The Democratic party is changing on the issue of mistreatment of women; the Republican party is not

I recognize that as someone who favors the Democratic party, I may not be looking at this objectively. But there are a series of recent events that have lead me to the conclusion that, until recently, both parties routinely swept incidents and accusations of mistreatment of women under the rug, or justified/excused them. But the Democratic party has shown actual signs of progress on this over the last year or so, and the Republican party hasn’t. The latest incident that reinforced this conclusion is the willingness of the White House to ignore senior aide Rob Porter’s history of domestic abuse until there was photographic evidence from his ex-wives:

Evidence for my conclusion (off the top of my head – others can chime in with more):

Many Democrats have been willing to criticize the party’s past acceptance/excuses for multiple allegations against Bill Clinton. I’ve seen no such similar mea culpa from Republicans for, say, Clarence Thomas or other prominent Republicans that faced past credible allegations of mistreatment of women.

The differing responses to Al Franken and Roy Moore. Even though many prominent national Republicans criticized Moore, the state party embraced him, with no sanctions from the national party organization. The national party organization re-entered the race on Moore’s behalf late in the race after pulling out earlier. I think the Democratic pressure on Al Franken was slower than I would have liked, but it was still the correct move.

More differing responses to individuals like John Conyers vs Blake Farenthold. Conyers was pressured to resign and did. Farenthold didn’t get nearly so much pressure, and didn’t resign, merely stating he wouldn’t run again. Democrats have made it clear that multiple credible allegations of mistreatment of women means one isn’t morally qualified to hold high office; Republicans have not.

The above Rob Porter incident – prominent Republicans like Orrin Hatch and John Kelly were praising Porter through yesterday, even as he resigned.

The continuing acceptance and near-adoration of Trump by Republican national leaders in public statements. Ryan and McConnell and others have almost uniformly backtracked from their criticism about Trump bragging about assaulting women, violating their consent, and other allegations.

This last one would come with a huge short-term cost, unlike any of the Democratic incidents. If someone with similar allegations against them had been elected President for the Democrats in 2016, the party might retreat to justifying/ignoring/excusing as they did in the 90s, since the cost for doing the right thing could be so high. And this change is, at best, only the very beginning of what needs to be a very long process. But even if we take away anything related Trump, it’s clear to me that the parties are differing in their responses to credible allegations of mistreatment of women in a very significant way, as evidenced by all these other incidents and responses. Whether it’s for political or moral reasons doesn’t matter, in the long run, IMO – tons of social progress and advancements for mistreated folks have come from political pressure and calculation rather than sincere moral change. But this change is needed, and it’s happening with one party, and I think it inevitably will happen in the other party too, once it becomes clear that society will no longer put up with prominent abusers in power.

I doubt very many of my fellow liberal posters will disagree with my conclusions, though I welcome their input. I’d encourage Republican-supporting Dopers to seriously consider the possibility that their party is on the wrong side of this issue – I think this is very similar to advancements on Civil Rights in the 60s in a lot of ways. And just as so many Americans were on the wrong side of Civil Rights (according to polling in the 60s, most white Americans had significant disagreement with MLK Jr and the Civil Rights movement, at least at the beginning), I think a huge group is going to find themselves on the wrong side in this moment, even though most of those probably changed their views over time.

Politicians are going to act politically, and usually resist change until they feel it’s advantageous, but changing for the better is still good and the right thing to do. It’s very sad that the Republican party is behind on this issue, and even sadder that so many Americans don’t have a serious problem with this.

[ul][li]The allegation against Thomas was not credible. The allegations against Clinton were. [/ul][/li][ul][li]Clinton was twenty years ago, and you aren’t risking anything by criticizing the Dems. If you wanted to show seriousness, criticize some politician who accepted or excused the allegations when it costs something - like asking Hillary to condemn the behavior during the campaign. I didn’t see a lot of that from the Dems.[/ul][/li]

Yes, they would. It’s just lip service.


Is that a fact?

I have no problem with such criticism of Hillary Clinton. The recent story in which she brushed off harassment from a staffer in 08 is certainly worthy of criticism, and received much.

As to whether this is just lip service, we’ll see. If enough Democrats are like me and will no longer support abusers, then the party won’t allow it to be just lip service.

And if enough Republican voters continue to not care about abuse, then the Republican party will continue to maintain the status quo with regards to abuse.

The allegations against Thomas by a law professor who’d worked with him at the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission were not credible? What led to your conclusion? The fact that the Senate Judiciary Committee wrongly sent the nomination to the full Senate? Committee Chair Joe Biden admitted, “The Democrats felt free to oppose the president’s nominee but reluctant to oppose a black nominee. It was what today we’d call a hot mess, and Chairman Biden wanted to wrap it up. He decided not to call additional witnesses who also had accusations against Thomas. Biden did vote against Thomas, as did most of the committee, but the nomination still went to the full Senate.” [cite]

Biden has expressed regret for his role in the nomination going forward. Clearly, it shouldn’t have.

