How Can the DNC Be So Clueless?

Trump Maladministration

Politico reports that the DNC is facing a massive money deficit.

The Democratic National Committee is reeling, facing a turnaround that’s proving a much bigger lift than anyone expected as it struggles to raise enough money to cover its basic promises.

Many donors are refusing to write checks. And on-the-ground operatives worry they won’t have the resources to build the infrastructure they need to compete effectively in next year’s midterms and in the run-up to 2020.

The Politico article frames this as a fundraising problem and appears to blame Tom Perez and his lack of experience. But one might ask, given that the Trump Republican Party is destroying America, why Democrats would have such a hard time raising money. One would think the DNC wouldn’t even have to ask for money.

One has to read between the lines a bit, but by doing so we learn that people are giving generously to “new resistance-minded groups” and to individual candidates, the DNC is in big trouble.

See in particular this part:

Party officials involved in fundraising say donors repeatedly turn them away with a “try again next year,” especially since it became clear there won’t be an official party autopsy from 2016. Democrat Jon Ossoff’s loss in his much-hyped special congressional election in Atlanta’s suburbs in June has also depressed donor enthusiasm.

“I’ve made it pretty clear I don’t want to donate to the DNC, DCCC, or the Senate counterpart, so they have not called me,” said Northern California attorney Guy Saperstein, a part-owner of the Oakland Athletics and a prominent funder of progressive causes and candidates.

Even donors who are more willing to play ball have a stern message: The party needs a clearer plan to win before we fork over more money.

“You can’t just go to [donors] and say … ‘Support me, I’m the DNC.’ You have to rebuild the credibility,” said a longtime Democratic donor and DNC member.

DNC members themselves have now been asked to give or raise $1,000 each, some said — a request people who’ve been around the committee for decades say they can’t remember being made before.

Part of the problem has been the lack of major draws for the contributors. For the past eight years, much of the party’s donor strategy has been built around large events featuring Obama. …

…“I’ve had enough dinners,” said Orlando attorney John Morgan, a longtime top party donor who is now considering a Florida gubernatorial run. “I’m not really interested. I’m going to let them get new blood. I can’t get motivated.”

So there is no autopsy of what went wrong last year, and we’ve seen this week that they have no intention of engaging in the reforms they need to restore people’s confidence. I personally think that what went wrong last year was years in the making. The Dem Party skated far too long on the personal popularity of Barack Obama while the rest of the party went to hell. Having President Obama in the White House helped them deny that they were losing more seats in Congress, and state legislatures, and governor’s mansions, with every election. But now even that band-aid is ripped off, and what’s left? Failure, that’s what.

Eventually they’re going to blame Perez (and also Keith Ellison, who is helpless to do much as long as his auxiliary position is seen as just a sop to the Left), and they’ll put some other centrist toady in the DNC chair position who also will fail. You can see it from miles away.

The only bright spot is that while the DNC remains mired in denial and incompetence, House Democratic congressional candidates are outraising Republican ones.

House Republicans are growing increasingly alarmed that some of their most vulnerable members aren’t doing the necessary legwork to protect themselves from an emerging Democratic tidal wave. In some of the biggest media markets, where blockbuster fundraising is a prerequisite for political survival—most notably in New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston—Republican lawmakers aren’t raising enough money to run aggressive campaigns against up-and-coming Democrats.

Of the 53 House Republicans facing competitive races, according to Cook Political Report ratings, a whopping 21 have been outraised by at least one Democratic opponent in the just-completed fundraising quarter. That’s a stunningly high number this early in the cycle, one that illustrates just how favorable the political environment is for House Democrats.

Republicans are frustrated with the House GOP’s inability to walk and chew gum at the same time; Democrats are throwing money at candidates they like. The DNC is frozen out, but in the still unlikely event that Dems take back the House next year, watch the DNC claim this as vindication.

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Oh, and John Kelly Is an Idiot

Trump Maladministration

Of the several untrue things John Kelly said yesterday, I want to comment on this one:

“When I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country,” he said. “Women were sacred and looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases.”

If he’s referring to the Harvey Weinstein case, there’s something he apparently didn’t know. And it’s this: Back when Kelly was a kid growing up, sexual harassment was worse. It was more open. It was more accepted. It was completely legal. Women had absolutely no recourse but to put up with it.

