My Irrevocable Break With the Democratic Party: The enemy of women good is winning perfect


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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212 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    This all makes complete sense to me. It clear why you have a problem with the D’s. And the D’s have a problem with compromising on serious issues for power. Of course if policies are the primary reason to vote for a person, then that gets tricky. As James used to point out LBJ was a real jerk in many ways and was a massive part of getting civil rights bills passed. Of course Oregon is a pretty blue state so the D’s could have pushed those guys off onto an iceflow and still likely found a winner but they didn’t.

    Any party that has some power always risks the trap of compromising poorly. The R’s and D’s both have. Powerless parties have an easier road since they have nothing to give up. It’s not like anybody would defend racist newsletters…..wait. Beats me if i really know how to change a party that has the kind of problems you describe.Report

    • Avatar nevermoor says:

      In some ways, it also illustrates a point I’ve made before about how good it would be for the country to have a sane republican party.

      Credible competition would seem to both add strength to those who tried to get Wu to resign (because a loss was possible) and give an option to those who couldn’t countenance voting for him (since the alternative isn’t a complete disaster). It is certainly true that Democrats are not the least bit immune from the “absolute power corrupts absolutely” truism. You see that in Chicago city politics, in Albany, in Baltimore, and in plenty of other places.

      Ultimately I think most people (probably myself included) are tribal about our politics, so its certainly true that there’s an ability to self-justify things that shouldn’t be justified.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        What would you consider to be a sane Republican party that you could vote for? How much could you disagree with a boy scout of a Republican and still be happy to vote for him to send an anti-corruption message?Report

        • Avatar nevermoor says:

          I’m not sure I’m likely to vote for a national-level Republican under most circumstances, but a party that supports limits on government’s intrusion on private affairs (unlike today’s morality-warriors), market-based solutions to tragedies of the commons or regulatory failures (Romneycare / cap-trade / etc.), regulatory rollbacks in unnecessary areas (say, the sillier occupational licenses), and streamlining of the federal government (it really is crazy that regulators have such obscene overlap, and sensible republicans would be better able to impose sanity on military spending if they were actually inclined to).

          If my choice was to vote for a child rapist or someone that would advance the goals of a party like that it’d be a much easier choice than a child rapist or someone who will support today’s GOP prioritiesReport

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Plenty. Have him be proscience, and at least willing to softshoe on abortion, and we can make most other crap work.

          Of course, you’d have to find me a Republican who doesn’t willingly aid and abet the murder of rape victims first.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        we’re working on that. long hard road to plough, but we’re working on it.Report

  2. Avatar zic says:

    Their stories, each, remind me of my pedophile.

    And Bill Cosby. And Gerry Sandusky. And the priest pedophile scandal.

    Excellent skills at building good will, at making people need them, and that they could never, would never. . .Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      zic: Excellent skills at building good will, at making people need them, and that they could never, would never. . .

      Not every predator is red of claw.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      It’s a small, thin shred of cold comfort, to say simply — other people have it worse.
      But, even in America, there are those parents willing to sell their children for money… and willing to murder them for their silence.

      People don’t understand how much of an industry the underage sex market is.Report

    • Avatar Uglyhip says:

      I live in Sandusky’s town, which still worships coach Paterno (“JoePa”), he of looking-the-other-way fame. The local rallying cry, encouraged by the NCAA restoring the wins it had rescinded, is “409 Forever.”

      When I hear someone from outside the town speak ill of Penn State University with respect to the scandal, I probably approve of their sentiment. But if a local resident voices similar dislike, or an idea that the school needs to clean house, I know they’re almost certainly holding a grudge against the directors for the act of firing JoePa, and for having conceded so much in the NCAA’s punishment of the football program (4 years of no bowl game, etc) rather than fight the charges. That is what continues to be the real scandal in these parts, because hey, after you’ve acknowledged the evil of Sandusky himself, what more is there to say? What could we possibly expect of anyone to do about it — especially anyone who “did so much” for the community as our beloved coach?

      The shameful part to me is knowing that I’m mainly immune to the whole thing solely because of a pre-existing dislike of the dependency of major universities on their football programs. With regard to this post’s original point, I’m still just as guilty of enabling the Democratic party, and there are probably other ways I’m unthinkingly equivalent to the State Collegians I’ve been sneering at.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My first (and last) vote for a real candidate was in 1992. I voted for Bill Clinton.

    It was because of Women’s Issues.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Well written Tod. I absolutely agree. It’s why I’ll vote for a non-D and non-R whenever there is one on the ballot that does not strike me as absolutely bugnuts. Sure it makes no difference, except that I was able to avoid granting my moral authority to a party so without any.Report

    • Avatar nevermoor says:

      Two reactions:

      1. I’m all for IRV or some other system that allows for this kind of voting without wasting your chance to participate in the actual decision.

      2. Until that happens, there’s nothing noble in refusing to vote or (near-equivalently) voting for a candidate with 0% chance of winning.Report

      • Avatar Freeman says:

        “Until that happens, there’s nothing noble in refusing to vote or (near-equivalently) voting for a candidate with 0% chance of winning.”

        …as opposed to voting for rapists and the political parties that provide cover for them? Then fish nobility – it’s obviously illusory in this context.Report

        • Avatar nevermoor says:

          Hey, it’s your vote. Do with it what you will. I just think that approach is dumb (and am not sure why you’re assuming that third party politicians are icons of purity either).Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Never said it was noble, it’s personal.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          If it’s personal, why don’t you just talk to Wikileaks?

          Believe it or not, some people really do take these sorts down.
          Paper trails are easier to follow by the day.Report

    • “bugnuts” is a good word.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      I’m curious whether Tod stands with you in committing to vote for not-Ds whenever possible.

      It’s also worth remembering that, while Tod can no longer stand with the Democratic Party, apparently he can stand with the Republican Party: he recently made a big deal about formally joining it, and to my knowledge remains a member.

      My solution is to not join parties, but to vote for the candidate who will contribute to least-worst policy from my perspective, unless that person has a serious defect in character that disqualifies him for me in the particular case (an admittedly ad hoc determination). Our system is what it is, and I don’t hold the failures of an entire party against any individual running under its banner, because running that way is simply the way peopl do or don’t get into office under our system. If the person whose party I hold against him doesn’t win, then someone whose party I would equally hold against him will.

      Not joining parties doesn’t have major costs, but it does have some amount of the symbolic significance for me that not voting for anyone from a party has for you. Where I come from, this means I can still vote in (open) primaries, but in some places, such as where I was living in early 2008, it means I can’t. So there can be something of a real cost (if you see that kind of thing as a real cost) as well. I have no interest in participating (through actual voting) in a process to choos nominees of an organization that requires formal membership to do so. An organization that throws the process open to all comers to me has the degree of openness to be involved with.

      OTOH, these are power-seeking organizations, and as such they inevitably leave a trail of self-serving ugliness behind as they pursue the business of seeking power. Therefore I don’t have the illusion that any degree of involvement with them can come with moral cleanliness: politics is a dirty business, and perhaps we should all simply stand against it, as some do. But, on balance, since thearties pretty much constitute the system we have, I guess I’d like to broadly be involved with politics on the terms of the system we have, rather than standing apart in a vain, lifelong effort to change it so that, what, maybe one or a few more power-seeking organizations that will leave ugliness in their wake? The greatest folly is imagining we can have a morally perfect politics.

      I’m not sure if we’re casting judgement on each other here or just stating where we’re coming from, but I just can’t get to where I’m so morally troubled by this kind of ugliness that I can’t maintain the amount of association with thes organizations that I have, which amounts to voting for candidates who are members of one of them more than who are members of the other, or of neither. I guess people will think of me what they will for that.

      Maybe where Tod and I differ is that my association was never as close to any of them as his once was, so the recoil away from them when they don’t live up to expctations was never going to be as great.Report

  5. Avatar Francis says:

    Pick your poison. There’s a Berkeley law professor who cleared a legal path to commit torture. Republican-controlled state legislatures are doing their level best to make it impossible for poor women to obtain abortions. etc.

    I’ve spent a fair amount of time around California politicians and mostly they are addicted to the trappings of power. (“She would go the opening of an envelope if they recognized her.”) Some (a few) are pretty smart; most aren’t. But they’re willing to put in the long hours and desperately boring grunt work of running for office, which immediately sets them apart from just about everyone else.

    The graft, corruption and favoritism that surrounds high-level politicians is appalling. But I’m not aware of any alternative. You can (a) vote D, (b) vote R or (c) not vote/vote fringe. Each of those acts has consequences.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      What consequences?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      My thought about a third party vote was one that I expressed in the 2012 election. I had heard a lot of people say “a vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama. ” ( remember, I live in a very Republican area of California. ) but I didn’t agree with the sentiment then, and I don’t agree with it now. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Johnson.

