Tag Archives: sexual assault

Just apologize, Joe Biden

Joe Biden looks and sounds like someone who is going to run for president of the United States in 2020.

Before he does, though, the former vice president needs to perform one simple but significant task. He needs to apologize to all those who might have felt uncomfortable as they received touchy-feely greetings from the longtime public official.

You know the story. Some women have disclosed that the former VP got a little too close for comfort to them. He grabbed them by the shoulders, got in their faces, kissed some of them on the top of their heads.

Did he commit an act of sexual deviancy? Did he assault them, as others in public life have done or have been accused of doing (such as the current president of the United States)? No. He hasn’t.

And in my view these acts that Biden allegedly did are not disqualifiers if he wants to run for the presidency.

However, the video he released in which he said “I get” that social norms have changed since he entered the national scene in 1972 as a young U.S. senator, doesn’t go quite far enough.

Biden should say he is sorry for what he did. By saying he is sorry, I don’t mean he should offer one of those lame “I am sorry if I offended” someone, or “I am sorry to those who are offended.”

He needs to say, “I am sorry for my actions. I regret them terribly. I have learned my lesson. I pledge to be a better man.”

If he does that, then he should launch his campaign . . . and go full throttle in a quest to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He is not my ideal candidate to defeat Donald Trump, but he would take a huge step toward that goal by saying he is sorry for the way he has behaved.

Trump trashes Biden . . . over this?

Yep. It’s true. Donald Trump probably could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.”

That has to explain how this president, facing the accusations that have been leveled at him by at least a dozen women, could poke fun at a potential 2020 opponent because he’s a bit too touchy-feely.

Trump took dead aim at former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s been accused by four women of getting a bit too close to them. He made them feel “uncomfortable” because he touched them and kissed them on the back of their heads.

Trump? Oh, he’s been accused of sexual molestation, outright sexual assault, sexual harassment — and he’s actually admitted to “grabbing them by their pu***” because he’s a celebrity.

So now he’s poking fun at Joe Biden.

Sheesh! His base loves it. They cheer him on. They think this guy’s the greatest.

Disgusting.

Bill Cosby: He’s no Mandela, MLK Jr. or Gandhi

I don’t usually comment on convicted criminals, but I cannot let this issue pass without offering a brief response.

Bill Cosby, the formerly revered comedian and actor, is now a convicted sexual assailant. A jury convicted him of sexually assaulting a woman. He’s now spending three to 10 years in prison.

But now he says he doesn’t feel remorse because he is a “political prisoner,” in the mold of Nelson Mandela, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.

No, he isn’t.

Hmm. Mandela was held on Robben Island for 27 years because he protested apartheid in South Africa; Dr. King was held in jail because he opposed oppression of African-Americans in the United States; Gandhi was imprisoned because he wanted independence for India.

Yep, those great men were political prisoners.

Bill Cosby is in the slammer because he was convicted of sexual assault. There is absolutely zero moral equivalence between what he did and why the men to whom he compares himself were denied their freedom.

Be quiet, Mr. Cosby, and do your time.

It goes from real bad to hideous in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam should resign his office.

He reportedly has told his staff he isn’t going to quit, despite the existence of some ghastly, racist photos that appeared on his medical school yearbook page.

The Democratic governor cannot possibly govern his state, given the hideous publicity that has engulfed him.

Oh, but it gets a whole lot worse for residents of one of our 50 states.

A second woman has now accused the lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, of sexual assault. Fairfax already has denied the accusation leveled by the first woman who has made a similar allegation. Now comes a second one.

Do you want some more? Try this: The Virginia attorney general, Mark Herring, has admitted to wearing black face in the 1980s.

There you have it. The top three men in the state’s government hierarchy — all Democrats — now have been linked to (a) racist behavior and (b) sexual misconduct of the first order.

Hey, this matters to all Americans, not just Virginians. The racial element lifts the Northam and Herring controversies directly onto the nation stage. As for Fairfax, the #MeToo movement gives that story added national impetus.

I will stand by my original view that Northam needs to quit. He cannot possibly govern the state. The yearbook photo of the guy in the black face standing next to another individual dressed in a Ku Klux Klan getup is on the page with Ralph Northam’s name on it. He expects the public to believe he didn’t know about it? That he didn’t learn of the picture only until this past week, 35 years after the publication of the yearbook?

Is this guy serious?