I know what the world was like when John Kelly grew up, because he’s only a year older than I am. So I can speak with at least as much authority. Although assault was as taboo then as now, sexual harassment was the norm back in the day. A woman working with men had to put up with being perpetually objectified and belittled. It didn’t just go on behind closed doors. Men who didn’t participate would sit passively by while other men did, in full view.

Sexual harassment wasn’t even recognized as a “thing” until second wave feminism took it up as a cause, and even second wave feminism was a bit late about it.

Women did not even have a term with which to describe the experience of sexual harassment until 1976. This lack of a term made it difficult to discuss the subject, which prevented the development of a generalized, shared and social definition of the phenomenon. However the lack of a term should not be equated with the nonexistence of the event. In fact, silence is often a reflection of terrible pain and degradation. Like rape and domestic violence, it was a problem which male society swept under the rug, treating it as something simultaneously rare and shameful to the victim. Writing in an article originally published in 1979, Gloria Steinem noted that what now was called “sexual harassment” had just been called “life” only a few years earlier.

Labeling sexual harassment as being “just a part of life” effectively told women that this sort of thing was normal, even a compliment, and that it was their responsibility to cope with it and not complain. Therefore many women of the 1960’s and early 70’s believed that their feelings of shame and injury were evidence of something wrong with them rather than the behavior they endured. This effect only increased when people responded to women’s complaints by telling them, “you asked for it.” This told women that they must really want and enjoy those unwanted attentions, which increased their feelings of guilt and alienation.

But it was going on before the 1960s. The post World War II years saw widespread denigration of women, as Betty Friedan documented in The Feminine Mystique (1964). For example, in the 1950s and 1960s we were the primary butts of stand up comedy (women drivers! mothers in law! stupid housewives!). This was a form of cultural aggression aimed at an entire gender. Yeah, that’s how sacred we were.

I’ve probably told this one before, but as recently as the 1970s I remember the publisher I worked for was bringing out a book of jokes for after dinner speakers. Some of the jokes were blatantly sexist, such as about wife beating. Yes, wife beating was considered funny. I cut out those jokes. The author was furious and went over my head to my supervisor. However, the department head was also a woman, and the jokes stayed out.

So, it wasn’t until John Kelly was very much an adult that sexual harassment was identified as a bad thing, and it was identified as something that shouldn’t be happening in the workplace. However, it still happened. All the time. Just less blatantly.

And, of course, back in the day we were so “sacred” we couldn’t get credit cards in our own name, and any job with a decent wage attached to it could be found in the classifieds in a column headed “Jobs for White Men.” I remember that, too. If that was “sacred,” John Kelly can have it.

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Seniors: Senate GOP Cuts $470 Billion from Medicare

Trump Maladministration

Did you know the budget voted on by the Republican majority in the Senate cuts $470 billion from Medicare over the next ten years? This was done to help offset tax cuts for the wealthy, of course.

It also cuts more than a trillion dollars from Medicaid. Medicaid pays most of the bills for the 1.4 million people in nursing homes.

Here in Missouri, somebody is paying for television ads telling people to lean on Sen. Claire McCaskill to get behind the Republican tax cuts. Nobody is paying for ads telling people that if Republicans have their way, Medicare will be gutted and Grandma will be out on the street. Why is that? I guess the Democrats are too busy purging Sanders supporters from their party to pay attention.

Republicans have been shedding crocodile tears over Medicare for years, including pushing the false narrative that Obamacare was somehow being underwritten by cuts to Medicare.  Even this year Republican lawmakers recycled that, um, spin to argue to constituents that they had to repeal and replace the ACA to save Medicare. But at every turn, Republicans have voted to cut more money from Medicare, but (unlike Obama) not in ways that would make it more solvent.

Everybody’s been focused this week on Trump’s insensitive remarks to a Gold Star family and the ongoing feud with Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, whom the WaPo editorial board says is owed an apology from John Kelly.

But while that’s a significant thing, we do need to be screaming from the rafters about the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

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Democrats: The Other Party of Stupid

Trump Maladministration

I wrote a few weeks ago that if the Dems haven’t gotten rid of the superdelegates by 2020, it’s going to hurt them. People will remember 2016. Well, it turns out they don’t plan to get rid of the superdelegates; they are going to make the superdelegate system even worseBloomberg News:

The Democratic Party this week plans to name 75 people including lobbyists and political operatives to leadership posts that come with superdelegate votes at its next presidential convention, potentially aggravating old intraparty tensions as it struggles to confront President Donald Trump.