      If my choices are a douche bag, a shit sandwich, and a third-party candidate with no hope of getting elected but who I agree with on about 50% of his issues and hasn’t demonstrated an errant moral compass, I’m going to vote my preference and not worry if my vote works to “net benefit: douche bag” in someone else’s political calculus.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Obama was… the d-bag?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        a vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama.

        The best part is hanging with crazy people from both sides of the aisle. When you have one friend who yells the above at you, then (IN THE SAME DAY) another yell that a vote for Johnson is a vote for Romney, it just makes you feel all warm inside.Report

      • Avatar nevermoor says:

        Assuming we aren’t going to switch to a parliamentary system in this country, I think IRV (or whichever of the more sophisticated systems you happen to prefer) is going to become critical.

        I bet people would be stunned at how much support certain third parties got in a world where expressing that preference wasn’t helping the other team. That said, in our current system I have absolutely no idea what your objection is with the phrase “a vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama. ” If you have a voter deciding between Johnson and Romney, voting for Johnson wastes a vote that would have helped Romney. Which helps Obama. Whether you like that or not, it’s true. That said, @jaybird ‘s comment below strikes me as nonsense because a vote for Johnson does absolutely nothing to help Romney.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:


      That’s the thing. The consequences of any individual vote are negligible. Choosing to abstain from voting when all the candidates disgust you seems perfectly fine. It is voting in order to effect some particular set of consequences which is irrational.Report

      • Avatar nevermoor says:

        No. An individual vote isn’t going to swing the election, but voting is still important. The lesson to take from the first observation is that you should do more than just vote, not that you should disengage and pretend to be holier-than-thou about the whole thing.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          I recommend, rather than giving up on the party, one simply puts oneself — or others you trust, should you find yourself incapable, in a position to know — and when you figure it out, call the fucking FBI.

          But I’m practical that way.

          It produces results. Tod’s way is simple stupidity.Report

    • Avatar James K says:


      You can (a) vote D, (b) vote R or (c) not vote/vote fringe. Each of those acts has consequences.

      No it doesn’t, the effect of a single vote on an election is negligible.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        That’s the same flaw in reasoning that happens in vaccination debates, that aggregation doesn’t matter. The optimal individual strategy on vaccinations is to not have your kid vaccinated and depend on everyone else vaccinating their kids. When enough people make that same decision, you get epidemics. One voter deciding to vote fringe has negligible effect — 100,000 voting fringe in a swing state has a pronounced effect, absent some other unlikely conditions like the fringe candidate drawing equally from the major parties.

        Look at the differences in off-year elections and tell me that aggregation of the “don’t vote” choice doesn’t matter.Report

        • Avatar Autolukos says:

          100,000 voting fringe in a swing state has a pronounced effect, absent some other unlikely conditions like the fringe candidate drawing equally from the major parties.

          The proprietorial argument may well be the worst pitch for voting for one of the major parties.Report

      • Avatar George A. Chien says:

        This is something that is frequently asserted here, that the effect of any vote is negligible. I don’t see how,though. Since someone will win, ordinarily the one who received the most votes, certainly each vote adding up to that total had some effect, no? I admit to not being a political scientist or professional mathematician but it seems to me that the whole is nothing but the sum of its parts. Barack Obama is president, and not someone else, because at various critical points along the way, and in a successful assortment of states, more people voted for him than for others. How can it be that those votes don’t matter individually, when they clearly do matter all together? To go all Kantian on you, if “everybody” voted or didn’t vote the way “I” decided to vote or not vote, the outcome would be much different, right? This is why my vote has consequences for me. I own a (very minuscule) share of the Obama presidency, since I was one of those who filled in the oval and scanned the ballot, and so participated in delivering Connecticut to him and not anyone else. Had I stayed home, or voted for a minor party candidate the outcome might not have been different, granted. But if many had done so things would be different, and there is no large movement of voters for any candidate that is not made up of numerous individual voters each deciding, for whatever reason, what choice they will make. Maybe I’m not smart enough, or probably not libertarian enough, to see why I’m wrong about this.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      I wonder at times how much the party knew about Leland Yee’s sideline, and ignored it?Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      I’m aware of plenty of alternatives.
      You could actually put in the effort to ring the FBI.
      Or Anonymous, or Wikileaks.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    There is an Internet law of some name which basically boils down to “No cause is so noble as to not attract idiots.” There should probably be a variant entitled “No cause is so noble as to not attract scammers, the morally bankrupt, and the ethically challenged.” In fact the causes of Angels, might attract more scammers because the cause acts like a shield.

    I think this is a general conundrum of politics and ideology. Like Greginak said above, I vote for the Democratic Party because they are closest to my policy preferences in terms of urbanism, environmentalism, foreign policy, the welfare state/safety net, civil rights, and a bunch of other issues. They are not perfect and not an exact match all the time but they are a much closer match than any other major or minor political party.

    Suppose there is an election and the candidate with a D behind their name is generally seen as being ethically challenged. The person with R is squeaky clean. However, the person with the D is still going to enforce or go along with policies that I agree with 70-80 percent of the time and the person with the R is going to go along with policies that I disagree with at the same frequency and often disagree strongly with. Why should I vote the person and not the party? Why should I vote the person and not the policies?

    What if it is a situation where a D politician needs to resign in disgrace? Should that position go to an R in the next election just because of ethics and vice-versa? What if the next D politician to run for that spot is squeaky clean, should he or she still loose because of the disgraceful actions of his or her predecessor?

    I would say that the Democratic Party is the party of women because many if not most women vote Democratic. I would say that the Democratic Party is the party of women because the Democratic Party seems to listen women for policies and are generally pro-choice, pro-access to Birth Control, pro-equal pay (Lilly Ledbetter act), pro-laws that prevent companies from making sexist hiring and promotion decisions, etc. The Democratic Party also passed the FMLA as imperfect as it is.

    The GOP would like to be the party of women. But there version is trying to convince women that their policies/worldview is best because “bootstraps”. So far many women do not seem to buy this view and continue to vote Democratic or run for office in Democratic politicians. The GOP response to this is not to say “Maybe we should soften our positions on some issues because women seem to like Democratic policies in X, Y, and Z.” The GOP seems to scream “Fuck you, women, why can’t you understand that we have the stuff.”

    And you forgot how the Democratic Party basically forced Spitzer out of office while Vitter was allowed to stay in. You seem to think that bad apples who are Democratic politicians damn the party and their policies as a whole but hold a much less judgmental standard for Republicans.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor says:

      >>Why should I vote the person and not the party? Why should I vote the person and not the policies?

      Because sending the messages that certain behavior will not be tolerated in a public official is more important for civil society and the long-term health of the party than the policy advantages of having that person in power. And that’s even after accepting the unknowable scenario that an ethically challenged candidate is going to go along with your policies 80% of the time.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I dissent. There is nothing that any Republican. I dissent from their Calvinism. I dissent from their incurable belief in tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts which has led Kansas to economic ruin. I dissent from their endless bashing of minorities.

        And I think many Libertarians are just Republicans who just like smoking pot every now and then. Company here not included.

        There is nothing to be gained except damage, damage, Calivinism and totalitarianism from voting Republican and it is damage that can take decades to cure.Report

        • Avatar RTod says:

          You say that like there were no such thing as primaries.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            Your assuming that the primary will have an acceptable candidate or that non-sexist candidate doesn’t have serious flaws of their own that might neglect any non-sexism.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


            Of course there is such a thing as primaries and they can and should be used to kick out politicians who are corrupt or otherwise criminal.

            I was not around Oregon in 2006 and can’t say what factors caused Kulongoski to win the primary. There has always been a tendency to favor people in office for multiple reasons in the United States. But wikipedia tells me that there was a primary and his two opponents won significant chunks of the vote.

            But I still can’t bring myself to vote R because there is seemingly no way they can escape far-right nuttery and they are simply way too far to my right. I can’t vote for a party where ending birthright citizenship gains wide applause.


            So I can do my part in a primary but there is no way I feel like I can be complacement and help the Rs win a general election.Report

            • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

              Saul Degraw: Of course there is such a thing as primaries and they can and should be used to kick out politicians who are corrupt or otherwise criminal.

              Maybe do that then.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                Who is to say I do not? Also I could vote for the person I find most moral and ethical in the primary and still have someone think I voted for the most corrupt and bankrupt candidate. Not in a lesser of two evils way but in a people really disagree about these things kind of way.

                As far as I know, I have never voted for someone like Goldschimdt. Unless you count voting for Spitzer and not finding out about his misdeeds till post election which is ex post facto criticism. People who voted for Spitzer voted for the guy who crusaded against corrupt and shoddy practices on Wall Street.* They also inadvertently voted for a hypocrite.**

                *Spitzer was correct on this one. See The Great Recession, etc.

                **He tried to go after brothels that catered to Wall Street types.Report

              • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

                Saul Degraw: Who is to say I do not?