Virginia, you have a serious problem.

Virginia: It’s for political discomfort

They say that “Virginia is for lovers,” which is a slogan the state uses to market itself to the rest of the world.

These days, though, the state is taking on a whole new definition. It’s now a place where the highest echelon of the state’s government is squirming in extreme discomfort.

Gov. Ralph Northam is facing an enormous amount of pressure to resign after a picture surfaced on his medical school yearbook page showing two men, one of them in black face, the other in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Northam’s name is on the page. He at first apologized for the photo, then said he wasn’t either of the men depicted in it and has resisted demands that he quit the governor’s office.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, the next in line for the top job in Richmond, has accused of sexual assault by a woman who said he raped her in a hotel room in 2004. Fairfax said the encounter was “consensual,” and has denied doing anything wrong. He’s also issued a type of apology for an act he said he didn’t commit. Go figure.

Attorney General Mark Herring, the next in line for the governor’s office after Fairfax, now reportedly appeared in black face in the 1980s, igniting yet another firestorm in the Virginia statehouse. Herring admitted to wearing black makeup to look like a rapper.

All three of these fellows are facing pressure to quit. They’re all Democrats. The next individual in line to take the top job, if all of them quit — as they likely should do — is the speaker of the Virginia House of Representatives. He’s a Republican.

It goes without saying that the balance of power in a significant “swing state” that has become vital to presidential candidates is teetering on the brink of a major shift.

Does all of this matter to a national audience? You bet it does! We’re talking about race relations and in the age of the #MeToo movement, any reference to sexual assault or harassment lifts it onto the national stage.

Oh . . . brother!

To think that Texas politics has been called a “contact sport.” In Virginia, it has become a “collision sport.” 

How low can POTUS go?

It is fair to wonder about the depths of Donald J. Trump’s progression as a politician. To the point: Just how low is too low and how do we know if he has hit rock bottom?

I do not believe, based on the record of low points he has acquired to date, that we have found the bottom of the abyss.

My goodness, this individual has scored so many low points it’s hard to keep score. Some highlights/lowlights:

  • He said the late U.S. Sen. John McCain was a “war hero only because he was captured” during the Vietnam War.
  • Trump denigrated a Gold Star family because of their Arab ethnicity; their son, an Army officer, died in battle in Iraq. The parents had the temerity to criticize Trump during the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
  • Trump mocked a New York Times reporter, mimicking his actions caused by a severe neuromuscular disease.
  • The candidate admitted to a TV host that he grabbed women by their genitals because of his “celebrity” status.
  • Trump has lied repeatedly, gratuitously and without any sense of shame.
  • The president just recently criticized the Special Operations Command chief — retired Admiral William McRaven, a battle-tested SEAL — for failing to kill Osama bin Laden “much sooner” than commandos did.

I know I have missed some examples, but you get the idea.

One might surmise, probably correctly, that any one or two of those incidents would doom someone’s political aspirations. Donald Trump, though, not only has survived, he has managed to fire up his political base. The roughly 38 percent of Americans who stand by their man do so because he “tells it like it is,” or he sticks it in the establishment’s eye, or speaks their language.

What’s more, this guy doesn’t care that the rest of the country finds his statements, behavior and demeanor repugnant to the high office he occupies.

How low can this guy go? I think he’s got some more space to fall before he finds the bottom of the pit.

He once said he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.” I believe he is correct. Surely he knows better than to test that theory. Doesn’t he?

It was a ‘job interview,’ not a criminal proceeding

I am going to revisit an issue I once declared was done. I’ll be brief, so bear with me.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh went through a grueling confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee because of an accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford, who said when the two of them were teenagers, he sexually assaulted her.

Kavanaugh denied it in the strongest terms possible. Most of the Senate believed him, despite Ford’s compelling testimony that it happened.

Was the justice applying for a lifetime job on the highest court in the land or was he being grilled in a criminal investigation,  you know, by prosecutors and cops. Well, it was the former. He was seeking to be confirmed after Donald J. Trump nominated him.

I, too, have been able to interview applicants for jobs. I was able to hire individuals who worked under my supervision. I have had to let a couple of them go over time. It’s not fun.

Here’s the question of the day: Were I to hear of an allegation of a sex crime leveled against someone who wanted to work for me, would I presume them to be innocent until they are proven guilty? No. I would consider that a disqualifier. I would be under no obligation to presume anyone’s innocence if I perceived the allegation to have a lick of credibility.

