MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Roy Moore Read Me Love Poetry

A detail in the allegations against the Alabama Senate candidate rings true. He read me the poems he used to woo his much-younger wife.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/NewscomBill Clark/CQ Roll Call/NewscomRepublican Senate candidate and former judge Roy Moore of Alabama has been accused of inappropriate sexual conduct, much of it with women much younger than he was at the time. The allegations are numerous and serious. While I have no special insight into their legitimacy, one detail in this Breitbart account certainly rings true:

Another woman says when she was 17 and Moore was 34, they openly dated each other in the spring of 1981. This woman also is not cited making any claims of inappropriate sexual conduct. In fact, she characterized Moore as being romantic, reading poetry to her, and playing the guitar. The woman is cited saying that physical contact only involved kissing and did not progress any further.

The man certainly has a fondness for poetry, as a learned when I was a cub reporter at The Weekly Standard magazine in 2004. I was assigned to find out whether the rumors that Roy Moore might run for president on the Constitution Party ticket were true. After some finagling, I managed to get ahold of the man himself. He wrapped up our rather wide-ranging conversation about politics and morals with this gem:

Perhaps, though, if the Bush campaign wanted to hedge against the possibility of even a remote third-party threat, the president might consider tapping Judge Moore as poet laureate. Because it turns out that Moore--the conservative hard-liner given to quoting George Washington, Blackstone, and far more obscure constitutional commentary at length, from memory--has been writing poetry for years.

At the end of our chat, Moore honored me with a short recitation of one of his original works. He has turned his poetic gifts to such themes as the Declaration of Independence and "the spiritual battle raging" in "our great nation." But, as he humbly points out, "we all start off with love poems."

With only the slightest prompting, he launches into a poem that he wrote for his wife, Kayla, shortly after he was appointed to the bench. "The Verdict" consists of rhyming couplets tying together judicial imagery and romance. "Condemned to a life of marital bliss / Our fate was sealed by a very first kiss . . ."

But perhaps the rest of the poem, like Moore's campaign for the Oval Office in 2004, is best left to the imagination.

Those who are coming to Moore's defense are doing so in terms the candidate probably appreciates: He's most famous for his refusal to remove the 10 Commandments from his courtroom.

"There is nothing to see here," Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. The events "happened almost 40 years ago." And anyway "Roy Moore fell in love with one of the younger women." Moore is 14 years older than Kayla, his wife of 35 years. "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus," said Ziegler. "There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual."

Photo Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Rich||

    Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter.

    "Oh, My God!"

  • Libertarian||

    Little known fact: it's where the term "nailed her" comes from.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    *stands to applaud*

  • jogibew||

    I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

    This is what I do... www.netcash10.com

  • Hank Phillips||

    Less known fact: the book "Nailed" reveals there was no Jesus zombie. The legend was concocted a century and a half later inventing a god-boy who never wrote a thing and was never written about in his day--not even in Pontius Pilate court records. Talk about hearsay...

  • JFree||

    There are no Pontius Pilate court records you twit.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    "Nobody fucks with Jesus"
    Well, some Romans fucked with him pretty hard. This I know, for the Bible tells me so

  • Hank Phillips||

    That's "with the Jesus!" This in The Big Lebowski--a much more credible source.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter.
    "Oh, My God!"…"

    Ye infidel! It was GOD that did it, not Joseph! Kids today, they never got properly "cherched"…
    Lemm tell ya how it goes… Late-breaking news, actually, below… Still very illustrutive of "the haps" from long ago, though…
    God is bored and sad, starts thinking about a vacation; "Getting away from it all".
    Angel pipes up, says, "Hey, God, how about the quaint little backwoods, backwater planet that they call "Earth"? It's kinda cute; they've got some unspoiled nature scenes and what-not there."
    God: "Nah! Not gonna go there! Bunch of busybodies down there!"
    Angel: "Busybodies!?! Whaddaya mean!?"
    God: "Nosenheimers! Buttinskis! Gossips galore!"
    Angel: "C'mon, God! Can Ye fill me in a tad more?"
    God: "Well, I had this little affair with an Earthling Jewish girl, is all. Those busybodies have NOT stopped talking about it ever since!"

    (In proper perspective, Roy Moore is just trying to imitate God… Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, ya know. All Christians are called to be God-like, ya know).

