…is privileged people acting sanctimonious when the rules momentarily become convenient and other privileged people go under the bus.
The news has been full of rich’n’famous people dealing with accusations, often decades old, about things they’ve been doing with their hands and tongues and wangs. Perhaps you’ve noticed. People who’ve been working right next to the miscreants or their victims are shocked! They had no idea! Sure.
I keep trying to come up with jokes about it and they keep falling flat before I’ve finished writing them down, because it’s just all so tiresome – people have been pushing social limits about sex since the invention of la différence, people have been getting caught at it for about that long, and the infractions have been greeted with outrage or shrugs according to the style of the moment. I myself, while never anything remotely like a magnet to women, can think of at least two youthful indiscretions involving places my hands didn’t belong under the circumstances, that would have me very worried if I were currently in Hollywood or congress. Is it wrong? Yeah. Sure it is. It’s also human nature. Did your hands wander? Bad. Did you return them to your own lap when asked to? Tough shit, your political enemies (and former friends, apparently) will still crucify you if they can, or hand the executioner the nails if it will provide a moment’s advantage.
Personally I find the odor of sanctity harder to take than the (often quite tame) misbehavior. People’s Exhibit One, from someone who hasn’t been accused (yet):
McConnell, R-KY: “As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable – in the workplace or anywhere else.”
Really? When did this start? Because unless this is very recent Senate policy, McConnell should maybe call it the “Except For Ted Rule.” Because (do correct me if I’m wrong) I believe Mitch McConnell was in the senate at the same time Ted Kennedy was and this iron rule never seemed to be mentioned back then. And Kennedy just had the highest profile, he was hardly the only one.
So forgive an old man, please, if I fail to be shocked by Franken’s adolescent vulgarity or McConnell’s new-found sanctimony. They’re both perfectly welcome to visit the underside of the bus and I hope they lose everything – but for reasons other than where they’ve been keeping their hands and other body parts.