San Diego Scandal: Do Sexual Harassment Accusations Show Us Who Likes Politics?

Another story about yet another powerful man who can’t seem to stop himself from harassing and coercing women.

“Mayor Bob Filner’s former communications director has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the leader of the nation’s eighth-largest city. Irene McCormack came forward Monday and said Filner had asked her to work without wearing panties, demanded kisses and dragged her around in a headlock while whispering sexual advances. McCormack, who demanded Filner’s immediate resignation, said she resigned in June at a staff meeting after a deputy chief of staff complained to the mayor that his behavior toward women was wrong and possibly illegal.”

These are just accusations. I suppose one could balk against drawing any conclusions from these reports on the grounds that there has been no conviction yet. However, Filner seems to be doing everything he can to convince us that the allegations are true:

“Filner previously apologized for disrespecting and sometimes intimidating women in an extraordinary video released immediately after the initial allegations surfaced. He said, ‘I need help,’ and that he would be unable to lead San Diego if his behavior didn’t change. Filner has stopped short of explicitly saying he sexually harassed women and signaled he would refuse to step aside.”

This does not strike me as the approach of an innocent man. If you take this sort of stance it really looks like you are guilty and you know there are many witnesses available to back up the accusation.

This may be a different kind of sexual failing than Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky (though it does sound similar to some of the other accusations made in Christopher Hitchens’ book, No One Left to Lie To). It is also slightly different from the failings of Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner. Further from it but still relevant would be Mark Sanford’s affair. I’ve posted before about our international rulers and their sexual problems.

Is there a relationship between the desire for sexual domination and political power?

Since I’m not an anarchist libertarian, I’m not going to condemn all political leadership as inherently abusive. But the Bible does forbid kings to multiply wives, which indicates it expects them to be tempted to collect trophy females. The story of David staying home in luxury during war time, making his people do all the work and assume the personal risk, and grabbing Bathsheba for his bed, is supposed to teach us something about the perils of leadership.

Also, what about modern American city politics? What we see in Detroit is universal in the United States. The role of a modern politician in a city is to make people not worry about debt, give them false confidence in ridiculous pension promises, and build a personal fortune that you don’t plan to share when everyone else is impoverished. In other words, modern American city politics is a direct analogy to an abusive husband.

No one should be surprised that people who feel empowered by exploiting cities do the same to the women around them.