  • Jayburd||

    "What can you say about an institution whose logo is a boy on a stick." John Larroquette

  • Tony||

    I'm both shocked and saddened that it wasn't a teenage boy he tried to diddle.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Searching for commonality?

  • Tony||

    Searching for something even Republicans won't forgive him for.

  • Red Tony||

    (And commonality.)

  • chemjeff||

    At this point, I think they would vote for Roy Moore even if he molested young boys on live TV.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I don't think many Republicans came to Anthony Weiner's defense this month, Tony.

  • Tony||

    ... He's not a Republican.

  • BYODB||

    And yet Democrats did defend Weiner. It's almost like it's a partisan thing.

    I do find it amusing that this Republican played guitar and read poetry whereas Weiner apparently sexted. That's just funny, I don't care who you are.

  • MarkLastname||

    Don't worry Tony, he could be bi, so you might still have a chance with him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The man certainly has a fondness for poetry, as a learned when I was a cub reporter at The Weekly Standard magazine in 2004.

    WHEN YOU WERE JUST A TEEN!

  • colorblindkid||

    My grandpa was 26 when he met my grandma at 16. Seems strange today.

  • vek||

    That's because everything that is natural and normal is being made to be bad, and everything unnatural and weird is being promoted as good... Or something close to it anyway. I get the apprehension with REAL prepubescent pedophilia, that's gross stuff, but the largely American freak out over admitting people in their mid to late teens are somehow not supposed to be attractive to people a few years or a decade older is preposterous. I sure as shit wouldn't want to date a 16 year old for a LOT of reasons, but them not being sexually attractive ain't one of them.

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    Roy Moore was 32 when he tried to nail his victim who was 14.

    Seems strange?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Allegedly

  • Lester224||

    Well if he was dating 17 yr olds at 34, groping a 14 yr old at 32 doesn't seem so far fetched.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Carried your books from school
    Playin' make believe you're married to me
    You were eighth grade, I was thirty-four when we came to be...

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    +1 bouquet of roses and candy

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    "The Verdict" consists of rhyming couplets tying together judicial imagery and romance. "Condemned to a life of marital bliss / Our fate was sealed by a very first kiss . . ."

    What the hell kind of poetry is this??? He doesn't even mention Nantucket!

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    He replied with a grin...

  • SQRLSY One||

    While dreaming of Venus...

  • Rich||

    ... in Dallas.

  • SQRLSY One||

    The Altar Boy, The Altar Boy,
    The dirty so-cutesy Boy-Toy!
    He lined his sweet young ass,
    With Scripture, In stained glass,
    And circumcised Roy Moore!

  • SusanM||

    Are you Gruber or one of the Higgins boys?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mezJLql8pGo

  • SQRLSY One||

    The cabin boy, the cabin boy,
    The dirty little nipper!
    He lined his ass,
    With broken glass,
    And circumcised the skipper!

    Higgins, Higgins,
    My Gawd, he had a big-un!
    Twice 'round his neck,
    An' twice round the deck,
    And the rest was used fer riggins!

    (I may flatter myself, but I think of myself as Higgins)

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I have no faith in a poet to protect me from incoming immigrant hordes.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also, if Moore turns out to Agile Cyborg this website should just shut down. There's no reason for it anymore.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If there's one thing we learned from the last election, it's that the ability to command immigration policy is inversely proportional to the ability to command the English language.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Totally unprepared are you
    To face a world of men
    Timid and shy and scared are you
    Of things beyond your ken
    You need someone
    Older and wiser
    Telling you what to do
    I am 34 going on 35
    I'll take care of you

  • Tony||

    And then he comes back late in the movie a rightwing fascist!

  • Rockabilly||

    Tony is still dreaming of sucking Stalin's communist cock.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    You fascists are left wing. But, you already knew that.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Bible-banger can't keep his dick, OR HIS POEMS, in his pants?

    I am SHOCKED, utterly SHOCKED, lemme tell ya!!!!

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Red colors my sword,
    Faint scent of cherry blossoms,
    All in harmony

    (the sword is my penis)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Another woman says when she was 17 and Moore was 34, they openly dated each other in the spring of 1981.
    I might seem strange in a Nanny-State that we have now but, in 1981 people didn't care about such things unless someone got raped.