The new members-at-large of the Democratic National Committee will vote on party rules and in 2020 will be convention delegates free to vote for a primary candidate of their choice. They include lobbyists for Venezuela’s national petroleum company and for the parent company of Fox News, according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News.

Apologists for the Democratic Party tell me that progressives are purists who are going to destroy the Democratic Party with their narrow minded litmus tests and intolerance for other views. I keep saying I don’t care about purity; I just want the party leaders to get their heads out of their asses. This tells me they haven’t.

The appointment of active corporate lobbyists as at-large members of the 447-member Democratic National Committee has aroused controversy in the past.

“I will register my customary objections” to the selection of at-large members, said Christine Pelosi, a California-based vice-chair of the DNC who in February authored a proposal to bar the appointment of corporate lobbyists as superdelegates. The national committee voted down her proposal.

Party spokesman Michael Tyler stressed the demographic reach of the at-large nominees, saying they “reflect the unprecedented diversity of our party’s coalition.” The party is doubling the representation of millennials and Native Americans on the DNC and increasing the number of Puerto Ricans, he said.

The party is being hurt by claims it is too indebted to corporate money and influence, and this is the trick it pulls? What is wrong with these people? Diversity is great, but diversity should NOT include corporations and their lobbyists. What is wrong with these people?

A DNC aide who asked not to be identified defended including the lobbyists, saying they were all carry-overs from the last presidential election cycle and were renominated because of their service to the party.

The results of the last election cycle should have prompted the Democratic Party to clean house, not double down. What is wrong with these people?

One of the lobbyists is Joanne Dowdell, who’s registered as a federal lobbyist for News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, where she’s senior vice president for global government affairs. Dowdell ran for New Hampshire’s House seat as a Democrat in 2012 and is a party donor.

Two other lobbyists who disclosed corporate clients in their most recent public reports are Clinton White House veteran Harold Ickes and Manuel Ortiz. Ortiz’s clients this year include CITGO Petroleum Corp, owned by the Venezuelan government, and Citigroup Management Corp. Ortiz also lobbies for Puerto Rican interests.

The three lobbyists didn’t respond to requests for comment.

At least 10 of the other superdelegates chosen by Perez have in the past been registered federal corporate lobbyists, with their most recent filings ranging from late last year to nearly a decade ago. …

…The new at-large members also includes operatives who worked on 2016 presidential campaigns who, if hired again in 2020, would each deliver one delegate vote to their bosses. At least three of the at-large members on Perez’s slate were both superdelegates in the last election and worked on primary campaigns: Jeff Berman, who planned delegate strategy for Clinton; Minyon Moore, a senior adviser who worked on Clinton’s White House transition; and Larry Cohen, a labor liaison for Sanders.

Two other former Clinton campaign workers, Emmy Ruiz and Craig Smith, are also among Perez’s slate of new at-large members, along with Sanders’s former press secretary, Symone Sanders.

The deadheads probably think they are covering their asses by including a couple of former Sanders people in with the lobbyists. But the whole superdelegate voting thing needs to end, first of all; second of all, the last thing the Democrats need is to be openly in bed with lobbyists of any sort. This confirms the worst fears of most leftist-progressive voters who distrust the Democratic Party.

See also Alex Seitz-Wald at NBC News:

A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

The ousters come ahead of the DNC’s first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race.

Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez’s appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 “at-large” members, who are chosen by the chair.

The removal and demotion of a handful of veteran operatives stood out, as did what critics charge is the over-representation of Clinton-backed members on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which helps set the terms for the party’s presidential primary, though other Sanders and Ellison backers remain represented.

The purged members were mostly people who backed Ellison for the DNC chair position, the article says.

The superdelegates were a source of hard feelings in 2008 and 2016, and until they are gotten rid of they will continue to be a source of division. And openly allowing lobbyists to determine party policy and rules, and possibly choose the nominee, pretty much tells me the party elites are more interested in holding on to their own influence than in winning elections or growing the party’s voter base. What a waste.

Lobbyists for Venezuela’s national petroleum company? Seriously?

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Trump’s Wrecking Company

Health Care, Trump Maladministration

For a brief, shiny moment it seemed the Senate would save the cost-sharing subsidies and the ACA. Yesterday  Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray submitted a bill that was supposed to do that, anyway.

