The #MeToo movement last month opened a floodgate to allegations of sexual misconduct. Judge Roy Moore, the candidate running to take the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions accepted the job of Attorney General, has been accused by multiple women of sexual impropriety.
While on the bench, critics say Roy Moore showed more empathy for defendants than victims of sex crimes, appellate lawyers in Alabama told the NY Times. He argued against the Alabama shield that protects women from having their previous sexual histories brought up by the defense. Even in the case of minors.
His Trump-backed opponent in the primary cited a case where Moore was the one dissenting vote in an 8-1 decision to uphold the sodomy rape of a 5-year-old boy. Moore said sodomy was a horrible crime that should be punished but the statute being used was not designed by the state legislature to punish when one child sexually abuses another child.
President Trump is again under fire. Sixteen women have come forward to accuse the 45th President of sexual misconduct. Trump’s response to the charges is to complain that the UCLA Basketball team isn’t grateful for his springing 3 of their players from a Chinese jail. He further complains about the NFL, take a knee movement. The fake press and crooked Hillary are always popular forms of diversion for The President.
Another response was to hand his base a present. The United States was one of only 3 nations in the world to vote against a resolution condemning the rising global Nazi movement. Are things desperate enough for Trump that he must lay down with the neo-Nazis again, or is he one? That is a debate for another day. He is behaving like a man in a corner.
Washington is a place that seems to seek a balance and especially balance in sex scandals. The tu quoque logical fallacy was not invented by Washington, but Washington has adopted it as a primary tool of deflection. Tu quoque literally means you too. Answering a criticism with another criticism of equivalent behavior is a staple in Washington.
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is under fire. Before he was a liberal lion in the Senate, Senator Franken was an award-winning comic. I’ve known quite a few from my days in California. They just aren’t normal people. They can’t be and be comics. To them, everything is fair game.
Senator Franken has a long history of making tasteless jokes about sexual misconduct including rape. Comics exploit the absurd. Defenders of comics will say they do it to hold a mirror to society. I have a more simplistic view: they will say or do just about anything to get a laugh.
In my lifetime, comics have moved from cute jokes about benign content to ignoring any limits on vulgarity and sexuality. The more shocking the better.
It is one thing to deliver a line. It is quite another to deliver an unwanted tongue into a woman’s mouth during a rehearsal she said no to participating in. A woman came forward with a #MeToo accusation against Senator Franken.
The Senator’s supporters say the woman is doing it for political reasons. Some are saying she is doing it for pay, or publicity. Some are attacking her sexual history just as Roy Moore supported doing in rape cases.
It set off a war of hypocrisy. That is the goal of the GOP and Democrats are running gleefully into the obvious trap. Senator Franken wasn’t singled out because of his positions as his supporters would like to think. He was singled out because he was an entertainer and entertainers have a well-earned reputation for promiscuity.
I’m shocked the GOP hasn’t resurrected Senator Ted Kennedy’s sexual escapades. After all, nothing is sacred in Washington. It is a city that if it wanted to know the definition of honor, it would have to consult a dictionary. They still wouldn’t get it.
Even PBS newsman Charlie Rose has been exposed as a lothario. Charlie Rose of all people. I can’t get my mind around the notion of Charlie Rose and anything to do with sex, or harassment. It’s like accusing mashed potatoes of sexual impropriety. Nine women have come forward.
There is a much bigger scandal
All the above scandals are real eye-catchers because they orbit around famous and powerful men. There is another Washington sex scandal and it is being covered up by the Congress of the USA.
Congress shook the taxpayer piggy bank hard and paid out 17 million of our tax dollars to quietly settle sexual harassment claims. Think about that a moment. The US House of Representatives took our tax dollars and paid victims a settlement for the behavior Members of the House of Representatives.
Here is the message Office of Compliance (OOC) has sent to Members of Congress, “if you get caught, don’t sweat it. We’ve got your back.”
The official argument for secrecy is that they are protecting the victims. If Senator Al Franken goes back to comedy, he should use that line because it is hilarious. The victims can be protected with “Jane Doe,” or “John Doe.” There is no reason to protect the perpetrator.
Here is just how secret it is: not even other Members of Congress know any names or details.
You may ask, “Doesn’t the Freedom of Information Act make all that public?” In a word, no. Due to the separation of powers provisions of the US Constitution, the House can keep it a secret and have Constitutional protection in doing so. Article 1 of the US Constitution provides that the rules of the House and Senate and the Constitution and nothing else are the law.
Good luck in finding within the Rules of the House and the Senate, as well as the Jefferson Manual for the House an argument for openness. It isn’t there and I’ve read all three documents many, many times.
As my long-time readers know, I worked on The Hill and with the Administration for over two decades. Elected officials sexually harassing everyone in sight is the norm and not the exception.
Speculation is at a fevered pitch on The Hill. Just this morning, long-time Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is denying charges he settled a claim with an aid. There will be more allegations as the days wear on. Many Members are very nervous today.
Speaker Ryan called the allegations against Rep. Conyers “troubling.” That’s because Conyers is a Democrat. If he was a Republican, Ryan wouldn’t be making statements.
That’s how Washington works.
Happy Thanksgiving to my readers
I hope all my readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Despite our national angst about our nation politically, there is still a lot to be thankful for. For those who find me and read me on Facebook, I’ll be gone until the day after Thanksgiving.
Just remember that Thanksgiving is like Christmas only without presents to reward suppressing familial rage.
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Tags: #MeToo, 17 Million Dollars, Charlie Rose, Cover up, Office of Compliance, Rep John Conyers, Roy Moore, Senator Al Franken, Sex scandals, Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump base, Trump diversions, Tu quoque, US House of Representatives, USA voting against a resolution agaist Nazis, Washington sex scandals