These are not happy times for anybody. You can’t keep up with the serial sexual offenders without a scorecard, and the list grows longer every day and all the claims won’t fit on one scorecard. Seekers of cash settlements are advised to not take checks, and hurry to the bank and get in line before the cash runs out.
Who knew there was so much testosterone floating on the breeze in the land of the free and the home of the grabbers. We owe the French a collective apology for presuming all these years that theirs was the randiest nation. We have confronted the seducer extraordinaire, and he is us. Wanton grabbing and surreptitious squeezing have replaced baseball as the national pastime.
A second complaint has been filed against Al Franken. The lady says he grabbed a handful of her bottom and gave it a squeeze when she stood next to him for a photograph at the Minnesota State Fair. Five women — no, now it’s eight — say Charlie Rose, who looks as innocent as Mr. Peepers, told The Washington Post, which has become Harassment Central, that he had done bad things to them, including exercising “a violent temper.” But no blows, apparently, were exchanged.
Good ol’ Charlie plunged to his knees in the manner of Al Franken to go beyond a mere apology with a deep and full grovel. He has “prided myself” on being an advocate for women over his 45 years in journalism, and he is “greatly embarrassed” for having needed a learning experience but he always thought he was “pursuing shared feelings.” Good ol’ Charlie has a way with the spoken word, though these words were written down and probably passed muster with a lawyer (or lawyers).
For his part, good ol’ Al, who thought he had set the standard for the abject apology until good ol’ Charlie surpassed it, concedes that his second accuser might have had a photograph made with him, because he’s in thousands of such photographs at fairs all over Minnesota, but he doesn’t remember either the photograph or her bottom. You might think it would have made a deeper impression.
“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Al told CNN News. “I feel badly that [the lady] came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.” Al seems to have a way with words, too.
Good ol’ Bubba thought he had put all the “interactions” he had been accused of safely to bed, after paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars to quiet the interactees of his past interactions. Bubba is 71 now, but the really bad news is that these claims of interactions could go on for decades. George H.W. Bush is 92, and he has been accused of brushing past (but not groping) convenient bottoms, and from a wheelchair.
The London Daily Mail reports “explosive new charges of sexual assault” against Bubba from four new women, and these occurred after he left the White House. Lawsuits have been threatened, and it’s probably a good thing for Bubba and Hillary that they collected all those millions from rich well-wishers who expected to do business with President Hillary. You don’t hire expensive lawyers just to get an apology.
These new accusation are 10 years old, having barely aged in the wood, like so many “explosive new charges.” The accusers, who have not yet been identified, were comely young women — apparently all legal enough though only in their late teens — employed by an investment banker, Ron Burkle, for whom Bubba was working his old presidential contacts to enable Mr. Burkle’s investment business. Bubba flew everywhere with the four ladies in Mr. Burkle’s big Boeing, which they called “Air F — k One.” Mr. Burkle merely lent his plane, not his presence.
The Daily Mail, quoting “a Democratic Party official familiar with the case,” reports that Bubba is “distraught” at the prospect of having to defend himself again in a court of law, and reports that Hillary, the guardian of the family foundation’s millions, might be even more distraught, and is “furious” with Bubba for still another sexual scandal. She is said to have offered to sic her private detectives on the women to turn up incriminations (sometimes called “dirt”) to silence them, but Bubba’s lawyers advised against it.
The Clintons, who paid out millions to silence Paula Jones and other women who accused Bubba of sexual abuse, are learning that there’s a whole new world now, and women want revenge and retaliation, not cash. It may be “he said, she said,” but “she” has learned that she can say it louder now than “he” can.
• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.
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