The political world has been shaken and turned upside down by the wave of sexual misconduct allegations facing both parties. From Representatives John Conyers and Trent Franks to Senator Al Franken, both political parties have been faced with enormous scandals. The proper course of action at this point would be to address the issue directly and ensure it doesn’t continue. Investigations need to occur and where misconduct is found, resignation or removal needs to happen.
This is a point some are getting in both parties, while others are failing. For Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi struggled in the beginning by covering for Conyers after allegations first broke. Instead of pushing an investigation and suggesting resignation, she questioned the integrity and motivation of the victims. But as time went on, the voices favoring resignation grew louder.
Conyers resigned. Franken resigned.
But as we look to the here and now, the Democratic Party has its own issues beyond this. One of the most prominent modern Democrats is former President Bill Clinton, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct while still in office. This would eventually lead to his impeachment.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has established herself as a voice unafraid of speaking up. She suggested early on that Franken should resign, and she even suggested recently that Clinton should have resigned from office in the nineties. Despite being a Democrat herself, Senator Gillibrand seems to understand that morality is more important than politics, and women should not be victimized by sexual predators.
But not everyone agrees.
Former Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines slammed Gillibrand in an appearance on Fox News. During that appearance, Reines questioned the Senator’s motivation and suggested she didn’t adequately explain why she asked for Franken’s resignation. He said the same of Senator Gillibrand’s suggestion that former Clinton President should have resigned, as well.
Does sexual misconduct really need to be explained? It’s almost as if Reines’ need for an explanation suggests there are some forms of sexual misconduct that are acceptable. For this former staffer, being a sexual predator is not enough. No wonder the Clintons loved having her around so much.
This isn’t entirely surprising. While Gillibrand is positioning herself as a voice for the victims within the Democratic Party, Reines is a former staffer for Bill’s wife, Hillary. The closeness of to the Clinton crime family presents a possible conflict of interest on the issue.
In a later appearance on MSNBC, Gillibrand took issue with Reines’ claims. While she said she favored a number of principles that former President Clinton believed in, she believes there is a need to call out sexual misconduct all the time without exception. As society tackles this cultural crisis, it’s necessary to shine the light on all issues, regardless of politics.
Philippe Reines is your standard political partisan with no ethics. His political allies come before principles and morals. This sort of behavior is what is going to make the problem worse and allow sexual predators like John Conyers and Al Franken to get off the hook for their misdeeds. Democrats and Republicans both need to be firm and vocal.
Senator Gillibrand is in the right, Philippe Reines is wrong.