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Morality is no respecter of politics.
It was the fall of 2017. Whispers of accusations against now-disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein were just starting to swirl. Then the dam broke, and hundreds of accusations of sexual misconduct drowned out every other headline across the country.
The Republicans, rightly so, demanded Democrats distance themselves from Weinstein, a longtime party donor, even calling on their liberal counterparts to return any cash donated by the movie mogul. Though it took a while, ultimately, many Democrats did just that.
If the DNC truly stands up for women like they say they do, then returning Weinstein's dirty money should be a no-brainer.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 6, 2017
The Weinstein scandal put Hollywood’s hypocrisy in broad daylight. RT if you agree the DNC should return his donations.
— GOP (@GOP) October 9, 2017
Now it’s the winter of 2018. And this time, it’s the Republicans' turn.
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal published a story about casino magnate and real estate developer Steve Wynn, who was recently appointed finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. He resigned Saturday, according to Politico.
The reporters who wrote the article, which details numerous instances of sexual misconduct, said they reached out to more than 150 individuals who have — at one time or another — worked for Wynn. The GOP donor has called the claims against him “preposterous” and the work of ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, with whom he's negotiating a divorce settlement.
One alleged incident involved Wynn pressuring a manicurist into having sex with him at his Las Vegas casino in 2005. The impresario later paid a $7.5 million settlement over the allegation.
Yet despite the Journal's story, the RNC has remained silent on the content of the allegations, as if pretending the (allegedly) sexually perverse elephant in the room will somehow disappear, leaving the party untarnished.
That's not how this works. Remember: Morality is no respecter of politics.
The Republicans set the bar when they called out Weinstein and demanded the left take action to rebuke the Hollywood icon. Now the GOP has to meet its own standard — one that, quite frankly, shouldn't be hard to meet.
Will be interesting to see if GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel will continue her criticism of major party donors accused of sexual harassment following the @WSJ report on Republican National Finance Chair Steve Wynn. https://t.co/GDEGxTZspy pic.twitter.com/SNyos5H1Av
— DJ Judd (@juddzeez) January 26, 2018
I asked @seanspicer for comment on Wynn since he was pushed strongly for Dems to give back Weinstein cash and also called silence on Weinstein “stunning.” He has yet to respond https://t.co/gSp1LDVlVi
— Sam Stein (@samstein) January 26, 2018
The RNC pretty successfully manipulated the media into playing along that Weinstein's primary identity was as a political contributor. To be silent about their own finance chair – while not surprising – is blatant hypocrisy. https://t.co/iTTOJuUBZx
— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) January 27, 2018
It should be noted there are some differences in Weinstein's and Wynn's situations. For example, Wynn, until Saturday afternoon, held an actual position within the RNC — Weinstein was simply a longtime donor who certainly had influence but didn't have an official post. In addition, while 150 people have been interviewed by the Journal regarding Wynn, several stories were published on Weinstein by the time the Democrats finally started condemning the 65-year-old producer.
In any event, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel or other GOP lawmakers — at the local, state, and national level — could, at the very least, condemn the allegations found in the report.
But aside from an acceptance of Steve Wynn's resignation, the GOP has remained silent, and it's becoming more deafening by the hour.
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Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.