Rantt Rundown: We Must Not Let Tribalism Rob Us Of Our Decency

Day 473 of the Trump presidency

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Today, four women — two on the record: Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam — accused New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) of intense domestic abuse — both physically and emotionally.

It was one of the most detailed and corroborated series of domestic abuse allegations I have ever read. Not only were the allegations corroborated by friends of the accusers (including Salman Rushdie), there were medical records and other documentation of the abuse. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) called for Schneiderman to resign. By the end of the night, his resignation was submitted.

The allegations are horrific. Schneiderman, who in 2010 introduced a bill creating penalties for strangulation after chairing a committee on domestic abuse, is being accused of choking, slapping, and engaging in coercive emotional abuse. Schneiderman treated these women — who he had romantic relationships with — like property. The report was written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who broke the Harvey Weinstein story Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker:

Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked. Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he “never made any of these threats.”)

A third former romantic partner of Schneiderman’s told Manning Barish and Selvaratnam that he also repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence, but she told them that she is too frightened of him to come forward. (The New Yorker has independently vetted the accounts that they gave of her allegations.) A fourth woman, an attorney who has held prominent positions in the New York legal community, says that Schneiderman made an advance toward her; when she rebuffed him, he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day. She recalls screaming in surprise and pain, and beginning to cry, and says that she felt frightened. She has asked to remain unidentified, but shared a photograph of the injury with The New Yorker.

Schneiderman has tried to position himself as an ally in the #MeToo movement, making this development wildly hypocritical and makes one wonder how he could live with himself knowing the things he had done.

Speaking of hypocrisy, I want to address/debunk some of the immediate reaction to this news. On social media, a few on the left have tried to express disbelief over these allegations leveled against Schneiderman. They are citing his involvement in the New York State investigations of Trump’s associates, claiming that this is somehow engineered. I don’t see how anyone could read that report in its entirety and believe that is the case.

Regardless of what happens to Schneiderman, the state investigations will go on, and a new Attorney General will be appointed. The logic just doesn’t make sense.

Who are we if we decide that just because someone is of the same political affiliation as us, they are somehow less guilty than, say, Donald Trump, Rob Porter, or Roy Moore.

Blindly defending someone simply because they have a (D) next to their name is the same kind of behavior that has turned the Republican Party into a cult-like base of fact-averse individuals who defend an indecent President no matter what he says or does.

Sexual assault, domestic abuse, or any kind of violence against women is not acceptable. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Bill Cosby — abuse is abuse.

As we’ve seen with how quickly Democratic leadership denounced Schneiderman, they are far different than the GOP who still support President Trump (who has over 16 sexual misconduct accusers) and backed alleged pedophile Roy Moore.

Hypocrisy and harboring perpetrators doesn’t look good on liberals.

Leave that to the GOP.


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration plans to take a tougher approach to some families who enter the U.S. illegally by separating parents from their children, instead of keeping them in detention together.

“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday at a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

Administration officials explained that the goal of the program is 100 percent prosecution of all who enter the U.S. illegally. When adults are prosecuted and jailed, their children will be separated from them, just as would happen for a U.S. citizen convicted and jailed.

  • President Trump spent his morning sending paranoid tweets about the Russia investigation.

  • President Trump is reportedly souring on Rudy Giuliani. Politico reported:

President Donald Trump has shaken up his legal team in the last three weeks — and he’s still not happy.

The president has been griping to associates that Rudy Giuliani, his new personal attorney, has failed to shut down the Stormy Daniels hush money saga. And he has expressed frustration that Giuliani’s media appearances are raising more questions than they are answering, turning the story into a days-long drama capped by the admission Sunday that the president may have made similar payments to other women.

Speaking of Giuliani…

  • President Trump reportedly had a tough time focusing in Mueller interview prep…

  • Devin Nunes continued to be a pawn of the White House:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes warned Sunday that he plans to urge lawmakers “this week” to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress for failing to hand over classified materials related to the Russia investigation.

But the Justice Department informed Nunes three days ago — on the deadline for responding to a subpoena from Nunes’ committee — that providing the information on a “specific individual” could pose grave implications for national security, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

  • Melania Trump promoted her “Be Best” campaign, which allegedly is set to help children and combat cyberbullying…

And continued plagiarizing…

  • As his wife was talking about helping children, The Washington Post reported that President Trump plans to cut CHIP funding:

President Trump is sending a plan to Congress that calls for stripping more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, with the hope that it will temper conservative angst over ballooning budget deficits.

Almost half of the proposed cuts would come from two accounts within the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that White House officials said expired last year or are not expected to be drawn upon.

The proposed cuts to CHIP would come in part from cutting $5 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Fund, to help reimburse states for certain expenses. But the White House said the ability to use this money expired in September, meaning it can’t be legally used, even as it remains on the government’s balance sheet.

  • It appears tomorrow will be quite the day…

Rundown // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics