Politics open thread, February 3-9

Our weekly politics thread is open.

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117 thoughts on “Politics open thread, February 3-9

  1. I’m seeing a lot of comments that allegations against Kavanaugh were similarly unsubstantiated.

  2. What would you say are the past transgressions that should immediately cause someone to resign as a governor/congressman/senator/president?

    If it’s more than 20 years in the past, I’m thinking that there’s broad forgiveness for marital infidelity, illegal drug use, driving while intoxicated (even, perhaps killing or seriously injuring someone as a result).

    Do you disagree with that, and think that those are, or should be, unforgivable in terms of keeping your job?

    What is an irredeemable offense?

  3. “What is an irredeemable offense?”

    This essay makes a lot of good points, IMO.

    Yet there is a curious dissonance between the message activists are promoting—that an offensive gesture from 35 years ago should permanently end a man’s career in politics—and their campaign around America’s system of mass incarceration. When it comes to criminal-justice reform, progressives are preaching that the aim of the system should be rehabilitation, not punishment, and that criminal behaviour is forged by social influences, rather than the result of bad choices by flawed individuals. They preach a Christian message of hating the sin but loving the sinner….

    History is replete with politicians who at times held noxious or unseemly views but who later used their power in government to stand on the side of civil rights and peace. Former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, for instance, refused to support federal anti-lynching legislation; he later became the president who exerted the political capital necessary to sign into law the Civil Rights Act. Former West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd didn’t just play dress-up as a Klansman—he was an actual local Klan leader. But when Byrd died, the Democratic Party acknowledged the possibility of redemption when they marked his passing by saluting his years of service. These eulogies included the following from Barack Obama, who said, “He was as much a part of the Senate as the marble busts that line its chamber and its corridors. His profound passion for that body and its role and responsibilities was as evident behind closed doors as it was in the stemwinders he peppered with history. He held the deepest respect of members of both parties, and he was generous with his time and advice, something I appreciated greatly as a young senator.”

  4. the problem is, the Democratic party depends heavily on black and female voters. So they simply cannot tolerate behavior that is very offensive to their key voting blocs. I think for most Republican politicians, if it turned out they had behaved in ways deeply offensive to evangelicals, it would similarly be a problem. For example, if someone dug up a Facebook posting showing a Republican pledging allegiance to Muslim jihad and denouncing Christians, it would not be good.

  5. I think a closer analogy would be dressing up as a jihadist as a Halloween costume. If there’s evidence that Gov. Northam actually pledged his allegiance to the Klan and its teachings, that would be a very different story.

    But it sounds like you’re seeing it more through the lens of political expedience rather than a simpler or more philosophical question about what is beyond redemption, and what is forgivable in the context of an otherwise decent life.

    I would just like him to apologize to Ed Gillespie, his GOP opponent whom he completely unfairly targeted and painted as a “racist” during the campaign. If he’s ousted, he kind of deserves the karma for that.

    But I hope he finishes his term. As a society, we’ve gotten way too reactionary and trigger happy.

  6. Count me among the people asking questions a la Milo.

    I am not saying the current Northam photos cause zero harm, but for things like that where, I am assuming here, he never brought or fomented any demonstrable harm to anyone, does the “statute of limitations” on relevancy ever end?

    What about the times, decades past, someone stood by while another person was teased/ridiculed mercilessly. Should that ‘standing by’ (vs. confronting/stopping) be used against them? Until when?

    These are honest questions that form the basis for discussions in our household. I’m not trolling.

  7. I don’t know; I’m with Mooshi. The crime is political and the punishment must be political. Morality don’t enter in.

  8. Are there different rules for people who hold elected office vs those who are hired/appointed? Obv a lot of those hired/appointed people are at-will employees and so can be offed anytime, but still I wonder.

    Have we reached a point where a political office holder should have brought out all the damning material about him/herself prior to the election so the electorate really knew what they were buying so that when something surfaces it’d be “yeah, well he disclosed that in the campaign, so we knew what we were getting and we elected him anyway”?

  9. You seem to thing the “crime” is limited to what happened 30 years ago. Did you see his press conference? He nearly moonwalked! He explained his medical school blackface by voluntarily telling us how he wore shoe polish in order to dress up as Michael Jackson. ! (Just wear a glove dude.)

    If this has come up during the campaign (or previous campaigns) and he owned it, apologized, remembered if he was the blackface guy or the KKK guy, shown he’d learned something since then, shown some personal growth, this would be a very different story.

  10. “the Democratic party depends heavily on black and female voters. So they simply cannot tolerate behavior that is very offensive to their key voting blocs.”

    You are not offended? Everyone should be offended.

  11. you’re saying he should resign because 35 years ago he wore shoe polish to imitate Michael Jackson, and he admitted this?

  12. “Everyone should be offended.”

    People grow exhausted of all the things we’re supposed to be offended by.

  13. Do I think he made a bad choice back in 1984. Yes. But what has he done since the time that he has been in politics? I’ll be honest that I have been paying to much attention to it because of exhaustion for stories like these. The essay July posted is a good one. We offer forgiveness to murderers, drug dealers, Prince Harry (nazi costume, anyone?) we should be able to offer forgiveness to immaturity that was in terrible taste that happened 35 years ago prior to him entering politics

    I do think that his handling of it is poor, and Al Franken had the same poor handling.

    Also, it is really strange that there is a medical school year book.

  14. The woman who has accused our lieutenant governor of raping her during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he was a top adviser to John Edwards, of all people, has hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford.

    He claims that the encounter was completely consensual.

    The Washington Post decided a year ago that, since the woman’s story was not corroborated, they would not report it, which seems like a curious standard for them.

  15. If Hillary were President, would Democrats care about Northam?

    It’s likely that these sorts of accusations will only intensify going forward, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg as most prominent public figures came of age before social media. I tend to agree with Milo that we need to seriously consider whether the “zero tolerance” culture is a healthy one, especially since the standards of what is PC behavior are ever-evolving.

    Personally, I am far more offended by Northram’s appalling current comments on infanticide than his questionable judgment decades ago in the yearbook matter. But the allegations against Fairfax are different — what happened to #believewomen? If the progressive left still finds Ford credible, it’s impossible to defend Fairfax.

  16. Lemon tree- You inspired me to pull out my medical school yearbook this morning. I was one of two editors, so if there is any offensive content, I may be directly responsible for it. We were right on the edge of digital photos so there’s a lot of bad hand cut out photo collages. Including a two page spread on “pimping“ that may have some questionable merits. Each graduate got a half page with various information, quotes and photos. Student supplied the information and my friend and I chopped it into what we felt was an interesting narrative. I don’t think we did anything terrible, but we certainly could have. I was just enjoying seeing a relatively prominent plastic surgeon admit on her page that she twice did a rectal exam in medical school where she was informed by her female patient that she was in the “wrong hole“

  17. I agree with Kerri. He’s showing with his current behavior in the past couple of days that he doesn’t really think that he did anything wrong in 1984, he hasn’t “evolved” and that he isn’t sorry.

    And again – this isn’t even just the blackface (which is bad). He is posing next to someone in a KKK robe!!!!! As a “joke”?! (or perhaps he was even in the KKK robe since he wasn’t sure which person he was before he denied being either)

    That said – I do not think that we should demand perfection in our elected officials, and that there should be room for growth, evolution, and contradiction. I also think that we shouldn’t demonize historical figures, but allow for contradictions and differences with today’s standards. BUT I also think there is room to call a spade a spade. Northam is bungling this badly. Trump is a grifter con man. Steve King is a blatant racist and sexist.

  18. “The crime is political and the punishment must be political. Morality don’t enter in.”

    True. All about the politics. If Northam has been more polished about defending his behavior it would have gone better for him.

    I’m waiting for the “we believe her” politicians from the Kavanaugh hearing to speak up for the Lt. Gov. accuser. And now this accuser has hired the same firm used by Blasey Ford.

