Sorry to put it that bluntly. It's just that Rep. David Wu (D, OR*) has gotten increasingly erratic... actually, let us not mince words: Wu has been acting nuttier and nuttier for the last year. This RedState diary from February of this year tells what we thought was the tale: strange emails, bizarre statements, erratic behavior... and two pieces of interesting data:
- The first is that Wu's campaign shut down in the final days of the campaign, after several events (most notably: a series of bizarre, possibly alcohol-related, but not obscene emails and photos sent to staffers) at the end of October triggered at least two interventions.
- The second is that seven members of Wu's staff (including his chief of staff) resigned in February of 2011.
The (heavy) implication at the time was that the second event was because of the first... which would make this story one where Wu is kind of going crazy, and his staff (not being trained mental health professionals, after all) are quietly extricating themselves from a somewhat awkward situation. Which may not be nice of those staffers, but, really, what were they going to do? After all, it's not like anyone was saying that Wu did anything felonious...
This is going to require a timeline.
- October, 2004: the Oregonian reported on accusations of attempted rape by Wu when he was in Stanford University. Wu admitted to the sexual encounter, but insisted that it was consensual.
- October, 2010: as mentioned before, erratic behavior by Wu caused his staff to shut down his campaign in the final days of it.
- November, 2010: the alleged 'aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter' between Wu and a recent high school graduate (daughter of one of Wu's campaign donors).
- February, 2011: as mentioned before, seven members of Wu's staff quit.
- Spring, 2011 (1): the alleged victim called and left a voice mail on Wu's Portland office, accusing Wu of... well, the Oregonian doesn't want to call it 'attempted rape.'**
- Spring, 2011 (2): When confronted with this by his new staff, reportedly Wu admitted to the sexual encounter, but insisted that it was consensual. Wu, by the way, is 56: the alleged victim is somewhere around 18. I note this as part of a general reminder that the positive spin on this controversy is that Wu just targets barely-legal girls who are one-third his age.
And now here we are. Michelle Malkin would like to know where prominent Democratic women are on this issue; I want to know where Wu's former staffers are, period. It's one thing to quit because your boss got drunk and sent you an extra-unnerving email or three (even if they did involve a tiger's costume); it's another to quit because your boss got accused again of sexual assault. At the moment, the timeline does support a scenario where Wu's former staffers didn't know about the original incident... but it also support a scenario where they did, but just kept quiet about it.
Which is not actually acceptable. Even if Rep. Wu is telling the truth, and the encounter was consensual: if staffers resigned over the incident, then they themselves are admitting that this was outrageous behavior on Wu's part, no matter what the details were. They shouldn't have let themselves decide that keeping silent was an acceptable moral or ethical option.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Needless to say, he's been misidentified as a Republican at least once so far. Yes, yes: I'm shocked, too.
**The Oregonian goes on to note: "Two sources said the woman believed there was not enough evidence to press charges. There were no witnesses, and it would be her word against a seven-term member of the U.S. Congress."