That appeared to be the issue facing Judiciary Committee members and then the full Senate when they pondered Kavanaugh’s fitness for the job he was seeking.

I want to circle back to a point I made in an earlier blog post. Justice Kavanaugh’s position as a “job applicant” did not rise to the level of criminal defendant. He wasn’t answering questions in a courtroom. He wasn’t being grilled by cops. He was being questioned by politicians who were considering whether to hire him for a lifetime job on the nation’s highest court.

Well, it all went for naught. Kavanaugh was confirmed. He’s now on the court. He’ll be there for the next umpteen years, making decisions on the constitutionality of some of the most controversial issues of our time.

Did he do the terrible things his accuser said he did? We’ll never know … will we. As a former employer, I would not want to live with such uncertainty hanging over someone who works for me.

Time to move on from Kavanaugh fight

I cannot guarantee it, sign it in blood or put my name on a sworn document, but this might be my final blog post … on the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation conflict.

The man is now on the U.S. Supreme Court. He will take his oath of office yet again in a prime-time TV event at the White House. The president will be there, no doubt to crow about the victory he and his fellow Republicans scored in securing Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

The road to confirmation was rocky in the extreme. You know how I feel about, so I won’t belabor the point.

I guess this is my way of saying that because I was a bit late in concluding Kavanaugh didn’t belong on the court I won’t keep fighting a battle that’s been lost.

The other side won. I’ll leave the on-going fight to others.

I do intend to watch Justice Kavanaugh’s record on high court ruling and plan to comment on those rulings as they develop.

The fight for the rights of sexual assault and sexual abuse victims overall, of course, is worth continuing. I’ll keep my head in that fight, too, as it goes on.

However, my commentary on whether Brett Kavanaugh is fit for service on the high court has come to an end.

More than likely.

Oh, as for the man who nominated Justice Kavanaugh to that post — the president of the United States? I intend fully to stay engaged in that discussion over his fitness — or lack thereof — for the job he occupies.

Trump shows how low he can go

When he relies on his own instincts, rather than reading text off a Teleprompter, Donald J. Trump is fully capable of demonstrating how rank, vile and moronic he can sound.

Take his Mississippi campaign rally Tuesday night when he decided to mock Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers.

Did the president give this serious and grave issue the serious and grave treatment it deserves. Heavens no! He decided to mock the accuser.

According to The Washington Post:

In his most direct attack on Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while both were teenagers in Maryland, Trump sought Tuesday night to highlight holes in the account Ford gave in sworn testimony to the Judiciary Committee last week.

“ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ ‘Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it?’ ‘I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,’ ” Trump said of Ford, as he impersonated her on stage.

“ ‘I don’t remember,’ ” he said repeatedly, apparently mocking her testimony.

Trump makes light of serious charge

Isn’t that guy just uproariously funny? Umm. No. He isn’t. He’s disgusting. Then again, that’s must my view.

On the other side of the great divide, we have Americans who just think Trump is the best thing to happen to politics since pockets on shirts. His campaign rally crowd Tuesday night laughed right along with the jokes and the mocking behavior he exhibited toward Christine Ford.

I have to agree with the view of conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who said that as much as Trump’s idiotic behavior motivates Democrats to vote against Republicans in the midterm election, it also motivates Republicans to stand by their candidates.

The question now rests on which side is more motivated and which side will produce the most voters on Election Day.

Is it entirely possible that the moronic rhetoric we hear from Donald Trump is a winning formula for the political party he leads? Before you dismiss it out of hand, just remember: This clown got elected president of the United States.

This is how you define ‘comprehensive’?

Let’s see how this plays out.

Donald J. Trump said he wants the FBI to conduct a “comprehensive” investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford and the allegation of sexual assault that Ford has leveled against Kavanaugh.

That’s good … so far.

Then we hear that the FBI isn’t going to talk to either of them. Kavanaugh, the president’s nominee to join the U.S. Supreme Court won’t be interviewed by the FBI. Ford gets a pass, too.

My question, then, is this: How “comprehensive” can an FBI investigation be when the agency doesn’t interview the two main principals in this on-going political drama?

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might cast a full vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court as early as Friday.

It appears that those of us who want a thorough and “comprehensive” probe are getting the bum’s rush.