  19. “offended by”

    In a practical sense, what does that actually mean? Nobody’s saying that it’s an appropriate way to conduct oneself, but what does it mean to be “offended” by it?

  20. My feeling on Fairfax is the same as it was for Kavanaugh. If this is credible, let’s find out more. CBF testified, under oath, before Congress. So far, this is not even close to that, and it shouldn’t be treated as such, by either “side”. (And shouldn’t we all be on the side where sexual assault is a bad thing regardless of political leanings?)

  21. “So far, this is not even close to that, and it shouldn’t be treated as such, by either “side”.”

    Kamala Harris and others proclaimed they believed Ford’s story even before testimony. Arguably the Fairfax accuser has more details, but I don’t see Dem. politicians or others piping up about having to believe her.

    If I were one to take offense about these things, I might take offense about being told I should take offense. ;)

  22. And what, exactly are you looking for here? The ability to call people hypocrites because they didn’t jump in to weigh in on the accuser of a Lt Governor within 24 hours of the story breaking?

    Kamala Harris is a US Senator from California. Kavanaugh was a Supreme Court Nominee – a position which she, as a US senator, had to vote to confirm or not confirm. Fairfax is the elected Lt Governor of a state she’s never lived in and doesn’t represent.

  23. Frankly, I don’t care that much about the details around Fairfax myself because I don’t live in Virginia. I’ve got enough troubles with my own politicians.

  24. “Fairfax is the elected Lt Governor of a state she’s never lived in and doesn’t represent.”

    While true, that did not keep her from declaring that Northam must resign, nor did it prevent her, when he was elected, from congratulating him and attacking his just-defeated opponent as a racist, again with no evidence.

  25. “I think a closer analogy would be dressing up as a jihadist as a Halloween costume. If there’s evidence that Gov. Northam actually pledged his allegiance to the Klan and its teachings, that would be a very different story.”

    See to me, wearing blackface next to a person in KKK garb is just so inherently racist that it is the equivalent of pledging jihad. It is the KKK person that made it so bad.

  26. And as for the political side of this… A white person may not be able to feel the visceral disrespect of that photo in the same way a black person would. But a white politician in the Democratic party dang well knows that black voters will be very offended. So all he or she has to do is remember the voters.

  27. If you want a discussion of the philosophical considerations of “offense”, Joel Feinberg wrote a famous and well-regarded book about it, Offense to Others. He was exploring the limits of the criminal law (three books in the series: Harm to Others, Offense to Others, Harm to Self, and yes, everybody joked about waiting for the fourth volume, Offense to Self.) His concern is whether offensive conduct can be the basis for criminal prosecutions. He was a traditional liberal, and a thoughtful guy, so he thinks you have to go pretty far to make offensive behavior criminal. And yes, whether a governor should step down is not a criminal issue. ANYway, follow this link and scroll down to Section 3, A Ride on the Bus. It’s rightly famous. Do NOT be eating lunch when you read it.

    http://www.klindeman.com/uploads/3/8/2/2/38221431/feinberg_-_offense_to_others.pdf

  28. “Radical Islamists have murdered far more people than the Klan ever did.”

    Fine, tell that to the descendents of lynching victims

  29. That’s a fascinating analysis about the bases for “offense” and even “disgust,” particularly regarding the reactions of the involuntary observers of nudity and sex acts.

  30. “Fine, tell that to the descendants of lynching victims”

    What does that even mean? Should someone come back and say “No, tell that to the families of the 9/11 victims!”

  31. When people start defending the KKK, I know it’s time to leave the Political thread for the week.

  32. Oh come on. Nobody’s defending the KKK, and you know it. I’m questioning Mooshi’s assertion that simply wearing the costume of one terrorist group (presumably in an ironic manner) is much, much worse than wearing the costume of another terrorist group, that it’s akin to actually PLEDGING YOUR ALLEGIANCE to what’s apparently a less-offensive terrorist group.

    And then we get “tell that to this set of victims.” “No, tell that to this set of victims.”

    And “OMG, they’re defending terrorists!”

