Patterico's Pontifications

11/26/2017

John Conyers Steps Down From Committee Leadership Position

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:35 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As we know, Nancy Pelosi gave an erratic and hyper-partisan defense of John Conyers this morning. Following this, John Conyers announceed that he was stepping down. From his committee leadership position, that is. There is no resignation. He is not being shown the door while he hangs his head in disgraced shame. He denies everything. And that’s because he knows, just like Nancy Pelosi knows, “zero tolerance” to Democrats facing allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment means next to nothing. And while Pelosi may have prattled on about “zero tolerance means consequences,” we all know the warning comes with no teeth. It’s just Pelosi gumming a warning. Just ask Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Ca.), who has been working on behalf of victims of sexual harassment by lawmakers and elected officials, and said:

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 Commercial inflatable water slide whether Commercial inflatable water slide or not those allegations are accurate. And if they’re accurate, I do believe that Congressman Conyers should step down.

We say zero tolerance, but I don’t believe that we put our money where our mouths are.

Or, you can ask Al Franken, who plans to return to work tomorrow with nary a slap on the wrist.

And because of Pelosi’s “zero tolerance,” the biggest problem of all still remains, and that is that these elected officials know that they can get away with this awful behavior if they have a “D” after their names.

Here is John Conyers’ statement:

“After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters,” Conyers said in a statement Sunday afternoon.

“I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger,” the statement continued. “I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics.”

So telling that he attempts to lay this at the feet of a terrible “alt-right blogger,” given that we all know you don’t make a $27,000 payout using taxpayers’ money for nothing, and that there’s a reason why that these documents exist in the first place. But no matter how much obfuscating or pointing to squirrels Conyers does, it won’t undue his past actions, nor change the kind of man he is.

Further, in a rather pathetic manner, he implores you to believe that he is still relevant and needed by the nation:

“To be clear, I would like very much to remain as Ranking Member,” he added. “There is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reform, and protecting access to the ballot box.”

So, if for some crazy reason, you were wondering if there will be calls by Democrats (or the media) for Conyers to step down – really step down – wonder no more:

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and assistant Democratic leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) reached out to some CBC members over the Thanksgiving recess to take the temperature of the caucus, according to multiple sources. The group is arguably the most powerful bloc within the House Democratic Caucus and is fiercely protective of its members, particularly Conyers, who was a founding member.

Multiple Democratic sources said they don’t expect widespread calls for Conyers to resign from the House altogether — at least not yet. Privately, according to aides and lawmakers, there is an effort to preserve Conyers’ legacy on issues ranging from voting rights to the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as much as possible while trying to avoid the appearance of washing their hands of multiple serious sexual harassment accusations.

It would also be reasonable to assume that the MSM will avoid asking too many pressing questions of the iconic Conyers.

Here is Pelosi’s reaction to Conyers stepping down:

“Zero tolerance means consequences,” Pelosi said. “I have asked for an ethics investigation, and as that investigation continues, Congressman Conyers has agreed to step aside as Ranking Member.”

In true Clintonian fashion, it all depends on what the meaning of “zero tolerance” is. In any other non-partisan world, zero tolerance would mean just that, and Conyers would have been compelled to resign. But we’re in Pelosi’s wacky world of moral relativism, where words don’t mean what you think they mean until it is convenient and necessary for them to mean that.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

58 Responses to “John Conyers Steps Down From Committee Leadership Position”

  1. This overlaps a bit with P’s earlier post on Nancy Pelosi, but I wanted to also post about Conyers stepping down from… his leadership position.

    Dana (023079)

  2. Pelosi knew about Conyers’ settlement two years ago when it happened, so consequences don’t happen for wrongdoing. Consequences happen when the wrongdoing is revealed. Transparency is what leads to consequences.

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. If by “zero tolerance” one actually means “we will absolutely tolerate this, and indeed we will go so far as to create a distraction and a public excuse for that continued tolerance (the dreaded Ethics Committee!!!1!#@!),” she’s completely sincere.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  4. I’ll have respect for Ivanka when she asks Daddy Warbucks to step down

    She’s seen the dirt.

    Admiral Ben burn (bafacf)

  5. The Left is figuring out that most of the scumbags in media/politics are on their side…

    “We’re at risk of turning #metoo into rush to blame all men

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/panic-not-answer-article-1.3651778

    harkin (a9a478)

  6. I thought Media was designed by the Left or was that last week’s propaganda.

    Admiral Ben burn (bafacf)

  7. It’s wholly unclear to me, Dana, what “rules” you wish to impose on Congresscritters as far as their feeling morally obliged to resign, or as to their being legally obliged to resign (or be expelled), or as far as their being obliged in any sense to call for and/or work for the resignation of a fellow critter.