In light of that, I’d be interested in learning how you decided that Hill’s allegations against Thomas weren’t credible.

And just to add a little more context - Thomas was nominated by George H.W. Bush to fill the slot that Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice, held until his death.

Also, four character witnesses were available and waiting to testify on Anita Hill’s behalf, but were ultimately not called by the Committee. Anita Hill also took a polygraph examination and is said to have passed. Thomas refused to take a polygraph.

Mrs. Plant (v.1.0) and v.3.0 ares honest about things, but Mrs. Plant (v2.0) lied like a dog at our divorce, and would jump (and bark) at the chance to make up stories of my mistreating her.

While I agree for the most part with the OP, there is a difference:

As **Shodan *pointed out, there is a difference between criticizing one of your own politicians when he’s retired for good, *i.e., Bill Clinton, (there is nothing to lose, electorally, when doing so,) or an already-elected politician (like Franken,) and to criticize one of your own in the middle of an election race, when your candidate losing will mean the other side winning the race. That is why Republicans circled the wagon around Moore and Trump in their campaigns - to turn on Moore or Trump, in the MIDST of the election, would mean Jones or Hillary winning, respectively. (Sure, Jones won anyway, but as for Hillary, that is a big reason why the Access Hollywood tape made little difference in 2016 - it was released when Trump had already secured the nomination, and the race was him vs. Hillary.)

So, on the one hand, we look back, and now that we know all that we know about these people, we say that maybe we should not have elected them. That if we had known what we did at the time, there wouldn’t have been as much support.

OTOH, we have the republicans, who do know all this stuff about the people before they are elected, and go ahead and support them anyway.

No, I don’t see what that has to do with it. More because the only contemporary witness (Judge Hoechner) contradicted herself and changed her story several times, everyone who ever worked with both Thomas and Hill believed Thomas and not Hill, Ms. Hill followed Thomas from agency to agency during the time that this alleged harassment was occurring, etc. Ms. Hill claimed under oath that she did so to avoid being fired, and was not aware of the document she had signed explaining to her that this was not the case.

I guess not all the Democrats have changed their attitude as much as iiandyiiii thinks.


I’m skeptical of these factual claims, but that would belong in another thread – there are many other examples that would fit if you disagree with Thomas.

But I have no idea what your second paragraph is referring to. Which Democrats?

I noted that, but making the right choice is still better than making the wrong choice, and so far, since the election and before, Democrats have made the right choices and Republicans have made the wrong ones (even for directly comparable ones, like Farenthold and Conyers). It’s just a start, and it may be just lip service, but a start is better than nothing, which is where the Republican party is on this issue.

The committee opted NOT TO HEAR testimony from witnesses for Hill, witnesses the committee had subpoenaed, but there were indeed witnesses. (See Biden’s remarks in my previous post about his discomfort and wanting to wrap up the testimony quickly.) One of these witnesses was Angela Wright, who also stated Thomas sexually harassed her. I’ll assume you were using hyperbole when you said “everyone” who worked with Thomas believed him and not Hill, as the hundreds of people who worked with Thomas did not all speak up one way or the other. I’ll also remind you that a number of Al Franken’s coworkers also testified that Franken treated them with respect; simply because someone treats many people with respect does not prove him innocent of sexual harassment of other individuals.

[QUOTE=ganthet;20776332Anita Hill also took a polygraph examination and is said to have passed. Thomas refused to take a polygraph.[/QUOTE]

Polygraphs are worthless crap.

Are the results usable as evidence in court?

I think the primary differences between the parties (I am a registered independent and loathe political parties):

  1. The left gets a pass on mistreatment of women. Just a matter of more tolerance for it as they are supposedly more into women’s issues (another debatable point).

  2. The right is no different from the left- men are men and many are pigs. They are simply held more accountable.

People (ie, men) are people. Always have been and always will be. And “mistreatment” of women isn’t going away so long as people are involved. As it states in the Old Testament, “There is noting new under the sun.”

It’s about the response to mistreatment as much as mistreatment as well. One party is starting to change how they respond to mistreatment from within their ranks, and the other party isn’t changing at all.

Clinton was accused of rape, sexual assault, and exposing himself to a subordinate among other things. Thomas was accused of talking dirty to a coworker.
Huge difference.
It is safe to criticize Clinton because neither he or his wife is likely to ever run again. When Democrats stopped needing Clinton they turned on him and not a moment before. Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and Juanita Broadrick did not become more credible in the last year. The only change is that sexual harrasment can now be used as a cudgel against Trump. If Hillary had won, Conyers, Franken and Strider would all have been swept under the rug. A Hillary affiliate hired a guy accused of sexual harassment during her 2008 campaign to work on her 2016 campaign. She hosted fundraisers with Harvey Weinstein after being warned of his behavior.
They just had a Kennedy do the state of the union response. The only reason Franken was forced out was because the state had a Democrat governor, Conyers has a safe Democrat seat. They have not made any sacrifices at all.


Which was all false.