  33. “I’ve got enough troubles with my own politicians.”

    Yeah, I heard about the wiretapping thing.

  34. Radical Islamists have murdered far more people than the Klan ever did.

    Radical white supremacy? Do the math. I’d like to see it. Civil War has us at 620,000 dead. Then what was the survival rate on shipment from Africa? 50%?

  35. Well then we should really go back and look at the death toll from the Moors’ conquest and 800-year occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.

  36. There is no acceptable reason to ever don blackface. It’s not a joke; it isn’t funny. No claims about humor or creative license can ever make it okay. Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes…the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice.

    I know that won’t convince you, Milo. Nevertheless, it does go a ways towards explaining why jihadist terrorists have a different cultural impact in the U.S. It’s because they have a very different history in the United States (please note that qualification). And I wonder, would you dress as a jihadist terrorist if you went to hear Malala Yousafzai, particularly if you knew that the room would have other observant Muslim women in it? Can you see why they might find that offensive?

  37. 800-year occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.

    They hadn’t perfected killing on a industrial scale. Battles were a few thousand at most.

  38. Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence.

    I’m really not seeing that. I can see how people in blackface portrayed black people is very offensive. But just the blackface alone? What it is, I think, is a left wing moral panic.

  39. Rocky – I can understand the author’s point, but disagree with the extent that (s)he wishes to carry it. That doesn’t mean I in any way condone or support the governor’s behavior. Good grief. But I can also believe that while it’s tasteless and shameful behavior, it’s not unforgivable. I’m a big believer in forgiveness and redemption.

  40. MM,

    What you feel about the senator from Hawaii who said very offensive things as a young person, because her father was some kind of religious nut. She said as she grew older and learned more she realized her father had been wrong. Should she be forced to resign as well?

  41. who said very offensive things as a young person

    Very offensive things about gays I mean.

    Can’t someone be a douche, learn the error of their ways and still find redemption?

  42. “Well then we should really go back and look at the death toll from the Moors’ conquest and 800-year occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.”

    The real winner in this category is communism, which has close to 100 million victims. And counting. They’re not done yet.

  43. Scarlett,

    That depends on whether you can pin the Spanish Flu pandemic on the arch conservative regimes of the Tzar, the Kaiser, the Austrian Emperor and the Ottoman Sultan.

  44. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-j-leonard/just-say-no-to-blackface-_b_1752139.html?ec_carp=859403914268906139

    That’s the whole article I was quoting from. I don’t know if it will give you more background.

    I think about a dozen things are being conflated here. Forgiveness? Sure. But being governor is very employment-at-will, and if you do something publicly that embarrasses your employer, you can be fired, even if God and your mother forgive you.

    Women in certain lines of work who post topless pictures of themselves on social media get fired too. (Just ask my employment-lawyer husband). It’s employment at will. You embarrassed your employer. You’re fired. It’s not that you’re unforgiven.

    So the question isn’t “Is xyz sin or crime ‘unforgivable’?” It’s “Is this brouhaha something that we will put up with, or can we just fire this guy and get someone better?” You were completely breezy and dismissive about my acquaintance, a devout young Christian woman who unfortunately has Resting Depressive Face, getting fired from Chick-fil-a because she wasn’t sunny and cheery and smiley enough. Is it unforgivable to have a depressed expression? No. I mean, I don’t think so. But did she get to keep her job? No. There were other candidates who were better, and who represent the organization better.

    No one is talking about throwing Northam in jail. We’re just talking about firing him. It’s employment at will. He’s an embarrassment.

  45. You can’t just “fire” the governor because he embarrasses the woke Democratic base. And there don’t seem to be grounds for impeachment.

  46. I’m sorry for being dismissive toward your friend.

    If it’s employment at will, then the legislature has to actually fire (impeach and remove) him. Kamala Harris and Terry McAuliffe and Mark Warner don’t get to fire him by Twitter in an effort to gin up Likes. Asking someone to quit is not the same as firing.

