Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crying Wolf, but Ignoring the Coyote

I remember 2011 quite well. The Republicans had put forth the usual group of spineless, but nice, RINOs as candidates for the presidential election. I supported Herman Cain, who, while not a great candidate, was a darn sight better than any of the other yahoos trying to get nominated for the 2012 presidential election. And then his campaign was devastated by sexual misconduct allegations, allegations which disappeared into thin air the instant Cain dropped his campaign.

On the other hand, men on the opposite side of the political spectrum - Roman Polanski and Bill Clinton - engaged in blatant sexual misconduct and rape, and the left went on the warpath to protect them. Never mind that Polanski was a pedophile - "it wasn't rape-rape". Forget that the power dynamic between Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, and the silencing of numerous others accusing Clinton of assault and sexual impropriety - after all, it's just one "vast right-wing conspiracy" to discredit the Clintons.

The extreme difference in media response, with liberals only getting brought down when it's so blatant that the media can't hide it - and as Polanski proved, sometimes not even then - and Republicans getting lambasted when subjected to any claims of sexual impropriety... claims which go away when the Republicans in question are no longer politically relevant, and which usually happened decades in the past, with statutes of limitations well past...

If this dynamic is to be broken, or at least mitigated, so that you don't automatically cause roughly one half of the country to disbelieve you on sexual assault accusations leveled towards a Republican candidate then a couple of things need to happen:

  1. I don't care what Judge Roy Moore does - whether he goes to the Senate or obscurity - you better at least force a settlement out of him. It's too late for a criminal conviction (a point against you BTW), but you need to achieve something other than the destruction of his political career to retain credibility. Otherwise a fair number of people will (rightly) view your future accusations as both not credible, and as political weapons. Of course, it also doesn't help that most of what he's being accused of isn't actually illegal... but some of the things he is accused of were actually illegal, so if there's any truth to the accusations, we'd better see a result.
  2. Don't allow ANYONE, to get away with shit just because they share your politics. If you know (not suspect, KNOW) that someone is doing something (as, apparently most of Hollywood did about Weinstein) then f***ing report it to the police. Don't let it fester. Don't hold back until the statute of limitations is past (this one is important, both for credibility, and to ensure that sexual predators get taken out of circulation). Don't say that it wasn't "rape-rape". If you have personal knowledge of sexual misconduct, you have an obligation to do something about it. Of course, if you're the victim, reporting (or not) is your prerogative, and you may very well have some good reasons for not reporting. But Weinstein's actions were well known by far more than just the victims.