    Would you care to flesh out the rules, and how they should apply? And what process that process should take? At least when the alleged breaches concern sexual impropriety or sexual harassment? (And why should such alleged breaches be treated differently than any other alleged impropriety, for that matter?)

    Q! (86710c)

  8. I love the reporting today that Franken has called for an investigation of himself.

    I’ll solve that problem: “Senator Franken, have you ever groped the buttocks of females while they were standing with you to have their picture taken? That can be answered with a “yes” or “no.”

    Done. Upon the answer being given the investigation will be complete.

    If he says “yes”, he can resign with his next sentence.

    If he says “no”, the accuracy of his answer can be evaluated based on whether women come forward to call him a liar.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  9. So Pelosi is fine with Conyers.

    May I point out that she is neither Speaker of the House nor Majority Leader…

    The House can discipline Conyers if the majority of the members wish it. And the last I looked the majority of the members claim to be Republicans and not beholden to Pelosi.

    kishnevi (5a7bdb)

  10. And yet we let the caught-on-tape p-grabber bragger retains the top political position in the land, and nothing. All this outrage seems to fall flat on me in light of that. Why isn’t he hounded out of office? Not enough of us care? I blame the media.

    Tillman (a95660)

  11. *retain the top political position

    Tillman (a95660)

  12. @ swc: He says he never “intended” to grab ass.

    Me, I’ve never accidentally grabbed an ass, so I have no idea what he’s talking about. I think he’s a liar, and I take his statements as admitting his guilt while establishing zero evidence of repentance or acceptance of consequence.

    He’s not good enough, he’s not smart enough, and doggone it, he should be widely recognized as scum and shunned by all self-respecting humanity. But he won’t be, because Trump is the absolutely universal “but what about” that can be used by the Dems to excuse every single atrocity anyone in their party commits.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  13. Well said:

    But the revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous.

    It is the kind of behavior that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people.

    And it means that whatever Conyers’ legacy will eventually be, his tenure as a member of Congress must end — now.

    He should resign his position and allow the investigation into his behavior to unfold without the threat that it would render him, and the people he now represents, effectively voiceless.

    Further:

    After the alleged victim made a formal complaint through the U.S. Congress Office of Compliance, Conyers’ office endorsed an alternative route. If the woman dropped her complaint and signed a legal document attesting that Conyers had done no wrong, and if she agreed never to disparage him or make subsequent claims, she’d be re-hired as a temporary “no-show” employee and paid $27,111.75 over the course of three months. She accepted the terms.

    Conyers’ office defended the arrangement Tuesday as a means to avoid “protracted litigation” and defended the sum as a “reasonable severance payment.” Conyers also continues to deny the woman’s claims.

    But the House’s ethics rules are clear: A House member can’t retain an employee who isn’t performing work commensurate with the pay, and regardless, can’t give back pay for work that stretches further than a month.

    It’s a rule Conyers has flouted before.

    He continues to battle an ethics complaint alleging that he violated House rules by keeping a former chief of staff on payroll after she was fired; Conyers’ lawyers contend that the representative’s office has the right to pay severance to its employees at will. Nor is Conyers the only member of Congress who has come under fire for paying what they’ve described as severance.

    What makes this payment different? It looks an awful lot like hush money.

    Dana (023079)

  14. As if this were sincere before Gus savage Mel Reynolds, bill Clinton Henry cisneros, seems there is an example for every ethnicity.

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. Now neither Roy Moore who wee an insufferable martinet nor trump who was more libertine in his siciLY arrangements anyone else you care to project democrats foilblez and outright offenses

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. I think you all are jumping the gun – this is the beginning of the story, not the end of it. What will say if these guys are thrown out as the result of this? Oops?

    Tillman (a95660)

  17. Why isn’t he hounded out of office? Not enough of us care? I blame the media.

    Tillman (a95660) — 11/26/2017 @ 5:36 pm

    Oh, rest assured that is exactly what a lot of this is about. The feverswamp Left will try to use this as grounds.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. Prediction: the prevalence of smartphones will lead to an abrupt end to this behavior, and at least one career.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  19. Sh! like this is why we got Trump.

    BTW, Trump did not grab Holywood floozy pussy. He said that the Hollywood floozie let big shots grab their pussies.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. I would like to see a law passed that made sexual harassment of legislative staff by any federal legislator or other staff member a federal crime, with the FBI having primary jurisdiction, and that specifically removed Congressional immunity in such a situation. Much like bribery.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States

    ‘The Joy of Sex’ by Alex Comfort, 1972.

    ___________

    Mandatory retirement is generally unlawful in the United States, except in certain industries and occupations that are regulated by law, and are often part of the government (such as military service and federal police agencies, such as the FBI).

