Patterico's Pontifications


NEWSWEEK: You Know, Charles Manson Kinda Reminds Us of That Donald Trump Fella

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

When a mass murderer dies, what is the first thing Big Media does? Of course: figure out how they can write a click-baity headline that ties the news to Donald Trump. And so, we have NEWSWEEK with the following actual not-from-the-Onion headline:

That is . . . that is special, isn’t it?

Please note, the author of the piece hastens to say, that the hook of the piece is not that Trump and Manson are similar. Heavens, no! NEWSWEEK never meant to imply anything like that at all! No, what NEWSWEEK is saying, you understand, is that both Trump and Manson use psychological techniques to appeal to the marginalized in society:

According to psychoanalyst Mark Smaller, past president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, part of Manson’s power lay in the type of language he used. Notably, Manson was able to speak in a way that engaged those who felt marginalized or alienated.

“A charismatic leader knows how to speak to people in a way that will emotionally engage those people,” Smaller told Newsweek.

Smaller is clear that he does not believe President Donald Trump is similar to the convicted killer, or that their followers have any shared beliefs or characteristics, but he did say we can look to the current president to see how language is used to form a bond with followers.

“Our current president speaks in an emotional or affective way to large numbers of people in our country who feel a kind of alienation or disconnection from the government,” he said. “They feel very responded to and become his political base.”

Fact: politicians everywhere use psychological techniques to appeal to the disaffected. You could have said the same thing about Barack Obama. But somehow I feel certain that it never would have occurred to the editors of NEWSWEEK to compare Obama’s rhetorical techniques to those of Charlie Manson. Maybe NEWSMAX might have done that. But not a “respectable” (are they really?) news organization like NEWSWEEK.

WARNING: ABRUPT SHIFT IN TONE THAT DIEHARD TRUMPERS WILL NOT LIKE: Yes, it’s silly to compare Donald Trump to Charlie Manson.

And yet . . .

And yet there is one valid comparison you could make between the followers of Charlie Manson and the most extremely devoted followers of Donald Trump: they would both vote for Charlie Manson over Hillary Clinton.

Some of you are getting mad that I just said that, but some of you are nodding your head and saying: “You bet I would!” In September 2016, I ran a poll, which was admittedly somewhat tongue in cheek, asking people whether they would vote for the worst mass murderer in history (Chairman Mao) or Hillary Clinton, given that binary choice. The small response size (compared to polls I usually run) reflected the poll’s lack of seriousness, but it was still remarkable to me at the time that Chairman Mao won a solid majority of votes, 61% to 39%.

And hey, Charlie Manson was convicted of only nine murders!

And we are in the middle of the Roy Moore scandal right now, and plenty of Moore supporters — from David Horowitz to the governor of Alabama to pastors — are saying that even if the allegations are true, you gotta vote for Moore. Meaning that even if Roy Moore is a child molester, the only moral thing to do is to vote for him.

The argument for Moore is presented as a Flight 93 imperative: they’re killing our babies! They’re taking our guns! And you want to worry about a little thing like character? In the face of that, what are a few allegations of child molestation from 40 years ago?

Or, the case of Charlie Manson, a few convictions of murder from 50 years ago? After all, once you head down that road that says past crimes are irrelevant when it comes to keeping our majorities, where is the logical ending point?

And so, it amuses me to envision Charlie Manson declaring himself to be a Republican and running against Hillary Clinton. Wouldn’t it be fun to hear the political debate that would ensue?

In that vein, I present to you the Top Ten Reasons Manson Followers Would Have Voted for Charlie Manson Instead of Hillary Clinton:

  • 10. True, Manson said he wants a national race war, but if you want to repeal ObamaCare, you gotta break a few eggs.
  • 9. What, you think Hillary never murdered anyone?
  • 8. Let’s keep in mind that the so-called “victims” here were Hollywood degenerates.
  • 7. Justice Tex Watson will vote to repeal Roe v. Wade.
  • 6. I like people who don’t get brutally murdered.
  • 5. Manson could order a pregnant woman to be gutted like a fish on Fifth Avenue and I’d still vote for him over Hillary Clinton.
  • 4. Manson’s “murders” (most of which he didn’t even commit himself) happened 50 years ago. Hillary’s criminality is happening now.
  • 3. I don’t support Manson’s plan to release all convicted murderers in the United States, but it will make more room in prison for the DREAMers.
  • 2. He’s not my favorite, but he’s surrounded himself with some pretty good people.

