Susan Estrich from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 22 Oct 2018 08:49:59 -0700 Susan Estrich from Creators Syndicate 5f2d670c6da764cda4b9753ae67752e8 No One's Perfect for 10/18/2018 Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As someone who has been trying to get a woman on the ticket since 1984, <span class="column--highlighted-text">I'm glad that the Democratic Party has so many women stars, starting with Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But in watching them both in action last week, I was pretty terrified, not for myself but for the Democratic Party.</span></p> <p>The two most visible women in the Party know their stuff. Ask them anything about health care or consumer protection or the environment and you'll hear more details than you wanted. But neither of them seems able to just admit a mistake and move on.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 18, 2018</p> df317c678899173213fdec1a44d3a059 Survivor for 10/11/2018 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I walked out of an alley more than 40 years ago, determined to fight. </p> <p>My mother told me not to tell anyone because no decent man would have me.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 11, 2018</p> 960d70c2043f874c1685053a944c85ed No Corroboration? for 10/05/2018 Fri, 05 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It was 40 years ago that Judge J. Skelly Wright wrote a decision for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit &#8212; Judge Kavanagh's Court &#8212; overruling the corroboration requirement in sexual assault cases. "This one's for you," he said, after reading the only bench memo I ever wrote for him. Three judges joined the opinion, but all nine on the court signed on. It's my heart, and his compassion, you'll find in that opinion. I had been raped three years earlier, and by the time we were done, every judge on the court knew it. And respected that.</p> <p>The gist of my argument to the judges 40 years ago was very simple: I was raped; I told the truth; but nobody saw it. No one ever does. People don't commit sexual assault in front of others who are sober enough and/or independent enough to get involved. If the man had been caught, a jury should have had the chance to hear me.</p> <p>The corroboration rule was one of the common law's answers to the male rape fantasy &#8212; the fantasy that he will be wrongly accused and unable to defend himself, because rape is a charge "easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, though never so innocent." That was the English Lord Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale. In the 17th century. One hundred years later, a much-cited Yale Law Journal article argued that women enjoy the struggle (the pseudo-Freudian view), and the Columbia Law Review was defending the corroboration requirement, saying, "Since stories of rape are frequently lies or fantasies, it is reasonable to provide that such a story, in itself, should not be enough to convict a man of a crime." That is what we set out to change by getting rid of a requirement that was applied only to the victims of rape.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 05, 2018</p> 74887eea901d2d36607adabc3e56d927 Don't Blame Dianne Feinstein for 10/04/2018 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Kellyanne Conway made number what? I have since lost count. But everywhere you look, on television, in the papers, in celebrity gossip sheets and on media websites, familiar faces &#8212; and less familiar ones at the market and in protests &#8212; have emerged as survivors of sexual assault.</p> <p>If you're surprised, you shouldn't be.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 04, 2018</p> 0455a10c1c01fa9d11d907fdde2fd578 Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire for 09/28/2018 Fri, 28 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Trump was proud of his nominee, understandably so. His opening statement, reminiscent of Clarence Thomas' claim that his confirmation hearing was "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks," could have been written or delivered by the president. But Justice Thomas was confirmed 27 years ago, when we survivors were still trying to convince people that no meant no. And this time, there is no racial issue to make an all-white Senate uncomfortable. Judge Kavanaugh was reduced to the usual Trumpian name-calling, attacking rather than explaining, turning himself into the innocent victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy.</p> <p>The problem is that his flat denials and depictions of himself as a choir boy who did not abuse alcohol changed the issue from what happened when he was in high school whether it mattered (a battle during which he could have made things murky enough to give Republicans cover) to a much simpler question: Did Dr. Christine Blasey Ford make the whole thing up?<p>Updated: Wed Oct 03, 2018</p> b39af2147def295cbaadd8f65a638eeb Deny, Deny, Deny for 09/25/2018 Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's not Brett Kavanaugh's fault that the anonymous complaint against him was not properly handled when it came to the Senate Judiciary Committee's attention in July.