                As a group, where Tod lives, they have not. If Tod were to join the Democratic Party, it would be in that state, and from the OP, it doesn’t seem that they have acted the way you might have.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

              You say that like corruption is limited to Oregon.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          You should meet DeSantis. He’s a fine guy, and would have made a decent mayor. I may not agree with everything he stood for, but he’s not crazy.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Would you rather have a bunch of sexually entitled Democratic politicians that keep the United States out of military adventurism for the most part and make sure that the government functions or a bunch of Republican politicians that can kind of keep it in their paints but give us military adventurism abroad, imploding government services at home, and keeps the war on drugs going.Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

          I am missing something here. When we move from individual cases to bunches, is there any reason to believe that Republican politicians as a class less sexually entitled than Democratic politicians? This seems unlikely.Report

        • Avatar Rose Woodhouse says:

          Wait. Did you just dismiss child rape as an act of someone who is “sexually entitled”? Am I missing something?!Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      It depends on the level of “ethically challenged” we’re talking about. I think we can agree that it is deeply perverse and wrong to think that you can elect a rapist, or a supporter of rapists, on the basis that he’s better for “women’s rights”. Because that person demonstrably has zero regard for women’s most fundamental right.

      Minor scandals and the kind of accusations of “corruption” all parties typically throw at their opponents, though – those are less important to me than policy positions, because there’s often more smoke than fire, and you’ll never find a party that has no candidates you can pin anything negative on.

      Similiarly I’d vote for people who I think are just jerks if I agree with them on the policy issues, because if they’re elected their policy positions are going to affect a lot more people than their personalities will. Unless their jerkitude reached an extremely high level.Report

  7. Avatar Stillwater says:

    I think the long hoped for promise of better governance lies behind quite a bit of the individual decision-making you criticize up there, or at least it’s part of the decision process of lots of folks who are, in fact, paying attention. Course, lying behind even that is the idea that culture keeps a changing and getting better and slowly – maybe too slowly – culture starts to impose its will on these types of political shenanigans so’s the worst stuff is continually culled leaving only the goodies. And usually, as you say, unfortunately, the calculus is based on “policies” rather than behaviors, which allows folks – as you highlight – to keep voting for candidates outa moral concerns (regarding policies) while discounting their individual non-political behavior as well as the stuff they do while in power.

    So part of the problem here, seems to me, is that the evolution of our two party duopoly has reduced political involvement in the electoral process to a handful of touchstone, highly ideological, and very narrow issues and then cast the concept of democratic governance to the wind. (Which reminds me of a George Carlin routine I’ve linked to but which no one around here likes – basically that if our culture creates selfish ignorant citizens then we’ll end up with selfish ignorant politicians (hahaha!!).) If people believe that voting R or D or I or L is the only thing that matters when discussing politics and championing our political ideologies and pulling the lever, then the action of pulling the lever for an R or D or I or L merely reconfirms whatever narrow conception of politics exists at that time. And we live in a time (and maybe always have!) when that conception is incredibly narrow.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      part of the problem here, seems to me, is that the evolution of our two party duopoly has reduced political involvement in the electoral process to a handful of touchstone, highly ideological, and very narrow issues and then cast the concept of democratic governance to the wind.

      Even here; on the issues of sexual assault; which is pretty darn bad. But it’s not ‘women’s issues,’ it’s one of several “women’s issues.” Tod’s view, per his headline: My Irrevocable Break With the Democratic Party: The enemy of women good is winning perfect. And then two scumpuppy abusers who fit the MOs sexual abusers everywhere who abuse power to cover their sins. You can leave your church if it doesn’t get better preachers. With politics, where’s the better?

      I can’t condone those politicians actions in Oregon; nor the national party that sheltered them for too long. Striking the balance between the good of the one and the many? That’s always morally fraught. Back in the day, Obama had his crazy preacher and it provoked his first, profound speech on race. I expect we’ll get such a speech on gender and media shaming (think Lewinsky’s TED talk & NYT mag story,) from Hillary. And honestly, if we don’t, she may lose my vote, too.Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Semi-related question I thought about while listening to a piece on Cosby today: Why is there a statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault?

    Semi-related question I thought about while reading this: Why the fuck is there a statute of limitations on rape or sexual assault of a minor?

    I get that it might be very, very hard to try a rape case years or decades after the fact (Hell, it can be hard to try a rape case that happened last week), but that doesn’t mean we should remove the ability to pursue charges.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      IANAL but I think you answered your own question. I’m guessing that far out it becomes basically impossible to investigate with any hope of clearly determining the guilt or innocence of the parties involved.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      First, I think but am not certain that a lot of the SOLs on sexual crimes against children have been extended or abolished.

      The reason for SOLs is that the law is complex and a fair justice system (criminal and civil) needs to account for the interests and rights of civil plaintiffs and civil defendants and of the victims of crime and the alleged defendants.

      Allegedly Anglo-American criminal law is based on the precept that it is “better for ten guilty men to go free than one innocent man to be put in prison or executed.” There are many criminal defense lawyers who can post to hundreds of stories of exonerations and ask is this the true. There was also the story in the Times Magazine about how setting high bail rates is used by prosecutors to get innocent people to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit. These are usually done in low-level drug cases so you have a poor defendant who can’t post 500 dollars but he is innocent. The prosecutors say “Plead guilty, serve ten days in Rikers, and we will drop the matter” and the Defendant says yes.

      Memories fade, evidence fades, and things get jumbled up after 40, 50, 60, years.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Thanks, @saul-degraw . I am glad that the issue is being addressed for minors.

        I recognize that trying cases long after the fact is difficult. I don’t object to SOL in all cases. As I understand, there are no SOLs for murder (but correct me if I’m wrong). I’d be comfortable putting rape in that same category. And I’d rather address other issues in the criminal justice system head on than by denying Cosby’s accusers their day in court (though I realize some of them did attempt to pursue charges earlier and were turned away which is itself hugely problematic).Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          Per wiki, SOLs (mostly) don’t exist for murder, pretty much anywhere, though supposedly judges may still dismiss very cold cases on the grounds that it would be a violation of a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

          As to why they exist in the first place, from the same wiki article:

          The purpose and effect of statutes of limitations are to protect defendants. There are three reasons for their existence:

          *A plaintiff with a valid cause of action should pursue it with reasonable diligence.
          *A defendant might have lost evidence to disprove a stale claim.
          *A long-dormant claim has “more cruelty than justice” (Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th edition).

          The limitation period generally begins when the plaintiff’s cause of action accrues, or they become aware of a previous injury (for example, occupational lung diseases such as asbestosis). In Classical Athens, a five-year statute of limitations was established for all cases except homicide and the prosecution of non-constitutional laws (which had no limitation). Demosthenes wrote that these statutes of limitations were adopted to control “sycophants” (professional accusers)

          I’m not sure how I feel about getting too zealous about including other crimes along with murder, in the “no SOLs” category.

          Take the second bullet – let’s say you were wrongfully-accused of some sort of crime in the last year. Since it was recent, you are easily able to gather cell phone records (or something else) that give you an airtight alibi, and clear your name.

          Twenty years from now, those same records may not be accessible to you. Now it is just your word, against that of a sympathetic plaintiff or mistaken eyewitness or eager prosecutor. Uh-oh.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            Thinking about this some more, I am pretty OK with extending or eliminating SOLs when it involves a crime against a minor, since minors are at extreme disadvantage for reporting a crime against them (they may not even understand a crime has occurred, until they are older).

            But for adults who have had crimes committed against them, having SOLs does seem like it might help balance the rights of the accusers to seek redress, with those of the accused to effectively defend themselves.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:


              I agree with the distinction with minors.

              Rape is somewhat unique in that, for a long time, we didn’t really give women viable access to the criminal justice system to pursue justice. So if Cosby has victims who tried to pursue charges and were turned away by the cops (or discouraged by the DA or whatever) (assuming that DID happen), I’d be okay with letting them pursue now. This exception would eventually sunset though.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                I’m not necessarily against that in theory; but in practice, I have no idea how we’d structure a “conditional” SOL exemption or extension like that – for ex., for any given case, if an accuser was originally turned away, it MIGHT well be because society doesn’t believe victims and the DA or cops made the wrong call in turning them away (both things that are often true); but it could ALSO be that the accuser really *was* making a false statement, and the police or DA correctly sussed that out before the case could proceed further (or, they were being truthful – but the police or DA knew there was no realistic way whatsoever to have even the smallest hope of a valid conviction under the circumstances.)

                In the latter two cases, the original action to not prosecute was the arguably “correct” one; and the only way I could see it being “justice” to allow someone else, long after, to second-guess all that, is if you could clearly prove malfeasance or incompetence on the part of the cops or DAs at the time of the original decision to not move forward with prosecution.

                And my sense is that that will generally* be even harder than proving a rape after all these years; since the police and DAs will protect their own.