    Mandatory retirement:

    -Pilots: the mandatory retirement age of airline pilots is 65. The Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act (Public Law 110-135) went into effect on December 13, 2007, raising the age to 65 from the previous 60. Air traffic controllers: Mandatory retirement age of 56, with exceptions up to age 61.

    -Federal law enforcement officers, national park rangers and firefighters: Mandatory retirement age of 57, or later if less than 20 years of service.
    -Florida Supreme Court justices: The Florida Constitution establishes mandatory retirement at age 70.
    -Minnesota has statutorily established mandatory retirement for all judges at age 70 (more precisely, at the end of the month a judge reaches that age). The Minnesota Legislature has had the constitutional right to set judicial retirement ages since 1956, but did not do so until 1973, setting the age at 70.
    -New Hampshire Constitution – Article 78 sets the retirement of all Judges and sheriffs at age 70.
    -New Jersey Supreme Court also established mandatory retirement at age 70.
    -Maryland Constitution establishes mandatory retirement age of 70 for Circuit and Appellate Court judges.
    -Oregon – mandatory judicial retirement age of 75.

    Conyers will be 89 years old in May, 2018.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_retirement 

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. If all of the allegations about Conyers prove to be true, I predict that he will either step down or be forced out. Meanwhile, Captain P-Grabber will continue to stand fast at the helm, proud as ever.

    Tillman (a95660)

  23. BTW, isn’t paying staff with federal money for work that you KNOW isn’t going to be done fraud against the government? If it’s OK, why isn’t this done all the time with wives, kids, best friends?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  24. Two typos in a two-line comment. That’s because I’m still laughing too hard from Patterico’s earlier Nancy Pelosi post, and the suggestion that a person elected to Congress from San Francisco would have any ethical or moral standard. From San Francisco! Ha, ha, ha!

    nk (dbc370)

  25. It does raise the question, why hasn’t there been such a law, bob packwood was forced out over what again, clumsy passes?

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. Palomino, wasnt the fmr mayor of Detroit just a 2.0 version of Conyers.

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. John Profumo: I have nothing to hide.
    Stephen Ward: Come off it John, we all have something to hide, what a boring life it would be if we didn’t.

    Stephen Ward: All Russians are spies, it’s how they’re brought up.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  28. Even worse, Mel Reynolds was elected as the Urkel-like edumacated alternative to ward heeler Savage in 1992. Who turned out more sinister?

    urbanleftbehind (fc08fe)

  29. He’s not good enough, he’s not smart enough, and doggone it, he should be widely recognized as scum and shunned by all self-respecting humanity. But he won’t be, because Trump is the absolutely universal “but what about” that can be used by the Dems to excuse every single atrocity anyone in their party commits.

    Huh. Somebody should have warned Republicans that this could happen.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  30. Yes why would they abide by the same star chamber they saddle on us, the end result is the sentiment in the christina sommers tweet

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Al Franken is in the third year of his second term as Minnesota’s junior Senator, having been elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2014. There are any number of loons to blame, namely the people whose official state bird is the loon, but it’s not fair to include Trump among them.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Yes where was leann tweeden back in 2008-9, when her story might have battered.

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. Dang. Just Dang.

    A group of Democrats tried to force Conyers to step aside last December — spurred by an episode in which he showed up at the Capitol wearing pajamas — but he refused to step down.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/26/conyers-stepping-down-from-post-as-ranking-democrat-on-judiciary-panel-259970

    Tillman (a95660)

  34. The amount of ignorance shown by elected officials will only be put to rest by a sturdy oak branch.

    mg (60b0f7)

  35. More evidence that what I said here years ago is true – congress members should have an age limit, just in case. I’m thinking 70 would be good for now. That goes for judges too (including SCOTUS judges). We don’t need any more Strom Thurmond’s around, it’s ridiculous.

    Tillman (a95660)

  36. Me, I’ve never accidentally grabbed an ass,…

    How many photos have been taken with you and women you don’t know at state fairs (or similar political events)? Enough such photos and a few accidents (or hyper sensitive women) are plausible.

    James B. Shearer (951d11)

  37. the black and latino caucus are half of democratic votes to keep pelosi safe in her job as minority leader. she knew about the slush fund that conyers and other black caucus members use tax payers money to prevent their perversions from becoming public.

    conyers perv (42e18b)

  38. icont keep my pants on

    mg (60b0f7)

  39. Alabama voters to democrats
    “Put some ice on that”

    mg (60b0f7)

  40. The demophilia party is a cancer on our youth.

    mg (60b0f7)

  41. When Prince Harry orders a Sleep Number bed, he gets a girl who could be in their commercials. If you’ve been captive to TV this long weekend, that’s been the go to husband-wife combo on most adverts.

    urbanleftbehind (fc08fe)

  42. John “Pajama Geezer” Conyers…

    Colonel Haiku (647002)

  43. BTW, Trump did not grab Holywood floozy pussy. He said that the Hollywood floozie let big shots grab their pussies.

    Why do you repeat unsubstantiated slander against our Dear Leader?

