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Victim Politics

By Sandy Rapp

Now let me get this straight. Even Congress has dismissed the underlying charge, that allegation about the President's perjuring himself in the sexual harassment case. Now they're charging him with perjury about the case that isn't before the grand jury that wasn't. monbill.jpg - 22.39 K Monica and Bill ... before the dark times ... before Ken Starr

Why wasn't it a grand jury? Because it wasn't secret! Grand juries are permitted extremely wide intakes of unexamined testimony because such testimony is secret. This body was by design (its destination was always an unrestrained Congress), as well as by leak, releasing every wild and unsupported utterance to the global media.

And the President is also charged with obstructing justice in the case that isn't, by speaking to Betty Currie, the witness that wasn't.

Remember, Ms. Currie was never a witness in the civil case, and when the President of the Unites States spoke of the civil deposition to Ms. Currie, he had no idea that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr had by then, through the collusion wrought by Linda Tripp's agency in both cases, overreached his investigation into the civil case.

So the perjury before the grand jury that wasn't, about the case that isn't, is compounded by the obstruction through the witness that never was. Have I got this straight, that this is the Republicans' grounds for reversing two national elections of a President with a seventy-three percent approval rating? If this is straight then I believe I'll stay gay.

There's just one more point, about the original civil case that isn't. That such a vehicle, a sexual harassment civil suit absent even any allegations of job-related consequences, should have ever seen the light of day is an aberration, an abomination. Of course, the argument can be made that the U.S. Supreme Court let this travesty go forward. But the Supreme Court interprets laws, and what they have been given to interpret is BAD LAW.

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Not every injustice can be righted by the government. Some people are nasty and stuff happens. Victims of these phenomena should not thereby gain control of the world. No, it is not a good thing if employees are fired for declining sex with their bosses. But the law must at least stop there.

The idea that a clumsy pass among co-workers, whether similarly or dissimilarly ranked, could be ratcheted up into a million dollar civil suit is outrageous. And it is dangerous governmental trespass into heretofore sacred First Amendment free speech protected territory.

A clumsy pass, or an unwanted dinner invitation, should not be fodder for the courts, let alone grounds for criminal charges when they're lied about. What's more, the sex related imbalance of the workplace, which reflects the sex- related imbalance of the world, will continue as long as the world insists upon squeaking at pink babies and growling at blue ones.

That is, if society wants to preserve its gender assignments, with pantyhose, heels, and dresses assigned to one half the world while forbidden to the other, men will remain the primary pursuers, and women will continue unprepared for dealing with unwanted sexual attention.

Employment protection should exist for disadvantaged groups, including women. And, as I have long argued, these protected categories' omission of sexual- orientation in and of itself constitutes governmental, institutionalized discrimination.

But the inroads of these protections into office banter and Americans' social life is a chilling effect on societal discourse, magnified in 1998 to the dimensions of a national coup d'etat.

Power drawn from these victimist poses is just more of a very old problem. The pedestal is still the pits! And the only good thing about the whole Independent Counsel mess, this being a perfect example of another absolutely BAD LAW, is that now, with the President firmly entrenched as a victim of the victimists, his popularity will probably soar even higher. srapp.jpg - 9.17 K Sandy Rapp

Sandy Rapp is a feminist singer and author of God's Country, a book about the religious right.
(c) Sandy Rapp 1998

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