Bob Menendez vs Roy Moore

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Bob Menendez vs Roy Moore

Postby cmsellers » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:46 am

I wasn't going to make a thread about the New Jersey Senate race, because much as I dislike Bob Menendez, I don't think he is frightening in the same way I do about Roy Moore, Joe Arpaio, or Martha Coakley, all of whom I did make threads about. However recently, his own behavior plus a smear campaign by Menendez's opponent has become an opportunity for Republicans to pursue whataboutery. And while I ignored it when it was just random commenters, when the Wall Street Journal gets involved I feel the need to comment.

For those of you who don't know, this editorial gives a pretty good overview. Menendez is a crook who avoided a corruption conviction due to a mistrial. What isn't mentioned is that the man he protected, Salomon Melgen, performed unnecessarily surgeries that may in some cases have led to blindness. He is a disgusting and contemptible character, and so is Menendez for abusing his office to protect him.

What Menendez is probably not is a pedophile. The claims that Menendez had sex with underage prostitutes is based on one anonymous report to the FBI. It is given plausibility because Menendez did in fact use Melgen's private jet to attend parties in the Domincan Republic. From what I read, it looks like the FBI investigated because some of the dates overlapped with some of those trips, but found no evidence that Menendez was paying underage girls for sex. The fact that Hugins is pushing the narrative that Menendez is a pedophile on a single anonymous allegation is deeply troubling, though probably par for the course for modern politics. And it is beyond hypocritical that many of the same people people who claimed there is not enough evidence to bar Roy Moore or Brett Kavanaugh from higher office are either explicitly or tacitly endorsing similar claims against Menendez based on far less evidence.

I have been seeing comments in political articles for a while asking why, if Roy Moore was rejected by the people of Alabama, Menendez should not be rejected by the people of New Jersey. Now the Wall Street Journal is asking the same question. Unlike these commentators, the WSJ is not claiming that Menendez is a pedophile or suggesting that the single anonymous tip against Menendez is as credible as the multiple allegations and corroborating evidence against Moore, but it is suggesting that the allegations against Menendez are as troubling as those against Roy Moore.

In asking the question, the Wall Street Journal ignores the difference between Jones and Hugin, who unlike Jones has several scandals of his own. However the big thing that the WSJ overlooks is that the allegations of pedophilia against Moore were not the only issues. In my mind, they're not even the worst. Well before those came to light, Moore had been removed from office twice for violating the Constitution, which in his role as a judge seems even more troubling to me than Menendez's corruption as a Senator. And Alabamans were seemingly just as willing to overlook all that as New Jerseyans seem to be to overlook Menendez's corruption. It took pedophilia to take down Roy Moore, and Hugins is trying to manufacture a history of pedophilia on the part of Menendez to pull off a similar upset. It seems very likely to me that if there were as much evidence against Menendez as there is against Moore on the pedophilia front, Menendez would be behind instead of ahead in polls.

I am pissed at the New Jersey Democrats for rallying behind Menendez in the primary and therefore giving the Republicans someone to whatabout at. What we know about him is disgraceful and he is entirely unfit to represent the people of New Jersey in the Senate. However while the analogy between Menendez and Moore holds to the extent that in a perfect world, neither one would ever hold a position of public trust again, it seems to me ridiculous to suggest that Menendez and Moore are equally bad, even when you don't take the pedophilia accusations into account. And much as I absolutely loathe Menendez, I find attempts to suggest that the evidence against both men as sexual predators is equally compelling to be disgusting.
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