Welcome to Bold Moves Weekly, a segment where I go over what I view as the boldest move of the week. As always it’s important to note; these moves are bold as hell. They may not be good moves, they may not be intelligent, self-preservative moves, but they are certainly bold.
Maybe we should be calling it Bold Moves Recently instead. I’m not dead, stop worrying. Alright, maybe no one thought I was dead but I stopped posting for awhile, which in these days is the same thing. Considering the sheer number of bold moves performed daily by everyone from the President to Dove goddamn Soap, it’s hard to maintain my awe.
I’m constantly awash in a sea of bold moves, completely overwhelmed by every event in the public spotlight. Everything is wrong. Italy missed the world cup, the Pistons are a good basketball team, and Poland has nazis. Poland, the country that spent most of WWII getting their glasses broken, has nazis.
I’ve decided not to let all of this go past me unnoticed. Instead, I’m going to try to find some tenuous foothold in reality that can be used to point out just how bold some of the shit going on really is. That has always been the Bold Moves Motto, at least internally (read: I’m grandfathering it in). With my resolve renewed, the only question is where to start? A sexually predatory senate candidate seems promising enough. No one take that last sentence out of context. Speaking of which.
Roy Moore, or as some call him, the impossibly small pistol bandit, has been around for a long time. He’s anyone’s good old boy southern gentleman fantasy. A few spats with the (mall cop) law, a few worrisome stories of self mutilation, this man’s got it all. Recently, during a round of journalistic inquiry that came about through his senate race, we even discovered he dated a younger woman, as all true southern gentleman do. To be specific, he “dated” a 14 year old when he was 32. To be much more specific, he initiated sexual contact with a 14 year old, when he was 32. Don’t worry, he asked her mom first? This whole story stays this level of fucked up, so I encourage you to read up on it and if you’re in the area (Alabama) vote against him. It says a lot that voting for him is still a possibility, but that’s another article.
I’m not writing this about Moore, because pedophilia isn’t bold, not even by the stretched out definition we use. It’s just important to give some background on this guy so we can understand the kind of attorney he would hire. A good old pedo, especially one with the knowledge of the law Moore probably has, would want a lawyer who’s a tough nut to crack. A lawyer who could defend him from any charge, if his horrific acts ever got revealed. Either that, or he’d hire someone dumb, so they didn’t realize what they were going to have to defend. That seems to be what happened in this case.
There have been a lot of hot takes from this story so far. We’ve had some of the mainstays like the biblical defense, or “that was the style at the time”. We’ve also had a more inept defense from Moore himself, claiming he had no relationship with the women who have come forward except as “friends”. Those are some doozies, but they don’t quite shine like this defense, from Moore’s attorney Trenton Garmon himself.
WHY IT’S BOLD:
I’ll assume you’re like me and were way too occupied with this man’s eyeballs trying to leave his face while watching to follow his crazy words, so let me break it down. Garmon was alluding to the fact that one of Moore’s alleged victims, Ali Velshi, has an ethnic sounding name. He decided to run with this, saying her “background” would lead to her dating older men. Victim blaming isn’t very bold, as it has worked a lot in the past. In this case however, Garmon decided to follow up by saying he wouldn’t allow his daughter to date a much older man. This walk back was historically bold. If he had just waited until after the interview, and then released a statement saying “I was put on the spot, that’s why I said something racist to defend a pedophile”, he probably would have done better. Okay, maybe not better, but better than “other races are cool with pedophilia but I’m not”. He didn’t even end up defending his client.
All of the other defenses from above are understandable in their own fucked up ways. For one, it makes sense that someone who believes the earth is 4,000 years old would also believe the time when it was viewed as acceptable for a 30 year old to have sex with a 14 year old was anywhere near recent. That fits the timeline if you shrink it back. In addition, if you’ve watched as many contemporary rom-coms that center around teachers as I have, you know 30 year olds and sassy 14 year olds make the darnedest of pals. Like crotchety old men and boy scouts.
That’s why this defense was so bold. The way Garmon took a huge swing and then started damage control mid interview was some of the best political strategy I’ve seen recently. He caught his racist soundbite before it could fully escape, and thus he wins the soundbite olympics, but loses the interview.
There’s room here for a fake takeaway, probably one we should avoid. That would be the fact that Alabama is a wasteland, unfit for human settling. You could conclude that every day we live there is an affront to God, if you wanted. Again, that’s on you, but it’s a false takeaway.
The actual takeaway should be this. If you’re a lawyer, and your client gets banned from the mall, dump that client. You’re probably going to have to defend them from something awful in the future. It’s just unfortunate for Garmon that his client was a sexual predator and not a scented candle thief. At least then his defense could have been about incense and eastern religions and not about which parts of the world are more historically open to old people being huge pieces of shit. Next week’s bold move, naming your kid Trenton.