Charles Bethea writes for the New Yorker about the allegations made against Judge Roy Moore by the Washington Post and taken up by establishment Republicans while being scoffed at by Moore’s grass roots supporters:
In 1979, according to a new report from the Washington Post, Roy Moore, then a thirty-two-year-old assistant district attorney in Alabama, brought a fourteen-year-old girl, Leigh Corfman, to his home and sexually molested her. Three additional women told the Post that Moore, who is now the Republican nominee in Alabama for the U.S. Senate, had pursued them when they were in their mid-to-late teens and he was in his early thirties, though they do not allege that these encounters led to sexual contact. The accounts in the Post were strongly corroborated: Corfman’s mother confirmed that Corfman had discussed the incident with her; two childhood friends confirmed that Corfman “told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says that Corfman identified the man as Moore.” Corfman alleged that Moore first approached her outside a courthouse where his office was located, and where her mother was attending a divorce hearing; the Post confirmed these places and dates as well.
The report has prompted some Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell, to immediately question whether Moore should continue to run for the Senate seat previously occupied by Jeff Sessions. Senator John McCain said that Moore should step aside now. Moore, meanwhile, has denied the allegations—and so, it seems, have many of his supporters.
Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party, attended Moore’s rally with Sarah Palin in Montgomery, in September, and has campaigned for the former Alabama Chief Justice almost constantly since he won the Republican Senate primary over Luther Strange. Reached by phone this afternoon, Dooley said that she laughed at the Post’s report. “I think the allegations are bullshit,” Dooley told me. “I think they have no merit. People are pulling out all the stops to prevent Roy Moore from being elected senator, because he will change things.”