It’s amazing how putting a shoe on the other foot can change a man.
Let’s take Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as an example. He’s running for re-election in a state President Trump won in 2016. The campaign of his GOP opponent, Jim Renacci, claims that he’s recently been accused of sexual misconduct by an unnamed woman.
— Jeremy Pelzer (@jpelzer) October 19, 2018
Now let’s take a look at how this has changed Brown’s reactions to uncorroborated allegations of sexual misconduct.
First off, here’s what he said after Christine Blasey Ford testified about her allegations against now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh last month:
While I had already decided not to support Judge Kavanaugh based on his history of siding with corporations and Wall Street over workers, Dr. Ford’s testimony today was a powerful moment for our country. -SB
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) September 27, 2018
“Dr. Ford’s courage is inspiring and I am very grateful to her for coming forward to tell her story, even in the face of deep personal cost. She was moving, heartfelt and honest,” Brown tweeted, adding that this “was a powerful moment for our country.”
In contrast, Brown responded to the allegations put out by the Renacci campaign Thursday night by telling a local newspaper, “Renacci should be ashamed of this. He’s clearly a desperate candidate just doing whatever he can do to upend everything. There’s no truth to those.”
So here’s a question: Where exactly is the line between the moving, heartfelt, honest, and powerful and the desperate and shameful? After all, the accusations both came from sources with clear partisan motives, both have so far presented the same amount of corroborating evidence, and both became public at the 11th hour of a major political event. So why the disparate treatment?
It’s almost as if evidence and the presumption of innocence are things we ought to continue to value. Maybe. Just a thought.