Of course, Pelosi’s amoral calculation is exactly what politicians and bureaucrats do. TV and movie executives, too. They protect their own, unless the risks are too high or the payoffs too low. Does anybody really think major Democratic donors in Manhattan and Malibu didn’t know what Harvey Weinstein was doing, year after year? They knew, but they wanted his money and prestige more. Did they really think the multiple assault allegations against Bill Clinton were groundless? Of course not, but they wanted to insulate a Democratic president from attack. The Republicans are no less protective, though they seem to boot the losers more quickly.
How does this national scandal affect Roy Moore’s chances in Alabama? Simple: If the issue is Moore’s own behavior, he loses. If the issue is partisan advantage, he wins. His chances are dim if the race is dominated, as it was two weeks ago, by allegations that Moore trolled for teenage girls at the mall. His chances are far better if the race is dominated by partisanship, or, better yet, by “us Alabama Republicans” versus “those national Democrats.” In a deep-red state like Alabama, Moore wins in spite of the allegations if voters come home to their party.