She had a chance to take a stand, but Nancy Pelosi led the Democratic Party off of the moral high ground and took up residence on a moral molehill.
Few issues have the opportunity to unify people of both parties more than the belief that men shouldn’t abuse their power to sexually abuse women and children.
Most people agree that Roy Moore’s sexual proclivity that caused him to seek out young teens when he was almost two decades older should be a disqualifying factor for service in the Senate.
Then came allegations against Al Franken (D-Minn.) and after another woman claimed Franken groped her at a photo op, the Senator said he believed he may have been “jostled” causing him to accidentally grope a woman. When asked if more victims would come forward, Franken said, “I hope not.”
That isn’t even as definitive as Moore’s defense to Sean Hannity when he said he didn’t “generally” date young teens when he was a district attorney in his 30s.
If this behavior is wrong, it doesn’t matter who you like or don’t like. As I said when Alabama pastors began defending the indefensible actions of Roy Moore, “right and wrong don’t depend on right and left.”
On Sunday morning, Pelosi was asked about Michigan Congressman John Conyers and allegations that he settled a sexual harassment claim a couple of years ago with the money to pay off the claim coming from taxpayer funds set up to protect lecherous members of Congress.
Pelosi wouldn’t condemn Conyers just as President Donald Trump has refused to condemn Moore. It turns out that concern for the victims always seems to be at a disadvantage when weighed against concern for the perpetrators and what their punishment would cost the party.
Jeff Flake is not seeking re-election in Arizona. That allows him to speak more freely and a less forked tongue.
“After what we know,” Flake, a Republican Senator, said this weekend, “for Republicans to support Roy Moore over Doug Jones is political tribalism at its worst. We shouldn’t succumb to it.”
I think that horse has left the barn.
Pelosi is just another woman who enables the men who victimize other women by supporting them because of the fact that she shares and enjoys some of the power they yield over their victims. Many women have used the “me too” movement on social media to let other women know they are not alone and stand with other victims of abuse.
Pelosi had a chance Sunday morning to stand with those women and say there would be no more silent victims in Congressional offices by taking the accusations out of the secret realm and discontinuing the governmental payouts to cover bad actions of Senators and Representatives.
Instead, she called Conyers an icon and said she knew he would do the right thing. If it were true that he would do the right thing, would he really have agreed to a settlement for sexual harassment in 2015? A few Democratic women in Congress have called for Conyers to step down. But the number is woefully small and Conyers has no intention to do that.
He removed himself from the House Judiciary Committee. That’s like asking your child what their punishment should be and they say, “Walk the dog” or “Play with my brother.” Conyers’ self-punishment doesn’t exactly fit the crime.
On MSNBC Monday morning, Joe Scarborough actually agreed with Pelosi that Conyers is an icon. What neither of them will admit, is that if Conyers’ misdeeds hadn’t been covered up in 2015 and possibly before, would he have accomplished all of the things on his resume that give him icon status?
I actually agree with Al Franken. I hope no other women are forced to come forward with stories about members of Congress and current candidates who are deviant in every sense of the word.
When they supported and elected Donald Trump to the highest office in the land, the Republicans stepped down from the moral high ground. As more charges mount, it is obvious that Democrats have no intention to take their spot.
We’re left with two parties that are equally abhorrent and ineffective. Their only desires are self-enrichment and preservation.
We all suffer for it.
I want to believe that voters will begin to hold elected officials to higher standards and place principle on at least an even platform with partisanship.
Watching Democrats defend their fallen champions and Republicans rallying for Roy Moore doesn’t lead me to believe that will ever really happen.
— Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.