  • Deven||

    Yeah, if a 17 y/o can't make their own decisions, you failed as a parent. Sadly, there are many more failed parents today than there used to be.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    New Jersey recently raised the minimum age for marriage to 18.

    I'm not sure if this is accurate, but googling "New Jersey age of consent" brought me this table showing the age of consent in each state. It says that the lowest age of consent is 16 and that Alabama and New Jersey set the age of consent at 16.

    Wait a minute guys .... I just got a text message from the FBI. They saw me search "age of consent in New Jersey" on Google and want me to surrender my computer for an investigation.

  • Crying Zelda Morning Link||

    -1 Hoboken New Order single

  • KDN||

    Hmm, back when I needed to care about such things it was common knowledge (read: bullshit supposition) that the age of consent was 16 in NY, full stop, and 18 in NJ with a close-in-age exemption. I wonder if the site is wrong, we were wrong, or if something changed in the last 15 years when I wasn't paying attention.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am all for setting a child to adult age and make that the age of consent. This would make, say 18, the age for military service, voting, contracts, marriage, alcohol, smoking, abortions, drugs, etc.

    Under that age, you need a parents permission.

    Criminalizing sex between young people under the age of consent is not appropriate and creates more problems than it solves.

  • JuanQPublic||

    The mass insanity is settling in now. In the mid 20th century, it wasn't uncommon for wives to be much younger than their husbands, such as men in their 20s and females in their late teens.

    Not one iota of context.

    Not unlike the freakouts lately about Thomas Jefferson statues, because he was "racist". Well, again, his views were common amongst whites with European ancestry back then, but let's hold his feet to the fire anyway, because we're historically illiterate today, unable to see trend lines and normalities through history.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Young student the subject
    Of wingnut fantasy
    He wants her so badly
    Knows what he wants to be
    Inside him there's longing
    This girl's an open page
    Book marking - he's so close now
    This girl is half his age

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Young school girl
    The subject
    Of a DA's fantasy
    He wants her
    So badly
    He covets PYTs

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Better!

  • Crying Zelda Morning Link||

    Way back when in seventy-nine,
    I was an ADA of Etowah,
    Sweet things from Gadsden, so young for drilling,
    Moved down to children, just like that Joseph guy.
    Hey fourteen!

  • Steve-O||

    It's extraordinarily hard to make couplets sound any good. They usually sound either juvenile or retarded. Based on the sampling in this article, it seems that Moore has a tin ear and a lack of social awareness.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Dude looks like Artie Johnson somehow managed to fuck Goofy and had a Downs baby.

  • Agammamon||

    "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter.

    Great balls of fire!

  • John||

    The 14-year-old is objectionable. The 17-year-old is no one's business but theirs. I don't buy this "everyone is a child until they are 18" bullshit and neither does Reason in every other case and nor should they.

  • Memory Hole||

    Agreed but the objectionable one is disqualifying. The not so objectionable one would be admissible in evidence at Roy Moore's trial to establish motive and a pattern of behavior.

  • John||

    I don't know that it is. It was 30 years ago. And the truth is that a lot of teenagers have affairs with older people and it is no big deal. Maybe this girl isn't one of them and can claim real harm. If she can't, and it turns out she doesn't regret it or feel harmed, then to quote Hillary "what difference does it make?"

    Yes, that is a controversial thing to say because this society is insane when it comes to sex. But the reality is that people got married at 14 for most of history. You could get married at 14 in Alabama at the time. If you take out your dislike for Moore and all of the schadenfreude that comes with seeing him go down over something like this, is there really a reason to care about this? Not really.

  • Deven||

    I don't think he goes down. The Dems obviously held onto this until he couldn't get his name taken off the ticket, I don't think that is going to sit well with Alabamans, especially when there is no evidence, and no pattern of misconduct.

  • Red Tony||

    Speaking of which, if progs want us to imitate Europe, age of consent is 14 in France and 16 in England. (Don't ask me why I know that because I honestly don't know.)

  • sharmota4zeb||

    France just elected a President who ended up with his high school drama teacher.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    +1 Newt Gingrich

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    Yes, 30 years, 40 years ago makes it all not objectionable.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Well put, John.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    appropriate/inappropriate

    The time period is correct.

