Sohn: Democrats take no prisoners on the #MeToo high road

A woman reads a banner during a demonstration to support the wave of testimonies denouncing cases of sexual harassment, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. French women are protesting sexual abuse and harassment in 11 cities across the country under the #MeToo banner in the wake of mounting allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A woman reads a banner during a demonstration to support the wave of testimonies denouncing cases of sexual harassment, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. French women are protesting sexual abuse and harassment in 11 cities across the country under the #MeToo banner in the wake of mounting allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Sexual misconduct in Congress may be bipartisan, but a take-no-prisoners zero tolerance of it is owned almost entirely by Democrats.

» U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Penn., a strong and frequent critic of abortion, was accused in October of pressing his mistress to have an abortion. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin encouraged him to resign, and he was gone from the House in a day.

» In November, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, threatened a former lover with whom he had shared sexually explicit photographs, videos and messages with criminal charges after one of the photographs of him naked (genitals obscured before posting) wound up on the internet. Speaker Ryan said just before Thanksgiving that he had spoken to Barton on the matter but would "keep those conversations between the two of them."

» Just over a week ago, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, was outed as the lawmaker who used $84,000 in taxpayer funds to secretly settle a sexual harassment case. The cat's had Ryan's tongue on this one. (By the way, since 1997, Congress has paid more than $17 million to secretly settle scores of workplace claims against Congress members. The taxpayer-funded payments come from a special Treasury Department fund created by a law misleadingly named the Congressional Accountability Act.)

» On Dec. 1, Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was accused of propositioning his campaign finance director for sex despite her protests. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Minority leader, almost immediately demanded his resignation.

» On Dec. 5, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., announced he would leave the House immediately. Pelosi also had called for his resignation after several aides accused him of harassment.

» On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said he will resign in coming weeks after eight women accused him of making improper advances. He made his announcement after about 30 fellow Democrats in the Senate, including at least a dozen women, implored him to do so.

Then, of course, there's Roy Moore, the GOP senatorial candidate in Alabama accused of making improper advances on teens when he was in his 30s - including an allegation of sexual assault and another of pedophilia since one teen was only 14.

And we must not forget our Republican president - whose own words acknowledged him as a groper who "moved" on women, not to mention the dozen-plus women who have accused him of those very actions.

What we have here is quite a one-sided set of party actions to police the bad-acting men of our government. In fact, had Farenthold not committed the sin of suggesting his mistress have an abortion, Republican leadership might have turned a deaf ear to his transgressions, as well.

And in Moore's case, even Mitch McConnell, whom Moore takes every opportunity to impugn, has changed his tune from saying "I believe the women, yes," to backing Moore and re-deploying GOP money to back the twice-disgraced judge.

It seems all a Republican has to do to get backing - either from far-right voters or from Republican leadership - is wrap themselves in talk of God, religion and any kind of anti-abortion stance.

Not so for Democrats.

"Democrats, especially in the House, say tolerance is breaking down along party lines - and their party is far less tolerant," according to The New York Times.

Polls prove this out.

Only 40 percent of Republicans thought sexual harassment was a very or somewhat serious problem within their party, while 60 percent of Democrats said it was a problem in theirs, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Does this mean Republicans - the party of family values - thinks sexual abuse takes a backseat to party majority?

We'll find out Tuesday when the polls close in Alabama.

Meanwhile, we'll give Time Magazine a standing ovation for naming #MeToo its "Person of the Year" in a soaring salute to the anti-sexual harassment movement that may finally bring the state of womanhood out of the dark ages.

And we give a the women who've found the courage to tell their stories a hardy thank you.

As one commenter to The New York Times wrote recently: "Every single woman on the planet has been sexually suppressed. Every one. No exceptions. It is centuries past time that women step up and say, 'No more.' The movement must continue forever if we are to have relative peace in the world and stop the fear-anger-hate-lies,lies,lies-WAR-rape-pillage-plunder male model that continues to destroy the lives of average/poor people."

Sound like male hate? No. It sounds like equality.

But, women: Make it stick. Register to vote and go to the polls, because only time will tell now whether Democrats taking the high road will mean anything - today, or in the mid-term elections or ever.

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