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Sexual Harassment Denialism

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There are two forms of tribalism at work in the immediate Republican defenses of Herman Cain. The first is a desire to protect their vanity candidate, with some shots at the “liberal media” (especially long-defunct listservs that have always yearned to destroy the sun) icing on the cake. The second is an opportunity to argue that sexual harassment, like climate change and racism directed against anybody but wealthy white Republican men, doesn’t exist:

Sexual harassment is now nothing. Welcome to the era of gender harassment denialism. The harassment skeptics claim that harassment, like racism, used to exist but is now over. Twenty years ago, when charges were leveled at Clarence Thomas, supporters of the accused refused to take the accuser seriously. Now supporters of the accused refuse to take the accusation itself seriously. We have gone from not knowing what sexual harassment is to not believing it still happens. All in less than 20 years.

Remember, we don’t know what happened, beyond the fact that several employees came forward with complaints and received cash settlements. That’s not a lot of information. Cain defenders could have stopped there. Instead, great swaths of them have opted to assert that there could never be a valid sex discrimination claim because the whole thing is just a racket. And they went even further: The same folks criticizing the National Restaurant Association employees who came forward with claims that they were uncomfortable in their workplace are willing to deploy the most archaic and gender-freighted stereotypes to get there. Sexual harassment can’t be “real” because the women who claim it are money-grubbing, hysterical, attention-seeking tramps.

[…]

It’s no longer just a Republican war on women. It’s a war on the idea that any woman might ever tell the truth.

Read the whole thing; alas, it’s not just the Derb.

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  • Kurzleg

    “Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism – at least it’s an ethos.”

  • c u n d gulag

    Methinks that if it came out that some woman was accusing President Obama of sexual harassment, they’d have NO PROBLEMO believing THAT woman!

    And they’d feel fine about her getting a 7-figure book deal, and TV and radio shows.

    If you’re a female, and you’re a Republican, you deserve what you get.

    • Lee

      This would be especially true if the woman in question were white.

      • Manju

        Tru Dat.

        We right wingers certainly believed the white women…Juanita Broaddrick , Paula Jones, and kathleen Willey…over the first black president who, oddly enough, charged the 2nd one with playing the race card on him.

        Tho we were split on that 2nd charge…particularly when it meant defending Gerry Ferraro, who we do not fancy.

        • howard

          and you know what actual people on the left said? we said that if every single syllable paula jones uttered is true, that means that bill clinton was a boor, but it didn’t meet the test of sexual harassment.

          and we said that the broderick and willey claims sounded dubious but not impossible but in the absence of any further detail, it was impossible to say.

          what actual leftists didn’t say was “sexual harassment is a bullshit claim uttered by failures who are looking for a payoff.”

          since that’s the topic at hand, do you have anything to contribute? or are you just another right winger with tourette’s syndrome, spewing out nonsense and babble in lieu of actual thought?

          • rm

            And the actual fact of Republican money recruiting, promoting, and financing these legal claims made the situation more complicated. If the claims had been true, that would have been bad, but also that’s not why they were being advanced. And then evidence enough to resolve doubts never was produced.

          • c u n d gulag

            Uhm, my guess is the latter, howard.

          • Manju

            what actual leftists didn’t say was “sexual harassment is a bullshit claim uttered by failures who are looking for a payoff.”

            “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”
            -James Carville

            • SeanH

              James Carville, revolutionary firebrand! James Carville, Procureur-général de la lanterne! James Carville, scourge of the bourgeoisie!

              • Manju

                Yes, yes…I get the trick. The only LWingers are MLK, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Fonzie, and Santa Claus. If i can’t find fault with them, then there is no faults on the Left.

                In contrast, RWingers include Robert Byrd, Adlai Stevenson’s running mates, LBJ until 1964, LBJ after 1964 limited to when he was calling King a commie or executing the Vietnam war, Adolph Hitler, Jon Corzine, and James Carville.

                Got it.

                • Njorl

                  Carville is a paid political hatchet man who frequently worked for Clinton. Using him as a representitive example of what liberals were saying or thinking about Clinton is ridiculous.

  • DrDick

    This is all part of the ongoing conservative attack on civil rights legislation in general. Over the years, their argument has shifted from discrimination is right, proper, and necessary, to it really never happened or wasn’t that bad, to today’s it happened in the past, but now we are all over that and it does not happen any more so we do not need these archaic and outdated laws and regulations.