  • FINALLY OUTTA CA||

    Really...y'all are spinning this with lyrics from the Police? At least give them credit or put the work in parenthesis. That is not an unREASONable thing to do.

    BTW, if this is the best Bezo's can do he needs to go back to shipping trinkets all over the US and leave the hard decisions up to the adults.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    "Young" school girl
    "The subject"
    "Of" a DA's fantasy
    "He wants her
    "So badly"
    He covets PYTs

    Better?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The police isn't good enough for you? Would you prefer something a little more singer-songwritery? How about some Jim Croce?

    https://youtu.be/bNFcHFFQ21g

  • Carl_b||

    And it's three days ride from Bakersfield
    And I don't know why I came
    I guess I came to keep from payin' dues
    So instead I've got a bottle and a girl who's just fourteen
    And a damned good case of the Mexicali blues

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If this is tanks him though I won't be too upset. I'm definitely not feeling Moore.

  • Hugh Akston||

    That's because you're out of high school.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Wait, wait, wait... Does KMW like being read love poetry? Asking for a friend.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    There was an editor-in-chief at Reason
    with whom poetry was always in season...

  • Chipper Morning Truthjammer||

    There was an editor-in-chief at Reason,,
    with whom poetry was always in season,
    Then, to clear her head,
    Some comments she read,
    She was found on the floor, her body seizing.

  • chemjeff||

    I give it +2 iambic pentameters

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Is your friend Vogon? Asking for humanity.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Have you filled out the proper forms, signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters?

  • BYODB||

    Why not, after all we apparently elected Zaphod Beeblebrox.

  • chemjeff||

    There was an editor named Mangu
    Whose hair was as blue as a pangu's

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    "A stiff prick has no conscience."
    --Henry Miller

  • Hank Phillips||

    What this country needs is more religious fanatics and mystical jurisprudence. That'll get voters to notice the LP.

  • ||

    Actually, one of the reasons I left the LP in the 90s was that it had become full of militia cranks and right-to-lifers.

  • Eidde||

    You should hang out with the libertarians I've met, they don't have that kind of problem. For the most part.

  • chemjeff||

    In the 90s my recollection was that libertarians did seem a bit nuttier, obsessed about Waco/Ruby Ridge, etc. Basically Rush Limbaugh seemed sane by comparison.

  • ||

    The right-to-lifers started showing up in 1987-8 with the Ron Paul presidential campaign.Ron Paul kept the piece by insisting that he believed that abortion was not a federal matter and thus not a concern for a presidential candidate. The in the nineties he started voting yes on various federal restrictions on abortion which kind of gave a lie to his "let the states decide" statements.

  • ||

    "Ron Paul kept the piece"

    Actually, he "kept the peace"

    Damn homonyms!

  • Eidde||

    Moore raised a legitimate question. Why didn't this come up earlier?

    Why didn't it come up when he was making a big fuss about the 10 Commandments?

    Why didn't it come up when he was making a big fuss about gay marriage?

    Now, if he diddled a 14 y/o during the Reagan Administration, that was a Bad Thing.

    But bear in mind that the WaPo is supporting a candidate who "stands with Planned Parenthood." In short, the same paper which wants you to be outraged at Reagan-era diddling is OK with supporting an organization with a record of covering up statutory rape.

  • Eidde||

    Remember when Kim Davis was in the path of the gay marriage steamroller? She was completely savaged with everything they could come up with about her personal life.

    That's because the "It's All About Love" crowd knows what to do to people who aren't as loving as they are - slime them and ruin them.

    So when Roy Moore emulated Kim Davis, albeit from a more prominent position, we're asked to believe that the "It's All About Love" crowd would have restrained themselves and wouldn't have dug until they discovered these tidbits about Moore?

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    She was completely savaged with everything they could come up with about her personal life. Oh you mean how Christian she was for having several husbands, having kids out of wedlock and for being a Democrat?

  • ThomasD||

    KMW is Jill on the spot with this revelation. Yet it was radio silence not long ago over all the Hillary/Russian collusion info.

  • Fribley||

    If you will read the original Washington Post article, you will see that this was only discovered recently and quite by accident.

  • BYODB||

    Indeed, although it's a little odd that it only comes out now. It's not like this is his first election to higher office.

    It could very well be true, and if so it's pretty disgusting, but the timing is almost certainly not a coincidence.

