"The young folks who are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur."
-- Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA, explaining sexual assault in the military
A few thoughts came to mind.
1) Yes, honest, he actually said that.
2) And yes, he not only excused rape thanks to hormones, but actually excused it with "Gee whiz."
3) Saxby Chambliss is the senator who got elected by smearing triple-amputee Vietnam War hero Sen. Max Cleland by gallingly suggesting a connection between Sen. Cleland and Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and questioning his patriotism. So, Mr. Chambliss's track record on saying and doing reprehensible things at the expense of victims is pretty standard.
4) Sen. Chambliss is retiring at the end of next year. No, senility isn't the reason.
5) The door? Meet Saxby Chambliss. Don't let it hit you on the way out. If you'd like to leave early and beat the rush, feel free.
6) So, how's that whole "The Republican Party doesn't have a war on women" PR campaign working out? Actually, it really isn't a war. It's more like a religious fatwah.
7) Oh, by the way, within the past year four men between the ages of 30-55 have been charged with sexual misconduct in the military. Perhaps they have late-blooming hormones. Not that that would justify a criminal act, but still.
8) Oh, by the way, one of those above charges was running a prostitution ring. Another was committed by the man in charge of a military sexual abuse prevention program. Who would have known that young men's hormones could be so wacky? Maybe that's because they're so late-blooming. Not that that would justify...well,. running a prostitution ring. But still.
In fairness, one Republican official did speak out and bluntly put down Mr. Chambliss's idiotic contention. It wasn't one of the gentlemen of the Senate, but at least he was in the lower house. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) is the co-chair of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, and he said forthrightly (with an emphasis on the "rightly") --
“It’s simple; criminals are responsible for sexual assaults, not hormones. Perpetuating this line of thinking does nothing to help change the culture of our military."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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