    • Manju

      This is all part of the ongoing conservative attack on civil rights legislation in general. Over the years, their argument has shifted from discrimination is right, proper, and necessary,

      Because Bill Fulbright, Claude Pepper, Robert Byrd, Sam Earvin, Al Gore, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, George Smathers, and LBJ (yeah , I said it) are in the Conservative HOF?

      • MPAVictoria

        Huh?

        • Manju

          Partial list of defenders of segregation who are not conservatives (except of course in wanting to conserve segregation) and would be more at home in the liberal HOF.

          • Malaclypse

            Yes, yes, George Wallace was a liberal, because shut up, that’s why.

            • Manju

              He was a strong new dealer and economic populist. Thats why he never migrated to the RWing party. Ergo, he would be more at home in the liberal HOF than the conservative one.

              Tho I’ll concede you don’t fancy him as much as you do Fullbright.

              • That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on the internet.

                Dixiecrats aren’t conservatives, but rather, liberals?

                • mark f

                  Be fair, Joe. I’m sure lots of Lowellians have framed Sam Earvin pictures in the kitchen between JFK and the Pope.

                • Malaclypse

                  That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on the internet.

                  Let me show you around.

              • Warren Terra

                Does anyone “fancy” Fulbright? Does anyone even remember him? Liberals and the intelligentsia like Fulbright scholarships and fellowships, sure – but we also like Rhodes scholarships (albeit that they’ve often been awfully skewed to the social elite), and I think it’s been most of a century since the words “Cecil Rhodes” appeared without a nearby mention that the man was an absolute monster.

          • Partial list of defenders of segregation who are not conservatives

            …except for the ones who are conservatives. And the ones who are not defenders of segregation.

            I can’t imagine why anyone was confused.

            • Manju

              All of them supported segregation. None of them were historically affiliated with movement conservatism.

              Movement Conservatism has to own Buckley, Goldwater, and Strom Thurmond.

              You own the guys above.

              • Malaclypse

                George Wallace was No True Scotsman Conservative.

                • Manju

                  He was a conservative in a sense of the word that is not applicable here. Paul Krugman and Fidel Castro may both be lefties, but Paul doesn’t have to own up to Fidel b/c they are lefties in very different ways…and they were never affiliated politically.

                  Look, some RWingers use your logic to argue that Bush II was not conservative. And you can easily make such an argument based on ideology, just as you can easily argue Obama is no liberal.

                  But history trumps ideology. If conservatives backed Bush II and libs opposed him, that historical fact trumps subjective breakdowns of ideology.

              • witless chum

                C’mon, Manju. Anyone can derail a thread about sexual harrassment to be about racist Democrats from 50 years ago. If you’re really good at trolling, try one of the Joe Pa threads. I double-dog dare you.

                • Manju

                  Talk to Dr Dick. He bought up civil rights legislation and referenced arguments made 50 years ago.

                • DrDick

                  Manju –

                  Firstly, as others have observed, the Dixiecrats were never liberals, regardless of your delusional fantasies and most either shifted to the GOP or left politics after 1968. I say this as someone who grew up in Oklahoma in the 50s and 60s, when it was both solidly Democratic and almost as conservative as it is today. The current ideological purity of the political parties (which mostly applies only to the GOP) really dates to the late 70s and 80s. Secondly none of the BS you are spouting has any actual bearing on my comment, which was about conservatives, not Republicans. Perhaps you should go to night school and learn to actually read.

              • No, conservatism has to own the whole Southern Strategy. It defines what movement conservatism is all about.

                • Manju

                  1. A little thing called Jim Crow preceded the Southern Strategy, and the argument Dr Dick referenced falls under that phenom.

                  2. Re your first senatace, I said as much earlier (Goldwater, Buckley, etc)

                  3. In contrast to 2, by Malaclypse’s logic, since Nixon was a liberal Republican, Liberals would own his SS.

                • 1. A little thing called Jim Crow preceded the Southern Strategy, and the argument Dr Dick referenced falls under that phenom.

                  You know what would make arguments like this a lot stronger? If the Republicans who love to make them used color photographs instead of black and white.

                  Why don’t they ever do that?

                  Oh…right.

                • 1. A little thing called Jim Crow preceded the Southern Strategy, and the argument Dr Dick referenced falls under that phenom.

