Liberal Hypocrisy Comes Home to Roost
Kirstin Gillibrand made a mistake and it is costing her with the elite of the Democratic party. Her mistake was that she followed the party’s talking points. By doing so, she offended a good portion of the liberal base and revealed the hypocrisy of the hysterical moral posturing democrats subjected us to during the Kavanaugh hearings.
For months, liberals have been trumpeting the slogan “Believe all victims” each time a sexual assault accusation emerges. Poor Senator Gillibrand naively assumed that they meant that we should believe accusations regardless of what political party they belong to. Laboring under this false assumption, she enthusiastically called for Senator Al Franken’s resignation last fall when he was accused of sexually assaulting eight different women.
On the surface, this incident was a great victory for the #metoo movement the liberals had been loudly championing. A powerful man charged with sexual misconduct was given a swift trial in the court of public opinion, declared guilty, and rendered unfit for employment.
This was one thing wrong. Senator Franken is not your typical straight, white, male. The rules do not apply to him in the same way they apply to conservatives like Brett Kavanaugh. Since Franken was a liberal, the elites argue, he should be given the benefit of the doubt, despite photographic evidence of his misconduct. A Democratic fundraiser lamented “It’s such a shame that Al couldn’t just go through the process and be reprimanded, or censured.” This regret apparently only applies to liberals accused of sexual assault. We are still waiting for liberals to say Brett Kavanaugh should have gotten due process.
Although it is fun to laugh at the obvious hypocrisy of this situation, it is more helpful to use to to debunk the ideology of “believe all victims.” This ideology has a strong emotional appeal that is hard to refute, no one wants to take the side of an abuser over an innocent victim. This is a good instinct. We should be sympathetic to those who have suffered terrible abuse at the hands of powerful men enabled by people around them unwilling to take a stand.
However, believing all accusers creates more problems than it solves. Those in the Democratic party lamenting the hastiness of Senator Franken’s fall might not have the most selfless motives but they do have a point. Believing all victims provides no opportunity for an innocent man to clear his name once he’s been accused.
Senator Gillibrand may be suffering well-earned political consequences for her handling of the Franken matter. It is probably good that someone willing to deploy mob-like justice on anyone at any time is limited in her ambitions for higher office. However, this incident reveals that the champions of #metoo are erecting a double-standard. For liberals accused of sexual assault, they want careful, considered due process. For conservatives it is “Sentence first—verdict afterwards.”