NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Would the real pedophiles please stand up? The irony of Republicans calling Democrats pro-pedophilia

During the Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Josh Hawley accused Jackson of being soft on child pornography offenders. Court records show that Jackson did impose lighter sentences than federal guidelines suggested but also in line with sentences other judges have imposed for the same crime.

Hawley’s insinuation neglects critical context, including the fact that the senator himself has voted to confirm at least three federal judges who also engaged in the same practice, according to ABC News.
Republicans like Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene are loosely and repeatedly making assertions that Democrats are pro-pedophilia. Let’s look at some Republicans who have a shady past when it comes to being pro-pedophilia.

Let’s start off with former President Donald J Trump. At a 1997 Miss Teen USA Pageant, Donald Trump reportedly barged into the girls dressing room while girls as young as 15 were changing. Trump told the teens “Don’t worry Ladies, I’ve seen it all before,” according to CNN.

Trump’s campaign denied the accusations, but CNN unearthed a 2005 Howard Stern interview where Trump bragged about walking into the backstage dressing rooms at the pageants, according to CNN.

During the 2018 U.S. Senate race, Alabama Republican candidate Roy Moore was accused of preying on girls as young as 14. Six women accused Moore of pursuing sexual relationships with him when they were teenagers as young as 14 when he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper reported that Moore’s habits of trying to pick up high school girls was so notorious that it got him banned from a local mall.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who was accused of covering up sexual misconduct while he was the wrestling coach at Ohio State University, according to CNN. Team Doctor Richard Strauss was accused of sexually abusing 177 male student athletes on the team.

Numerous former wrestlers told reporters that Jordan was personally aware of the abuse that happened during the early 1990’s but chose to turn a blind eye, CNN said. One victim has said that Jordan called him crying and begged to not let the story go public. Twenty-two coaches confirmed to an investigative team that they were aware of rumors/complaints about Strauss, dating back to the late 1970s. Strauss ended up committing suicide in 2005. Jordan denies any knowledge of the abuse, according to CNN.

Former GOP staffer and Republican National Committee aide, Ruben Verastigua, admitted to being part of a ring that traded child pornography that involved babies, according to Politico. He was sentenced to more than 12-and-a-half years in prison, according to Politico.

Former Republican U.S..Rep. Dennis Hastert, the longest ever serving Republican Speaker of the House, pleaded guilty of withdrawing $952,000 to use as hush money to hide the fact that he sexually abused teenage wrestlers that he coached from 1965 until 1981, according to The New York Times.

Republican Congressmen David Dreier, Porter Gross, John Doolittle, Thomas Ewing and former Republican House Majority Whip Tom Delay all wrote letters to the judge on Hastert’s case to “give him leniency where you can,” The New York Times. Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison and two years’ supervised probation. Judge Durkin said, “that to have to use the words ‘serial molester’ and Speaker of the House’ in the same sentence makes me sick” according to The New York Times.

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is currently the subject of a sex-trafficking investigation which is looking into whether Gaetz had sex with an underage 17-year-old girl and transported her over state lines for the purposes of sexual activities, among other allegations, according The Washington Post.

In 2017 Gaetz was the only member of Congress to vote against a law boosting the governments human trafficking investigating powers saying he was sent to congress to reduce the reach of government, according to The Washington Post

Tennessee Republican State Rep. David Byrd had been accused of sexual misconduct by three women who were underage at the time, according to The Washington Post. Christi Rice alleged that Byrd abused her over the course of her sophomore year of high school while he was her basketball coach.

Rice said that “he talked about it, he wanted to see me naked, he told me he spent more hours with me in a day that he did of his wife, that when he had sex with her he was thinking of me,” according to The Washington Post.

Republican talking head Tucker Carlson defended Warren Jess, the fundamentalist cult leader who is currently in prison for child rape. Carlson said that Jess was in prison for his “weird and unpopular beliefs,” like the forced marriage of underage girls.

Jess was convicted on two counts of felony child sexual assault. Carlson said the conviction “was unjustified,” according to Buzzfeed.

Former Republican Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico, Edison Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughters when they were between the ages of 9 and 17, according to the Guardian.

Former Republican Waterbury, Conn., Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year-old girls, according to the New Haven Register.

Former Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortage was sentenced to three years’ probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year-old girl, according to The Guardian.

Former Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl, according to The New York Times.

Former Republican U.S. Sen. Strom Thurman had sex with a 15-year-old which produced a child, according to The New York Times.

There are more than 300 accusations or convictions that could still be written about.

If conservatives are going to smear Democrats as “groomer” and “pro-pedophilia” and pose as the nation’s protector of children, it’s certainly fair to bring up this history in retort.

It is also entirely valid to note how weak the GOP’s response has been to recent scandals in its own rank and file.