I’ve never voted for Rep. Ruben Kihuen and probably never would. Nonetheless, allegations of sexual harassment made against him and reported in the Saturday Review-Journal do not, in my opinion, rise to the level of a forced resignation (“Tidal wave hits Kihuen”).
According to a former campaign worker, “Samantha,” Rep. Kihuen asked her out on dates and might have made a pass at her, causing her to feel “uncomfortable.” There is no accusation of sexual assault, no allegation of coercion or threats, no secret button locking victims in an office and no exposure — in fact, nothing much more than a single young man flirting with a young woman he found attractive. None of us really knows the details without corroboration. But if that’s all there is, for goodness sake, let’s all grow up.
Today we are told to consider any instance of a reportedly uncomfortable or awkward encounter as grounds for a career-ending public shaming of the “offender.” Let me say from experience, far worse things happen in the workplace than asking someone for a date or making a sexual flirtation. Sure, it’s sometimes inappropriate, but is it worthy of such exaggerated reactions? This case is not rape, sexual assault or intimidation a la Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and other such monsters. If it were, I’d applaud Rep. Kihuen’s ever-so-sanctimonious Democrat colleagues suddenly calling for his head.
I’d love to see Rep. Kihuen lose his congressional seat at the polls, but not because of an unsubstantiated accusation as minor as this one. Have we taken leave of our collective senses?