    But I don’t think the legislature, both of which chambers have a slight GOP majority (if I’m not mistaken — I really don’t follow state politics as closely as I should) has the appetite or the votes to carry it out. Our governors are term-limited to one, so reelection is never a consideration.

    I think the Republicans would just as soon keep him around and tut-tut about how “This is a TRAGIC day for our Commonwealth” because he’s now a good figurehead to reference whenever the Democrats want to get all Puritan about racism. And Lord knows they’ll try to do that.

  47. Rhett,

    Without bothering to do any research on the Spanish flu, I’d say that epidemic deaths are in a separate category. Otherwise, what prevents counting worldwide AIDS deaths against the gay community?

  48. Asking someone to quit is not the same as firing.

    Ehh, depends how it’s done. “And if you don’t quit, everyone around here will make sure that none of your initiatives get any traction, and no one will sit next to you at lunch, and we’ll keep making speeches about Doing What Is Best For The Great State Of Virginia.

    Constructive discharge (okay, not technically, but essentially.)

  49. Scarlett,

    Then your blaming the Great Leap Forward famine entirely on Mao when there was a significant weather component. It’s not like China didn’t have regular famines under the arch conservative Emperors.

  50. And then there was the President’s tweet that Northam’s actions are “Unforgivable!”

    I kind of think he’s operating on three levels of irony, sarcasm, and trolling with that one.

  51. “Can all this be blamed on Mao? Traditionally, Mao apologists blame any deaths that did occur on natural disasters. Even today, this era is known in China as the period of “three years of natural disasters” or the “three years of difficulty.”

    We can discard natural causes; yes, there were some problems with drought and flooding, but China is a huge country regularly beset by droughts and floods. Chinese governments through the centuries have been adept at famine relief; a normal government, especially a modern bureaucratic state with a vast army and unified political party at its disposal, should have been able to handle the floods and droughts that farmers encountered at the end of the 1950s.” https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/02/05/who-killed-more-hitler-stalin-or-mao/

    I’m going with “it was Mao’s fault.”

  52. Chinese governments through the centuries have been adept at famine relief;

    Then why did 10s of millions die so regularly during the 19th century?

  53. “Then why did 10s of millions die so regularly during the 19th century?”

    We could start with lack of modern sanitation, technology, and medicine.

  54. Blackface– I recently caught the tail end of a new production of “Holiday Inn” on PBS. I’m wondering what they did about the scene in the movie in which Bing Crosby, and his character’s fiancé, performed in blackface.

  55. We could start with lack of modern sanitation, technology, and medicine.

    Would that not apply to 1950s China still recovering from a decade of war with Japan Followed by a civil war?

  56. Finn, that blackface scene was apparently cut in most television airings. For whatever reason, we had never seen or heard anything about this movie (other than the iconic songs) and when we saw the full version on a streaming service this Christmas, we could not believe it.

  57. I’ve seen the old Bing Crosby version of Holiday Inn many times on TCM, and I’ve never seen it without the blackface part.

    My post above was WRT the live revival done recently, featuring, among others Corbin Bleu, who some of you may remember from High School Musical. A recording of it was aired on PBS, and I caught the tail end of it (well after the blackface scene would’ve been) when I was clicking between channels.

    https://www.broadway.com/shows/holiday-inn-new-irving-berlin-musical/

  58. On the larger point of which “ism” has killed the most people, it’s communism, hands down.

    That’s just a glib internet meme. The truth is far more complex.

  59. I thought the SOTU started out pretty well, the first 15-20mins of it. But then it went downhill all the way to the “peace and legislation…war and investigation” part. Then, IMO, it was just a bad speech. I watched and mostly paid attention to all of it. Nothing new.

    And I really dislike the ribbon on the left of the screen (I was watching on ABC) highlighting the topics as we go. Maybe I think too much of my smarts, but I really don’t need a roadmap for a speech. If it’s written and delivered well, I’ll get the message (even when I disagree with it.)

  60. Oh my God this is so tragic!

    So now if the governor still needs to resign, the lieutenant governor needs to resign because we should always believe all women, and the attorney general needs to resign for the same reason as the governor, then the Republican speaker of the House of Delegates is the new governor.