                *Now, in the case of a Cosby, maybe police/DA malfeasance or incompetence could be more easily demonstrated – after all, this isn’t just one accusation we are talking about, and after a while you’d think that any police or DA worth his salt, should have started to suspect a fire from all the smoke.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          Adding to what Saul said, the common law is based on the notion that if you have a case you should act fast on it. This applies to criminal and civil law for the most part. There is a defense to being sued called laches. Laches states that if a case is brought with undue delay it will be barred. This is because delaying a case might make it difficult for a defendant to mount a defense because various pieces of evidence that help the defendant no longer exist. Plaintiffs and prosecutors are going to be presumed to have kept their evidence longer.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        SOL = Statute of Limitations & Shit Outta Luck


        • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

          Also Stroke Of Luck. Depending on which side of the Statute of Limitations you find yourself on.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          Probably but that is the joke. Lawyer’s live in fear of missing an SOL deadline because of how final they are. Well some do. There are some ways around SOLs in civil cases like the discovery rule but not every state has a discovery rule.

          The discovery rule tolls a statute of limitations until a person knew or reasonably should have known the cause of their injury. So in a defective drug case, the SOL could start with the publication of a medical journal article or an FDA black box warning instead of the injury.Report

  9. Avatar North says:

    An excellent post, very scathing and rightfully so. If the GOP were not just as chock a block with the same kinds of parasitic criminals (if not more so) I would be moved. This is, alas, basically a trumped up BSDI from me and I openly admit it, yet there it is. If I have to choose between two parties, both of whom let moral monsters worm their way into positions to get the parties over a barrel, one of which acts on policies I agree with and one of which acts on policies I find abhorrent I will elect to support the former over the latter.

    That said, if I were voting in a direct election that involved an elected official or enabler of same I would very seriously consider my options. If the damage a protest vote would do was modest (for instance the legislature seemed set to remain in Democratic hands) I would not hesitate to split my vote and elect a squeaky clean opposition member.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I can think of Republicans who participated in monetary corruption, got involved in sex scandals, and who tried to cover up various improprieties.

      The only elected Republican who I can think of in the same class as Goldschmidt and Wu is Denny Hastert, and that’s a pretty recent revelation. He was out of office when it all came to light but I didn’t see a bunch of GOPers saying, “yeah, that rape thing, pretty bad, but he pushed for good policies.”

      Both sides aren’t quite the same. Republicans have different ways of making themselves repugnant.Report

      • Avatar Sam says:

        Oregon’s Bob Packwood comes immediately to mind when it comes to the idea that both sides aren’t the same.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          IIRC, his fellow GOPers didn’t rush to his defense out of lockstep partisan loyalty but said, “Let’s look at the evidence and judge then.” When Packwood eventually released his diary to the Erhics Committee, they read it, were repulsed, and hung him out to dry. Resignation, disgrace, etc. and I don’t think a Republican has held statewide office in Oregon since.Report

          • Avatar Sam says:

            @burt-likko A process that took more than three years, from public allegations (which were held until after the 1992 elections) to resignation. Let’s also be careful here with the idea of “public” allegations, as it seems reasonable to believe that somebody somewhere might have heard about Packwood’s behavior long before a newspaper somewhere was willing to write them up. But nothing happened until there was overwhelming and undeniable proof. Or, in other words, exactly what seemed to happen amongst Dems. (And of course, Packwood landed on his feet, even being brought back to testify to Congress last year.)

            Keep in mind that I’m not going to bat for any of this, but this alleged idea that one side does it and the other side doesn’t is utter bullshit. There’s no better word for it.Report

            • Avatar zic says:

              More importantly, is putting this in perspective of rumors; taking action on rumors matters; but if a rumor can put anyone out of work, then all an opponent has to do is generate rumors.

              I’ve said a couple of times here; the circumstances of the victim matters a great deal in actually suppressing information; families often don’t want this aspect of their lives public.Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko says:

              I’m going off of memory here and it was rather a long time ago now. I thought the calendar was much shorter than that and I don’t know what the pre-publicity rumor mill had to say about him. Certainly I wasn’t “in the know” to suppress because of Packwood’s amazing political effectiveness. So it’s entirely possible you’re better informed on Packwood’s fall from grace than I.

              Odd that Packwood hails from Oregon, too. Something in the water?Report

              • Avatar zic says:


                This happens everywhere; some places, in politics. Some, churches. The hosting industry is, I think, incidental to the problem.Report

              • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

                Given this recent piece on the University of Oregon doing its best to humiliate and destroy an inconvenient rape survivor, I’m thinking its the water.Report

              • Avatar zic says:

                Well, maybe.

                But it’s sort-of a stretch to draw a connection between political sex-abuse/corruption scandals and a grad student faking data.

                I might suggest that state becomes constitutes a granfalloon or “false karass” in this particular situation.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                Here’s the history if you’re interested. Beyond the allegedly liberal media giving Packwood the benefit of the doubt until after a closely contested election – SO LIBERAL! – it took almost three years to get him turfed, and that was only after he’d documented his own abuse (a comically evil behavior). If those journals don’t exist, do we really believe he still ends up out on his ass?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Ah-heh. David Wu, thirteen years. Even if you try to play a numbers game, you still lose.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                I’m not trying to play a numbers game (although if I was, I might observe that the damning allegations against Wu surfaced in July 2011 and he was gone by the end of August 2011).

                I’m pointing out that it isn’t as if the GOP’s hands are clean. Bob Packwood is an obvious example who was operating at the same time that the people Tod objects to were. He was only brought down because he decided to document what he was doing. I ask again: is there any chance Packwood gets (eventually) run out of his position if he hadn’t been documenting his own gross misbehavior?

                And why, for that matter, does @rtod seem to give the Republicans a pass on Packwood – who they’re still snugly in bed with, as evidenced by his invitations to testify to Congress – but not to Dems? Obviously, he’s welcome to oppose whomever he’d like for whatever reasons he’d like, but it seems quite clear that both sides do it and only one is being held to any sort of account here, and all that’s occurring while simultaneously implying that voters who don’t hold Dems accountable are somehow sanctioning sexual assault. Can we say the same of Oregon’s registered Republicans who never called for the excommunication of Packwood?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                ” the damning allegations against Wu surfaced in July 2011…”

                No, the “damning allegations” surfaced in the early 2000s and people were aware of them as far back as the late 1980s.

                (ps I did my math wrong. It wasn’t thirteen years, it was twenty-three.)

                “why, for that matter, does @RTod seem to give the Republicans a pass on Packwood…”

                I’m not sure what you mean by “giving a pass”. As far as I can see, Tod hasn’t commented on Packwood at all. His top post was about how the Democrats say that they’re the party of women and yet keep electing rapists; Packwood is not relevant to that discussion.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                1. The damning allegation is the one that sunk him. It took less than two months for that to occur.

                2. @tod-kelly Maybe I’ve missed something, but isn’t Tod a registered Republican in Oregon? If Tod’s position is meant to be a consistent one, wouldn’t involvement with the Republicans ALSO be precluded? (He can obviously answer this himself.)

                3. The issue here, as always, is that standards seem to be much higher on one side of the equation, and in either scenario, women lose. I’m not registered with either party, am disgusted by the whole thing, and vote accordingly when possible.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                @sam-wilkinson As with similar comments by others here — the ones suggesting that I am clearly advocating everyone vote for the GOP, that I believe Republicans are the party of moral purity and the salvation of America, etc. — I honestly can’t tell if you want me to take this point seriously, or if you’re just trolling me for the sport.

                I mean, you have been around this site longer than this one single post, right?


              • Avatar Chris says:

                You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists… er… the Republicans… er… the evil ones… er… someone.

                The weird thing about politics, unlike most cultural phenomena, is that not only do people have a hard time dealing with the narrow tails of the curve, but they can’t figure out the meaty center either.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                With due respect, but I read @tod-kelly’s post, and I continue to think, “Okay, this is he declares a pox on both houses, now and forever.” The part that I’m confused about is where one side seems to pass muster more than the other side (presuming a two-sided system here, due to the exclusion of not voting, registering independent, etc). And the values of those on one side are questioned, as if to vote your own self-interest while utilizing a (potentially) gross utilitarian calculation is a bug rather than the feature of American politics.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’m really not seeing it Sam. From Tod’s telling the OR D’s have been morally corrupt. Pretty bald face to, not some slippery slide into a grey area. But more like, OMG this is evil. Tod said his policy preferences are far more along the D lines but has a problem with the party. That makes complete sense.

                I have major problems with the D’s based on to many interventions, domestic spying, taking minority needs for granted, to much tough on crime etc etc. That doesn’t stop me from voting for them unless there is 3rd party i want to vote for. Parties are tribes, they have their uses, but getting to aligned with one tribe leads to blindness.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                He wrote this about Democrats. He’s spent like the last 4 years writing about Republicans. I’m not sure it makes any sense whatsoever to say that, if he’s giving one side a pass, it’s the Republicans.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                He remains a member of the Republican Party, doesn’t he? Why is what the Democrats have done grounds for leaving, but what the Republicans have done (even the Oregon Republicans, as evidenced by Bob Packwood) not? That’s the part I’m boggling over. (Again, I’m not a member of any party. Tod is obviously welcome to belong to whatever organizations he’d like. I’m just after the difference Oregon’s Republicans – Packwood, Louis Beres, Jim Bunn, Matt Wingard, etc – and their Democrats. Both seem to have their bad actors.)Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Is he? If so, so be it. Perhaps he feels like his vote will do more good in their primaries, if being registered in the party is a requirement in Oregon. Or maybe he just hasn’t bothered to switched to Independent, or Green, or Pinko, or whatever the choices are these days. To be honest, I don’t think his party registration means all that much, in light of what he’s been saying about the party for years, but it’s entirely possible that he takes it — the registration — more seriously than I do.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                He is a registered Republican, but not in the sense that he supports it in any way or is likely to ever.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                @will-truman Ya think?