</p> <p>The committee reportedly dismissed it as too old and anonymous.</p> <p>That is not the advice I would give to any corporate client in 2018. How long does it take to follow up? Not every complaint deserves review, but this one obviously lined up in terms of dates, places and the like. It was credible enough for Rep. Anna Eshoo to forward it to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. But it appears no one followed up until the hearings had concluded, the nomination appeared sowed up and word of the complaint started to leak, forcing the woman to come forward.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 25, 2018</p> e39f929bbb3053e2d80df19c0e70fd4b Here We Go Again for 09/18/2018 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have been to this movie before. I know how it ends, and it doesn't end well &#8212; not for anyone, by the way.</p> <p>This much we know: A woman writes a letter in July. It's about something that happened in high school. Pick your words. An assault? An attempted assault? A drunken grope? It was more than 30 years ago.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 18, 2018</p> 7817bafe3bb2161a653938c4d5c4ed51 The Other Donald Trump for 09/13/2018 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Imagine, just for a minute, that after the 2016 election, the other Donald Trump had gotten elected.</p> <p>You know, the one who hung out with establishment types, invited Bill and Hill to his wedding, liked Democrats, knew how to bring a group together. That guy.</p> <p>And for season one, just imagine that his target was not red-state conservatives and Hillary Clinton's "deplorables"; it was not less-educated and whiter voters; it was not any of these people because he already had them. Even if he had killed former FBI Director James Comey. To get better ratings, you need the people you don't have.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 13, 2018</p> c6575022c06ffb8092c544f18d16c92d Broken Windows for 09/08/2018 Sat, 08 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 1982, James Q. Wilson and his Harvard colleague George Kelling offered a simple idea that had a profound effect on policing: <span class="column--highlighted-text">"If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken." </span>And that is not simply a blight for the neighbors but a clear message that the neighborhood is dangerous, which in turn makes it more dangerous. </p> <p>When police maintain order and civility, there is less crime. People aren't afraid to walk to the corner, which makes the street safer. Hoodlums look around and see trouble, not opportunity.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 08, 2018</p> d51caaf330a2e38416d293647f41e2f4 Justice Kavanaugh for 09/07/2018 Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>He will be confirmed, barring some totally unexpected development. He has been vetted by the investigators. He has been vetted by the media. The Republicans have the votes. The Democrats' best argument is against the invocation of executive privilege; the documents should have been disclosed, but getting the country to rally around a process issue looks like more politics. And Judge Kavanaugh knows how to play politics better than you may think.</p> <p>Getting through these hearings is what Judge Kavanaugh literally taught other appointees to do. Everything you hear has been scripted. Getting to the top of the president's short list is another matter.</p> <p>One of the most interesting parts of the show being played out in these hearings was Sen. Blumenthal, the very smart former attorney general of Connecticut, quizzing Judge Kavanaugh on how he went from not even being on Trump's list of potential nominees during the campaign to being his first choice for his second slot.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 07, 2018</p> aa909c4e079e18c289f5b261d047646b The Not-So-Super Delegates for 08/30/2018 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I was a junior "rules junkie," as we called ourselves, when I coined the term "superdelegates" in 1982. Then-Sen. Ted Kennedy was running against Walter Mondale then. Not then, of course, but in the Hunt Commission, or the Rules Commission, the lines were clearly drawn. The Mondale people were pushing to make party leaders and elected officials automatic, uncommitted delegates for the next convention. They called them "PLEOs." I called them "superdelegates" in the Washington Post and "white boys" in the single hotel room that fit all the feminists.</p> <p>It was the perfect argument, the Kennedy side agreed, and besides, I believed in it. We had barely achieved a rule that delegates would be equally divided between men and women, and now we were making them second-class delegates? We all got it: There was a lot of animosity in those days toward "caucuses" like ours, and everyone was suddenly reliving the 1972 convention, which organized labor deserted. Like Super Tuesday (a colossal early failure for the moderators, who ended up handing Jesse Jackson a platform), the PLEOs were supposed to help the more moderate candidate in a system that unquestionably favors the more liberal. </p> <p>And then disaster struck. Literally.