    Now let’s watch the Democrats squirm out of their previous calls for Coonman’s resignation.

  61. I’ve not read all the comments here, but I want to clarify the reason I think he should resign is because of the KKK presence in the picture. The blackface is bad, but it is the KKK association that is a political one in my mind and, as RMS says upthread, requires a political solution.

    Maybe this has already been discussed.

  62. If a decades-old connection to a KKK photo is sufficient to require the Virginia governor to resign, what is the political solution for the Democrats who associate, currently and enthusiastically, with the vile antisemitic Louis Farrakhan?

  63. The VA situation could be added to the “value of one vote” list. As Milo points out, multiple transgressions create the possibility of a Republican Speaker becoming governor.

    “The Republican majority in the House of Delegates was decided by a name being drawn from a bowl to break a tie in a race for one seat in that legislative body.”

  64. If true, the allegations made by Dr. Vanessa Tyson are far more egregious (and specific) than those made by Dr. Ford.

  65. Random and interesting aside: Constructive Dismissal is illegal in New Zealand. You can even get damages for it!

    Presumably because employment in NZ isn’t at will? If they wanted to fire him they had hoops to jump through that they didn’t want to bother with.

  66. I always wonder if there isn’t more appetite for ending at will employment than politicians think.

  67. “After spending a fair amount of time with evangelicals in the adoption community, as well as reading certain conservative writes, I have come to realize that the conservative view on one of these issues is deeply held and does not stem from hatred. I am not going to say which issue because that belongs on the political page.”

    You’ve piqued my curiosity. I’m looking forward to discussing this on the politics page.

  68. “If true, the allegations made by Dr. Vanessa Tyson are far more egregious (and specific) than those made by Dr. Ford.”

    1) She can say when and where it happened.

    2) It was much more recent.

    3) He was 25, not 17.

    4) He doesn’t deny that they had sex, only that he didn’t force her to perform oral sex.

    5) Unlike Ford, she wouldn’t seem to have any obvious political differences with him. There’s no apparent reason why she would want to smear him.

    On the other hand, he’s not currently up for anything (assuming Coonman is digging in his heels). So there’s not the obvious basis for which any group would need to hold hearings.

  69. 1) Stop calling him Coonman.

    2) I absolutely take seriously Tyson’s allegations.

    There’s a thing some guys do where they shove your head down on their erection and expect you to go to it. I think they think it’s all part of normal sexual engagement. But it’s really gross and annoying. Being a bitch, I personally never put up with it. But perhaps at long last we can start our necessary national dialogue about whether shoving a girls head down on your crotch is just showing enthusiasm or is, in fact, really off-putting and obnoxious.

  70. “So there’s not the obvious basis for which any group would need to hold hearings.”

    True.
    But either we #believewomen, or we don’t.

  71. If that’s the extent of what the woman is accusing, then it’s not merely off-putting and obnoxious, but it’s a form of sexual assault. Which is to say — and I write this in a totally objective, rational, non-biased manner — it is not safe for a guy’s college career, reputation, employment prospects, or future to engage in basically ANY one-night stand, or even casual hookups, because any action could be interpreted differently by the other party. A guy who is choosing a casual sexual hookup is legitimately putting those things at risk.

    It’s ironic in the political sense because the sexual revolution will have been started, and ended, by the same groups.

  72. When the #metoo exploded, I made the point that a big part of the problem is that in a lot of these instances, the men truly thought it was consensual. Only two people know what really happened between Fairfax and Tyson, but I can easily envision scenarios where she felt forced into doing something and he thought she was consenting. It’s very possible they are both telling the truth.

  73. It’s ironic in the political sense because the sexual revolution will have been started, and ended, by the same groups.

    I’m sure the sexual revolution seemed like a great idea until we found out how many guys were total incompetents.

  74. to engage in basically ANY one-night stand, or even casual hookups

    Is it that these things don’t happen in long term relationships or is it just never discussed?