                FWIW, I think it takes a pretty willful misreading of the post @sam-wilkinson , @michael-drew , and others are referring to when they make the points they are making.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                You joined a party specifically because you think it’s the more broken of the two, did you not? That, to me, nullifies “Tod is a Republican” in the conventional sense. You are not a Republican in the sense that most Republicans are (or the sense that most Democrats are Democrats). Or in any sense that makes Sam’s critique accurate.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                @will-truman Yup.

                In fact, I think I would actually argue that the problem with the GOP — as a political party — is that it has completely broken down in a very fundamental way. And FWIW, I think most of the people I know who are actual Republicans would agree with me on this.

                On the other hand, I would argue that problem with the DNC — as a political party — is that all of the things I wrote about in this OP are seen as a sign that it is not broken, but rather that it’s working exactly as intended. Indeed, I think the threads here kind of underscore this view.

                Which, I think, is a far bigger difference than appears at first blush.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                All of which makes “But Tod is a Republican” arguments pretty much moot, in my view. Which was my main point. You are a Republican is an exceedingly atypical fashion, and one that should imply no support for the party as it exists (and as it has existed for some time, and though this is speculative, as it is likely to exist next time it controls the White House).Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I actually knew someone who used Tod’s logic for why she was republican. She didn’t support their policies much at all , but wanted to change from within. She was also a complete tool and one of the reasons i left the agency she worked at.

                But in any case there has never been evidence Tod broadly supports R policies.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                “I actually knew someone who used Tod’s logic… She was also a complete tool”

                I endeavor to be only a partial tool.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’d call you a multi tool, like a leatherman kinda thing. Versatile, many uses, handy in ways you wouldn’t expect and i really don’t want you in my pocket.

                PS Do i need to let people know if that was a joke or not?

                Her toolness was unrelated to her choice of party. She was just a knucklehead and poor supervisor.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                “I’d call you a multi tool, like a leatherman kinda thing. Versatile, many uses, handy in ways you wouldn’t expect and i really don’t want you in my pocket.”

                space awesomeReport

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I don’t think there is anything wrong with what Rod is doing. It’s just critical context for his party affiliation.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I think I would actually argue that the problem with the GOP — as a political party — is that it has completely broken down in a very fundamental way. And FWIW, I think most of the people I know who are actual Republicans would agree with me on this.

                I can agree with that — to a point. How many of those Republicans come from places in the broad swath across the Old South and then up the Great Plains? Generalizing outrageously, in that region Republicans on average think the problem is the party is not broken enough by the measures I think you’re using for broken.

                I greatly fear the rise of two parties with deep regional cores. One is based on the area I mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The Democrats are looking more and more like a party based on a hundred-mile wide swatch along parts of the Pacific coast, the BosWash urban corridor and its dependencies, and Chicago and its dependencies.Report

              • Avatar Sam says:

                Never said anywhere that @tod-kelly’s positions were those of a Republican. I asked, quite simply, why if these facts about (Oregon) Democrats are enough to prohibit participation within that party – which, as a registered Independent, I am obviously fine with – why those same facts about (Oregon) Republicans don’t exclude the project that he says he is engaging in with them. I still can’t get past reading the original post, seeing outright disgust with political parties, and leaving the whole thing behind to register as an indy (or with a third party without these gruesome histories).Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I was taking exception to something that Tod wrote.

                No threading system is perfect, despite CK’s best efforts :^)Report

              • Avatar nevermoor says:

                I’ve been thinking about this comment, and I think I’ve digested it into a fair summary: The GOP is people trying to implement bad policy. The Democratic Party is bad people trying to implement good policy.

                Is that a fair characterization of your complaint, being clear we are referring to the parties and not the affiliated citizens?

                If so (or simply the fact I see it that way) may illuminate the challenge. First off, I KNOW (and I’m sure you would concede, most people in the DP are nowhere near this bad. Many are even good people! Second, I don’t think this behavior reflects on DP policies, and I don’t think you’re making that argument. That said, it is certainly more troubling than just “there are a couple bad people in a large group” because of the cover-up element.

                I have trouble getting to a conclusion, because two things are equally obvious to me (and, it sounds like, to you): (1) enacting DP policies instead of GOP policies will create a large aggregate good; and (2) what these people did, including the abettors, is intolerable. Similarly, I see people focusing on (1) and on the BSDI element of (2), but neither really responds to your point about why you are disillusioned with a particular party.

                At this point, my remaining interest in this thread is hearing why the Oregon GOP’s part doesn’t disillusion you on that side, but it’s off-point some (or perhaps a separate post).Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew says:

                Let me clarify what I am saying about Tod’s membership in the Republican Party. It’s not clear to me what point he thinks I am making. Here is what it is.

                A problem I have with this post is that it leaves, I think, necessarily everyone (except maybe registered Democrats, of whom I suspect we have few around here), somewhat in limbo as to their status as a reader of the post. The crucial status that Tod makes a statement about in the post, in my view, is the status of “standing with” a party. He says he can no longer stand with the Democratic Party. Great. But clearly this post also encourages others to questions whether they can “stand with” this party. But… according to Tod, how does one determine whether one has thus far been standing with a party?

                I don’t think he answers the question. Like, at all. Is a primary way that most people “stand with” political parties by voting for their candidates more often than for candidates from other parties? I’m inclined to say no, because people shouldt be held to an association with a vast political organization they didn’t seek an association with simply as a result of choosing candidates they prefer. But this is a post about what Tod thinks those who stand with parties should do. So when Tod says he will no longer stand with Democrats… does that mean he will no longer vote for them more than for members of other parties? Tod (rather conspicuously, leaving the bottom line of the post a bit up in the air in my view) doesn’t say. That means we don’t know whether that kind of voting pattern constitutes standing with a party for him.

                What about membership in the party? Many people are members of political parties, but many, many who vote are not. If usually voting for candidates of one party doesn’t constitute standing with a party, then does membership in that party? Does or when or how does being a member of a political party means standing with it? Or contribute to standing with it? O is it just incidental to standing with it? (Or not?)

                Which brings us to Tod’s membership in the the Republican Party. From the perspective of a person reading Tod’s post trying to figure out how much one should consider oneself associated with a political party by Tod’s reckoning, as I’ve said, the post is very unclear on this. What did it mean in practice when Tod was standing with the Democrats? We don’t know. Now, Tod is a formal member of the Republican Party. This only muddles the question more. From the post, it’s not clear that means he doesn’t stand with them – because no meaning, precise or approximate, is offered as to what it necessarily means to stand with a party.

                I was not clear that this was my meaning by “while Tod can no longer stand with the Democratic Party, apparently he can stand with the Republican Party: he recently made a big deal about formally joining it.” But it was. I wasn’t sure this was right, exactly. But membership seemed on its face as apparently justified a basis for assessing “standing with” a party as any other definition offered in the piece. That was my point. I chose Tod’s GOP membership as a way to make this point – that there’s no way to tell from the piece which of us stands with a party, and thus is called upon by this post to be accountable for “insisting” its shortcomings be addressed. I definitely could have been clearer about that. I certainly did not mean to say that this meant Tod as going the Republican Party a clean bill of health or general endorsement. But as I say, and as Sam is saying, it’s not clear from the post why Tod’s infiltrator-reformist GOP membership project, as different as it surely is from “normal” GOP membership, doesn’t nevertheless qualify as standing with the party. And that’s because no definition of standing with a party is offered.

                And that leaves the rest of us, many of whom variously perhaps often, perhaps sometimes, perhaps almost always vote for one party, but have no deeper institutional connection to a political party than that, at sea as to where we stand with respect to what this post has to say about the obligations of those who “stand with” parties. Which is the upshot of my point here.

                I anticipate that there will be groaning and dismissal of this point as nit picking. I would respond by saying that, to the contrary, this is fundamental to the point of the piece or at least is necessary to address when probably the majority of its audience are not members of political parties, but which it does not work out in a way that allows broad engagement among that latter group. What is the essence of institutional association (“standing with”) in our political system for political agents who seek to engage the political system on its terms, but who are inclined or committed to retaining their formal and perhaps more than merely formal political independence from major political organizations?Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                I can’t answer for Tod, of course, but the way I interpret his party membership, based on that 2012 (2012!) post contrasted with this one, is that he thinks the Democratic party is broken at the top, and the Republican party broken perhaps more evenly throughout? That is, the Democratic leadership, the people he can’t really impact in any way in a primary, continue to support shitty people, and therefore continue to make the party shitty in a way he can’t influence, while the Republicans are shitty in a more decentralized way, and therefore in a way that he can have some tiny (minuscule, but non-zero) way in the primaries. It may not even be about Republicans winning, but about pushing them in a direction of offering Democrats non-crazy opponents, and therefore forcing the Democrats to change as well.