Yesterday, Trump appeared to approve of this plan. Today, he does not. He still thinks it’s a “bailout” of the insurance industry. Sarah Kliff explains:

Trump has said he will discontinue the second [cost sharing] subsidy program. But insurance companies are still required by law to provide these subsidies to their low-income enrollees. They cannot jack up the deductibles on someone who earns 200 percent of the poverty line, even though the government has stopped providing the money.

Insurance companies don’t want to lose money. They need a way to offset the sudden loss of billions in government funds. So, they looked for other levers to pull. And many settled on raising premiums as a way to recoup those lost funds.

Paul Waldman wrote today:

President Trump is facing a dilemma: Does he want to destroy the American health-care system or not? At this point, all evidence suggests that he genuinely can’t decide what the answer to that question is. …

… When the Alexander-Murray agreement was announced yesterday, Trump at first seemed supportive. “It is a short-term solution, so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period — including dangerous periods for insurance companies,” he said at a press conference. “For a period of one year, two years, we will have a very good solution.” But then this morning, he tweeted, “I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care.”

What gives? When you try to interpret the president’s shifting positions — and figure out how this is all going to end — there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, it’s wise to assume that he has no idea how any provision of this agreement or the ACA itself actually works, and that will not change. For instance, he seems to have convinced himself that cost-sharing reductions are like an extra bonus given to insurance companies that they’ll just use to pad their profits. “That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price,” he has said, when in fact the money is basically passed through the insurers to provide lower co-payments and deductibles for people with low incomes. He hasn’t bothered to learn what the law does, and he certainly isn’t going to quickly get up to speed on new proposals to provide technical fixes.

Still, it might be that if he were presented with a bill to sign, he’d sign it. However, Paul Ryan probably has more enthusiasm for cold oatmeal than he has shown for this bill.

“The speaker does not see anything that changes his view that the Senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare,” a Ryan spokesperson told Axios.

So, not much chance anything is going to happen. Jonathan Swan and David Nather write at Axios that nobody has any idea what Trump actually thinks, “But it’s fair to say that everyone who is remotely conservative inside the administration is pushing not to keep funding the Affordable Care Act’s insurer subsidies without serious concessions.”

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Trump Owns the Health Care Mess

Trump Maladministration

It’s clear that Trump has no clue how the Affordable Care Act works. But then, few Republicans in Congress do, either, including their alleged policy wonk, Paul Ryan. Trump’s understanding of the health care law probably came from them.

Today Trump explained his reasons for ending the cost-sharing subsidies, a move that will raise everybody’s premiums.

That was a subsidy to the insurance companies and a gift that was what they gave the insurance companies. Take a look at where their stock was when Obamacare was originally approved and what it is today. You will see numbers that if you invested in the stocks, you would be extremely happy. They have given them a total gift. They have given them — you can almost call it a pay off. It’s a disgrace. That money goes to the insurance companies. We want to take care of poof people and people that need help with health care.

I’m never going to get campaign contributions from the insurance companies, but take a look at how much money has been spent by the Democrats and by the health companies on politicians generally, but take a look at the coffers of the Democrats.

The CSR payments have actually brought Republicans and Democrats together. We got calls, emergency calls from the Democrats and I think probably the Republicans were also calling them saying let’s come up with at least a short-term fix of health care in this country. And the gravy train ended the day I knocked the insurance companies’ money. Which was last week. Hundred of millions of dollars handed to the insurance companies for very little reason. Believe me. I want the money to go to the people, to poor people that need it. Not to insurance companies which is where it’s going,  as of last week I ended that.

In other words, Trump seems to think that the payments were some kind of bribe to the insurance industry, not something that paid for an actual benefit.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the insurance industry altogether gives a lot more money to Republicans than to Democrats. The biggest health insurance donor, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, in 2016 gave $450,330 to Republicans and $229,840 to Democrats.  The single biggest recipient of insurance industry money in Congress is Paul Ryan.

Donations from insurance industry, 2016, Center for Responsive Politics

The insurance industry (all types) gave more money to Hillary Clinton than to Donald Trump last year, though, which may be one reason he’s angry at them.

The cost-sharing subsidies that Trump axed are different from the tax credits used to buy subsidized insurance, but losing those subsidies will hit everyone hard, especially poor people.

