The sex scandals we read about are all different and require different responses, ranging from letting the voters speak to criminal prosecution.
Except for hysterical stories about President Trump drinking water or feeding fish the wrong way, it seems as if the news is entirely taken over with breaking sex scandals in entertainment and politics. Despite the efforts to conflate them in order to get rid of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, there are very different types of scandals going on here and they call for different responses. I’ve tried to break down the categories.
1. Roy Moore and Donald Trump — Let the People decide. Both Roy Moore and Donald Trump were well-positioned to win elections when they were hit by 11th hour — no, 11th hour and 57th minute — accusations that they had committed sexual improprieties against women. Both men denied doing so. (And yes, it’s true that Trump was caught on tape saying that, if you’re rich, you can grab women, which is no doubt a truism for the rich and powerful. However, he was not heard saying, “I am rich so I, personally, did grab women’s crotches.” So again, Trump, like Moore, has denied the claims against him.) The accusations against both politically-polarizing men, therefore, are “he said/she said” matters.
In the case of both Moore and Trump, it quickly became clear that the women making the allegations were politically opposed to the candidate against whom they asserted wrongdoing. The only exception is one of Moore’s accusers, who contends she is a Republican. Unfortunately for her credibility, her past is drowned in drugs and alcohol and she has a history of accusing men of sexual assault and harassment. That could mean she’s a vulnerable person upon whom men prey, that she’s hanging out with the wrong crowd, or that she’s a liar.)
In the case of both Moore and Trump, when seen in context of the time and place, the alleged behavior is not that outré. Trump was living the lush life in New York during the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, when the city was drenched in hyper-sexual behavior. I’m not defending that time — it was a time of loose morals, to say the least — nor am I saying that those who participated in the debauchery have a good excuse for doing so. Nevertheless, if there’s ever a situation in which one can say “everyone was doing it,” the New York scene back then was the time and the place.
Likewise, when it comes to Moore, we’re talking Alabama in the 1970s. Alabama was not New York. Instead, it was probably closer to the 1950s, a time of unprecedentedly high teen pregnancies — high because women married and got pregnant at 16, 17, and 18. If Moore did have a penchant for teens, these girls were considered “of age” and the age difference was not seen as an overwhelming barrier. Again, I’m not saying his behavior was nice or moral; I’m saying it was not illegal and it was also not far from the mid-line of normal for that time and place.
One other aspect of the Moore case that deserves attention is the fact that people have raised credible concerns about the yearbook that Gloria Allred refuses to allow any experts to inspect. Suspicious people have pointed out that the yearbook was signed in December (who signs a yearbook then?); that the handwriting in the note differs from that in the signature; that the year 1977 is written twice, which is itself unusual, and that it is written in two different hands; and that the signature, which the initials DA appended, is the not the way Moore signed things but is, instead, the way Moore’s clerk signed his name when he presided over the divorce of the woman now accusing him. That is, she wrote his name along with her initials to show that she was authorized to sign on his behalf. Lastly, considering what an incredibly contentious career Moore has had, Alabama voters may wonder why these long-standing claims against him are emerging for the first time only when it’s too late to get another Republican on the ballot. Hmmm.
Most importantly, in both cases, the claims touch upon long-ago behavior that is far outside of either criminal or civil statutes of limitations. In other words, even if these allegations had been raised well in advance of the elections, they still could not have been tried. They are time-barred because the law holds that these types of accusations should be tried when there’s reason to believe that memories and evidence are still fresh. In other words, there is no deliberative process by which to determine (or to try to determine) the truth about charges against Trump and Moore.
So who, then, should decide the truth? I say that the American voters should. We are the jury of peers before whom those men will be tried.
In the case of Donald Trump, voters across America looked at the evidence before them (and that evidence consisted of every bit of dirt the MSM could muster, much of which would have been barred at trial for violating evidentiary rules) and these voters reached one of two conclusions: They concluded either that (1) the women/Democrats/media had failed to meet their burden of proving that it was more likely than not that Trump engaged in the alleged conduct or (2) they didn’t care what Trump had done back in the debauched 80s because a morally dirty Trump was still going to be a better leader for America than a morally dirty Hillary. The American jury has spoken.