                Of course, I may be reading too much into it.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                That is, the Democratic leadership, the people he can’t really impact in any way in a primary, continue to support shitty people, and therefore continue to make the party shitty in a way he can’t influence, while the Republicans are shitty in a more decentralized way, and therefore in a way that he can have some tiny (minuscule, but non-zero) way in the primaries.

                Which is, perhaps, a perfectly reasonable thing to conclude about the *Oregon* Democratic party, but makes this entire thing somewhat inapplicable to anywhere else.

                In fact, this is pretty much one of the textbook modes that single-party governance evolves into, where everyone in politics seems to exist to cover everyone else’s ass as they all rob the place blind. Like I said, I call them ‘circles of corruption’.

                Tod seems to have a particular problem with them covering up the rape, and, yeah, it’s rape, so bad. But, the thing is, once a system gets into that sort of mode, it is extremely hard to break out, and everyone has to cover up for everyone else, for *anything* they do, because if one person goes down, the corruption is coming out…the only reason we don’t have more of this happening is 1) politics tries to filter out such people in advance, and 2) people are often *better* at the coverup than the Oregon Dems.

                And, again, I have no problem with people condemning the hell out of such a system where it exist. And even refusing to support the system at all. If Tod wants to leave, so be it.

                But Tod seems to think 1) This is somehow systematic of the Democratic Party as a whole, and 2) The national Democratic Party could have done something about this. Or at least, he thinks we should make conclusions *about* the Democratic Party based on this.

                Neither of those are really true. State parties are almost completely independent entities, and differ *widely* from state to state. And this *specific* failure mode can’t even exist if people in the group aren’t in power. (And I have to point out that Democrats only control 7 states.)Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                But Tod seems to think… [t]he national Democratic Party could have done something about this. Or at least, he thinks we should make conclusions *about* the Democratic Party based on this.

                “Seems,” madam? Nay, it is; I know not “seems.”

                That is, Tod says this quite clearly, particularly in the Wu case. He obviously sees the Oregon politicians as not only symptoms of the national party’s disease, but as being enabled by the national party leadership.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew says:

                As I say, I’m not trying to have it do much rhetorical work at all (which I did not make clear). It’s just that, in addition to there not being much explanation of the question of what exactly it means in Tod’s mind for a person to “stand with” a party in the OP (which is really necessary for any reader to understand what he might be saying the reader’s responsibility wrt the problems he lays out in the post might be), the GOP membership being in the mix too just makes it somewhat more difficult beyond that to get a handle on that.

                That’s all I’m really trying to do with the GOP membership thing.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                My entirely non-self-serving interpretation of the reader’s responsibility is to become a socialist and leave both of the major parties behind. But that could just be me. 😉Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew says:

                I regard that take as very other-serving on the grand scale, in fact.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        But the GOPers (down to individuals around the country) are presumably going to stay GOPers because the GOP pushes for good policies, despite Hastert and Foley. Whether that’s okay is what’s being raised here, not whether what any of these people did is okay.Report

  10. Avatar LWA says:

    There is that truism that the worst moral horrors result from the most utopian schemes.

    I can appreciate Tod’s recoiling in horror from the abuses of power by those to whom we have granted trust, and, even worse, the complicity of those who knew and gave them more power anyway.

    What I don’t accept is the implicit notion of escaping all this moral complexity. That there exists a pure unblemished candidate, that there exists a policy that doesn’t inflict injustice ever, that we can apportion power in a society without ourselves becoming morally guilty.

    There is no escape. We cannot possibly exercise power without occasionally tolerating deals with evil and making decisions that have absolutely no good side, only lesser bads.

    And there isn’t any easy answer either- the grim eyed acceptance of realpolitik, the cynical BDSI pox on all their houses stance, is just as much a dodge as utopian withdrawal to the commanding heights of moral smugness.

    We all have to decide on this law or that candidate, and refusing to choose is a choice.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

      LWA: What I don’t accept is the implicit notion of escaping all this moral complexity. That there exists a pure unblemished candidate, that there exists a policy that doesn’t inflict injustice ever, that we can apportion power in a society without ourselves becoming morally guilty.

      I don’t see Tod wanting candidates who are “pure” and “unblemished”. He wants ones that aren’t literally rapists.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        He wants ones that aren’t literally rapists.

        And apparently this really is too much to ask.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          @vikram-bath @burt-likko

          Is it too much to ask why Tod is damning an entire party over the actions of three politicians in one state? Is the mayor of Boston or a city council person in Portland, Maine damned by actions of party members in Oregon?

          I also haven’t received an answer for why I think the Democratic Party is the party of women.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            It’s not just three politicians in one state. Seriously, it’s not.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            @saul-degraw “Is it too much to ask why Tod is damning an entire party over the actions of three politicians in one state?”

            I’m not. Go back and read the OP.Report

          • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

            Saul Degraw: three politicians in one state

            Well, (1) they are politicians in his state.
            (2) The post is not only about three politicians in Oregon; it’s about the leadership of the party as a whole and the disinterest it had in what these three did beyond what benefits they could deliver to the party. (I’d also note that the disinterest is further evidenced in the comments here.)Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            “Is it too much to ask why Tod is damning an entire party over the actions of three politicians in one state?”

            Sauce for the goose (remember Akin?)Report

            • Avatar Sam says:

              Akin is/was representative of the party as a whole. His position on abortion was not an outlier by any understanding of conservative (and particularly socially conservative) politics. Or, to put that another way, where were/are the elected conservatives who said, “Not only is Todd Akin wrong, but I want to make it clear that I have no objection to raped women getting abortions, and that is a right that we will never impinge upon!” Or did that not exactly happen in Akin’s case?Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Actually, what he wants is a political organization that does not tolerate such persons once they are found in their ranks, regardless of their utility to the organization.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          The problem here then is the state party apparatus. Not the party apparatus or the party as a whole. Leeland Yee and Elliot Spitzer left office pretty quickly after their respective scandals.

          Though Ross Mirakami survived his scandal seemingly. So there might not be rhyme or reason to these things.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Laying it on the state apparatus alone is weak tea. There is no bright line between state & national, it’s a pretty fuzzy border. Although, that begs the question, who learns it from who?Report

            • Avatar DavidTC says:

              Well, yes, but just *asserting* that the DNC and even the Clintons knew about it without any evidence at all is also pretty weak.

              Even *assuming* it went all the way to the top, Bill Clinton was not in charge of the Democratic Party in 1990. He was just some random governor. I can imagine how this worked in 1992 when he was elected. ‘Hey, Bill, now that you’re the nominal leader of the party, we thought we should tell you that the governor of Oregon in 1990 was a rapist, but we convinced him not to run again. We’ve solved the problem, but we just thought we should inform you so that you look bad in case this ever comes out.’

              Also, the idea the ‘Clintons’ knew, as in, both of them, is clearly just some sort of attempt to impugn Hillary. Who the hell would be telling *Hillary* these things? I mean, yes, she was a politician in her own right, but even if Bill *had* been informed, why would she?

              I guess Tod can’t help but attack her.

              Anyway, basically, Tod is telling us a horrible story about events that happened 25 years about which the Democratic party of a state (And *maybe* some national influence, although there’s no evidence of that) helped cover up. And, hey, we’re all for some light being shined on this, and anyone who knew about this getting forced out of office.

              But it is sorta odd he’s picked something that happened at the state level, with *maybe* some people at the national level knowing this (Although no evidence of this is presented.), because, uh, if this is his threshold on ‘giving up on the party forever’, uh…

              …you know, I don’t even think I need to *say* his name at this point. Name starts with an ‘H’, ends with ‘molested children’.Report

              • Avatar RTod says:

                Yeah, this was all clearly just an excuse to throw mud on Hillary. Which is why I made sure she was brought up an entire zero times in the OP.

                See too my posts on Oompa Loompas and my parents anniversary, which were equally diabolical attempts to turn people against the former SOS.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Okay, sorry, apparently I’m going crazy and can’t read.

                I though this sentence said something else entirely: It quite likely means both DNC staff and Clinton staff; it almost certainly means Kulongoski, or at least his key advisors.

                …and now I have no idea why you think the DNC’s ‘staff’ and Bill’s ‘staff’ would have been notified, but not the actual DNC or actual Bill.

                And my point still stand that there’s no way Bill Clinton would have been notified about a coverup happening inside the Democratic party in *1990*. The Oregon Democrats: ‘There’s a governor scandal, better notify all Democratic governors of it via the Governor-phone!’ (Oh, wait, it was his staff that was notified, which seems even *more* implausible.)

