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Charlie Rich was right about closed doors

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 November 2017

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. So how does society resolve disputes about what may have happened?

We used to have social norms to prevent women (or girls) from being alone with men in those kinds of situations. That didn’t solve every case, of course, but it kept many women from being in bad situations — at the cost of certain restrictions on their freedom, which some women came to resent.

The alternative “solution” these days seems to be to change the burden of proof and the assumption of innocence. Accusations are enough to ruin a man.

Neither option is very good, although frankly I have toyed with the idea that the second one is better. If a man gets in a situation where it can be proven he was alone with a woman, and she makes an accusation against him, he’s guilty, end of story. That puts the burden on the man to never be in that situation.

That option is simply the first scenario turned on its head, and is, of course, unfair to men. It also assumes patriarchy — that the man is responsible for the safety of the women around him. So it’s not going to appeal to anybody in today’s world.

Despite all its problems, I think the situation we have now is the right one. Everyone is assumed innocent until proven guilty as a matter of law, but people are free to make accusations, and other people are free to believe them or not. The woman and the man both know there’s a risk to being alone together.

It may be another matter when it comes to children, but I’m not sure how to resolve that. A child can’t be assumed to know what she’s getting into when she’s alone with a man.

2017-11-11  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 19

  1. sm
    11 November 2017 @ 3:45 pm

    For Moore, he’s safe from the law because statute of limitations has expired (I think). However, his denials on Hannity were completely unbelievable. None of Hannit’s panelists bought Moore’s story. Now some of his co-workers back in the day are coming forward and saying, yeah, we thought it was strange he like to date young girls, go to high school football games, and hang out at the mall.

    How many years was the RCC able to keep the abuse mostly hidden and out of the press? Then they couldn’t. Now with Weinstein, the floodgates have opened for Hollywood and politicos.

  2. William
    11 November 2017 @ 5:21 pm

    It seems in Alabama the statue of limitations for sexual abuse for civil cases is relatively short (2 years) but there is no statute of limitations for: rape, violent sexual abuse, sexual abuse with the threat of violence, and any sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 16.

    For Moore, it doesn’t yet appear that Ms. Corfman, desires to take legal action. Ironically, it seems the door world be open criminally “if” a prosecutor determined there was enough evidence. I may be wrong, but based on initial reactions from those in local government, I suspect Ms. Corfman wouldn’t have much support.

    Based on what’s known publicly, it’s difficult to know where the truth rests. Yet, I find some of Moore’s supporter’s statements a bit “interesting”. For instance, it seems Alabama State Auditor Ziegler feels it’s fitting to use Mary and Joseph as justification for adult-underage child relationships. Really???

  3. RR
    11 November 2017 @ 10:51 pm

    The accounts of Moore’s accusers sound pretty believable to me. While the statue of limitations has passed, Moore has no place in the Senate. If he wins, which I think he still will given that the Democratic candidate Doug Jones has stupidly wrapped himself around Planned Parenthood (in Alabama!), the Senate and the GOP should expel Moore.

  4. smitemouth
    11 November 2017 @ 11:23 pm

    Even if the statute of limitations is still in effect, he is safe from criminal prosecution. The standard is “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” There is no physical evidence or any other evidence coincident with the time of the alleged crime. It comes down to he said/she said which would be hard to bring to the level of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Only chance is a confession, which I doubt he would give.

    I wouldn’t count on the GOP Senate to show any guts. The judiciary committee just approved a guy through committee to a lifetime federal judgeship who has only been out of law school for 3 years and had never tried a case in his life or argued a motion. We’ll see if the whole senate approves, but I bet he gets at least 50 votes. Can you imagine appointing a guy who graduated law school 3 years ago to be a judge with a lifetime appointment? Must be a record for the least qualified judicial appointee ever.

  5. William
    12 November 2017 @ 12:01 am

    During an interview, an experienced prosecutor indicated that despite the accusations appearing credible (with some corroborating evidence), the case would likely not go anywhere, given some of the things smitemouth mentioned.

