#BelieveAllWomen, in the Ellison era, looks more like #BelieveTheConvenientWomen

#BelieveAllWomen, in the Ellison era, looks more like #BelieveTheConvenientWomen
© Greg Nash

This week, Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonSpicer: Press have 'a personal animus' against Trump administration Ellison grilled about abuse allegations at Minnesota AG debate Sexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points MORE (D-Minn.) cruised to victory in his primary for state attorney general, just days after allegations surfaced that Ellison abused his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan. Monahan’s son claimed on Facebook that Ellison sent threatening texts to his mom and that he’d seen a video of Ellison dragging Monahan off a bed. Monahan then backed up her son’s statements. Ellison denied all the charges.

Ellison’s victory is puzzling in the era of #BelieveAllWomen; apparently that hashtag only applies under certain circumstances. When the #MeToo movement first broke onto the scene, a serious question emerged: Had the dawn of a new era begun? Were we watching a massive shift in thinking with regard to the treatment of women? Or would everything go back to normal?

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It’s important in this context to remember why the Harvey Weinstein story gained steam: the election of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE. The #MeToo movement was based, at least in part, on anger that Trump, with his braggadocious past regarding mistreatment of women, had been elevated to the presidency; now there would be a reckoning for men who acted badly. And for a short period of time, the #MeToo movement applied across the board: Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity Sexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE (D-Minn.) lost his seat; major studio heads stepped down; comedians watched their careers spontaneously combust.

 

But now, the tide seems to have receded.

Ellison survived the abuse allegations without breaking a sweat — his margin of victory was some 30 points. What changed? Well, Democrats seem upset that they ousted Franken while Trump remains in office; they seem perturbed that only one side seems to be playing by the rules. And so their pledge to believe all women falls by the wayside in the interest of defeating the right.

This is, in its own way, the mirror image of the Republican desire to brush Trump’s own sexual abuse allegations under the rug – a direct response to the media’s willingness to sweep away Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonSexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle Presidential approval: It's the economy; except when it's not MORE’s sexual peccadilloes along with the cigar ash.

Once the carousel of partisanship turns, all standards merely rise and fall automatically.

And so Ellison will survive.

Now, we should always have had one standard for allegations – some standard of credibility or investigation that gave the public the ability to presume innocence or guilt. The most stringent version of that standard would require a criminal conviction; a less stringent version would require us to assess the credibility of the players; the least stringent version would credit any accusation. We seemed to be in the world of the latter, at least for a time; now it’s apparent that we’re moving quickly toward the criminal standard. Regardless, what’s driving that movement isn’t a principled attempt to determine guilt or innocence, but a partisan desire to protect those on our own side and condemn those on the other side.

And that is deeply disturbing. Both Democrats and Republicans seem convinced that all standards are malleable so long as their favored politicians achieve victory. Ellison must survive abuse allegations, because Republicans must lose. Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Indicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE (R-N.Y.) won’t resign amid insider-trading allegations, because Democrats must lose. Once you’ve convinced yourself that the other side is the root of all evil, nearly any tactic becomes acceptable and nearly any candidate becomes a mere brick in the wall of opposition.

So much for #BelieveAllWomen. More like #BelieveTheConvenientWomen.

Ben Shapiro (@BenShapiro), a lawyer and conservative commentator, is founder and editor in chief of The Daily Wire. The author of seven books, he hosts a daily political podcast, “The Ben Shapiro Show.”