                  Er, Dr. Dick’s argument:

                  This is all part of the ongoing conservative attack on civil rights legislation in general.

                • howard

                  certainly one sees stupid arguments all the time on the internet, but the argument that democrats were complicit in jim crow between 1865 and 1964 is about the most meaningless piece of drivel you can imagine.

                  the point is what happened after 1964: the republican party embraced the segregationists and the democratic party rejected them.

                  what kind of moron thinks this is relevant to the issue of sexual harassment in 2011?

                • DrDick

                  More to the point, what bearing does any of this have on my point about what conservatives, including the conservative Dixiecrats, were doing and never even mentioned the GOP.

                  The reality, clearly embraced by Manju, is all of these regressive troglodyte conservatives have now joined the GOP, but that was not the case prior to 1968.

              • Warren Terra

                Movement Conservatism has to own Buckley, Goldwater, and Strom Thurmond.

                The difference between all the Dixiecrats you claim the Democrats must own and the Conservatives you concede are scum (and your list is obviously an expurgated selection from a much longer roster of examples) is that Buckley and Goldwater are revered to this day, years or decades after their deaths, while the Dixiecrats were seen as regrettable fossils even while they were still in office. Hell, Buckley’s magazine is possibly the most important journal of opinion on the right. To add another one, Jesse Helms is even nowadays sometimes invoked on the Right as a role model for foreign policy.

      • This is all part of the ongoing conservative attack on civil rights legislation in general. Over the years, their argument has shifted from discrimination is right, proper, and necessary,

        Because Bill Fulbright, Claude Pepper, Robert Byrd, Sam Earvin, Al Gore, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, George Smathers, and LBJ (yeah , I said it) are in the Conservative HOF?

        I have a question: what does your list of dead people have to do with the ongoing conservative attack on civil rights legislation?

        It’s the black-and-white picture thing again.

        • Manju

          I have a question: what does your list of dead people have to do with the ongoing conservative attack on civil rights legislation?

          If you want to attack present-day conservatives, go right ahead. But I won’t let you whitewash history in order to do it. Dr. Dick went back in time and referenced conservatives who argued “discrimination is right, proper, and necessary”.

          Only most did not belong to the conservative movement, almost all were Dems, hardly any switched parties, they ran on presidential tickets with FDR, Adlai, and JFK, and some were liberal icons.

          You have Clinton mentor, liberal intellectual, and antiwar hero Bill Fulbright. Ervin was a strong civil libertarian and critical in taking down Nixon and McCarthy. Robert Byrd, obviously. Al Gore’s father.

          Pepper was so left that Truman though he was a commie. He had JFKs best friend Sen. George Smathers (who was almost offered the VP slot) take him out in FL. Smathers was an urbane segregationist in the vein of Fulbright. You’ll find Faubus and Wallace to be strong economic populists if you read bios on them.

          So it’s a sleight of hand to call the dixiecrats conservative. On issues outside of race, they were conservative for the democratic party, but not by the RW bankers party’s standard.

          • Warren Terra

            Lest we forget, Al Gore Sr., who did not have a fantastic record on Civil Rights (voted against the 1964 act), was driven from office because he was seen as too friendly to Civil Rights, and also because he opposed the Vietnam war.

        • Warren Terra

          Not to mention the absolutely adorable claim that LBJ’s historical legacy is as a defender of segregation. I mean, no-one has an unblemished view of LBJ (he was hounded from re-election, and Bob Caro has won two National Book Awards for detailing his sliminess), but on Civil Rights, whatever his earlier record, his legacy is pretty well defined by 1964 and 1965, and it’s a legacy that the 2010 Republican candidate for Senate from Kentucky refused to endorse.

          Yup: The Republicans of 2011, not matching up to the Civil Rights standard set almost a half-century earlier by a Democrat who was nonetheless not good enough on Civil Rights for Manju.

    • Manju

      certainly one sees stupid arguments all the time on the internet…the point is what happened after 1964: the republican party embraced the segregationists and the democratic party rejected them.

      This is a complete flip of the historical record. It’s a very common Dem meme so I believe you genuinely believe it, but I assure you it is denialism…just as “the civil war was not about slavery” is. All you have to do is look up the famous segregationists and see where they ended up. Start with the all important Senators who opposed the 64cra and you’ll see only one flipped. There were 2 or 3 in the House. State and local: Faubus, Wallace, Maddox, Conner & Co. Not much happening there too.

