February 16, 2006

Is William Donald Schaefer Senile?

Oh. My. God.

It's a shame that the Miss America Pageant left Atlantic City, because that's where Schaefer belongs... on the boardwalk with the leering old men shouting "Show your shoes!" as the contestants parade by.

Willie Don's a funny guy and I respect what he did for Maryland, but, seriously: What the hell is wrong with him?

Posted by Mediocre Fred at February 16, 2006 11:13 AM | TrackBack

I think the analysis that Schaefer feels himself to be speaking for the silent majority is accurate. After all, here is a WaPo columnist reinforcing it: Oh, sure, it's socially unacceptable, but c'mon! Then the commenters who said that women who dress like that are asking for Schaefer's reaction; the Democrats don't act like real men so they're losing the blue collar voters. Even if he never gets on the internet, Schaefer is getting the nods and winks and quiet approval offline.

Rich can claim that what Schaefer did should be only socially condemned and not legally actionable, but his conclusion that Schaefer is "an entertaining old guy" doesn't indicate a very whole- hearted condemnation. As another commenter on the site noted, would Rich find it even a little funny if Schaefer's remarks had been racist instead of sexist? And it's because of that sort of implicit condonation, the I-wish-I-had-the- cojones-to-do-that attitude, that social condemnation did not and has not ended sexual harassment. I agree with Rich that the use of law indicates a breakdown of close social relations (UVa sociologist Donald Black articulated that in the 1970s after much empirical study), but Rich seems to have the causation a bit backwards.

People resort to law when the community fails them; the community does not fail them because they resort to law. If women found their co-workers supporting them against harassing superiors, they would have no need to go before a court and meet the significant burden of proof required. In the absence of such support, forcing the behavior to stop or the repercussions for having protested it to be rescinded becomes appealing despite the trouble, expense and uncertainty of winning.

Posted by: PG at February 18, 2006 02:42 PM
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