  • ChuckRogers||

    Trump explained it pretty well to Billy Bush: when you're famous, you can get away with stuff.

    There were murmurs and rumors about Weinstein and Cosby for decades before there was a tipping point. It's just the way things work; somebody can explain the sexual/power dynamics in more detail if there's still a disconnect.

    Keep in mind that the accusers didn't all proactively step up. Read the original WaPo article if you can stomach it. Some of these women had told others their story over the years, and the rumors were out there. Seems like a WaPo reporter caught wind of the rumors and pursued these women independently and cajoled them (perhaps using nefarious means) to tell their stories.

    I'll bet you that some of them are regretting it now. Conservative twitter celebrities have been doxxing them and otherwise doing their part to give the women some grief... which, in itself, should help explain why they never came forward before.

    It's easy for any of us to say "Sure, I'd stand up and tell my embarrassing story even if it means being hated by half the country." But it's hard to say that we'd really step up and do it, particularly seeing the backlash they're getting.

  • Eidde||

    My main beef with Moore is his attempt to set up a religious test for public office, calling on Congress to exclude Keith Ellison in part because of his swearing on the Koran (also Ellison's radical associates were brought into the discussion):

    "Our Constitution states, "Each House [of Congress] shall be the judge … of the qualifications of its own members." Enough evidence exists for Congress to question Ellison's qualifications to be a member of Congress as well as his commitment to the Constitution in view of his apparent determination to embrace the Quran and an Islamic philosophy directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution. But common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine. In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on "Mein Kampf," or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the "Communist Manifesto." Congress has the authority and should act to prohibit Ellison from taking the congressional oath today!"

    As a matter of fact, if the voters choose to send a Nazi to Congress, Congress would have no power to exclude him for his Nazism. Not even if he took his oath on the Nazi scripture.

  • Eidde||

    The article also brings up the awkward issue of Moore's Vogon-level poetry.

  • SIV||

    As the recent attacks on Rand Paul's body and Judge Moore's character and reputation show they'll do anything to take out libertarian-Republicans.

  • MarkLastname||

    Roy Moore, libertarian? Ok I've got my popcorn, do explain.

  • Chipper Morning Truthjammer||

    It's the chicken syphilis talking.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Chicks, chickens, they're all the same to me! No turkeys, though... Gotta have SOME standards! And I have heard that turkeys can "gobble" uncontrollably, with their sharp beaks, at times...

  • JuanQPublic||

    Moore a "libertarian republican"? In what universe is this true? The universe where Moore isn't a proponent of theocratic rule?

  • retiredfire||

    Isn't the "theocracy" that Roy Moore would, presumably, advocate - Christianity - closer to the NAP, than, say the secular one that is imposed by his opponents?
    "Turn the other cheek" and "love thy enemy" sound like the very things libertarians would be in favor of as ways to resolve conflicts.
    Much of Christianity is about non-violent ways to resolve differences. I would think libertarians would be rather fond of such ideas.
    Just what is it about a "theocracy" that enrages libertarians so?
    P.S. I am not a Christian.

  • DrT||

    Ms. Mangu-Ward: I normally look forward to your articles. They are soundly researched and written. This however is simply shoddy, sensationalistic journalism ... that he read poems makes him guilty ... really?!? I don't know Roy Moore. I don't care one way or the other whether he's elected. I have no opinion on whether the charges are true. If the charges are true, he should receive the maximum penalty the law allows. If not, you should apologize and, if it can be proved that the women lied, they in turn should receive the maximum penalty the law allows. What I do care about is the frequent subversion of liberty sponsored by the press. By marshaling opinion through sensationalism, individuals can be forced out of office, out of a campaign, out of a company ... out of almost anything really. It's an appeal to the mob. And, it's wrong. I thought you were above it. Obviously, I was wrong.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree DrT that the poetry part rings true, and implies some truth to the allegation of events 34 years ago is too much of a leap. Any wanting to make false allegations would have researched Moore and found his penchant for poetry and potentially added it to the story to make it ring true.

    But there are reasons we have statute of limitations: if one doesn't complain when something happens or soon thereafter, how big an issue was it? And besides facts and evidence become harder to prove. Nevertheless, I believe there isn't a statue of limitation for statutory rape in Alabama.

