Oh how I teased Roger Abramson about trying to rain on my joy at the Kent Williams fiasco. And I must stand here before you today and say that Abramson’s ascertation that this turn of events was no boon to progressives has turned out to be true in concrete fashion.
Tiny Pasture reports that Williams allegedly sexually harrassed Representative Lynn.
If it’s not true, it’s unfortunate that it’s been dredged up again. Spreading this untruth would basically prove that all the Republican hand-wringing over how big a bunch of untrustworthy liars the Democrats and Williams are is just theater to cover their own untrustworthiness and lies.
But I’m with Woods. I don’t see any evidence of a Republican smear campaign. Kleinheider and I talked about this alleged incident a while back and it doesn’t seem like a far stretch to me to believe that something that was at the back of his mind then would be brought to the front when Williams blew up on the scene.
So, what if it’s true?
If it’s true, then we also have a deeply troubling situation. First, again, back to Woods’s question. If things went down as reported, why didn’t Mumpower reprimand Williams? According to Kleinheider, there were witnesses to the incidents and Williams at the time did not deny them, but promised they would not be repeated.
I understand why Lynn might not have cared if he was reprimanded. After all, her attention was on getting the incidents stopped and for Williams to straighten out. If her actions with Mumpower achieved that, great.
But Mumpower had an obligation to at least every Republican woman under his purview and, I would hope, should have felt some moral responsibility to all of the women who might have to work with Williams. His responsibility went farther than just getting Williams to back off Lynn. He had a responsibility to make sure that Williams understood as clearly as possible that such actions are inappropriate and unacceptable. And he had a responsibility to do so in such a way that, if Williams’ next target were someone less powerful, less sure of herself, less likely to be taken seriously, there was a big red warning flag attached to him that he had already pulled this kind of stuff.
Mumpower failed here.
But Mumpower’s failure is nothing, NOTHING, compared to the failure of the Democrats in this case. Sadly, it’s an unsurprising failure. I’ve said as much to them any time one of them gives me an occasion to say it. They run around the Capitol like it is their private Playboy mansion and when you look at how many folks are literally in bed with lobbyists, it’s unsurprising that the Democrats would have no problem throwing their weight behind a guy who wants to play a little grab-ass with Representative Lynn.
But it’s exceptionally disgusting. Our laws are now being shaped and herded through by a guy who doesn’t understand that the women he works with are not there first and foremost for his pleasure. If he looks at his colleagues and thinks that some of them should be okay with him approaching them from behind and having him embrace them and if he can’t tell the difference between a bar and a parking garage, then how are we supposed to trust his judgment on legislation pertaining to women?
And why, on God’s green earth, would any female Democrat vote for him, knowing, as they must have, that he seems to be a letch?
If the Democrats want to convince liberals in the state that they are serious about our support, this kind of shit has to stop. You don’t take a man who doesn’t understand that he can’t grab hold of the people he works with to see if they might acquiesce in a position of power, because it’s a hell of a lot harder for people with less power than him to not acquiesce if they want to.
But, hey, if you want to continue to run around the Statehouse like it’s a giant frat party, more power to you. Just don’t look to folks like me for support.
If you want to lead, then act like leaders.
(And am I the only one who gets a headache from trying to image in which directions the lawsuits could fly, should lawsuits start flying, with all the people who knew about this and kept moving him up the chain?)