On Monday, for instance, conservative writer Bre Payton of The Federalist was on a panel for The Hill discussing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) about charges that he did nothing when he was an assistant wrestler coach and knew that the team doctor was sexually abusing students. Her defense of Jordan -- which you can read about and see the video of here -- was, "I think it’s important not to hold people 20 years ago to the standards of today, right?!"
Well, yeah, sure, because doing nothing when you hear about sexual abuse against your students was always an OK thing before. Though I'm curious what the cut-off line is for Ms. Payton -- is it 20 years? A quarter century seems more mathematical. Although even a decade is a long passage of time for standards. Al Franken's accuser was 12 years ago? What were standards then for a comedian touching a breast as a joke? And hey, when did grabbing p*ssy start being not OK?
Then again, maybe by the Payton Guidelines, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) might be able to apply for an appeal. Sure, he actually molested students when he was a wrestling coach himself, and went to jail for it. But would his punishment been that harsh and mean if he'd been judged by the standards of 40 years earlier. That's double the Payton Line. And for anyone scoffing at this because he actually molested a minor and a student, and that's always be thought to be bad, apparently unless you're a Republican congressman who used to be a wrestling coach -- keep in mind that Hastert was not sentenced, let alone even charged with child molestation, but rather banking laws for how he handled his bribery payoffs.
I can see someone saying -- "We don't actually know fully what happened, even with seven former wrestlers coming forward, and need an investigation." Then, great, yes, Congress should hold an investigation into the charges. And in fact, Ohio State University is investigating. Though, in fairness, some senators and congressmen have resigned from office without investigations since they either believed they should be held to a higher standard, or because they perhaps thought the public airing and subsequent punishment would be far worse. But if Mr. Jordan and others defending him against all reasonable appearances otherwise want an investigation, then...great!
Just don't tell me that we should judge child abuse by a different standard today than at any time in human history, most especially a mere 20 years ago.
But let's toss in a bonus head-explosion on almost the same subject, just to get them out of the way.
A Jehovah's Witness official by the name of Shaun Bartlett, who is in charge of record management, said in a video to elders of the church that they should destroy all records of child abuse claims because “Satan’s coming after us, and he’s going to go for us legally.”
Note: if you are hiding records of child abuse claims, Satan isn't "coming," he is on your staff.
No word yet how far back these records go. As a result, it is uncertain whether the Bre Payton Guideline would cover the the standard on hiding records about child abuse claims. After all, hiding such things 20 years ago may have been considered understandable and perfectly acceptable, and so destroying the records should not be held against them.
In the world of today's religious right of Family Values, where supporting an accused pedophile, an admitted sexual abuser who has 19 women charging him and putting babies in cages while separating parents from their children with no plan to reunite them is all considered godly for those fine and noble Values Voters. And who knows, in just 20 years on the Bre Payton Scale, standards might be so different that it might get you nominated for sainthood.