The Washington Post on Thursday published a story in which several women allege that 30-some years ago, GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, 70, propositioned them when they were teenagers — one woman claims Moore sexually assaulted her when she was just 14.
Moore, as it happens, is locked in a tight campaign for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which will be decided in a special election on December 12. Thus, it's hard to know if the sudden allegations from a liberal paper have merit or have simply been tossed into the campaign to create chaos.
But what we'll do here in America over the coming weeks and months is get to the bottom of the salacious charges. Prosecutors will gather information and prepare a case — or abandon the effort if there's no there there. Moore will hire lawyers and prepare a defense. There will legal maneuvers and motions to dismiss and maybe a secret grand jury. If indicted, Moore will have a trial before a jury of his peers and a judge will be on hand to make sure all laws are followed.
Or, we could just do it Sen. John McCain's way:
Yes, a sitting senator actually said that a candidate should quit his campaign because he's been ACCUSED of something. And he threw in, just for fun, that people in Alabama are no longer proud of that candidate because of the yet-unproven allegations.
Now here's the thing about allegations: Sometimes they're true, sometimes they're not. That's why we have the rule of law. Whenever somebody claims another somebody did something, we turn to the law and go by the book. It's simple — and it applies to everyone, a billionaire or a bum, equally.
It's all in a little thing called the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights — especially the Sixth Amendment, which states: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."
But no, McCain thinks the allegations are enough. But he should know better — boy, and how.
In the middle of his 2008 campaign for president, both The New York Times and The Washington Post published articles with allegations that the GOP candidate had an improper relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
"I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," the senator said at the time.
Iseman sued for $27 million. In February 2009 — well after McCain had lost the election — the lawsuit was settled. The Times said in a statement: "To resolve the lawsuit, Ms. Iseman has accepted the Times' explanation, which will appear in a Note to Readers to be published in the newspaper on Feb. 20, that the article did not state, and the Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Senator McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust."
Here's what Moore says: "These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the The Washington Post on this campaign."
Now, why wouldn't McCain want Moore to be afforded the same rights under the law as he enjoyed? Certainly the Arizona Republican didn't want people to simply accept the reports in the Times and the Post about him — so why does he demand that Moore step aside?
Only The Maverick knows for sure. But for McCain, only he should be afforded rights under the law. Anyone else — admit the allegations and go home.