Tone Deaf on Domestic Abuse in the #MeToo Moment

Santa Fe   It is not unusual to refer to a Washington beltway bubble that misses what is going on in the rest of the country, although the Trump narrative is currently the opposite, but how in the world did the powers that be miss the clues that domestic abuse might be a huge, hot button issue during these times in the wake of the #MeToo moment?

Unbelievable!  Or, sadly, maybe not.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, one of the latest in the parade of scandals in the West Wing of the White House has to do with the staff secretary who controls a lot of the access to the President in his job as a chief aide to the chief of staff, former General John Kelly.  Seems that not once, but twice, his ex-wives have accused him of domestic abuse.  Being a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar known for competence in the White House doesn’t get you a pass, even though that seems to have been exactly what Trump, Kelly, and Rob Porter, the individual involved, were all hoping for.  Despite their denials, reports also seem clear that Kelley, and likely Trump, all knew of Porter’s domestic abuse of his ex-wives over the last year.  Pictures posted by one of his ex-wives of herself with a black eye are making it hard to deny.

Part of the dustup is the usual:  who knew and when did they know.  Add to that the fact that the White House communications director was reportedly dating Porter and initially a leading voice in his defense, and you have the recipe for a mess.

But, that’s not the real issue is it?  The real issue is that a false sense of allowing privacy behind closed doors has legitimized all sorts of domestic abuse and harm to women and children from all levels of society from the President down to the local police.  If women in the #MeToo moment didn’t feel they had the voice to protest outright sexual abuse and exploitation by men who were more powerful, if anything the situation is even worse when we talk about domestic abuse and the inadequate protection for women and children.

I’m not saying that such abuse is given a free pass and a get out of jail card, because there has been some progress in recent years, but too often this is overlooked, and too often there is in fact a free pass and a get-out-of-jail card with tragic consequences.   This is an issue that demands a cultural shift and national dialogue that serves notice on men that there is no immunity for domestic abuse.

We seem to have been well served in the White House by our security system that refused to get a grant security clearance to Porter, since the White House seemed to want to look the other way.  We are also well served by the fact that outside of the beltway bubble, the rest of us are clear that domestic abuse must be countered and stopped.  Someone needs to tell the real news to the President.

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Please enjoy Hubertus von Hohenlohe’s Austin.

Thanks to KABF.

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