When Roy Moore upended Luther Strange in the Republican primary for Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat, there were already a number of reasons to be unnerved about the former Alabama chief justice going to Washington. And that was before Moore faced allegations that years ago, Moore molested women and pursued girls young enough to be his daughters.
In light of this, one of the few sane people left in the GOP is wondering if Senate officials have a plan to protect some of the most vulnerable people on Capitol Hill if Moore wins. Namely, the Senate pages.
Steve Schmidt, the operating head of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign for most of the last four months of that cycle, has been one of Donald Trump’s most vociferous critics on the Republican side. So it should come as no surprise that he was one of the earliest Republicans to condemn Moore. Hours after The Washington Post detonated its bombshell, Schmidt held nothing back on MSNBC. Watch here.
Schmidt told Chris Hayes that based on The Post’s “immaculately sourced” report, Moore was a “pedophile” and a “child molester” who was not worthy of support. He added that if Moore wins, he should not be allowed in the Republican caucus.
In most of this country, Moore’s campaign should have ended with that article. However, with a number of polls suggesting that Moore could still win, Schmidt took to Twitter on Monday night to ask what seems to be a fundamental question.
Serious question. Should Roy Moore win, will the Sergeant at Arms and the Sec. of the Senate take any specific actions to protect the minor US Senate page’s from a credible accused serial child molester.? What about the organization that gives accreditation to the Page school?
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 4, 2017
For those who don’t know, Senate pages are high school juniors who spend either the fall or spring semester serving as “messengers and general helpers” to the party of the Senator who sponsored them. It affords a rare chance to get an inside view of how the Senate works.
It seems inconceivable that the Sergeant at Arms and the Secretary of the Senate haven’t crafted a contingency plan to protect the pages in the event Moore wins on December 12. As of Tuesday, nine women have come forward, corroborated by multiple eyewitnesses. That is far too many to be credibly dismissed. Moreover, police in Moore’s hometown of Gadsden were concerned enough about Moore that they felt they had to keep an eye on him at football games in case he got any ideas about pursuing the cheerleaders.
Granted, the last accusation against Moore came in 1991. But this is one gamble that simply can’t be taken, especially given the eyewitness accounts of Moore’s behavior.
I’ve been politically active since my freshman year of high school–Bill Clinton’s first election. In the last quarter-century, the only time I can recall even having to ask whether a lawmaker on either side of the aisle had any business around children. That came in 2006, when Congressman Mark Foley was forced to resign amid reports that he’d sent lewd emails, texts, and IMs to kids in the now-defunct House page program since at least 1998.
As a native North Carolinian, I’ve had a lot of reason to hang my head in shame about my Senators. For the first 25 years of my life, one of my Senators was Jesse Helms. I’ve also had to deal with Lauch Faircloth and Elizabeth Dole, and now I have to deal with Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. But as wrong as they have been on policy, I have never, ever had any reason to question whether they have any business around children.
That’s the question we find ourselves asking about Moore. Simply put, this is a question that we should never, ever have to ask about our lawmakers. The mere fact we even have to worry about whether the pages will be safe around a Senator Roy Moore is yet more evidence that he does not belong on Capitol Hill.
(featured image: screengrab courtesy MSNBC via Raw Story)