Sexual assault allegations approaching escape velocity

We’re seeing a national cascade of sexual assault allegations against public figures. It’s even reached the Colorado legislature, and in this case appears to have reached a point of hysteria.

From Greeley radio station KUNC:

Nine legislators, staffers and lobbyists are alleging that Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Democrat running for state treasurer, harassed, intimidated or made unwanted sexual advances against them. And in response to our reporting, a top Democratic leader is calling on Lebsock to “do the right thing and resign.”

Rep. Faith Winter said Lebsock tried to get her to leave a bar with him in 2016. Both were attending a party to celebrate the end of the legislative session. Lawmakers, lobbyists, staff, the governor and members of the media attended the event a few blocks from the Capitol Building.

Winter alleges that Lebsock suggested sexual acts the two could do to make each other happy because it was the end of the legislative session and they deserved to be happy.

That sort of behavior goes in bars sometimes (I guess, I haven’t been in a bar for several decades) and so long as no one is put in danger is usually chalked up to a guy being a jerk. Doesn’t seem like it rises to level of sexual assault, but there’s something strange going on right now. Lebsock is a Democrat and they usually get away with more serious stuff that this.

The complainant, Democrat Rep. Faith Winters, says this incident affected her work and she couldn’t go to her office for 5 months afterward.  If every women who has ever been propositioned in a bar couldn’t work for several months afterward we’d have a labor shortage. Guys who get a reputation for being a bore suffer loss of respect from their peers that affects their professional standing. Most of the time people think that’s punishment enough. For example, Lebsock has been removed from his committee chairmanship by the Colorado House Majority leader. His bid for the State Treasurer job will be tougher now. I’d think Winter would be satisfied with that. She might be grandstanding.

Hillary Clinton headed up the “Bimbo Eruptions” department for her husband’s 1992 campaign and she was highly effective in trashing women who made accusations of sexual harassment against her husband. Some of these guys facing accusations should consider trying to hire her. I think she’s free but they probably couldn’t afford her. She gets $250,000 for a boring 20-minute speech to a room full of corporate moguls from Goldman Sachs.

 

  • Todd F

    Bald faced just asking for It cold is one of the most conventional, dirt ordinary male practices. The reason it persists is because it sometimes works. And the successes become legendary bragging rights in those no longer smoky dens of iniquity.

    It’s when “NO!” is ignored that sexual assault begins. Just asking (if that’s all it was in the Colorado case, who knows?) is 1st amendment protected. Or is UNWANTED speech no longer protected?

    Whether it is or not, the recent flurry of cases is sure to have a chilling effect on conventional behavior, and the oldest profession will be glad to see an increase in business.

    Meanwhile a bunch of old school guys will be hounded out of public life. Those old grudges don’t go away. Too bad they didn’t think of that 20, 30, 40 years ago when they were playing the daring rake.

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