What was true for Trump should be true for Moore. Because no jury will ever rule on Moore’s conduct and because the press is already trying Moore in the court of public opinion, it should be up to Alabama voters to decide whether Moore is guilty or not guilty — or whether they care that he’s guilty.
Alabama voters may conclude that the complainants are too politically prejudiced, that the timing of the charges is too suspect, that the one piece of alleged evidence is too corrupt and, as jury, acquit Moore by voting for him. Alternatively, they might decide that whatever Moore’s long-ago sins, his political opponent is worse. They may want a dirty old man over a Leftist who advocates illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, and abortion, among other hard Left positions. Again, in a matter that’s being tried in the press, the people ought to be the jury.
2. Al Franken — Despite the photo, let the People decide. Unlike the situation with Moore and Trump, Franken’s problem is that there’s photographic evidence of his sexually assaulting a sleeping woman. He may claim it was done as a joke, but as every lawyer will tell you, when it comes to sexual assault, “it was a joke” is not a defense. Franken also has a problem with the fact that his so-called joke dovetails perfectly with a “comedy” sketch he proposed more than a decade earlier, in which he would sexually assault a sleeping celebrity. Clearly, it’s been on his mind.
Aside from sexual shenanigans, the other claim against him, the one from Melanie Morgan, jibes well with what people know of Franken from watching his conduct in the Senate: He gets nasty and obsessive when crossed. I don’t believe Morgan’s claims against Franken describe criminal conduct (although it must have been terribly unnerving), but they reflect poorly on him. By the way, I completely believe Melanie. She’s a good acquaintance of mine going back several years and I have no doubts whatsoever about her credibility.
As is the case with Moore and Trump, although I haven’t looked at the law, I believe that the controlling statutes of limitations insulate Franken from both civil and criminal actions for sexual assault, stalking, or threats and harassment.
Franken cannot be tried in court and, something that may surprise you, I don’t believe he should be impeached, nor do I think it’s up to the Senators to kick out the voters’ chosen candidate. The same, by the way is true, for Moore. Should the voters elect him, neither Mitch McConnell nor anyone else has the power to refuse to administer the oath of office to Moore and to seat him in the Senate.
Impeachment should apply to Franken’s conduct as Senator. There’s no charge that he committed sexual abuse or criminal stalking while a Senator or that he’s failed to perform his duties as a Senator. (I mean, the fact that he’s a bit of a dim bulb probably means that he’s not really capable of carrying out senatorial responsibilities but that, again, was a call for the voters.)
If the citizens of Minnesota don’t care about Franken’s moral failings, that is their right. They can urge that he step down or they can vote him out in the next election — or keep him in. What’s important, though, is that even though there’s evidence of Franken’s past morally bad behavior, none of that means anyone other than Minnesota citizens should be able to challenge his standing as a United States Senator.
I may find Franken dumb as a rock and morally deficient, but it’s not my call — and it’s not the Senate’s call either.
When it comes to all three — Moore, Trump, and Franken — we can expect continued outrage from people of various political parties and that’s fine. Indeed, it’s possible that this debate about what conduct is or is not appropriate may improve America’s moral fiber. In terms of elected officials, though, what matters is that the voters get to decide whether they want politics or purity.
3. Kennedy and Clinton are and were disgusting: Kennedy and Clinton were both provably morally deficient when it came to sexual matters. In addition, Kennedy was, at the very least, criminally negligent when it came to death of a young woman. Indeed, since his actions after the accident were all about establishing an alibi, it’s reasonable to believe he intended Kopechne to die (as Disney knows, dead men tell no tales; neither do dead women), making her death an intentional act, aka murder. And yet, with both Clinton and Kennedy, despite full knowledge of their sexual wrongdoing, voters kept electing them — and electing other politicians who awarded them accolades and honors. That’s on the voters.
I once was a Democrat. I ignored Mary Jo’s story and disbelieved Clinton’s accusers (despite the overwhelming evidence, despite his admissions, and despite the blue dress). The only thing that mattered to me and my fellow Democrats was political, not moral, purity. At bottom, I think we’re all that way. One person’s foibles (or even their criminal acts) matter less than the fact that they institute public policies we support.