      Strom was an outlier. Virtually all the segregationist politicians stayed Dem.

      The Dems didn’t reject their racsits as you claim. They promoted them. That’s how they controlled the South on every level except presidential all the way up till 1994. Amazingly, 7 (6 D’s and 1 R) who opposed the 64cra found themselves in the presidential line of succession post 64, and afak none of them had publically repented by that time:

      1. Richard Russell (D): Evil asshat who never repented.
      2. James Eastland (D): Evil asshat who never repented.
      3. John Stennis (D): Evil asshat who never repented.
      4. Jim Wright (D): I don’t know if he repented or not
      5. Robert Byrd (D): Evil asshat who in 2005 claimed he repented in 1982.
      6. Strom Thurmond (R): Evil asshat who never repented
      7. Carl Hayden (D): I add him for the more sophisticated out there. Even though he voted Y on the 64cra, he voted against cloture.

      • 4jkb4ia

        This is hopeless by now. But Russell, Eastland, and Stennis had no farther to go if they were in the Senate. The national Democratic Party could choose between disowning them–funding a primary challenger–or giving them the sense to understand that they were going to have blacks voting for them and that they should vote for things that would help blacks. By passing the CRA the Democratic Party made sure that Southern whites like Howell Heflin were constrained to oppose Bork. The Democratic Party also made sure that no new person could use the kind of racism that Eastland used under their banner anymore.

        • Manju

          This is hopeless by now. But Russell, Eastland, and Stennis had no farther to go if they were in the Senate.

          They had further to go than just a Senator. They became Senators in the Presidential line of Succession, in 69, 72, and 87 respectively.

          The national Democratic Party could choose between disowning them–funding a primary challenger

          What?! Are you saying they didn’t do that? This makes you practically the MLK of the Liberals on this thread. DrDick and howard must be quaking in their boots as you debunk their Haley Barboureque understanding of history:

          DrDick: “most [Dixiecrats] either shifted to the GOP or left politics after 1968”

          Howard; “the democratic party rejected them [segregationists]”

          or giving them the sense to understand that they were going to have blacks voting for them and that they should vote for things that would help blacks.

          Yet, Russell, Eastland, and Stennis all voted against the 1968 cra. So much for that.

          By passing the CRA the Democratic Party made sure that Southern whites like Howell Heflin were constrained to oppose Bork.

          So the majority of Southern Senators opposing Bork is evidence that they are actually Conservative, not that their ideology was very different from the one that Bork represented. So the theory that the Dixiecrats are Movement Conservatives is non-falsifiable.

          • DrDick

            What part of the word “most” do you not understand? The Dixiecrats represented over a dozen states and your list is not even long enough to cover all their senators, let alone the representatives.

            • Manju

              DrDick: I’m not referring only to my list ot liberal-leaning segregationists. I’m telling you virtually all the Segregationists stayed within the Dem Party: Senators, Congressmen, Governors, etc.

              I don’t know the exact %, but I’d ballpark it at around 90% (staying Dem).

              I realize this sounds preposterous to you. When you are in the Matrix you don’t knw you’re in the Matrizx, as Plato said.

              But you know you can easily falsify me on this…one metric; take the list of Congressmen who voted against the 64cra and show me a majority switch.

              But I assure you, you will be looking for needles in a haystack.

              • DrDick

                And as I keep saying, but you refuse to listen, those were not “liberals”, but conservatives. Neither party was ideologically homogenous until the 1980s.

      • Warren Terra

        the civil war was not about slavery

        Needless to say, this is an article of faith in the modern Republican party; why else would it so consistently venerate the Confederate Battle Flag?

        And could we please stop acting as if Robert Byrd was frozen in carbonite in the 1950s? Yup, he exploited and participated in a corrupt and evil social structure in his early rise to power. But in the last several decades of his life he must have spent aggregate days or weeks talking to interviewers about this part of his biography, and his regrets. You Conservatives all talk about him as if at his funeral his pallbearers were all wearing Klan robes.

        • Manju

          And could we please stop acting as if Robert Byrd was frozen in carbonite in the 1950s? Yup, he exploited and participated in a corrupt and evil social structure in his early rise to power.

          50’s? Early rise to power? Can’t think of any evil stuff that he did in the 60’s or 70’s?

