Anyone who wonders why Mayor Bob Filner stubbornly refuses to resign in the face of the mounting evidence of his appalling behavior toward women over the years needs to spend a bit more time reading the transcripts or watching the video of his accusers recounting the details of his transgressions to get their answer. This is a man who has no shame.
How else do you explain behavior that is so outside the norm, not to mention repugnant?
If you lack the basic filters that would tap you on the shoulder and say, “This is not the way you should act”, you might do things like belittle colleagues in front of a room full of reporters and community leaders, or pick petty fights with other elected officials simply because they are perceived to be a political threat. Or worse, you might threaten those who work for you—directly or indirectly—with job loss if they do not act according to your wishes—whatever they might be.
It’s disgusting that Filner’s treatment of women has been under cover for so long. It’s disheartening that people accepted his bullying tactics, which often were every bit as damaging to the individuals who bore the brunt, were accepted for thirty-plus years as “just Bob being Bob”.
One of the most interesting things that has come out of this kerfuffle and gets little to no coverage is how long Filner’s past instances of sexual harassment had apparently gone on with behind-the-scenes tongue-wagging among Democrat insiders. In Marco Gonzalez’s recent news conference comments, he alluded to behaviors known of for at least a decade or more.
One accuser in a news interview claimed that Democrats knew about rumors surrounding Filner’s indiscretions at the time he was running for mayor, but told her they would rather have one person in office who didn’t respect women than have the office in control of an entire political party that didn’t respect them.
Without starting a debate over which party “respects women” the most, it should be noted that both major political parties have women in the membership, both political parties have women in leadership positions, and both political parties have women representing them in elected office. And both political parties have Neanderthals among their male members—whether they openly admit it or not.
That certain Democratic Party leaders have been complicit in keeping Filner’s proclivities from public view seems to be increasingly evident and needs to be examined. His behavior not only in office as mayor but as a congressman bears scrutiny, if only to determine what abuses of power he might have exercised while in pursuit of sexual conquest.
Complicating everything, of course, is the somewhat understandable unwillingness of the various women accusers involved in this mess to come forward and lend more credibility to the charges that have been leveled against hizzoner. This adds to Filner’s increasingly smug assurance that he will survive. Unfortunately given his combative nature and utter belief that he will prevail, San Diego should prepare for a long and civically embarrassing ordeal. Without firm evidence, sooner or later the media storm will peter out and things at City Hall will get back to their dysfunctional “normal”.