Today’s paragraphs come to us from Alexandra DeSanctis, writing for nationareview.com. They discuss the selective outrage of some Democrats when it comes to protecting women:
The same Democrats who have bellowed for years about the Republican party’s “war on women,” who never waste an opportunity to lash out at the pro-life movement for being “anti-woman,” and who propelled Barack Obama to his second term in part by creating the fiction that women’s paying for their own contraception is sexist discrimination, have dropped their weapons and retreated now that members of their own ranks are being implicated in a real war on women: the scourge of sexual assault.
When accusations against Conyers — a long-time Michigan congressman who, until last week, served as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee — surfaced on November 21, Pelosi said she has “zero tolerance” for harassment. But shortly afterward, she appeared on Meet the Press to defend Conyers, invoking his due-process rights, calling him “an icon,” and praising him for his longtime support of women’s rights. She even intimated that his accusers might be less than credible — “What is it, one accusation? Is it two?” she said dismissively.
Now, Pelosi wants Conyers to resign. But her painful equivocation suggests that her ultimate change in rhetoric had more to do with political calculus than with principle. Very few of her fellow Democratic congressmen, including those who purport to be champions of women, preempted her to demand Conyers’s resignation.
Meanwhile, not a single Senate Democrat has called on Minnesota senator Al Franken to resign. As of this morning, six women have accused the Democrat of groping or forcibly kissing them. Franken doesn’t deny the allegations and has apologized, but he refuses to consider resigning, offering instead to regretfully reflect on his past choices.
Hypocritical politicians? Politicians whose outrage begins and ends with officeholders on the other side of the aisle? Who ever heard of such a thing?
Look, this is de rigueur behavior for both parties, not just Democrats. Republicans are, and have been, perfectly capable of exactly the same kind of selective condemnation.
But women’s issues have a special place in all this. They have been the star upon which Democrats have built their franchise for a good many years – with abortion, equal pay and quality of treatment in the workplace the three major issues.
So when members of their own party, based on their own well-publicized standards, far exceed acceptable behavior, but there is obvious reticence to offer more than perfunctory lip service, it suggests that the “concern” at least some (far from all, I am certain, but some) Democrats show is nothing more than cynical, opportunistic politics.
Alexandra DeSanctis wins Paragraphs Of The Day honors for bringing this home so clearly.