Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 8:53 AM

New York AG Schneiderman, #MeToo Crusader, Facing Reckoning Too

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) announced his resignation on Monday, just hours after a shocking report in The New Yorker detailed four of his former romantic partners’ accusations of physical abuse.

On Monday, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam went on the record to say that Schneiderman, 63, ‘repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent.’ In one instance, Manning Barish said Schneiderman told her that ‘if you ever left me, I’d kill you.’

(The Huffington Post, May 8, 2018)

You might be inclined to brand Schneiderman the biggest hypocrite in the history of New York politics. But anyone who knows anything about its politics would beg to differ.

After all, one of his predecessors, Eliot Spitzer (January 1999 to December 2006), became notorious for getting hoisted by his own petard. As it happened, this crusader against prostitution was serving as governor, his next job up the food chain, when he was exposed. I duly commented in “The Hypocrisy of Eliot ‘Ness’ Spitzer’s Assignations with Prostitutes,” March 11, 2008, and “Spitzer Resigns, His Call Girl ‘Kristen’ Outed,” March 13, 2008.

But perhaps it’s an indication of how far we’ve come that it took Spitzer two days to resign after news of his “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” transgressions broke, whereas it took Schneiderman just two hours.

Meanwhile, I bemoaned the commonplace nature of such behavior in “Prosecutor Patronizing the Prostitutes He Prosecuted,” March 18, 2016:

News about public figures crusading against prostitution by day, while patronizing prostitutes by night, has become commonplace.

Their hypocrisy is such, however, that I can never tire of the schadenfreude I feel whenever one of them is hoisted by his own petard.

On that occasion, I was commenting on the hypocrisy of Michigan prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III. But I could cite many more cases to vindicate my commentary, “Why Hypocritical Politician Is Becoming Redundant,” June 18, 2009.

For the record, here is how I stated the principle behind the unbridled schadenfreude I feel whenever any of these hypocrites face their day of reckoning:

If these politicians were not lead vocals in a chorus of moral crusaders, I would not give their sexual escapades a moment’s thought. For the unadulterated pleasure of afflicting these hypocrites, however, I don’t even mind being bedfellows with a publicity-seeking hustler like Larry Flynt.

(“Sen. Vitter, Family Values Crusader, Outed as a ‘John,’” The iPINIONS Journal, July 11, 2007)

So, good riddance to this latest crusading hypocrite! And, more importantly, here’s to #MeToo victims everywhere feeling emboldened to come forward and say to their abusers Time’sUp!

That said, I’d be remiss not to note that Schneiderman was in the vanguard of the #MeToo movement as well as the “Resistance” against President Trump.

For example, his was invariably the voice women referenced when hailing the importance of men publicly condemning the scourge of sexual harassment and assault. He sealed his bona fides by filing a landmark lawsuit against the poster boy for #MeToo reckoning, Harvey Weinstein.

And it’s notable that Schneiderman not only extracted $25 million from Trump to settle claims arising out of his Trump University scam, but also joined forces with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to prosecute his “fixer” Michael Cohen — with all the legal jeopardy that poses for this inveterately corrupt president.

Therefore, I appreciate fears that his downfall will affect the legal crusades he was waging. But similar fears abounded that Comey’s firing would affect the FBI’s investigation of Trump’s collusion with Russia and related matters. Those turned out to be unfounded; these will too.

Indeed, it would not surprise me if the New York state assembly appoints a replacement who is even more committed to these crusades than Schneiderman ever was — professionally or personally. It’s encouraging in this respect that a woman, Barbara Underwood, will now serve as acting attorney.

But poetic justice would be complete only if the assembly appoints a woman as his permanent replacement – pursuant to my clarion call that “Men Should Be Barred from Politics,” September 25, 2013.

Related commentaries:
Spitzer
Patronizing prostitutes
hypocritical politician
Vitter family values
Weinstein, Rose, other abusers
Men should be barred

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