Making Less of Moore

The MeToo anti-men witch hunt is un-American tyranny.

So Judge Roy Moore, assailed from all sides by flimsy though numerous accusations of unappealing though (mostly) legal attractions to teenage girls, in the end didn't manage to win election to the Senate from the State of Alabama.  Instead, the normally deep-red state will be represented by Doug Jones, a man who openly and proudly supports the murder of girls, and boys too, just so long as they haven't been born yet.

But rejoice, for there will be one less (supposed) pedophile in a Congress which is, apparently, somewhat full of them.  What a stellar victory for good morals!

What's strange about this whole disgusting episode isn't that a Republican was taken down in a phony scandal - that's been standard Democrat practice for years, and all too often, otherwise-Republican voters fall for it as with erstwhile Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska.

Nor is it that the media are beclowning themselves by crowing over those wonderful voters in Alabama who discarded a supposed pedophile in favor of an advocate of infanticide and how their choice should be respected by one and all, ridiculing Moore's demands for a recount.  That's particularly rich given that they've spent the last month explaining ways that the choice of Alabama's voters could be flouted by Senate rules had they had the gall to choose the wrong candidate.  There is no depth of dishonesty and bias to which the media will not stoop, as they've amply proved over the last week alone.

It isn't even that, for once, Democrats are drawing fire from their own side for sins that were previously held to be exclusive to Republicans.  Indeed, if you count as Democrats the Hollywood and media stars who've been cast into outer darkness for sexual crimes - which you should, because they are - then aside from Judge Moore, the Republican party has been nearly unscathed by our ongoing MeToo witch hunt.  For the most part, we can pass the popcorn as we watch the sordid end of infinitely deserving Democrat hacks.

No, the real shocker is how quickly just about the entire country - establishment, media, both parties, and even the voters - have utterly abandoned one of the most fundamental principles of liberty we know: the idea that an individual should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Return of the Star Chamber

It was only five minutes ago that the entire Democrat party was howling for Sen. Al Franken's resignation after photos emerged of him sexually harassing women.  To be fair, those photos can be subject to interpretation, especially considering that Sen. Franken's occupation at the time was as comedian and the women involved were his colleagues in live performances in front of serving military members.  Such shows are famous for being risque, which is what fighting men want to see and, if anybody's earned the right to that kind of entertainment, it is they.

This didn't stop Democrats from wanting to be shot of him, considering that they were also trying to use similar claims to get rid of Roy Moore (successfully) and Donald Trump (less so).

Now that Judge Moore has been barred from the Senate, it's just a trifle hypocritical from Democrats to change their tune, as Politico reports:

At least four senators are urging Al Franken to reconsider resigning, including two who issued statements calling for the resignation two weeks ago and said they now feel remorse over what they feel was a rush to judgment.

Regardless of the rank, disgusting hypocrisy which reveals the political end of the MeToo movement to be nothing more than a sham, these senators have managed to finally end up on the right side of the issue - more by accident than by design, and certainly not by any sense of morals, but they're on the right side nonetheless.

Let's imagine the worst possible scenario: Let's imagine that Sen. Al Franken was, not merely a harasser, but an actual rapist (Which, let us be perfectly clear, is entirely made up for this article - there are no allegations of such a thing.)

Wouldn't he deserve the right to know the charges against him, and the names of his accusers?  Wouldn't he deserve the opportunity to attempt to respond to the accusations, to prove his innocence, or to give some other explanation?

No American would say he should be thrown immediately into jail without benefit of trial.  So why did so many senators call for his immediate removal, without even waiting for an investigation, even though the accusations against him, while unpleasant, are nonetheless far short of rape?

There actually is an answer: the Senate "Ethics" Committee is infamous for sweeping accusations under the rug, as we are now finding out with reports of secret sex-harassment settlements paid for by Your Taxpayer Dollars.  Even so, is the odious corruption of that august body a reason why an individual person should be deprived of their Constitutional rights?

You might argue, well, nobody ever suggested putting Al Franken in jail, just out of office.  So where do we draw the line at what we're allowed to do to people without proof?

