“This is a country trying to establish, and certainly a U.S. Senate trying to establish new standards for acceptable behavior,” Peggy Noonan told her fellow panelists on Meet the Press yesterday.
She is at least half mistaken.
Groping a woman who is stuck posing for a photo with you at the state fair, as Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was accused, has never, ever been publicly viewed as “okay” or “nice work if you can get it.” And believe-it-or-not, Americans are not ambivalent about the propriety of Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) taking meetings in his underwear. Nor do folks find it fathomable that members of Congress such as Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) paid off their accusers with our tax dollars.
The standard has always been that such behavior is 100-percent wrong. And yet Ms. Noonan is correct to suggest a new official standard for . . . both houses of Congress.*
But in a recent video for Breitbart, actor Jackie Mason mocks the idea of sexual harassment training. “When you’re three years old, you learn how to behave with people. You learn how to control yourself,” Mason rants. “Now Congressmen, who are 67 years old and 98 years old, are being told they have to take training at this age to learn how to behave with women.”
We see that, in media, in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley and among the corporate elite, credible allegations of sexual abuse are met with swift action: firings, dismissals, contracts voided. Out!
Our “representatives” should be ashamed not merely of their loathsome colleagues, but of being “out-democracied” by corporate America.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* The current House system protects powerful politicians and staffers with secrecy and even uses taxpayer money to pay off victims.