It's been a week since it was reported by BuzzFeed that Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., sexually harassed at least one of his female staffers and paid a taxpayer-funded settlement of more than $27,000, and Democrats have been incredibly defensive over the allegations of further misconduct.
On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took a lot of the heat off of Conyers by questioning his accusers and praising his legacy.
“John Conyers is an icon in our country,” Pelosi told Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC’s "Meet the Press." “He's done a great deal to protect women in the Violence Against Women Act, which the right wing is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that. He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation. He is entitled to due process and the women are entitled to due process as well. I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing.”
Even Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., is stopping short of calling for Conyers to step down, saying, “I think that the allegations are very serious. And that's why the ethics committee needs to move very swiftly. Not wait years. But, very swiftly. Staff up, if necessary, to determine whether or not those allegations are accurate. If they're accurate, I do believe Congressman Conyers should step down.”
In the post-Access Hollywood tape era, sexual harassment and misconduct revelations are a dime a dozen. Before Conyers, President Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Roy Moore, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and dozens of other highly-prominent men in politics, media, and entertainment were accused of some form of sexual misconduct, whether it be rape, assault, or harassment.
Conyers using his position of power and his contributions to the civil rights movement to harass his staffers and abuse taxpayer money to allegedly fly his mistresses to and from his apartment/hotel is the epitome of corruption.
Pelosi's (as well as Speier's) refusal to call for Conyers' resignation is disappointing, but it also tremendously hurts the Democrats' moral authority and credibility in their presumed concern over sexual harassment of professional women.
If Democrats truly believed in amplifying the voices of women who fell victim to sexual harassment, assault, or rape, they would show zero tolerance for their own members' conduct and call for Conyers' resignation.