    Trump is reportedly now telling people that the Access Hollywood tape is not authentic.

    But something deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)

    Presumably he is no longer sorry for what he didn’t actually say, and we can discount his apology.

    ‘”Who controls the present controls the past,”’ said O’Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. ‘Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?’

    Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Winston. His eyes flitted towards the dial. He not only did not know whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ was the answer that would save him from pain; he did not even know which answer he believed to be the true one.

    O’Brien smiled faintly. ‘You are no metaphysician, Winston,’ he said. ‘Until this moment you had never considered what is meant by existence. I will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still happening?’

    ‘No.’

    ‘Then where does the past exist, if at all?’

    ‘In records. It is written down.’

    ‘In records. And—?’

    ‘In the mind. In human memories.’

    ‘In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?’

    Dave (445e97)

  44. A society that decides that the bulk of its budget is going to go to arms manufacturing, building up military, etc.—they have made a moral decision that militarism is more important than the creation of well being for the population,” Prashad declares.

    This policymaking, which capitalist Milton Friedman champions in the film, opened the flood gates for a world economy that incorporates and flourishes on permanent war.

    Millions in Latin America fought against oligarchs backed by the U.S. government. They had an “alternative imagination” for how the world could function. Yet, as Prashad describes, “In the early 1970s, this attempt was destroyed, and it was stopped through a real genuine attempt by the global north to take over the institutions of the world, including the World Bank, the IMF.”

    “So it’s not simply that the people of the south were incapable of carrying forward their dreams,” Prashad adds. “These dreams were assassinated.”

    https://shadowproof.com/2017/11/20/review-shadow-world-documentary-exposes-business-war-based-greed/

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  45. 49. Dave (445e97) — 11/27/2017 @ 8:01 am

    BTW, Trump did not grab Holywood floozy pussy. He said that the Hollywood floozie let big shots grab their pussies.

    He didn’t say Hollywood. He included any woman.

    His partisa n accuers profess to believe that the grabbing is true but the consent is not and may have created a false witness or two. nk said he thought both things were true, and referred to people around entertainment. I said he was lying about both things. They never let him do it, and he didn’t try.

    Trump said he was lying but not in so many words (“locker room talk” which means lies) but evidently doesn’t like the implication that he was lying, so he never lets anyone draw that conclusion.

    According to the New York Times, he has since, at times, questioned the authenticiity of the tape, although he admitted it earlier.

    But something deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)

    Trump just doesn’t people to add 2 plus 2. It would mean he told lies.

    Sammy Finkelman (c31643)

  46. Nadler hasn’t said anything about Conyers, evben though hes poised (not without competition) to become ranking member of teh house Judiciary Committee.

    At 9:35 am Sunday he e-mailed this:

    Whether you are out shopping at our local businesses, hiding from the crowds, or back to work, don’t forget to get your tickets for Congressman Nadler’s holiday party.

    We’re going to be celebrating on Monday, November 27, from 6:30-8:30PM at Amity Hall, 982 Amsterdam Ave (between 108 and 109 Streets). Tickets and more information can be found here.

    Hope to see you!

    Team Nadler`

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  47. It costs money Minimum $75.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  48. @12. “The Coneheads started out as the Pinhead Lawyers of France.” – Dan Aykroyd, (Beldar Conehead) SNL. Source: ‘Live From New York, An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live’ by Tom Sjhales & James Andre Miller, Little, Brown & Co, October, 2002

    Bonsoir, Beldar.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. Dana, “…in Pelosi’s wacky world of moral relativism,” Pelosi has called for his resignation. Oops. I expect that you will update your post and give her an apology.

    Now if Republicans could be so moral, we’d get somewhere. What’s their excuse if they can’t fall prey to the old “moral relativism”?

    Tillman (a95660)

  50. Dana, see @56 above, I’m still waiting on the update and apology. Now, the “moral relativists” party has convinced Conyers to step down.

    Pressure had been mounting for Conyers, who was hospitalized in Michigan late last month, to resign. Members of the Democratic leadership, including Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jim Clyburn, one of the elder members of the Congressional Black Caucus, all called on Conyers to step down.

    (emphasis mine)
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/05/politics/john-conyers-out-retires/index.html

    Tillman (a95660)

  51. One of my predictions has come true already. See #24 above. “I predict that he will either step down or be forced out.”

    Now, how do we persuade Republicans to show a little morality? I’m predictionless on that one.

    My next prediction: Trump-be-gone within a year.

    Tillman (a95660)


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