Can we fine them?  Can we throw them out of college?  Can we make them lose their job and all possibility of finding another one?  None of these things involve jail or torture, but they can still be pretty life-ruining when abused.

That doesn't mean we can't do anything: We can certainly yell at people who, in widely-held opinion, have done wrong things which ought to be punished but haven't been.  That's everybody else's First Amendment right, and, we can't help but notice again, is the one thing that did not happen to Sen. Franken.  Where were the feminists protesting his abuses by picketing his office?  Nowhere to be found - they were too busy agitating for the murder of unborn girls.

You may think ruining a few lives is a small price to pay to protect women, but it never stops there, not even in the mother of our liberties.  Consider this sobering tale from earlier this year in England:

Ex-minister Carl Sargeant killed himself while under investigation for allegedly harassing multiple women.

[Welsh First Minister Carwyn] Jones has come under heavy criticism for sacking Mr Sargeant and suspending him from Labour without giving him full details of the accusations made against him.

What happened to Mr. Sargeant is damning. As a senior political official, he held a responsible public role. So when allegations arose that he was a sexual harasser, more senior political leadership took immediate action: they sacked him straightway.

He received no explanation.  He did not know what he was accused of.  He was not told who his accusers were.  He certainly was not given any ability to cross-examine or even present witnesses, nor to put forward an alibi, nor, indeed, to proffer any explanation whatsoever.

No, he was simply shown the door, with no recourse, no ability for defense, and a monstrous black cloud over his name preventing him from ever doing anything else in life.  Is it any wonder that he hanged himself?  As an acquitted cabinet secretary once said, "Which office do I go to get my reputation back?"

There is a phrase in our lexicon for this kind of judgment process: a "Star Chamber," named after a room in the royal Palace of Westminster. Its history bears a disturbing comparison to what's going on today.

The Star Chamber was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.

In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, "star chambers". This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings.

The "proceedings" used against Mr. Sargeant hardly bear even the dignity of that name.  The proceedings against Sen. Franken at least weren't secret, but they certainly were arbitrary and devoid of due process, as were the proceedings against Judge Moore.

Initially well regarded because of its speed and flexibility, Star Chamber was regarded as one of the most just and efficient courts of the Tudor era.

Doesn't that sound like many of the same complaints we hear against our modern court system - that it is insanely slow, outlandishly costly, and often reaches nonsensical or unjust conclusions where victims do not receive their due and where the guilty go free?  The Star Chamber was set up to address this problem, and it worked great - for a while.

But what's the ultimate in judicial efficiency?

Russia has published previously top-secret documents that prove Joseph Stalin personally approved one of the most notorious massacres of World War II, in which nearly 22,000 Polish officers were murdered... The sight of Stalin's signature on what amounts to a collective death warrant ends decades of debate and gives the lie to claims by diehard Stalinists that their idol did not personally sanction the killings.

It's hard to get much more brisk and efficient than that - one guy's signature, and 22,000 people lose their lives.

Is that the kind of country, or world, we want to live in?  If we are to deny people the right to defend themselves, and at least refrain from mob justice until they've had a chance to do so, the difference is only one of degree.

Roy Moore himself is not the issue, nor is Al Franken, nor Garrison Keillor, nor Donald Trump, nor countless other men afflicted with unverified yet permanently debilitating accusations this year.  The issue is - do we believe in the rule of law anymore?  Or are we making the decision, promoted for so long by so many on the left, of going the route of mob and group justice?

Which is exactly what Stalin did.  And - for the benefit of any recent public school or university graduates that may be reading this - that was not justice at all.  You can Google it, and maybe you should, while you still can.

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Thank you for this well written piece. One major disconnect between conservatives and liberals is the the connotation of hypocrisy. The right views hypocrisy as a character flaw and can hardly imagine a worse sin to be guilty of. The left sees absolutely no shame in hypocrisy, and never will; it's simply another available, and quite effective, tool to employ when pursuing their goals. Call it a version of Lucy and the football; it never fails to boil the blood of conservatives. Sadly, there's no effective antidote; certainly not the truth.

December 21, 2017 7:52 PM
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