Michaela Bush – Columnist
The explosion of sexual assault allegations began with Harvey Weinstein and has not yet ended. While real-life horror stories continue to pour out of Hollywood, another monstrosity is lurking beneath the face of Congress. While more assault allegations continue to surface, the response to these claims is equally as alarming as the claims themselves.
Before the “opinion” side of this article, let us go over some factual information.
As of Nov. 26, at least four women have accused Senator Al Franken of touching them inappropriately; in an apology, he likens the incidents of rear-grabbing or otherwise as “greetings or embraces.”
Representative Steve Lebsock and Senator Dan Schoen are also involved in sexual assault cases, and more famously, Representative John Conyers and senator nominee Roy Moore are tangled up in this disturbing mess with similar allegations.
Rep. Conyers denied the allegations (virtually everyone has) but recently stepped down from his duties when an investigation was announced regardless. Most Republicans denounced Roy Moore for his assault allegations, but he is still in the race for the senatorial position in his state.
When researching online, some interesting results arose: if one types in the keywords “Rep. John Conyers” onto Google, the first five pages of search results involve his decision to step down, as well as a few articles about women who wrote letters of support for him.
Nancy Pelosi supported Conyers, stating that “he is an icon,” but other congresswomen said they knew he would “do the right thing” or resign. No articles were found requesting his resignation in those pages.
Typing in the keywords “Sen. Al Franken” brings up five pages of articles covering his apology letter, his refusal to step down from his position, articles regarding the women involved with Saturday Night Live backing a letter of support for him (30 total women) and others stating that he was being treated unfairly for the photograph that surfaced of him groping a sleeping woman.
CBS News reported that some ladies have called him a “champion for women.” There was one article calling for his resignation in the search results, which was from Slate. Typing in “Roy Moore” will bring up the very first article, which is one requesting he step down from the electoral race. Many of the other articles are much of the same. Two of these individuals are Democrats and one is a Republican. Do you notice something unbalanced with this pattern?
As more members of Congress and other branches of the government are being accused of sexual assault, Roy Moore appears to be the scapegoat for the media’s spotlight and the others
are hardly cast in a negative light. Each of these cases should be scrutinized equally, and justice should be served, at least for the sake of the women involved. However, it appears that the politicization of these cases is affecting not only the public response and thoughts regarding them, but also how Congress is dealing with the mounting claims of assault and abuse. How is Congress ‘dealing with’ these claims?
Judge Jeanine Pirro recently addressed Congress’ sexual harassment settlement fund. This fund is using taxpayer dollars to sweep sexual assault cases under the rug for congressmen. Voters have no way of knowing about these cases.
“Who decided we would pay for their sexual perversions?” she asked, according to Fox News Insider. Essentially, the victims of assault are paid off and our lawmakers get to defy the very laws they advocate for.
All of this is fundamentally wrong. The members of Congress should be held to the same standards that an average citizen would. They are not above the law and certainly should not be upheld with a sense of reverence or irreverence depending on their political affiliation. Wrong is wrong. Certainly someone who mistreats women and then denies it, further belittling the women at the bottom of the case, is not a “champion of women,” but very much the opposite. Simply looking at someone’s past legislative views should not garner more or less support when all of these men have committed very similar crimes against women.
It is time to continue investigating claims of abuse and assault within Congress and it is time to do something about them rather than letting them slide or sweeping them under the rug with someone who has been paid off but will deal with guilt and painful memories their entire lives.
It is also time to consider every case on equal ground as a law-breaking, perverted issue rather than just a political one. Perhaps Judge Jeanine Pirro said it best: “It is time we the people demand the justice and the accountability that these fools have been preaching to us for years. Every one of these cases needs to see the light of day.”