As long as they’re not going to be arrested, we tolerate their bad behavior. Politically powerful people know that they get this pass and they abuse it (see Biden, below). That’s how the world works.
4. And then there’s Hollywood. For me, Hollywood’s sex scandals are “pass the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show.” For the last 15 years, Hollywood has been aggressively opposed to values that matter to me. Worse than that, Hollywood’s preachers have perched themselves on a high pedestal of morality from which to launch their non-stop insults against my beliefs.
No wonder, then, that I am absolutely loving the bloodbath. I don’t doubt that the charges against Weinstein are true, because the police caught him on tape once before he paid off a prosecutor to make them go away. I’m sure many of the charges against the others are true too. I’m also sure that there are unfair charges to settle old scores.
If there’s time — that is, if the limitations period hasn’t passed — those accused of criminal conduct should be prosecuted. America’s legal system is uniquely set up to come as close to establishing the truth as possible. The rules of evidence are the product of centuries of understanding human behavior. Of course, we know from the OJ criminal trial that the system can definitely fail, and is only as good as the lawyers, judges, and juries involved. Still, it’s a good system and it’s certainly better than trial by media and Twitter.
But for all the other stuff — hey, I’m just having fun watching the hypocritical virtue signalers fall all over each other.
And we citizens are not without power here. Our true voice is not Facebook posts or Op-eds. Instead it’s called voting with our feet. We can just turn Hollywood off. When we stop watching and paying for Hollywood’s fare, it has the choice of reforming or going away. For the sake of all the other people in Hollywood, not the stars, but the thousands of hardworking, behind-the-scenes people, many of whom are conservative.
5. Bad Touch Biden and pedophilia are the exception to the views above. My opinions above are about politicians and entertainers who, even if they cannot be touched anymore by the law, can still be tried in the court of public opinion. It’s entirely different when it comes to the children. In that case, life imprisonment seems appropriate.
Let’s start with Bad Touch Biden, who boldly parades his inappropriate behavior before the cameras, secure in the knowledge that, as the second in command to the Left’s most favorite president ever, he’s untouchable. But as video after video shows — and these are un-retouched, un-edited videos from C-SPAN — Biden is without question a serial child molester, publicly stroking, fondling, and grinding against children.
I urge you to see the evidence of your own eyes. These videos will give you a start: Biden 1, Biden 2, and Biden 3. If you’re not convinced after watching those videos, spend just a couple of minutes on a search engine and I guarantee that you will find more and more evidence showing Biden obsessively pawing little girl’s breasts, playing with their hair, and stroking their cheeks and shoulders.
This is deeply disturbing conduct with prepubescent girls, something that reeks of pedophilia. I have no way of knowing whether Biden has gone further than what we can see on C-SPAN, but he’s definitely in the Dan Schneider category of people who should never be left alone with young people.
I’ve already told you here about the time a Hollywood insider identified a very well-known producer as a pedophile. That was hearsay on hearsay on hearsay, but I’m still expecting to hear that “R” is going to be named when the dam breaks.
We know that pedophilia is rife in Hollywood. So far, those named have not been people with recognizable names outside of Hollywood. However, that may change.
Roseanne Barr, who has become a delightful surprise since she figured out that Progressives are not good people, has hinted for some time now that the other shoe is going to drop in Hollywood, with pedophilia taking pride of place amongst the many debauched, immoral scandals being revealed. Sean Hannity also put up a cryptic tweet today. It’s probably about something innocuous that I would recognize if I watched his show. But since I almost never watch TV, all I can do is look at this tweet and hope that the pedophile boil is about to be lanced:
Tick tock….. From now into next year on many fronts!!!! Monday starts what will become an avalanche. Love to all deplorables. Tick tock!!
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 18, 2017
I still think we’re going to see something bigger than what England experienced when Jimmy Saville’s death finally broke the silence about the pedophilia rife amongst England’s entertainers and politicians.
Your opinions on the myriad sex scandals in the news, please?