It was only a matter of time before the recent flood of sexual harassment scandals reached the halls of Congress. In a new Associated Press report, several female lawmakers have come forward to allege past sexual harassment by their male colleagues in the House of Representatives, at least two of whom are still serving today.
One such incident, related by former Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., involved a male member of Congress who is still serving today telling her he’d been thinking about her in the shower, after a series of “increasingly suggestive” comments made toward her.
Another lawmaker, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., claims she was once propositioned by a married man who is also still in Congress.
“When I was a very new member of Congress in my early 30s, there was a more senior member who outright propositioned me, who was married, and despite trying to laugh it off and brush it aside it, would repeat. And I would avoid that member,” Sanchez said. While she told the AP that she has warned other new female lawmakers to stay away from this individual, she declined to name him.
The accusations by these lawmakers against their male colleagues come during a growing sexual abuse scandal in Hollywood and the media that began with the exposure of Harvey Weinstein. There are now three ongoing criminal investigations against Weinstein for sexual assault, and many other powerful men in the entertainment and journalism industries have been named by female and male accusers.
Why haven’t these women named their harassers?
“I just don’t think it would be helpful,” Sanchez said. “The problem is, as a member there’s no HR department you can go to, there’s nobody you can turn to. Ultimately they’re employed by their constituents.”
Rep. Sanchez is right. Members of Congress are employed by their constituents. But what that means is the H.R. department for every member of Congress is the American people. The voters. Sanchez also told the story of another lawmaker, who is now retired, who once touched her inappropriately and tried to make it look like an accident.
Are the American people just supposed to wait around for these creeps in Congress to retire? Are we supposed to just accept that some scumbags in Congress use their power to take advantage of women and sexually harass them, and then let these pigs turn around and make laws?
No. Name names. Expose the men in Congress who have disgraced the public office they hold by their unacceptable conduct, and let voters kick the bums out.
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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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