Republicans’ race to take back the House and Senate has taken the strangest twist. The party has decided to make the midterms all about wild accusations surrounding pedophilia.
That would be an unusual strategy under any circumstances, but truly bizarre considering the folks in politics most-associated with pedophilia are all Republicans.
Do they not remember Dennis Hastert—who was House Speaker for eight years—went to prison for abusing four boys and attempting to defraud a bank out of $3.5 million to keep one of them silent?
Have they forgotten former Rep. Mark Foley, who tried to seduce teenage boys whom he met when they were congressional pages? What about Judge Roy Moore, who pursued girls as young as 13 when he was in his thirties so flagrantly that, according to numerous sources, he was banned from a local mall? (Even after the allegations against Moore were made public, then-President Donald Trump still backed him in his losing race for U.S. Senate from Alabama.)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee “forgave” Josh Duggar, family values activist and star of 19 Kids and Counting after he admitted to molesting five young girls, two of them his own sisters. There’s no record of Huckabee’s forgiveness, or not, when six years later Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges for content the arresting agent called among the “worst of the worst" he’d ever seen, featuring as it did a baby just 18 months old.
Sitting Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a MAGA favorite, was once an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 1990s. Members of those teams charged Jordan with refusing their appeals to stop Dr. Richard Strauss from sexually abusing them (Jordan denies these charges). Team captain Adam DiSabato testified before the Ohio legislature that Jordan called him “crying, groveling, begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for a half-hour. That’s the kind of cover-up that’s going on there." According to the AP, there were 2,200 instances of fondling and 127 instances of rape attributed to Strauss, who died in 2005. When a lawsuit against Ohio State, brought by nearly 300 plaintiffs, goes to trial, the congressman may be called to account under oath for his actions, or lack of them.
Republicans don’t shrink from hypocrisy. In 1997, House Speaker Newt Gingrich tried to drive Bill Clinton from the Oval Office for having an affair with an intern—all while Gingrich himself was having an affair with a committee staffer.
Almost as crazy as accusing Democrats of what they’ve been doing themselves, is putting up candidates accused of different, but just as disturbing offenses.