The Sexual Harassment Storm and its Effect on Washington

What began with a sexual harassment fishing expedition by the media and Democrats to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president has morphed into a bipartisan nightmare from Democrat and Republican alike. The question is – who will pay for their indiscretions and which party has the most to lose if it makes the wrong response?

Judge Roy Moore appears, for the moment, to have weathered an onslaught by progressives within and without the media and may well be the next Senator elected by the voters of Alabama. Now progressive banner carrier Senator Al Franken and longtime Representative John Conyers have proven the moral high ground the left has feigned to hold is as many always believed, an illusion.

After the revelation of Franken’s indiscretions came to light, Kyle Smith of National Review wrote:

The Senate sex-and-power calculus has come to this: Roy Moore fans say, “Al Franken isn’t dropping out. Why should our guy?” Al Franken fans say, “Roy Moore isn’t dropping out. Why should our guy?”

But do the parties have equal stakes the “he did worse” sweepstakes going on in Washington?

Less than a week ago the Democrat Party looked to be the winner if Roy Moore loses but now the bigger dilemma is that Al Franken and John Conyers will remain even if he wins. For several years now Democrats have tagged Donald Trump for a “war on women” and themselves as champions of the oppressed. But what now?

Franken and Conyer’s party has positioned itself for years as the defender of women’s rights and gender equality from attacks by the right. At the same time, Nancy Pelosi and the party have staunchly refused to act against Conyers and protects other senate and house members accused of harassment. Conversely, Mitch McConnell has made it plain that there will be Senate ethics inquiries should Moore be elected.

An editorial in Vox, normally a defender of all things progressive, illustrates the Democrats’ dilemma:

But if the Democratic Party chooses to continue to protect its members against harassment allegations, it needs to be honest about the choice it’s not making: the choice to be an institution that actually reflects the better world it says it wants to create.

For months, Democrats have identified themselves with the diffuse cultural energy known as “the resistance.” Now that public outrage is actually beginning to create change, by pushing serial predators out of positions of power, the Democrats — and other progressive political institutions — are facing a moment of reckoning. It can be an ally of the emergent social movement against a culture of serial harassment and “open secrets,” or it can be a partner of convenience.

One Vox writer noted that the Democratic Party which portrayed itself as one with “The Resistance” may well be no more one in the same than the Republican Party is with the base that elected Donald Trump.

The nature of the relationship between these groups depends largely on the establishment on both sides. How Democrats respond to admitted predatory behavior on their side in contrast to how vocal they have been about unproven allegations aimed at their opponents could make the difference in close elections. Roy Moore, down 5-10% a week ago is already up 5% this week.

All this illustrates the uncertainty of what lies ahead in 2020.

Recent polls show that Democratic voters seem more likely than Republicans to believe allegations of sexual assault and want guilty lawmakers punished. A Huffington Post survey reveals that the majority of those who voted for Hillary Clinton are more likely to believe allegations against men, whether they be Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Bill O’Reilly, or Harvey Weinstein.

On the other hand, a majority of those who voted for Trump see things far differently. 74% of those who voted for Trump believe allegations against Weinstein but only 24% find allegations against O’Reilly credible. Just 6% of those who voted for Trump believe his accusers.

Democratic strategist Lis Smith told NBC News, “We have no moral high ground against the likes of Roy Moore if we sit by in silence when Al Franken and John Conyers get to sit in their seats.”

Conservatives have known Democrats’ claim to be champions of the oppressed have been bogus for a long time. With the recent firing of Matt Lauer, they have been proven right about the mainstream media as well.

~ American Liberty Report