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 30, 2018</p> 50831589550b5706badd950c7083803d The Death of a Hero for 08/27/2018 Mon, 27 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The president's former campaign chairman stands convicted of eight felony counts.</p> <p>The president's formal personal lawyer is pleading guilty and cooperating.</p> <p>No one is above the law but the president. And with his help, all his friends are, too. What does that sound like? Not the rule of law. <p>Updated: Mon Aug 27, 2018</p> 08edc13dcc71b8f7fa10cb4eaa50c433 Trump in 2020? for 08/09/2018 Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Media outlets this week are all over a new Pew study that finds, the headlines promise, that President Trump's support is not quite as broad and not quite as happy as his stunningly stable approval rating might suggest.</p> <p>But what's striking from the numbers, at least as far as I can see, is not how much support Trump has lost but how, given the daily barrage of tweets and countertweets; ugly chants and ugly corruption trials (his campaign chairman); intense criticism in the media; all-out war in Congress; and foreign policy flubs and domestic failures, much remains firm, and how tough he will be to beat.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 09, 2018</p> 68062f3ae05bef14847d1b4abb351566 Taking Responsibility for 08/03/2018 Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In pre-Trump politics, the most important thing a president could do in a crisis was to take responsibility and lead. If something went wrong, you didn't spend a moment pointing fingers. Let the commission do that. And if you couldn't take responsibility because it was clearly not yours, you'd promise to bring this country together and lead us forward. In pre-Trump politics, the most important thing a president could have said about a special prosecutor's investigation was that he was deeply troubled by what he was hearing, that he was determined to get to the bottom of it, that anyone who violated the law should be prosecuted &#8212; that sort of thing.</p> <p>I've written crisis talking points for big-shot politicians since 1980. I know these lines by heart. My best example of how it works is always former Attorney General Janet Reno, who immediately took responsibility for an unmitigated disaster in Waco, Texas, that left more than 70 people dead, many from FBI bullets. The next day, instead of tanking, Reno's favorability rating was higher than anyone else in the Cabinet. And that was true across party lines.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 03, 2018</p> b4249b641c5879856a2b66e5cba3a2c9 Don't Call Me for 07/26/2018 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>My son was in the other room on the phone, and he sounded like me, which is not always a good thing. By the time I caught on, he was asking for the supervisor's supervisor. Usually, he gets mad at me when I lose it with customer service representatives, but here he was, channeling me at my worst.</p> <p>It had to be bad. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 26, 2018</p> dd6f0ae2a625727c9fe6f056cdce208e Trumpitis for 07/19/2018 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I am late to write this week. I finally caught the bug that has been tearing families apart, turning friends against each other, hitting as many as half of all Americans.</p> <p>Trumpitis. A disease. A syndrome.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 20, 2018</p> b48de051e36e6c6afb3e90b5c1ffe283 This Is What Happens When You Lose an Election for 07/12/2018 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This is what happens when you lose an election. You get Justice Neil Gorsuch instead of the wonderful Merrick Garland, who President Barack Obama nominated before Democrats lost in 2016.</p> <p>And you get Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is not on any Democrat's list. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 12, 2018</p> df99e6edd959999e37728477724dce82 Can a Massachusetts Liberal Be Nominated for President? for 07/05/2018 Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Could Elizabeth Warren be nominated for president? </p> <p>There are plenty of establishment Democrats who are worried. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 05, 2018</p> 1d137c714d1627e982e2c95d3665193d The Fireworks to Come for 07/03/2018 Tue, 03 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It was Justice Anthony Kennedy's resignation that did it. </p> <p>Last week was not, for fans of the Constitution's prohibition of intentional discrimination, such a great week with him. Could a president spew anti-Semitic garbage before and after issuing a travel ban limited to Israel? Could it be worse? It most certainly could.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 03, 2018</p> 91e30e3c547c025eb073e2dc107f2b02 What a Divided Party Can Do for 06/28/2018 Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Red Hen reminded me. </p> <p>"Don't tell anyone you work for Carter," the volunteer who met me at the Florida airport whispered to me. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 28, 2018</p>