The cost-sharing subsidies were designed to reduce out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays for people with incomes from 100 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level. About 7 million people are receiving these subsidies in 2017, more than half of the people who buy insurance on the ACA exchanges, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Insurers provide the subsidies to consumers, and the federal government reimburses insurers for the higher costs. Those reimbursements are estimated to total $7 billion this year and as much as $9 billion in 2018. At the same time, cost-sharing payments are expected reduce low-income consumers’ deductibles by as much as $3,354 each and out-of-pocket medical expenses by as much as $5,587, reported KFF.

Cost-sharing subsidies are different from the tax credits that qualified consumers receive to help offset the exchange-based premiums. Without the subsidies, medical expenses will become unaffordable for many low-income families, even if they purchase insurance.

Insurers are saying that as a result of the loss of this subsidy they will hike up everybody’s premiums by 20 percent and probably will push a lot of insurers out of the market altogether. The hike will likely be worse for those who buy insurance through ACA. This just in, from Pennsylvania

Obamacare health insurance premiums in Pennsylvania will jump an average 30.6 percent in 2018, nearly four times the increase that had been anticipated before cost-sharing reductions for the coverage were scrapped last week.

The original projection had been for an average 7.6 percent rate increase for individual health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s government exchange.

See also What Affordable Care Act Rollback Means For The Health Care Insurance Industry at NPR.

Whatever happens to health care premiums now, Republicans will own it. Trump will own it. He doesn’t seem to grasp that; last July he actually said,

“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail,” Trump said at the White House. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.”

But that’s not something he gets to decide. Ezra Klein says,

Trump’s decision to choke off the federal payments stabilizing premiums and insurance markets is based on a similar theory — bad policy will lead to political pain, which will give Republicans negotiating leverage …

… The problem with this theory is that Democrats no longer hold the White House, or anything else. Republicans, led by Trump, hold total power. They are the governing party, and they stand to absorb the blame for the state of the country. According to an August poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, by a margin of 60 to 28 percent, Americans now say Republicans are now responsible for the Affordable Care Act.

I agree. People may not understand what Trump did, but they know he did something. And whatever happens to their costs and access to health care from now on, that’s on Trump.

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Keep Discussing

Trump Maladministration

My grandson is visiting. I will post something tomorrow.

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Trump Maladministration

No time to post today, but you must have heard about Trump’s scuttling of Obamacare. Please discuss.

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So Sorry, Puerto Rico

Trump Maladministration

We don’t actually know how many people have died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria and the deprivation that has followed.

The death toll from the hurricane is now up to 45, according to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. But 90 percent of the 3.4 million American citizens on the island still don’t have power, and 35 percent still don’t have water to drink or bathe in. And given how deadly power outages can be, 45 deaths seems low, according to disaster experts.

At Vox, we decided to compare what the government has been saying with other reports of deaths from the ground. We searched Google News for reports of deaths in English and Spanish media from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. We found reports of a total of 81 deaths linked directly or indirectly to the hurricane. Of those, 45 were the deaths certified by the government. The remaining 36 deaths were confirmed by local public officials or funeral directors, according to the reports. We also found another 450 reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and reports of at least 69 people still missing.

The official count seems to be the result of deliberate foot dragging.

At a Sunday news conference, Karixia Ortiz, press officer for the Department of Public Safety, said that “every death must be confirmed by the Institute of Forensic Science, which means either the bodies have to be brought to San Juan to do an autopsy or a medical examiner must be dispatched to the local municipality to verify the death,” according to an audio recording obtained by Huffington Post.

John Mutter, a disaster researcher at Columbia University who studied the death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, says he’s skeptical of this methodology. “This is the way to go about it if you want to come up with smallest number possible,” he said, adding he suspects the death toll in Puerto Rico from Maria should already be in the hundreds based on what’s known about the conditions on the ground.

There is a severe food shortage on the island, exacerbated by the fact that most people have no way to cook food that isn’t ready to eat.  There is a shortage of drinking water. I’ve heard rumors of diseases such as cholera.

Meanwhile, the so-called president acts as if he’s been doing Puerto Rico a favor.

Greg Sargent writes,

As The Post puts it, Trump is “effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory,” even though “the vast majority of the island remains without power” and “hospitals are running short on medicine.” So Trump’s threat is obviously very worrisome. Yet the threat is also open-ended and thus is largely meaningless. What is it supposed to accomplish, exactly, except to frighten and enrage people, and to convey some vague sense that Trump is snapping a towel at Puerto Rico’s butt like a sadistic, bullying frat boy?

