What is it with Repubilcans and child endangerment and sexual molestation? Republicans used to claim to be the party of family values. Well, maybe they could claim that label today if they want to say they are the party of Manson Family values. To be fair, the Republicans haven't gone on a murder spree, though their leader, Donald Trump, has declared Vladimir Putin to be a "fine" person and Vladimir Putin's critics have a nasty habit of turning up dead. But only a family that was nearly as depraved as the Manson Family could delight in some of the people the Republicans have been supporting and some of the actions they have been taking lately.
Let's look at some instances of Republican family values. When reading them, keep in mind the difference between the way the Republicans have handled their sex scandals and the way the Democrats have been handling theirs recently--hint: Al Franken.
- President Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his contempt of court. Sheriff Joe failed to adequately investigate hundreds of alleged sex crimes, including many crimes involving the molestation or rape of children.
- Timothy Nolan, the chair of Trump's campaign in Kentucky, pled guilty to human sex trafficking and other felony sex crimes, some of which victimized minors.
- Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of making inappropriate advances towards several young women--some of them teenagers. Though highly inappropriate, most were not violations of the law. However, one woman said Moore tried to molest her when she was just 14 years old. I wrote about this in more detail here.
- President PussyGrabber has been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior/molestation/rape by at least a dozen women. I wrote about a few of these accusations here. Trump bragged to Howard Stern about going into the women's dressing room of the Miss U.S.A. pageant to watch the girls get dressed. (Jump to 2:24 to listen.)
Well, I'll tell you the funniest is that I'll go backstage before a show, and everyone's getting dressed, and ready and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it. "You know, I'm inspecting I want to make sure that everything is good. You know, the dresses. 'Is everyone okay?' 'Is everybody okay?' And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.
- As of this writing, seven former Ohio State wrestlers have come forward and said that Republican Congressman Jim Jordan knew about sexual harassment and molestation of wrestlers by the team's doctor when he was a wrestling coach back at Ohio State and did nothing about it. Politico reports that wrestlers said that "voyeurs would masturbate while watching the wrestlers shower or sit in the sauna, or engage in sexual acts in the areas where the athletes trained". Jordan has denied that he had any knowledge of these incidents at the time and several wrestlers have backed him up, claiming that the accusations against Jordan were politically motivated. Jordan gave an impassioned defense of himself when he was interviewed by Bret Beir on Fox News. He called one of his accusers crooked and said that his accusations were motivated by a grudge he held against Ohio State. He did not know what motivated the other wrestlers to accuse him. Watch his defense and decide who you believe. Naturally, Trump said he believed Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, is urging other members of the Freedom Caucus to back Jordan. Jordan and others remarked on the suspicious timing of the accusations. Some have even said that these accusations were baseless and politically motivated. I have one question for those who say this. Suppose these accusations were politically motivated. Suppose the seven wrestlers conspired to bring Jim Jordan down for political reasons. If that is the case, why did they concoct the rather weak accusation that Jim Jordan was negligent? If they are lying for political reasons in order to destroy him then why didn't they make up a more virulent lie and accuse him of BEING the molester rather than ignoring stories about the molester?
- Ecuador planned to introduce a resolution at the U.N. that would encourage breast feeding of infants and restrict promotion of less nourishing artificial food products. The United States threatened to enact punishing trade measures against Ecuador and cut their military aid if they introduced their resolution. Ecuador backed down. Many in the U.N. were shocked that we would play hardball and blackmail other countries to prevent them from supporting this family-friendly resolution. But hardball we played--until Russia finally sponsored the resolution. Then WE backed down.
- And last, but most horrific, we have ripped nearly 3000 children--some of them babies--away from immigrant parents trying to enter our country. We enacted this new draconian policy so hastily that we didn't have any realistic plans to reunite the children with their parents. A FEW children have been reunited with their parents, but one child returned to his mother was reportedly unbathed and covered with lice. Trump supporters say that these measures are necessary to deter immigrants from coming into our country illegally. Whether thread of illegal immigrants pouring over our borders is being overblown would make a good topic for another post. For now, I ask one question of those who support this policy for its deterrent value. What if this is not a sufficient deterrent? What if the number of undocumented immigrants coming in through our Southern border increases dramatically? It will take years before Trump's Wall is built, so that is not a short-term fix for the problem. What should we do then? Should we shoot the children to deter more immigrants from coming in? After we shoot them, should we eat the babies? After all, why waste all that good protein? I honestly don't know what the monsters who justify this separation would say to this modest proposal. Some might think it is really swift. I, for one, do not.
Update 7/9/18: The Trump Administration is now detaining pregnant women who are trying to immigrate into the U.S as part of their "zero tolerance" policy. ICE has been instructed to ensure that all pregnant women in their custody be given adequate medical attention, but that doesn't always happen. Here are some excerpts from a very long Buzzfeed report. To get the full horror of what is happening you should read the entire article.
But BuzzFeed News has found evidence that that directive is not being carried out. Instead, women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care, even when in dire need of it, are shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities, and have been physically and psychologically mistreated.
In interviews and written affidavits, E and four other women who’ve been in ICE detention and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody while pregnant told of being ignored when they were obviously miscarrying, described their CBP and ICE-contracted jailers as unwilling or unable to respond to medical emergencies, and recounted an incident of physical abuse from CBP officers who knew they were dealing with a pregnant woman. Those descriptions were backed by interviews with five legal aid workers, four medical workers, and two advocates who work with ICE detainees.
The incidents were not limited to a single detention center. Three medical workers and five legal aid workers who spoke to BuzzFeed News all said they had seen — and some had documented — cases of pregnant women not receiving or being denied medical care in more than six different detention centers in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. . . .
All three of the women who spoke to BuzzFeed News were pregnant when they presented themselves to Border Patrol officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry and requested asylum, as US law permits. Still, they said, they were shackled and placed in CBP facilities, where they were denied medical care during their first weeks in custody. All said they miscarried while in custody. (Emphasis added) . . .
Nevertheless, a nurse who works with pregnant detainees at clinics operated by Texas Tech University and the University Medical Center in El Paso said the women are “almost always” shackled around their hands and feet, and sometimes around their stomachs. In the past few months, staff at the center have seen at least two women shackled within a few hours of giving birth, she said.
“We were all really shocked because we hadn’t seen that before … Women are most at risk of experiencing a hemorrhage within the first 24 to 48 hours [after birth],” she said, explaining that if there were complications, shackles would delay the medical team’s response and put the woman’s health at risk.
I'm sure the Right -To-Life people will be all over this. <crickets>
Update 7/9/18: And here we can see how the tone set by the Trump Administration fosters family values while boosting morale of the troops. Concepcion and Margarito Silva went to Fort Drum on July 4 to see their son-in-law, a sergeant who had been deployed twice to Afgahanistan and was about to be deployed again. They had visited Fort Drum before and had no trouble getting in by showing their New York City ID. This time was different. Not only were they detained, NBC affiliate, News 4 New York reports
Now the Silvas say the Department of Defense won't allow the Army sergeant to speak up in defense of his immigrant relatives. Most worrying is the fact that both parents have recently undergone surgery and need medication. The Silvas say they have gotten calls from their mother, who said she was denied her medication. They say they have not heard from their father. . . .
The Silvas are not only concerned their parents might be deported; they're concerned about their health while incarcerated. . .
"We don't know what could happen to them in there," said Dulce Silva, another daughter of the detained couple, as she cried. "It would be crazy if they didn't make it out of there."
"I don't understand why people pick on people that just want to work and live their life without any troubles," said Eduardo Silva.
No, Trump is not directly responsible for this--but he has created the environment where the monsters can run free.