Truth and Consequences: American Politics After a Year of #MeToo
“THE political nightmare that has faced my colleague,” said Mark Hatfield on September 7th 1995, “is coming to an end.” The colleague was Bob Packwood, his fellow senator from Oregon, who was resigning. The “nightmare” was a Senate Ethics Committee investigation that found Mr Packwood had been sexually harassing subordinates since the 1960s. Mr Packwood battled the committee for three years, destroying evidence and appearing “perplexed or confused…about what actually constituted sexual harassment”. When he resigned, he won praise from senator after senator—not one of whom managed a single word of concern for his many victims.
In one sense, times have changed. Over the past year—ever since the #MeToo hashtag went viral in the wake of gruesome allegations of sexual assault levelled against Harvey Weinstein, a film producer—nine members of Congress have resigned or declined to run for re-election after facing credible charges of sexual misconduct. Two White House officials left after being accused of spousal abuse (they deny the charges) and three congressional candidates lost or quit their campaigns.But that change is unevenly distributed across the political spectrum...
To read the full article, visit The Economist.