Nutty, Slutty Buddies


New at Reason: Happy 12th Anniversary, Clarence Thomas confirmation! Nick Gillespie looks back on how that Not-So-Great Debate established the principle of "My Enemy's Enema" in sexual harassment politics


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  1. “…it isn’t clear that Anita Hill’s claims technically met the legal standard of sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances…”

    Do the words “hostile work environment” ring any bells?

  2. I like the bigger point of the article: Too many people defend alleged sexual misconduct (of any sort: harassment, infidelity) when “their side” does it, and scream bloody murder when “the other side” does it.

    And I make due note of all famous exceptions, applauding those who are consistent in their arguments. And I make no suggestion that all allegations are created equal, simply that it’s interesting who defends who and when. That’s all.

  3. “Do the words “hostile work environment” ring any bells?”

    Like a fire alarm! 🙂 Or maybe more like the call of a telemarketer…

    As for the article, it’s typical for partisans to be hypocritical about all manner of scandals. Maybe what’s different about sexual harrassment is that the offenses are more similar to each other (at least where groping’s concerned) making the hypocrisy more vivid.

    BTW, does the White House count as a “rowdy movie set”? 🙂

  4. I don’t look at groping by liberals and groping by conservatives differently – I was glad they tossed out Bob Packwood’s sleazy butt. I look at consensual acts and assaults differently. If the Jones, Broderick, and Willey charges were at all credible, I would have considered them an extremely important issue. Now, maybe my judgement about their truthfulness was swayed by watching 6 years of increasingly hysterical, bogus charges being thrown at Clinton. But I have no problem defending the position that the woman’s consent, and the reliability of the charge, are appropriate considerations to keep in mind in these circumstances.

  5. Seems Packwood was treated more like a Republican than as a liberal by both sides.

  6. Given that joe automatically discounts any accusations of wrongdoing directged at Clinton because of the “years of increasingly hysterical, bogus charges”, perhaps he will understand why I automatically discount accusations of wrongdoing directed at Bush.

  7. Okay, so I’ll be consistent here.

    I think Arnie is a pig for grabbing some women, but if I was in California, he would have had my vote as the least worst electable candidate.

    If Nick’s highly nuanced position is correct – and if I read him right he’s saying “in for a penny, in for a pound” – this means that I should excuse Clinton’s alleged rape of Juanita Broderick. For me to excuse Arnie’s harassing of women, while thinking charges should be pressed where rape is alleged, would be mere base, rank partisanship.

    Wow. Thanks for teaching me something Nick. I aspire to this sophisticated level of logic chopping. All kidding aside though, for now, I’m probably stuck at the unsophisticated level of thinking that rape and perjury and the use of the Oval Office for trysts, isn’t quite the same as harassment.

  8. yet another sophisticated discussion here boiling down to the one side that always forgives while condemning the other. and the other side doing something that looks a lot like that, too.

    (oh, mr. fetchit, my kristliche standestaat comment was not a nazi reference. it was not a bismarck reference. it was a reference to the religious conservatives in austria in the 20s. they felt that a return to moral, traditional values (i.e., get away from the end of the kaiserzeit decadence) was the way to go. they were against the nazis and against the Liberals, too. it was more like a pat buchanan/ christian right party.)

  9. cheers to you! and sorry that my tone was off-base. it’s “just one of those days”. my apologies. this should be a forum where we all discuss, kick ideas around, really mix it up, and respect the dialogue. sorry i was over the top. bad day, you know! not an excuse, just an explanation. hrumph.

    i do agree with you that the bush=hitler is an incredible insult to the victims of nazi terror. the President is many things, but that comparison is terrible. so i wholeheartedly agree that one shouldn’t do that. just as the “clinton is one milimeter away from communism” comment i heard often during his administration.

    do you remember Cathy Young’s piece on muscular christianity?

    and finally, every time Justice Thomas’s confirmation comes up, i can’t help but remember that wonderful SNL sketch. “have you trahd taking her for a raahd?” “you can’t do that senator kennedy”… or something like that.


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