                I was wrong, you didn’t mention Hillary, but there wasn’t any actual reason to mention Bill *either*.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Yeah, this was all clearly just an excuse to throw mud on Hillary. Which is why I made sure she was brought up an entire zero times in the OP.

                This is where the brainwashing part of the exercise comes in, yeah? Letseehere… You make well supported arguments against Democrats who aren’t Hillary thereby poisoning the well for folks who currently want to think Hillary isn’t like all those other nasty Democrats and that she isn’t hooked into the same political establishment that they are … (I’ll let the gentle washing of the brain take over from here…).

                Very clever Tod. Very clever indeed!

                More seriously, I rather liked the post as a general and pretty blistering critique of certain aspects of party politics (and in this case focused on the Dem party) tho I’m not sure how much if anything it says about women’s issues policy, which is – it seems to me – a different topic for perhaps a different day.Report

        • Avatar LWA says:

          I will play devil’s advocate a moment.

          The same realpolitik that caused a US President to say of a certain dictator, “he’s an SOB, but he’s OUR SOB”.

          That’s what I meant about the moral culpability of the voters. We don’t have a coice between a rapist and a non rapist.
          Our choices most often are between awful and potentially horrific, or small scale horrific and large scale awful. The Trolley Problem exists for a reason.

          Suppose the evil men described had been kicked out of the party. Do we know what the alternative would have been?

          For example if we stop 3 rapes, is it worth enabling the swing vote to deny Medicaid to millions? Or vice versa?

          The answer is there is no easy answer, and there is no way to escape culpability.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            While I understand that cold harsh Utilitarian calculi don’t appeal to Deontologists, you have to understand that Utilitarianism is better at getting good results in the short (and medium) terms.

            Sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice little things to win the big ones.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            Our choices most often are between awful and potentially horrific, or small scale horrific and large scale awful. The Trolley Problem exists for a reason.

            No. I mean, yes, but no. As the OP points out, the voters reelected the governor even *after* all this came out.

            There is some sort of slight hypothetical political question there, but I don’t think *this* particular example has a damn thing to do with politics at all. No one was trying to accomplish any political thing…being elected was required for *graft*, not for political goals.

            I think Tod’s focus on Goldschmidt as a ‘rainmaker’ for the party is missing the point. Or maybe he means in a slightly different way than I think of when I hear that term.

            Oregon government looks like it was (and perhaps still is, I have no idea) what would best be called a ‘circle of corruption’. There was a group of insiders who ran every part of it (including investigating crimes) and were just sucking huge amounts of money out of the system, while they all protected each other.

            Goldschmidt was an *insider*, and thus got protected by everyone else. He also happened to be a child rapist, but that, apparently, didn’t phase the other people, except to the extent that they wanted him out of the spotlight.

            (Wu, OTOH, seems something completely different.)Report

  11. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    This reminds me of the people that think that the problem with politics is politicians. Politics like any other job is going to attract people with a particular mindset. We know that most politicians want a combination of admiration, love, and maybe even fear from their voters regardless of their ideology. Politicians tend to be emotionally needy people. They aren’t saints and should not be expected to be saints.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Jesus, you don’t know anything about politicians, it sounds like. Politicians, like police detectives, have a lot of their sex drive subverted into “winning and being powerful”. Police Detectives tend to be womanizers, folks that like the “hunt and chase”. Politicians, like conservative priests, like to lord power over people.

      Sexual fetishization, particularly the ones that are illegal, are hard to do if you aren’t rich and powerful. Is it any wonder that politics attracts the sexually perverse?Report

  12. It seems like your enemy might be politics generally, rather than political parties particularly. After all, there’s no political party in America that severs its ties to the lunatics within it until the evidence is overwhelming. That’s not the nature of (American) political actors.

    Meanwhile, what’s a person concerned about women’s liberty to do here exactly? You don’t get to pick the candidates who are good on the issues. They’re just there, backed by the party for reasons that do not necessarily make sense. So you withhold your vote for a lunatic and end up putting into office a politician whose hostility to women generally is a major plank of the platform. Or you vote for a lunatic and throw up in your mouth while doing so. Seems like a lose-lose. But to judge people doing the one rather than the other with the accusation of not sharing your values, as if there’s something wrong with their calculus working out differently than yours? That seems a bit…uhh…extreme.

    Maybe it isn’t though. Politics is an exhausting nightmare.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

      Sam Wilkinson: what’s a person concerned about women’s liberty to do here exactly?

      Well, there *is* a call to action in the OP.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        It’s sort of murky to me as to what it actually is… what it really consists of on an individual level. Do you have a sense of that?Report

        • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

          I was referring to this:

          …if you are a Democrat you can’t insist that your party hold investigations tomorrow, if for no other reason than to communicate to the world that the party that advertises itself as the champion of women’s rights cannot and will not protect rainmakers who rape women. At the very least, you could send an email to any of your elected representatives right now, if you wanted.


          • Avatar Michael Drew says:

            That’s what I figured. I wrote a confused series of sentences considering that passage and then trashed it and went with the above. Suffice to say, this leaves me with more questions about what “a Democrat” is in practice being called to do (that’s more than the very least), and what potential moral significance the email that is mentioned is really thought to have, than answers.Report

  13. Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

    I’m gonna have to put this bluntly, Mr. Kelly. Apologies in advance.

    A bunch of rich, powerful white male humans protected a bunch of other rich, powerful white male humans in ways that allowed the rich, powerful white male humans to inflict sexual horrors on the less protected female humans (with each gruppe, except for the female one, benefiting by that protection and interaction, right?) and other white male humans didn’t seem to care so much?

    Do I have that right?

    Your point seems to be a strong “Both Sides Do It!”, as long as “both sides” is a bunch of rich, powerful white male humans. I could have that wrong, I must admit. But, that’s what I read in it.

    I don’t think you’re dividing things properly, however. To me, it seems like only one side is doing it. The side in power. Those rich-and-not-so, powerful-and-not-so white-and-not-so human males. (I think it’s a cultural thing with those white human males, though. They’re just freaky, they love killing. They are not very smart when you get down to it. They have no value for life at all. They only care about themselves and their pleasure. They’re animals, really. We should do something about it.)

    Shall I condemn all white male humans because of your details above?

    Your apologia is not with Democrats. It’s with women.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Pretty sure Goldschmidt identifies as Jewish, which Saul and Lee often remind us doesn’t always mean “white”, and Wu appears to be of Taiwanese extraction.

      But I’m not entirely clear on what the race angle even has to do with the rest of your comment, since it seems like you otherwise want to make the point that the rich and powerful protect the rich and powerful (or: “rich and powerful males protect rich and powerful males“, or: “it’s too often men and not women with all the money and power”); points I might agree with, and something, for example, Cosby and Hollywood also proved for far too long.

      You say your comment is blunt…but I am afraid I don’t get it? Are any of my interpretations close to what you were driving at?Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird says:

    You can’t walk away from Omelas! You have an obligation to stay and try to change it!Report

  15. Avatar Zac says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but what this post really seems to highlight is the problem with money in politics. After all, why did these guys get protection for so long? Because they could, as Tod put it, “make it rain.” I don’t know if 100% publicly funded elections (and the corresponding outlawing of private donations to parties, candidates or PACs) would make this sort of appalling behavior less prevalent, but I think it’s worth finding out.Report

  16. Avatar Damon says:


    “It is because of their values that they can stand by the Democratic Party despite all of this.” And you call these people FRIENDS? How can you justify, morally, being friends with someone who sanctions all you describe? That is monstrous. Every single one of your friends who makes the calculation you describe is, in part, responsible for the actions committed by those politicians. They share the guilt of the actions. It’s no different that being friends with that guy who wrote the torture memo and was “just doing his job”. There’s blood on their hands….and yours.Report

  17. I see an apparent contradiction in the OP. Early on, Tod mentions, regarding Wu,

    Democratic leaders and the parents would eventually convince the daughter not to press charges provided that Wu resign for the good of the party that, you know, cared so much about women’s issues.

    Later on, he says, also regarding Wu,

    They [Democratic leaders] could have switched their backing to another horse, or simply pulled him aside and quietly made him resign.

    That contradiction can be resolved by saying it was way too little and way too late (and even if not too late, then still too little, giving what he allegedly did). Still, if they had quietly pulled him aside much earlier on, I think Tod’s objection would remain substantially the same.

    I do think the contradiction points to what to me seems some obvious questions. How much is enough? How little is too little? And….

    ….what evils do we suffer in hope for a greater good?

    I don’t know the answer, although tolerating or gainsaying or benefiting from or sweeping under the rug allegations of rape and other types of abuse are well over the line.