    Frankly I'm disappointed GOP voters didn't choose Mo Brooks, who was a much better candidate. Social conservatives often aren't small government conservatives (like liberals, they believe in using government social engineering and punishing people who merely offend others - it's just they have a different idea of what's offensive). I don't care if he loses so GOP voters might learn not to nominate social conservatives.

  • Eidde||

    "I don't care if he loses so GOP voters might learn not to nominate social conservatives."

    Careful what you wish for.

    The real-world results of your proposed course of action would be

    (a) A Democrat in the seat Moore is seeking - a Democrat who "stands with" an organization (Planned Parenthood) which not only covers up statutory rape but kills the children of the rapists. And I bet this guy, like most Democrats, would be shocked at the idea of the rapist himself getting the death penalty.

    (b) SoCon Republicans would not be replaced with libertarians, but with "middle of the road," go-along-to-get-along, McConnell types.

  • Eidde||

    Seriously, if SoCons are successfully purged, the lesson will be "don't nominate extremists, nominate moderates instead."

    Which category do you think the conventional wisdom will put libertarians in?

  • Red Tony||

    "People we can safely ignore."

  • chemjeff||

    Well I think that is entirely up to us.

    Presenting ourselves as doctrinaire absolutists doesn't seem to work, and presenting ourselves as eccentric centrists doesn't seem to work either. I don't think it is much of a stretch for libertarians to present themselves as 'principled moderates' - principled in a staunch defender of liberty and skeptical critic of the state, and moderate in that we reject left-right paradigm.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Bingo. There are many civil libertarian and classically liberal Democrats who are quiet right now as their party openly muses about criminalizing speech, using the levers of government for political ends, engaging in mindless reactionism, etc.

    These are the principled people to build coalitions with on issues of personal liberty - the live and let live people. There's a huge vacuum that's available for something constructive.

  • Macaulay McToken||

    "Seriously, if SoCons are successfully purged, the lesson will be "don't nominate extremists, nominate moderates instead.""

    No, that wouldn't be the lesson at all, and you'd have to be the worst kind of fool of you truly believe that.

  • Bra Ket||

    "Social conservatives often aren't small government conservatives (like liberals, they believe in using government social engineering and punishing people who merely offend others - it's just they have a different idea of what's offensive)."

    You forgot about economics. Only the most important factor of all (notwithstanding the critical importance of transgender bathroom options). Southern conservatives tend to sound much better on socialism than democrats. Or centrists/moderates of either party. Though of course not guaranteed, such as with the whole "compassionate" angle they were doing recently.

    But I have heard positive-sounding things from Roy Moore on taxes at least.

    There's also other stuff like gun control to consider. These guys have a distribution of views and how you compare them tends to be a very personal thing.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Though of course not guaranteed, such as with the whole "compassionate" angle they were doing recently.

    And the "tolerance" schtick the political left was doing, and that the Democrats adopted, before Trump.

  • Amir Najam Sethit||

    I have enjoying reading this article.!

  • Liberty Lover||

    Reading poetry and playing the guitar? What kind of sicko does that?

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Anyone have the remotest clue on Moore's stance and/or record in regard to Statutory Rape? If its anything other than "The Age of Consent is bullshit", then he should be tossed to the wolves.

  • JuanQPublic||

    I'm confident that Moore is all for throwing an 18 year old on the registry for sexting with his 17 year old girlfriend. Most politicians, especially the hard liners, need that stance for votes.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Yea, very likely. The goddamn dumbest statute I know is here in Florida: A girl at 13 can go get an abortion without parental consent...meaning she has the cognitive ability to consent to an invasive and potentially life-ending procedure (even if such events are relatively rare) but cannot consent to have sex. And then, like you said, the hardliners love to say shit like "Well, that 12 year old should be tried as an adult!" Fucking pretzel logic at its finest....

  • JuanQPublic||

    It's insane. The laws aren't consistent with each other at all, and they keep passing more and more bad law.

  • Lester224||

    Most of the time the without parental consent stipulation for minors requires a judicial over-ride. The reasoning behind the judicial over-ride is for the cases of rape and incest. Like when the dad or the step father is an abuser.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Reading poetry is the intended 'grain of truth'.

    It's the thing that's supposed to stick in your mind because the story he tells about reading it to his wife when they were dating is one he tells over and over--lots of people know it.

