Ultimate DC insider: They all knew about Conyers

Nobody better represents the Washington, D.C. political-media establishment than Cokie Roberts.  For those who don't know, the NPR correspondent and ABC News commentator is the daughter of two former Democrat members of the House of Representatives, her mother replacing her father after his death.  Her father was the majority leader of the Democrat Caucus during the long period where the Democrats ran everything in the House.  Had he not perished in a plane crash in 1972, he might well have become speaker.  And her husband, Steve Roberts, is another member of the D.C. media establishment.

In a moment of casual honesty yesterday, Cokie Roberts admitted on This Week that everyone knew about the dangers of being groped by John Conyers, who "icon" Nancy Pelosi seems to believe should be allowed his perversions and even crimes, on the model of other progressive "icons" like Ted Kennedy.

RADDATZ: But they probably will be talking about.

And what about Conyers and Franken? Nothing's happened since. What happens to them?

BACON: It's not clear that any Democrat so far have said they should resign. You saw Kathleen Rice. Other than that, you haven't seen a lot of them.

I'm curious. My question of this whole process is, saying it should go to the ethic committee a real thing or is it just a stalling tactic? And that's what we don't know yet. They've set up a process, but does the process matter, and is the process going to the lead – like it's hard for me to see...

ROBERTS: It's like rehab, you know – he's going to rehab.

BACON: ...going to do anything other than the obviously. We know what happened, essentially. So, does that lead to a resignation, or does that just lead to a stalling process? And that's what I don't know yet.

KLEIN: Can they weather the storm, right? One of these happens, another one happens. And if it just becomes noise, then maybe they can hang on.

ROBERTS: And you know they are so used to it. I mean, the culture of Capitol Hill for so many decades was men being bad. And...

RADDATZ: So, we talk about that. We have talked about it weeks and weeks. But does anything really change?

ROBERTS: No.

RADDATZ: We ask that question. I mean, this seems unprecedented how many. But do you think people are really talking about it as if things will change?

PALMER: I don't think that the culture has – we haven't seen major shift, right? And I would also just point out, members policing themselves, a very bad track record of it, whether it's about these kind of scandals, whether it's about how they use their finances. There is – nobody is saying that they're going to change the whole process by which this is done, that they're going to throw out members if they actually have sexual harassment cases. This is a big problem for them.

ROBERTS: The fact that people are willing to be public can change things. I mean, we all talked about for years

RADDATZ: A little bit at a time.

ROBERTS: Don't get in the elevator with him, you know, and the whole every female in the press corps knew that, right, don't get in elevator with him. Now people are saying it out loud. And I think that does make a difference.

[Rush transcript via Grabien.]

Based on what Cokie had to say, female journalists were all warned.  Young interns?  Maybe collateral damage.  Hey, they got off easier than Mary Jo Kopechne, right?  You can't make a progressive political omelet without breaking a few young females' spirits. 

Nobody better represents the Washington, D.C. political-media establishment than Cokie Roberts.  For those who don't know, the NPR correspondent and ABC News commentator is the daughter of two former Democrat members of the House of Representatives, her mother replacing her father after his death.  Her father was the majority leader of the Democrat Caucus during the long period where the Democrats ran everything in the House.  Had he not perished in a plane crash in 1972, he might well have become speaker.  And her husband, Steve Roberts, is another member of the D.C. media establishment.

In a moment of casual honesty yesterday, Cokie Roberts admitted on This Week that everyone knew about the dangers of being groped by John Conyers, who "icon" Nancy Pelosi seems to believe should be allowed his perversions and even crimes, on the model of other progressive "icons" like Ted Kennedy.

RADDATZ: But they probably will be talking about.

And what about Conyers and Franken? Nothing's happened since. What happens to them?

BACON: It's not clear that any Democrat so far have said they should resign. You saw Kathleen Rice. Other than that, you haven't seen a lot of them.

I'm curious. My question of this whole process is, saying it should go to the ethic committee a real thing or is it just a stalling tactic? And that's what we don't know yet. They've set up a process, but does the process matter, and is the process going to the lead – like it's hard for me to see...

ROBERTS: It's like rehab, you know – he's going to rehab.

BACON: ...going to do anything other than the obviously. We know what happened, essentially. So, does that lead to a resignation, or does that just lead to a stalling process? And that's what I don't know yet.

KLEIN: Can they weather the storm, right? One of these happens, another one happens. And if it just becomes noise, then maybe they can hang on.

ROBERTS: And you know they are so used to it. I mean, the culture of Capitol Hill for so many decades was men being bad. And...

RADDATZ: So, we talk about that. We have talked about it weeks and weeks. But does anything really change?

ROBERTS: No.

RADDATZ: We ask that question. I mean, this seems unprecedented how many. But do you think people are really talking about it as if things will change?

PALMER: I don't think that the culture has – we haven't seen major shift, right? And I would also just point out, members policing themselves, a very bad track record of it, whether it's about these kind of scandals, whether it's about how they use their finances. There is – nobody is saying that they're going to change the whole process by which this is done, that they're going to throw out members if they actually have sexual harassment cases. This is a big problem for them.

ROBERTS: The fact that people are willing to be public can change things. I mean, we all talked about for years

RADDATZ: A little bit at a time.

ROBERTS: Don't get in the elevator with him, you know, and the whole every female in the press corps knew that, right, don't get in elevator with him. Now people are saying it out loud. And I think that does make a difference.

[Rush transcript via Grabien.]

Based on what Cokie had to say, female journalists were all warned.  Young interns?  Maybe collateral damage.  Hey, they got off easier than Mary Jo Kopechne, right?  You can't make a progressive political omelet without breaking a few young females' spirits.