WASHINGTON D.C. — On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shocked the country at a D.C. press conference where the Kentucky legislator boldly broke with his party, calling on his fellow Republicans to officially denounce pedophilia, “once and for all.”
“It was astonishing. I’ve never seen anything like it. The political courage it must have took for him to get up there and say something like that in public – just, like, wow!” said 24-year-old Senate Page Kenneth Gibranski.
Political historians are fond of saying that pedophilia – a popular form of interpersonal violence that involves adults, usually men, raping children with impunity – is the third rail of American politics: touch it and die. While visionaries, oddballs, radical feminists, and other fringe political groups have advocated for the abolition of pedophilia since the 1990s, calling it “truly sick,” “evil,” and “obviously disgusting,” until today, the Republican Party showed no signs of modernizing. When, last week, the Washington Post reported that GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had preyed on 14-year-old girls, many Republicans dismissed famous anti-pedophilia advocates like Hillary Clinton, Colin Kaepernick and Ronan Farrow who’ve argued that Moore should go to prison. Fox News pundit Sean Hannity denigrated Moore’s opponents as “crazy left-wingers who hate sex, men, and the Constitution,” before accusing anti-pedos of trying to create a “nanny state that interferes in men’s bedrooms. Laws that prohibit adult men from doing what they want with consenting children in the privacy of their own homes are just another prime example of federal overreach.”
For McConnell, who previously held a 100% rating from the NRA, or National Rapists Association, there might be political repercussions. While McConnell aides insisted that his new anti-pedophilia stance reflects McConnell’s “deeply felt anti-child-rape principles,” some conservatives are charging that his flip-flop is “far more calculated.” As of Monday afternoon, Breitbart was accusing McConnell of “pandering the youth vote” after new polls showed that 100 percent of Americans aged 0-18 strongly disapprove of pedophilia. “He’s just pandering to children, who are once again seeking special treatment from the government. It’s pathetic,” Steve Bannon told MSNBC.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called McConnell’s turn-around on pedophilia a “betrayal of Ayn Rand,” citing his favorite conservative philosopher who argues that burdensome government regulations like anti-pedophile laws prevent aspiring rapists from achieving unfettered greatness.
But McConnell’s spokesman defended the majority leader from attacks within his own party, saying that the GOP was “against pedophilia when President Hillary Rodham Clinton was organizing a child sex ring in the basement of a D.C. pizza establishment. Intellectual consistency demands that McConnell oppose pedophilia now too, no matter the consequences.”
Immediately, GOP senators wondered how far McConnell would go now that he’d opened the “anti-rape floodgates.”
“It’s a slippery slope. McConnell says believes the women who have accused Roy Moore of abusing them as children in Alabama. Who will he believe next? Cosby’s accusers? Women who say they’ve been raped in the military by their superior officers? (What were they doing there in the first place?) Gretchen Carlson? Floozies who were lucky to be have their pussies grabbed by Donald Trump?” worried Sen. Rand Paul.