Pandora's box revisited

Efforts to smear Senate candidate Roy Moore have backfired.  Many politicians and media personalities are facing problems of their own.

People who were outraged at allegations about Moore's behavior 38 years ago now appear to be defending more recent behavior by others that is often backed up with photos and documents.

The scandals have exposed the Congress's methods of concealing embarrassing incidents.  The Congressional Office of Compliance (COC) was set up to deal with complaints.  It reportedly disbursed $17 million over a twenty-year period to cover sex-related incidents.  The admission about the COC is a distraction of sorts, and the $17 million figure is a gross underestimate.  In addition to the COC, there is the House Employment Counsel advising members how to conceal their behavior.  These are two institutions that have been reported on in the press.  Are there any more? 

Neither one of the two prominent politicians who have been exposed paid his victims out of the COC fund.  Rep. John Conyers paid a former employee $27,111.74 out of his Member's Representational Allowance account.  Rep. Raúl Grijalva gave $48,395 to the female employee, who left her job after three months.  Grijalva's settlement was reportedly arranged by lawyers at the House Employment Counsel.  In spite of politicians receiving advice from lawyers, these arrangements may be illegal.  Also, the COC may be dealing with only a fraction of the complaints.  Tracy Manzer, Congresswoman Speier's spokesperson, told CNN that 80 percent of people who have come to her office to share stories of sexual misconduct never told the COC.

Politicians have the advantage of paying their victims with other people's money.  Cokie Roberts, NPR correspondent and ABC News commentator, claimed that "every female in the press corps knew" to avoid being in an elevator with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and has apparently known about this "for years."  She added, "You know they are so used to it.  I mean, the culture of Capitol Hill for so many decades was men being bad."

Conyers's attorney, Arnold E. Reed, claims there are allegations against "many members" of the House and Senate.  He might be suggesting that Conyers does not intend to go down alone.  The Congress of the United States is like a small fraternity.  Members are fully aware of what other members are up to.  Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer know who has stepped over the line.  They knew about Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.  Kennedy made no effort to conceal his affairs, including public sex in 1985 and 1987 at the restaurant La Brasserie.  Yet his colleagues referred to him as "the gentleman from Massachusetts."

The attack on Judge Moore appears to have failed.  In fact, it has exploded in the face of the left.  Leftists are most likely working on a new revelation that will be announced on December 11, one day before the election.  This will not give Moore's defenders time to refute it.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary’s University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Efforts to smear Senate candidate Roy Moore have backfired.  Many politicians and media personalities are facing problems of their own.

People who were outraged at allegations about Moore's behavior 38 years ago now appear to be defending more recent behavior by others that is often backed up with photos and documents.

The scandals have exposed the Congress's methods of concealing embarrassing incidents.  The Congressional Office of Compliance (COC) was set up to deal with complaints.  It reportedly disbursed $17 million over a twenty-year period to cover sex-related incidents.  The admission about the COC is a distraction of sorts, and the $17 million figure is a gross underestimate.  In addition to the COC, there is the House Employment Counsel advising members how to conceal their behavior.  These are two institutions that have been reported on in the press.  Are there any more? 

Neither one of the two prominent politicians who have been exposed paid his victims out of the COC fund.  Rep. John Conyers paid a former employee $27,111.74 out of his Member's Representational Allowance account.  Rep. Raúl Grijalva gave $48,395 to the female employee, who left her job after three months.  Grijalva's settlement was reportedly arranged by lawyers at the House Employment Counsel.  In spite of politicians receiving advice from lawyers, these arrangements may be illegal.  Also, the COC may be dealing with only a fraction of the complaints.  Tracy Manzer, Congresswoman Speier's spokesperson, told CNN that 80 percent of people who have come to her office to share stories of sexual misconduct never told the COC.

Politicians have the advantage of paying their victims with other people's money.  Cokie Roberts, NPR correspondent and ABC News commentator, claimed that "every female in the press corps knew" to avoid being in an elevator with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and has apparently known about this "for years."  She added, "You know they are so used to it.  I mean, the culture of Capitol Hill for so many decades was men being bad."

Conyers's attorney, Arnold E. Reed, claims there are allegations against "many members" of the House and Senate.  He might be suggesting that Conyers does not intend to go down alone.  The Congress of the United States is like a small fraternity.  Members are fully aware of what other members are up to.  Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer know who has stepped over the line.  They knew about Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.  Kennedy made no effort to conceal his affairs, including public sex in 1985 and 1987 at the restaurant La Brasserie.  Yet his colleagues referred to him as "the gentleman from Massachusetts."

The attack on Judge Moore appears to have failed.  In fact, it has exploded in the face of the left.  Leftists are most likely working on a new revelation that will be announced on December 11, one day before the election.  This will not give Moore's defenders time to refute it.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary’s University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

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