As I said in an earlier post, Trump appears to be angry with Puerto Rico for making him look bad. However bad the situation is in Puerto Rico, we can count on there being an attempt to cover it up.  See also Coming Undone and  Trump is falling apart, and nobody knows what to do about it.

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Harvey Weinstein Types Pervade the Universe

Trump Maladministration

This week many fingers have pointed to “Democrats” and “liberals” and “Hollywood” regarding Harvey Weinstein. One particularly objectionable piece was actually titled “The Specifically Jewy Perviness of Harvey Weinstein.” I’m not going to link to it.

Ross Douthat, for example, had great fun hanging both Weinstein and the late Hugh Hefner around the neck of “liberalism,” which in Ross’s mind is a synonym for “libertinism,” while touting the innate moral superiority of conservatives.  As you might imagine, the comments to this column were robustly peppered with the names of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.

Harvey Weinstein has long been on my list, headed by Kim Kardashian, of famous people to which I pay absolutely no attention. And he can stay there. If history is our guide, he’ll join Anthony Weiner, John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer on the liberal persona non grata list. If he’s sued, I wish the plaintiffs best of luck. I’m not going to make excuses for him.

The fact is, though, that Weinstein’s behavior has nothing to do with a political ideology, an ethnic group, or an industry. There are creeps like Weinstein everywhere, across the political spectrum, in every walk of life. The enabling behavior that let’s them get away with their actions is as common as toast. People will wink and nod at, or avert their eyes from, this behavior for years until, suddenly, they don’t. And then it all comes out.

Ross has his own theory about why this happens:

Maybe his overdue exposure shows that the world has changed, and progressive industries are finally feminist enough to put their old goats out to pasture.

But it might just show that a certain kind of powerful liberal creep only gets his comeuppance when he’s weakened or old or in the grave. The awfulness of Ted Kennedy, at Chappaquiddick and after hours in D.C., can be acknowledged only now that he’s no longer a liberal lion in the Senate. The possibility that Bill Clinton might be not just an adulterer but a rapist can be entertained now that he’s no longer protecting abortion from the White House. The sins of Woody Allen … well, I’m sure Hollywood will start ostracizing him any day now.

And, of course, it’s possible that those men were not guilty of all they’ve been accused of, but even so, I’ve not seen that people have been harsher toward Ted Kennedy since his death, or of Bill Clinton since he left the White House.

I think there’s something in our species that causes a kind of collective blindness or even amnesia toward the private bad behavior of people we want to like. The Jerry Sandusky scandal comes to mind. Once Sandusky was publicly outed as a child molester, many people came out of the woodwork to admit yes, they’d seen this or knew that. But for some reason they couldn’t bring themselves to say anything when it happened, or possibly even admit to themselves they’d seen what they saw.

See also this post from 2010, Spitzer’s Law.

Getting back to my point that Harvey Weinstein types pervade the universe, see “How Women Are Harassed out of Science.”

We recently spoke with a group of senior scientists who confirmed the prevalence of sexual harassment. Kim Barrett, the graduate dean at the University of California, San Diego, said she did not know of a single senior woman in gastroenterology, her subfield, who had not been sexually harassed. Margaret Leinen, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, described a conversation she once overheard between one male and five female scientists at a meeting where harassment was being discussed. “I don’t see what the fuss is about,” said the man. “I’ve never met anyone who has been sexually harassed.” The women just looked at each other. “Well, now you’ve met five,” they said.

Earlier this very year we learned that a doctor with USA Gymnastics had been sexually abusing young women athletes for years.  Women entrepreneurs in the tech industry have been speaking out about being sexually harassed by investors. Women lawyers have reported sexual harassment in law firms. Many religious figures have been named in sexual harassment scandals.

Name just about any profession or large organization, actually, and I can just about guarantee you can find articles online about how sexual harassment is going on in it. Here’s a handy list of Republican sex scandals, for example. And notice I’m just now mentioning the pu**ygrabber in chief. See “A Running List Of The Women Who’ve Accused Donald Trump Of Sexual Assault.”

So it’s kind of a joke when someone like Harvey Weinstein is outed, and suddenly people jump to the conclusion that this is about his being a liberal, or a Democrat, or about Hollywood.

No, it’s about his being a man in a patriarchal culture.

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