  75. “it is not safe for a guy’s college career, reputation, employment prospects, or future to engage in basically ANY one-night stand, or even casual hookups, because any action could be interpreted differently by the other party. A guy who is choosing a casual sexual hookup is legitimately putting those things at risk.”

    Yup.
    Even if nothing actually happens. The accusation alone is enough.

  76. Is it that these things don’t happen in long term relationships or is it just never discussed?

    I’m sure it does, but I tend to think that’s a different dynamic. Is she afraid to leave? Economically dependent? There’s a whole different story at that point.

  77. RadioLab did a three part series on consent called In the No October 11, 18, 25th shows. https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/radiolab/podcasts/2

    There are difficult pieces to hear but it worth the listen. I will say it is not safe for work not listening with your kids until you do so yourself. But it clearly shows how much both sexes have to learn. The first episode has a recorded rape between two friends and the man did not take the “no” seriously, the second show has examples of differences between generations and what constitutes an assault as the Gen Xers don’t equate having bad sex with assault by some college age people do. The example that stands out still from October is the black athlete and (white) girl who went to her room both willingly disrobed, he never hurt her, she never told him no but stated to the school she “felt” she couldn’t say no. He was kicked out of school and lost his scholarship because she decided days later it was rape. No criminal charges were filed but his life is ruined. The final episode is about everyone knows about consent but no one is having the conversations. They speak to guys and girls and there are some head in the sand answers.

  78. Observing the twists and turns of the #believeallwomen, #metoo, and how changing norms could potentially doom almost all of us, it’s hard to predict how we’ll handle this in ten years. I guess this latest is just another example how the pendulum swings back and forth in a way that can create a sort of chaos.

    It’s hard to see how Elizabeth Warren ends up with the nomination.

    Elizabeth Warren Admits To Wearing Paleface At College Costume Party
    https://babylonbee.com/news/elizabeth-warren-admits-to-wearing-paleface-at-college-costume-party

  79. It’s entirely appropriate and fitting for society to forever examine where the practices that were once more mainstream or acceptable might not align with our fundamental values. But that shouldn’t be done without any regard for nuance, the passage of time, or the intent and mindset of the people involved.

    To do so with raging, black-and-white moral certainty, and to employ this for political maneuvering simply shows that we’re living in our own era of McCarthyism.

  80. Half joking – my DD wants to be a year book photographer and editor. I’ll tell her to reconsider.
    Have yearbook standards changed. Even the student produced ones I see, are very slick with no objectionable material (at least for now).
    Having grown up in a different culture, I don’t quite get wanting every single yearbook, just the ones at the end of elementary, middle and high are enough, I think.

  81. Our college yearbook gave each graduating senior about a half a page. This included a few paragraphs for a bio that, typically, your closest friends would write for you. Too many inside jokes and references can limit the wider appeal. And, if I remember correctly, the submission requirements allowed you final editorial review over what your friends wrote.

    Submitting a casual picture to accompany the formal portrait was also standard. Fortunately, it was popular to use an early childhood photo for this purpose, which, in retrospect, carries the benefit of minimizing the possibility of any later embarrassment that might otherwise arise from photos that do not speak laudably of your character.

  82. Louise, there’s nothing wrong with being on yearbook staff. It’s a decent thing to have on your resume. Your children’s private school will have an adult advisor who makes very sure nothing iffy gets posted.

  83. I like Neomi Rao’s response.

    “Um, to be honest I don’t know the sexual orientation of my staff,” she said. “I take people as they come, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation.”

    Women of color – in my personal case, this depends on class more, not color. So, technically I maybe a woman of color but to some I am white, to others definitely brown.

  84. I thought that was common knowledge that Babylon Bee was a parody site so it would have been better if I had added a smiley face to make that clear. I guess things are so weird these days that readers could believe that story was true.

  85. My HS and college yearbooks were much more condensed, just the official photo and a list of activities, and in HS we could also have a quote. I think 6 or 8 seniors per 2-page spread, not a lot of room. Then the clubs etc. had half a page or a page each.