    Adding it to the allegations will make even people who know him start to wonder. It's classic psy-ops. It gives just enough doubt.

    'Say--he told me he did that. And his wife IS a lot younger than him....hmmm......'

  • Kroneborge||

    Age of consent in Alabama is 16, so all but one of the allegations isn't even relevant. Oh, and that girl did NOT look 14 (see Wapo pictures)

    Also, yes statue of limitations has passed so he's fine from a legal perspective.

    And of course the timing of the revelations is very suspect.

    Final thought, if it was a political attack, it's public knowledge that he does the poetry thing, so why not throw that part in to make the allegation look more real?

  • Tony||

    Man, that (R) buys a lot of indulgences from you guys, huh?

  • Kroneborge||

    Nope, but I do think the criminalization of sex has gone to far. It wasn't to long ago that many people were starting families at 16 and it was considered normal. Now all of a sudden it makes you a sex criminal.

    Given the large number of articles that reason has written on this how is it a surprise?

  • MikeP2||

    The dems have a long history of bringing forth last hour moral/sexual claims in elections where they think it will swing the vote. the majority of those claims have been disproven, or quickly disappear after the election is over.
    It makes it very difficult to put any credence to these claims, regardless of what you think about Moore.

    A simple thought problem would be to imagine these same charge against you own preferred candidate and think through how much you would believe it. It's used on Moore specifically because these charges target his core bible belt constituency.

    And it's utter BS that the Washington Post just 'discovered' these women now. As local reporters have been claiming, in the small towns where this sort of thing is claimed to have happened, everyone knows every dirty little rumor. It would have come to light years ago, by prior enemies and opponents. no way it would have been a secret for this long by this many women.

  • JuanQPublic||

    The WaPo needed to get this in the window of opportunity, as allegations alone are now enough to destroy someone. Remove all context, and double down on it. It could work in taking Moore down, because the environment is ripe.

  • jjjjj||

    I live in Alabama and have never and will never vote for Roy Moore.

    However, this WaPo story is not passing the smell test. It opens up with some serious - probably criminal - allegations, and then proceeds to allegations that while they make Moore seem odd or creepy, are not criminal (save giving an 18 year old some wine at dinner... oooooooh!!). If the allegations about the 14 year old are true, then why bring up the other stuff? If you only published the other stuff, then it would be a character assassination story. By combining the two, you're tainting the serious stuff with a hit piece. Maybe "we can make you believe he committed this crime if we show you some non-criminal stuff he did." As if serving wine to an 18 year old is a gateway drug to molesting a 14 year old.

  • Kroneborge||

    this

    "Maybe "we can make you believe he committed this crime if we show you some non-criminal stuff he did." As if serving wine to an 18 year old is a gateway drug to molesting a 14 year old."

  • Chip Chipperson||

    I've been saying exactly this since day one.

    There's one serious criminal allegation mixed in with several allegations that, frankly, don't seem terribly shocking for Alabama circa 1977. A thirty year old guy recently out of the military was interested in dating 18 year old women. STOP THE PRESSES.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Uncorroborated story of sexual petting with an underaged minor.

    Plus lots of dates with legal teen agers while he was 30.

    Until video of the encounter appears, there's literally and figuratively nothing to see here.

  • josh||

    Oddly enough, in that state, if he read poetry to the voters, that might be enough to make them vote for someone else.

  • Rosemary||

    This story is going to turn out in Moore's favor. He was a young man once who liked to date teens. Surely, he is the only man in the world who has done this. I knew a woman who married at 17 to a man of 35. They were happy for 40 years.

    Moore is a romantic who wrote poetry to his young wife-to-be. How odd!! What man would ever want to do that!!?

    When I was 14 I looked to be 18. Back then, girls married much younger than today, and by the time we were 16, we were looking to see and meet a man who might become our husband. And men were actually looking for a nice girl to become his wife. Crazy!

  • Carter Mitchell||

    From The Weekly Standard and New York Times - both neocon and leftist flagships and beacons of statist evil to Reason Magazine (a supposed beacon of libertaranism)?

    I'm curious, Katherine? Did you wake up and change sides, or are you about trying to co-opt "the enemy"?

    As I send subscription dollars to Reason, I'd like to know that the magazine is still what I signed up for.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online