          But in the last several decades of his life he must have spent aggregate days or weeks talking to interviewers about this part of his biography, and his regrets.

          He did not express regret about segregation until 2005. Here’s the trick: his apologists conflate his regret over being in the Klan (which he’s been expressing since the 50’s, since being in the Klan could’ve killed his career) with regret over segregation.

          By his own account, he realized segregation was wrong in 1982. He let us know that in 2005. And in 2005, he was still lying about the Klan, telling us that his chapter didn’t preach violence against Blacks and he that only joined b/c he was an anti-communist and liked the excitement. He should’ve been Trent Lotted at that point.

          I can document all of this, so let me know if anything sounds unbelievable. No RWing sources, I promise. All academic or mainstream.

          You Conservatives all talk about him as if at his funeral his pallbearers were all wearing Klan robes.

          Well Bill Clinton, fresh of pulling a Southern Strategy on Barack Obama, telling us that he only joined the Klan to get elected, doesn’t help matters. Especially since the revelation of his Klan membership almost killed his political career.

          • DrDick

            Having read all of your posts on this I really have to ask. What color is the sun on your planet? You certainly are not from around here.

            You also seem to embrace (at least in the depths of your dark and withered little heart) my statement that most of the segregationists and racists joined the Republicans, since you immediately assumed that was who I was talking about when I said “conservatives,” even though I deliberately chose that word to include the conservative Dixiecrats. Also, nobody in that period was part of the “conservative movement”, as movement conservatism only emerges in the 70s and 80s.

            • Manju

              Having read all of your posts on this I really have to ask. What color is the sun on your planet? You certainly are not from around here.

              I feel your pain. I’m telling you the people you trust have been lying to you. I assure you the Segregationists did not switch Parties in any meaningful numbers.

              You’ve read my comments. You know I can speak to this issue in great detail, and if it helps lower your resistance, I vote Dem for the record (cuz tax cuts don’t pay for themselves anymore than segregationists migrated to the republicans).

              You also seem to embrace (at least in the depths of your dark and withered little heart) my statement that most of the segregationists and racists joined the Republicans, since you immediately assumed that was who I was talking about when I said “conservatives,” even though I deliberately chose that word to include the conservative Dixiecrats.

              You made an argument I recognized;

              discrimination is right, proper, and necessary,

              So I chose folks as late as possible in history who made such arguments. Powerful folks, cuz power matters right?

              Bill Fulbright, Claude Pepper, Robert Byrd, Sam Earvin, Al Gore, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, George Smathers, and LBJ.

              Not exactly a roster of conservative icons, no?

              Also, nobody in that period was part of the “conservative movement”, as movement conservatism only emerges in the 70s and 80s.

              O c’mon. Smack down Goldwater. I’m libertarian but I won’t mind, b/c I’m not tribal.

              Nixon was to the left of Goldwater. Hell, he’s to the left of Obama (but i digress). Why would you want to start at the 70’s if you want to bring down conservatism.

              By starting with Nixon you could, by the logic or others here, blame liberalism…b/c if Nixon isn’t a liberal R, who is? Even Noam Chomsky concedes this.

              • DrDick

                Keep effing that chicken, Manju, but it does not make any of your hallucinatory statements actually true or in keeping with reality.

  • 4jkb4ia

    Jeebus. There is a gulf between thinking that sexual harassment is a vehicle for people (NOT the women involved) who were out to get Cain and thinking that sexual harassment doesn’t exist. I was willing to credit ordinary Republicans with the first but the second is just being proud of being ignorant.

    • 4jkb4ia

      And I should not be surprised that Steve King is involved in the second at all.

  • 4jkb4ia

    I now remember the NYT story from last week which pointed out that the share of sexual harassment complaints given by men has gone up. Making a federal case of your being gay is of course very appealing to many people /s

  • Ed

    The sputtering rage against the “liberal media” and lynching lefties is particularly amusing in that this story very likely came from a Republican source. Particularly offensive is the revival of the old belief that unless the boss actually does something like drop his pants or says something along the lines of date-me-or-you’re-fired, it’s all in the woman’s head, and if she feels “uncomfortable” that’s her problem.

    Not to mention the suggestion that there are no “facts” behind the story because the women won’t come forward. Uh, the women already did come forward, thanks all the same, and are under no obligation to do so again and expose themselves to the wingnut blowtorch because this clown took it into his head to run for president as part of his book tour.

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