    I suppose people will have to determine if they believe Moore is innocent or guilty. If true, the accusations are disturbing. Yet, what’s a bit more disturbing was to hear some Moore supporters say that even if he was guilty they’d still support him. Aren’t these the same types of people that thought Bill Clinton should have been ousted for his indiscretions with Lewinsky?

  6. Greg Krehbiel GregK
    12 November 2017 @ 8:17 am

    Some people might think the alleged crimes are so old that it’s not fair to hold them against him.

    My prediction is that more recent accusations will emerge. I’m not saying that because I believe he’s guilty (I have no opinion on that). I’m saying that because the accuser who steps forward with a more recent incident will be a hero.

  7. RR
    12 November 2017 @ 2:09 pm


    I agree with you that the sorts of people who called for Bill Clinton’s ouster because of his affair with Lewinsky should now be calling for Moore to bow out of the Senate race. Of course, the flip site is that while Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky was consensual, he was also hit with serious sexual harassment and even a rape accusation in the 1990s. I’ve read those accusations and they seem pretty credible to me. Yet many Democrats poo-pooed them then and still do so to this day. Clinton is still quite popular in Democratic circles and attends fundraisers, gives speeches, etc. All among the same sorts of Democrats who are howling about Moore now.

    The reality in my view is that both Clinton and Moore are probably sexual predators. Both should be pariahs. It’s too bad people put politics above prosecuting or at least shunning predators.

  8. William
    12 November 2017 @ 2:10 pm

    QUOTE: Some people might think the alleged crimes are so old that it’s not fair to hold them against him.

    Even if child molestation cannot be criminally pursued, that rationale isn’t morally acceptable from people who claim to uphold Christian values. Forgiveness is one thing but denying what is immoral for the sake of politics is something else…especially from those who’d be quick to condemn and disqualify their political opponents for such accusations.

    Based on commentary from Alabama residents, I suspect that even if more recent accusers emerged, it wouldn’t matter much. I don’t see Moore dropping out. My prediction is he will stay on the ballot and win. The interesting thing will be what happens when he gets to DC. Does the Republican leadership throw up their hands and say, “oh well, that’s what the voters wanted”? Or, do they attempt to have him removed?

  9. William
    12 November 2017 @ 2:18 pm

    QUOTE: It’s too bad people put politics above prosecuting or at least shunning predators.

    Well said, RR! That’s my point EXACTLY! Albeit no worse than when Democrats do it, it’s particularly striking when Republicans demonstrate this behavior because they have historically touted being the party of virtue and values. I almost fell out of my chair when I heard the locals “say”…even if Moore was guilty they’d support him anyway. That’s tribalism on steroids!

  10. Robin R.
    12 November 2017 @ 3:03 pm

    I don’t know, man. That cowboy hat he wears and that gun he waves around are sure compelling.

  11. William
    12 November 2017 @ 3:39 pm

    Compelling for what?…that’s the question. 😉

  12. Robin R.
    12 November 2017 @ 3:50 pm

    Are you a real Murkin or what?

  13. RR
    12 November 2017 @ 8:21 pm


    Unfortunately, I think that you are correct that Moore will still be elected. Some of this indeed tribalism on steroids. However, Moore is also likely to win because frankly the Democrats have fielded a terrible candidate. The Democratic candidate Doug Jones isn’t just pro-choice. He has made the issue of abortion and his support for Planned Parenthood a prominent part of his campaign. Alabama is one of the strongest pro-life states in the union, with a recent Gallup poll showing that 58% percent of people in Alabama want to make abortion illegal in most all circumstances, with only 37% who would like abortion to be legal in almost all circumstances. That means that a strong majority of people in Alabama see abortion as murder and consequently have a very negative view of Planned Parenthood.

    The reason that I bring this up is because Doug Jones’ position on abortion is morally repulsive to a lot of people in Alabama, including a lot of the Republicans he needs to cross over and vote for him to win. I bet if he were a pro-life Democrat he would be able to convince enough Republicans to cross over. That’s exactly what happened in Louisiana in 2015 when pro-life Democrat John Bel Edwards crushed the Republican candidate David Vitter (who had been caught with prostitutes and thus was a scumbag like Moore) in the governor’s race there.

