When serial harasser and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein’s extraordinary number of crimes and attacks against women became known, we heard loud calls of outrage from the Republican Party for the return of Weinstein’s, a Democratic donor’s, money by those Democrats who had received it. Weinstein was bit player in Democratic politics at best, mostly a fanboy.
When Harvey Weinstein was accused of decades of sexual misconduct in October, Republicans gleefully went on the attack. Weinstein was a prominent Democratic donor; how, they wondered, in high moral dudgeon, could liberal lawmakers live with themselves knowing that they’d profited from such ill-gotten gains?
Many Democrats, including Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, dutifully returned those funds. For this they received a smug “pat on the back” from Ronna McDaniel, the RNC Chair:
“That is something Republicans and Democrats should agree on: That it is despicable and you have seen Democrats returning those donations.”
Now we have Steve Wynn, the Chairman of the RNC’s finance committee, one of the heaviest donors to Republicans and right-wing “causes” over the past few years, standing accused of decades of serial rape and assault, for forcing women to perform sex acts on him against their will. He resigned from that position today.
So when are we going to see all that money returned?
I guess, never:
The Republican response so far: almost total radio silence. Wynn did step down from his finance chair on Saturday afternoon, but under unclear circumstances.
As pointed out by Benjamin Hart, writing for New York Magazine, Wynn’s involvement in Republican politics as well as the sheer degree of his influence dwarfs that of Harvey Weinstein, even though both are equal opportunity sexual predators of the worst kind:
[Wynn] has exerted considerable influence over Republican state-level races and national politics alike. When Nevada Senator Dean Heller initially opposed GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare last summer, Wynn and fellow mogul and Republican Sheldon Adelson gave him an earful, and Heller eventually got on board with a later version of the bill, He has donated more than $2.5 million to the Republican Governors Association since 2012, and more than $200,000 to Republicans in 2017 alone.
Hart writes that perhaps the fact that Wynn is best pals with another serial harasser who happens to Occupy the Oval Office has something to do with The Silence of The Republicans. Of course, the fact that the Republican Party gave up any pretense of morality in elevating Trump in the first place explains why they think they can hypocritically ignore for themselves the phony “outrage” they heaped on Democrats for accepting Weinstein’s money:
The entire story illustrates, once again, that warfare between the parties is asymmetric. Because the Democratic Party positions itself an entity trying, however haltingly, to do the right thing, it is held to reasonably high standards by both its voters and society at large. Republicans, meanwhile, have waltzed so far down the path of moral degradation in recent years that they are no longer expected to maintain the appearance of propriety.
And the media keeps right on internalizing that fact.