  86. “It’s ironic in the political sense because the sexual revolution will have been started, and ended, by the same groups.”

    Interesting, but I don’t totally agree. The sexual revolution happened in the 60s and 70s. It was a different generation from the “Me too” generation, and the context was totally different. Women of that generation were subjected to enormous social pressure to remain chaste until marriage, and to marry and have children very young by today’s standards. Many women felt trapped by these expectations. When birth control became available, it allowed women to have a boyfriend or two before settling down, without fear of getting pregnant. This was very liberating, but it was not necessarily about one-night stands or casual hook-ups. It was really about the ability of women to control their own sexual and reproductive decisions. It was about the women’s right to say yes to sex.

    The me too movement, of course, is about women’s right to say no to sex. In many ways, it represents the continued evolution of women’s push for autonomy in the sexual realm, so not at all inconsistent. I do agree that the upshot for men, however, is to be very careful about engaging in casual sex. I hope my sons will avoid hookup culture and reserve sexual relations for people they love, trust and respect. The risk of misunderstandings is one of many reasons to do so.

  87. Men were also under social pressure to be chaste, at least with respect to their potential wives. Other women could be used and discarded, but men were expected to marry the girlfriends whom they impregnated (and at the very least to support the child).

    One could argue that the sexual revolution liberated men more than women, as they are now free to treat all women, not just lower-class partners, as sexual objects.

  88. “but men were expected to marry the girlfriends whom they impregnated (and at the very least to support the child).

    One could argue that the sexual revolution liberated men more than women”

    That’s a very interesting point, and probably the most devastating perspective. That’s the root of increasing quality, of most of what poverty remains…

  89. That’s the root of increasing quality,

    There is a theory that pre sexual revolution rich and poor alike raced into ill fitting marriages in their late teens and early 20s. Now the poor race into ill fitting relationships that result in children. The rich have sex but don’t have children and settle for a far better fit in their early to mid 30s.

  90. “There is a theory that pre sexual revolution rich and poor alike raced into ill fitting marriages in their late teens and early 20s.”

    I agree with this 100%. This is, in my opinion, the reason that divorce rates are much lower among millenials than baby boomers. Speaking for myself, I know that I would be miserable if I had married my high school boyfriend. Luckily for me, there was zero expectation that I would do so.

    “One could argue that the sexual revolution liberated men more than women, as they are now free to treat all women, not just lower-class partners, as sexual objects.”

    Yes, but one could also argue that exercising their “freedom” to treat women badly is what got men into the current me too mess. I think that’s what Milo was saying above about the high-risk nature of casual hook-ups. Just because women are free to choose whether, when and with whom to have sex does not mean that men are free to treat them like garbage and suffer no consequences.

  91. And men are still expected to support the children they create. In New York there are serious legal consequences for failing to do so.

  92. “Just because women are free to choose whether, when and with whom to have sex does not mean that men are free to treat them like garbage and suffer no consequences.”

    But they do.
    And the consequences (for non-public figures) are minimal.

    An interesting take on #metoo as a rejection of the sexual revolution:

    “What they [baby boomers] don’t factor into their judgment is that they benefited from the lingering cultural capital of earlier, more mannerly generations. Long-established courtship norms don’t disappear overnight, after all. During those long-ago days, most middle-class men and women still married by their mid-twenties, a fact that added an element of gravitas to the social life of their postcollegiate years. Today, by contrast, single life stretches a decade or more, marriage is entirely optional, and pornography has taken its place as the primary text of young men’s sentimental education. There has never been a time when women didn’t have to fend off gropers and assaulters, but most of us of a certain age were not limited to a dating pool heavily populated by males in the throes of a porn- and hookup-infected postadolescence. The post-Ansari avalanche of bad-date stories still piling up on the millennial Internet, coming on top of the already-extensive literature about the campus hookup scene, suggests that this is the weekend reality for many younger women.” https://www.city-journal.org/html/sexual-revolutions-angry-children-15827.html

  93. Very interesting article Scarlett. These days my attention span is short but I read it to the end.

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