And the Number One Reason Manson Followers Would Have Voted for Charlie Manson Instead of Hillary Clinton is:

  • 1. Look, the guy with the swastika in his forehead wasn’t my preference. I wanted Ted Cruz. But it’s a binary choice.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Rep. John Conyers Settled Wrongful Dismissal Complaint Involving Sexual Misconduct

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:17 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday, the longest-serving House member, Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, made the news when it was revealed that a former female employee claimed she was fired for refusing his sexual advances, including being told to touch his genitals, share a hotel room with him while on business trips, as well as Conyers also suggesting she could potentially receive financial compensation or a promotion if she provided him with requested sexual favors. Conyers is 88 years old.

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

The report also exposes the complicated procedure used to protect members of Congress who are involved in harassment complaints and payouts. As described, it is “a grinding, closely held process,” and one which left victims feeling as if they have no choice but to take the payout:

“I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go,” she said in a phone interview. BuzzFeed News is withholding the woman’s name at her request because she said she fears retribution.

The woman who settled with Conyers launched the complaint with the Office of Compliance in 2014, alleging she was fired for refusing his sexual advances, and ended up facing a daunting process that ended with a confidentiality agreement in exchange for a settlement of more than $27,000. Her settlement, however, came from Conyers’ office budget rather than the designated fund for settlements.

Here is how the “system” worked in Conyer’s case:

In this case, one of Conyers’ former employees was offered a settlement, in exchange for her silence, that would be paid out of Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget. His office would “rehire” the woman as a “temporary employee” despite her being directed not to come into the office or do any actual work, according to the document. The complainant would receive a total payment of $27,111.75 over the three months, after which point she would be removed from the payroll, according to the document.

Matthew Peterson, a law clerk who represented the complainant and was a signatory to some of the documents, described the process as “disgusting”:

“It is a designed cover-up,” said Peterson, who declined to discuss details of the case but agreed to characterize it in general terms. “You feel like they were betrayed by their government just for coming forward. It’s like being abused twice.”

Unbelievably, Congress does not have a Human Resources department for employees to go to in these situations. Further, what process is in place is so arduous and drawn out that it almost seems as if the goal is to completely exhaust any employee attempting to make a complaint and compel them to give up and quietly go away:

Congress has no human resources department. Instead, congressional employees have 180 days to report a sexual harassment incident to the Office of Compliance, which then leads to a lengthy process that involves counseling and mediation, and requires the signing of a confidentiality agreement before a complaint can go forward.

After this an employee can choose to take the matter to federal district court, but another avenue is available: an administrative hearing, after which a negotiation and settlement may follow.

The process also contains a mandatory cooling off period for the victim.

Per a report in the Washington Post, “Congress’s Office of Compliance paid out $17 million for 264 settlements with federal employees over 20 years for various violations, including sexual harassment.”

No call from Democrats for Rep. Conyers to step down yet. Ironically, just last month Maxine Waters lauded Conyers as a champion of women:

“You know, there is a member of Congress who has been supportive of women for many, many, many years,” said said in a keynote address to the Women’s Convention Sojourner Truth Luncheon in Detroit.

“He is quiet, he is confident, he is powerful, but he has impeccable integrity on all of our issues. Give John Conyers a big round of applause.”

“I just want to take time to focus on something that I think we need to focus on right now. It is very fortuitous that we are gathered here this afternoon in Detroit as we continue to recognize a record number of women who are boldly coming forward to reveal disturbing and grotesque acts of sexual harassment, assault and rape, often times at the hands of men who believed they were too rich and too powerful to ever be confronted or held accountable.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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