s time for the lyrics of that famous song to get a much needed update:
of the coming of the Lord,
She is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored,
She hath loosed the fateful lightning
of Her terrible swift sword,
HER truth is marching on!