Mayor Bob Filner’s (mostly liberal) supporters are desperately parroting his refrain that he should be given “due process” in responding to the allegations of sexual harassment and sexual battery lodged against him over the past several days. The irony of this struck me when I began to consider the very real likelihood that these same folks are loudly joining the chorus of those bemoaning the injustice of the George Zimmerman trial verdict.
Zimmerman sought due process, but according to those who vehemently disagree with the trial’s outcome, our system has failed. This begs the question: Does “due process” only mean when you agree with the verdict?
I marvel at the hypocrisy of people who hide behind platitudes like, “Let the people/courts decide,” yet when the decision doesn’t come down in their favor they condemn the stupidity or malfeasance of the very same institutions upon which they purported to place their faith.
Of course, Filner’s gambit is fully wrapped in his comfortable belief his accusers will never go public out of fear of the media scrutiny, or their jobs, or the scorn of the true believers in his camp who will vilify them for not putting political ideology ahead of their petty “feelings.”
As we have seen on far too many occasions, life isn’t fair, and due process by no means ensures an outcome to everyone’s liking. While Filner’s hope for due process to leave him vindicated seems far-fetched it’s really the hope it never gets that far that he is counting on.
In any event, in the tradition mentioned in the opening paragraphs, should Filner have his day in court, I predict he will continue to deny his guilt and his supporters will rally to his defense and declare the system has been rigged. And San Diego will suffer through yet another embarrassing period in its political history, one that was fully aided and abetted by the would-be kingmakers of the city—on both sides of the aisle.
I say this not because Republicans and those from the right side of the aisle had anything to do with getting this particular individual elected but rather because both major party organizations have a disturbing habit of ignoring the less than savory character flaws of some of their candidates so long as they appear “electable.” This needs to stop.
While voters should be expected to their own due diligence on a particular candidate for office, we all know in practice party affiliation plays an important part. When a sleaze like a Bob Filner or Duke Cunningham (to name just two) can get elected, repeatedly, even when alarm bells are—or at the very least should be—ringing like a railroad crossing with the train approaching and party leaders put up no fight to have them booted, there is something really wrong.
I’m having some difficulty understanding the reactions of the men around Filner after these revelations were made public. I have a wife and daughter. If I found out either one of them had been treated by Filner in the manner that has been described, I wouldn’t be holding a press conference—I’d punch him in the nose.