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#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 EllisonMinnesota bar vows to stay open despite lawsuit, ban on indoor dining More than 150 Minnesota businesses vow to defy governor's shutdown order Progressives rally around Turner's House bid 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 TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism 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 FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots 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 ClintonMcConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' The Memo: Biden strives for common ground after Trump turmoil 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 CollinsPresidential pardons need to go Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office 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.”