    I’ll add this: people of national influence in either of the parties are very strongly implicated in policies that lead to the killings of thousands of people overseas. That’s been true continuously at least since FDR. Funders and party cheerleaders overlook that, or call it out and still vote for their candidates regardless. Maybe that’s a different ballgame because international affairs are very complicated and because these instances of rape and abuse are something that presumably is easier to solve than international crises. But on some level, everyone is in the mix when it comes to the evils we tolerate.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      I believe Jason Kuznicki addressed your second point during the 2012 campaign, writing a piece that essentially said he couldn’t vote for anyone who wanted his finger on the kill switch (which ostenibly meant) he couldn’t vote for anyone. At least, if I’m remembering/understanding the piece correctly.Report

  18. Avatar zic says:

    There are three rungs to this stool, here, not two. It is not just voters and politicians.

    It’s voters, party actors, and politicians. Party actors are the people who get engaged, who do the work. Their voices have tremendous power. You don’t mobilize the base if you don’t mobilize those people. So this discussion, in my view, cedes that power without consideration. You are not crippling the party by not engaging it; you’re surrendering it to others. We’ve see this happening to the Republican Party, it’s been taken over by the tea party, and at the activist, primary-voting and organizing get-out-the-vote level. I’ve told you about Generation Joshua; they provided the foot soldiers that got some of our more egregious (from my perspective) reps in office last midterm. Folks who won with slim leeds, in competitive districts. They engaged the political system.

    I’m engaging it, too. Here in Maine, I’m working on a voter referendum for Ranked Choice Voting. When the primary system is driven by the craze, in a two-party system, and there are what seem to be reasonable alternatives, we’ve ended up with LePage. Elliot Cutler was the Nader there.

    But working to clean out the abusers in a system is difficult. Cronyism is a fungus that grows on social networks; and like all invasive and harmful fungi, you need to constantly control for it.

    Sexual predation happens. It’s always going to happen. I suspect we’ll see a growing number of women as sexual predators in time; but right now, this very minute, some person who thought they’d protected themselves from getting caught is assaulting a young woman or man; often under conditions of mental conditioning that we call grooming. Like our old notion of rape only being forcible rape, I think we have very confused notions about the people who are sexual predators; particularly serial predators. There may be a lot of lone wolfs out there; reprobates obviously rejected by society.

    But most secure their prey through trust.

    I don’t think we’ve really dealt with what this means, and this is why we keep hearing the star/coach/pries/teacher/politician was coddled by supporters long beyond expiration date. This is not just a Democratic Party issue; it’s a human issue. Of all candidates running, who do you think best understands that? Who’s gone all over the world, listening to what women have said? Who’s losing votes because with this piece, there’s now some new layer of insinuation she looked the other way in these instances? Do we know that?

    I don’t envy Hillary when it comes to these issues; she’s been in and around power too long to not have attracted some lint; there’s a lot of lint out there to attract. In the efforts to help women, she has not been able to be a purist; Saudi Arabia is frequently held up as an example. I suspect, some day in the future, the plight of women in Afghanistan will become an albatross for her from the feminine left, too; and maybe rightly. When we invaded Iraq, my prediction was that it meant abandoning the women in Afghanistan.

    And yet, if they can be helped; is Clinton or Rubio more likely to succeed in helping them?

    When it comes to supporting women, I have a suggestion. First, ask women what support they want. Yes, we want to see sexual violence decline, and yes, we don’t want institutional protection of predators. But we would like some other stuff, too.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      zic: But working to clean out the abusers in a system is difficult. Cronyism is a fungus that grows on social networks; and like all invasive and harmful fungi, you need to constantly control for it.

      Here’s another example of the athlete’s foot problems institutions suffer.Report

    • Avatar nevermoor says:

      Cronyism is a fungus that grows on social networks; and like all invasive and harmful fungi, you need to constantly control for it.

      That I’m pushing back on this shouldn’t signal I disagree with anything else. I don’t. Especially the voting system changes which I hope you succeed at (and then the idea sweeps the country). Donation made.

      That said, I’m not sure we don’t WANT a system with a little cronyism. For example, congress sure did work a lot better when you could pay a congressman a few million bucks (in the form of a road, museum, whatever) for a key vote. Also, as a Bay Area guy, I’ll observe that the city sure did run a lot better under Willie Brown than Gavin Newsom, despite his shameless cronyism. Another example, of course, is Pratchett’s discworld which presents an extreme version of the same idea. Channeling/using the unavoidable need for some form of cronyism may ultimately work better than simply failing to eradicate it.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Pork, to grease the wheels of congress to negotiate and bring a little goodness back home and cronyism should, probably, be separated into two separate piles.

        So I agree with your distinction. Some fungi are symbiotic and beneficial. Antibiotics and bread and cheese and wine and all that; it’s not all athlete’s foot.Report

        • Avatar nevermoor says:

          Without over-debating that distinction, I think your narrower definition would still encompass Brown’s time as mayor (e.g. no-bid contracts for more than the lowest bid would have been but, at the same time, to someone who knew he’d be cut out of the gravy train if he did a shitty job, unlike whoever the lowest bidder would have been)Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        Isn’t “getting goodies and Federal funding assigned to their home state” what we expect Congress members to do? I mean, that’s why they’re elected from the state specifically, rather than just being a couple hundred random folks from anywhere in the United States, right?

        (Note that the latter was the original concept for the Senate.)Report

    • Avatar Patrick says:


      Ranked Choice Voting? You really *are* looking like a radical, zic 😉Report

  19. Avatar Notme says:

    Im shocked at these republicans and their war on womenReport

    • Avatar Sam says:

      “There are some awful people among the Democrats, thus, it is no longer true that Republicans have every intention of making life for women harder than it already is!” seems an odd and entirely unconvincing argument to make, given what we can specifically point to within Republican policy-making.Report

      • Avatar notme says:


        Sorry, the idea that repubs sit around in a smoke filled room chortling over their plans to screw women over is a fantasy which seems to occupy the imagination of folks like zic. Meanwhile dems keep chanting war on women despite their own issues and have been successful in repeating the lie so often that some have come to believe it.Report

        • Avatar Sam says:

          @notme Nobody said anything about smoke filled rooms. Outright hostility to women exists throughout conservative politics. It’s not a hidden reality in other words – it’s an advertised feature. If you’d like to deny that Republicans are staunchly opposed to equal pay, to reproductive freedom, to maternity leave, etc, you’re welcome to, but it’s right there in the party’s documentation. And if you’d like to claim that this in fact doesn’t represent hostility to women – that women are freer when conservative men are dictating their healthcare, for example – I suppose you can make that argument too, but it is an entirely unconvincing one.Report

  20. Avatar Kim says:

    Tell me you’ll have the grace to boycott college football too. The number of sexually abusive people that are Known About there is horrifying.Report

  21. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    What you’re saying @tod-kelly is that you don’t identify with the Democratic Party. I’m okay with that. I’m not clear that I do, myself. Even though it’s been multiple decades since I voted for a Republican, and I’m now registered as a Democrat.

    But it’s not because of some, “These Democrats did terrible things”. People do terrible things, even people you love. No, I just want to maintain the ability to love people who are not Democrats. Who are, in fact, pretty solidly Republican. This keeps me a bit alienated from the true party faithful, who like nothing so much as to trash talk the other side.

    But it does open up the possibility for certain conversations. I have far less trouble understanding the sentiments in this post than I have understanding your antipathy for Hillary Clinton. We can look at the same behavior, it seems, and see very different things.Report

  22. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Maybe it’s a utilitarian thing. See, even the most dedicated and prolific rapist will only assault several dozen women over his time in office, but a Republican who restricts abortion will affect every woman in the country.Report

  23. Avatar Patrick says:

    Maybe I’ll get around to writing How To Run For Office, Part II.

    Because Tod’s doing a good job of detailing my struggle of the last ten years, but I came up with a different solution. The only way out is not to switch parties, or vote for a third party. It’s to run for office.

    I recommend everybody try it once.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Loud applause.

      Or help someone else run for office.

      Or engage a policy; since I’ve been blogging here, I’ve actively worked on campaigns to repeal the repeal of same-day voter registration, SSM, and now, on ranked-ballot voting.

      Or serve on a local board. Some boards, such as school board, are elected positions. But most towns/counties/states have appointed boards, too. And committees. I’ve helped my town develop comprehensive plans, re-write the town’s local planning laws to make them clearer and easier to follow (as well as helped repeal old laws that weren’t working or used). I’ve worked on several planning committees.Report

  24. Avatar maurinsky says:

    I have taken a different approach to voting my conscience – I will happily and enthusiastically vote and fight AGAINST the worst candidate on the issues important to me in the general election, and I don’t worry so much about the primary process.

    I would love to run for office but my profession is in civil service, and so I’m not allowed to.Report

  25. Avatar Lurker says:

    Vote Nader! Gore is no different than Bush! What harm could come of it?Report

  26. Avatar F says:

    One could easily pen an identical column, replacing “the Democratic party” with “America” and “women” with “Iraq”. Or Vietnam. Or United Fruit. Or Operation Ajax. I look forward to Tod applying his so called “values” equally in regards to all matters.Report