    Whatever your position on abortion, politically it’s really dumb to run a blatant pro-choice campaign in Alabama. Politically, Moore should be the gift that keeps on giving to Jones. But it’s like Jones insists on alienating the electorate and making himself an unpalatable alternative to someone even as awful as Moore. Honestly, the both deserve to lose. If in the likely scenario Moore wins, I hope that he is somehow removed from office. It might be best for the governor of Alabama to end up picking whoever will occupy that Senate seat for the remainder of the term.

  14. William
    13 November 2017 @ 1:10 pm

    @RR, you raise good points about the “wisdom” of Jones’ campaign platform in a state like Alabama. It seems he’s following Democratic convention and his personal convictions versus playing politics to appeal to others.

    That said, in a state that’s confessed to being one of the reddest in the union and hasn’t voted a Democrat into Senate for over 20 years, it’s likely that even if Jones had a more moderate platform he’d not win hardcore Republicans. As well, Moore has been ousted from public office twice and had some other sketchy dealings but still prevailed in the primary race (without the endorsement of Trump who is wildly popular in Alabama). It seems his local supporters are immutable and even with these new accusations aren’t convinced he shouldn’t be elected. So, Doug Jones’ campaign platform may be part of the reason for Moore’s victory (if he wins). Yet, I suspect it’s a minor consideration, given a portion of Moore’s supporters believe being a Republican is synonymous with Christianity and Democrats are blue devils.

    Lastly, another interesting twist. Mitch McConnell has now gone on record saying unequivocally he believes the sexual molestation accusation. Hmmm…interesting.

  15. William
    13 November 2017 @ 3:14 pm

    Well, one prediction has come to pass…a new female accuser with a very detailed account.

  16. RR
    13 November 2017 @ 8:23 pm


    I agree with you on all points, although I still think Jones isn’t doing himself any favors by identifying himself so publicly with Planned Parenthood. And if more accusers come out of the woodwork, I could be wrong about Moore still winning.

  17. William
    13 November 2017 @ 9:09 pm

    @RR, agreed…in a ruby red state like Alabama, Jones isn’t doing himself any favors. Yet, I give him credit for standing for his convictions…not saying one thing to get elected and then doing something else once in office (which is all too common in politics today). It may not be a winning strategy but it’s honorable.

    That said, the new accuser today was a doozy! Her accusations seemed rather credible. She even provided what she claimed is Moore’s signature in her high school year book. Yet, Moore denies knowing this woman. Even after this latest revelation, some are still very supportive of Moore. They feel this is nothing more than a witch hunt. Or, they say that as a Christian they are obligated to forgive him and will vote for him. Who knows what will ultimately happen. Let’s just say, I won’t be surprised if they send him to DC (even with more accusers).

    As I said previously, what will be more interesting is what happens once he is seated in the Senate. Seems McConnell and crew are making noise that they’d go for expulsion. If so, that’s “really” going to endear them to Alabamians. This may be the catalyst for the new millennial Republican civil war.

  18. RR
    13 November 2017 @ 11:03 pm


    Yeah, the accusations today were a doozy. The signed year book is about as close to a “smoking gun” as you can get. If Moore is elected, I hope the Senate expels him. Morally, it’s the right thing to do. It may lead to a civil war within the Republican Party, although McConnell has no choice. Even putting morality aside, defending Moore would destroy the Republican name in Senate races in many other states. Moore is an albatross for the Republican Party.

  19. William
    14 November 2017 @ 2:25 am

    RR, what you say makes sense morally and logically. Yet, I’m having deja vu. It was just about a year ago that a bombshell revelation was made about another Republican candidate merely weeks before a key election. In this case, it was about him grabbing female genitals and engaging in what he termed “locker room talk”. There was a lot of media hoopla, a number of female accusers and some members of the Republican Party tried to distance themselves. Yet, in the end, it didn’t seem morality was a primary factor because he won (with strong support from Evangelicals and Catholics). Something else was more critical to voters. I may be wrong, but unless something unexpected happens…I suspect we might see this dynamic play out once again…this time in Alabama.

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