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Because America is Bizarro World now, Alabama Republicans have reacted to the sexual assault allegations against Senate candidate Roy Moore by hugging him closer while suggesting his accusers should be prosecuted for not coming forward sooner.

Here, for example, is Ed Henry, a representative in the state legislature, speaking to Alabama newspaper The Cullman Times. Henry is steamed about the accusations for all the wrong reasons:

Henry said he believes legal action should be considered against Moore’s accusers, finding their story unbelievable.

“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion,” Henry said.

Henry also had some choice words for some of the so-called establishment Republicans, like Mitch McConnell and John McCain, who didn't defend Moore as stridently as he thought they should. Which immediately turns this into a replay of the GOP primary Moore won over Luther Strange last month, which was viewed as a wider proxy war between the establishment and the Steve Bannon-ish, hard-right wing of the GOP.

Reporter Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star spent part of Thursday rounding up reactions from other Alabama Republicans. The common theme seems to be, “What are we supposed to do, vote for a Democrat? They probably convinced these women to lie about it anyway.”

Ed Henry had also gone down the “The Democrats did it” road, according to The Cullman Times:

Henry said he believes Moore’s accusers have been stoked by the Democratic Party and may be paid money eventually for their actions.

“I’m not buying it,” Henry said. “It’s too easy for someone to make these accusations. It’s foolish to go down that road, it’s like what if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass every time he jumps.”

Colorful!

It says something about our politics that for so many public officials, partisan tribalism overwhelms what most Americans would rightly view as sexual abuse that should disqualify Moore from holding public office. And that something is a depressing vision.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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