Third Party & Independents Archives

​There Was-Is-Will-Be No Easy Way to Handle the Rob Porter Scandal

We have to talk about Rob Porter. And that means saying upfront that domestic abuse - of women and children primarily but sometimes of men in much less frequent situations - is not just wrong, it corrodes trust and the intimate inner workings of any decent society. It is a disease that must be identified and treated.

So. The news is that Rob Porter allegedly - and there is fairly clear evidence of some sort of abuse if not by whom - physically and emotionally abused his two ex-wives. Legally, Rob Porter is due a presumption of innocence. Socially, and therefore politically, he's been charged, found guilty, and suffered - or began to suffer - the consequences already.

Politically it couldn't have come at a worse time. That statement of course will lead many to say the following: oh you mean there's a good time and a bad time to abuse your spouse? Really??

To which one has to carefully answer: there is never, ever, ever a good time to abuse someone. That's why it's called abuse. It's wrong, it's unethical, it's a sin, and it's a crime - if proven in a court of law.

But Rob Porter works - worked that is - in the White House. So it's a political event. A major political event that comes as #MeToo has unleashed the anger of several generation of women (and men) at powerful men abusing their positions to force sexual acts on usually young women (and a few young men).

But it's also a political event in that it has directly chipped a huge chink in Chief of Staff John Kelly's up-to-now invincible armor. So, how should the White House have handled this? Here's one view by Red State's Streiff (which I assume is a pen name):

Upfront, I'm underwhelmed by the whole Rob Porter thing. But the biggest nothingburger is the issue of Rob Porter being allowed to continue to work with classified information while retaining an interim security clearance.

Ultimately the White House gets to choose who works there. Not the FBI.

And here's National Review's Katherine Timpf:

The domestic-violence accusations against Rob Porter are credible and despicable - and the White House's attempts to diminish them are sickening.

So. We have a few distinct points of view among conservatives. The distance between Streiff's POV and Timpf's is abysmal. There is no way to bridge that gap. You either use the occasion to condemn abuse and take the consequences, or you qualify and relativize the event. Yes, it's true what Streiff adds at the end of his short piece at Red State:

But this is not about Porter. And it isn't about security clearances. It's about trying to force John Kelly out of his job. All Porter and security clearances are is a club to beat Kelly and the administration with.

Yes, that's true. But there's a real series of events here which may very well have involved spousal abuse on the part of Kelly's trusted lieutenant. And now we have FBI Director Chris Wray adding a timeline to the security clearance reports the FBI has done on Porter. One which seems to suggest that someone at the White House should have known - or did know - much earlier about potential trouble with Rob Porter's security clearance. And the scandal that trouble necessarily implied.

But of course, there is no easy way for Sarah Sanders and the rest of the communication team at the White House to have handled this. It's spousal abuse accusations against a key staffer. And also against a speechwriter as well. It fits too snugly with the opposition's narrative of Trump as beastman or whatever term you like.

Porter should have been let go quietly months ago. Although it's likely a scandal would have erupted anyway. This will take awhile and this will be tough. But I hope Kelly stays. I do not want a Kushner-Ivanaka-run West Wing.

Posted by AllardK at February 14, 2018 6:56 PM
Comment #424359

Why would we even be concerned about spousal abuses that did or did not take place in the past? Hasn’t the Democratic party already established the standards for abusing women with 8 years of Bill Clinton? Not only did he sexually abuse multiple women, but the the Clinton machine, led by Hillary, proceeded to personally attack and disparage the victims of Clinton’s abuse. The Democrats have once again established the norm.

My question would be, why is this story just now coming out and secondly, has George Soros money been used to encourage them to report said stories? Like I said a couple of weeks ago, we go from one Trump crisis to another, and none of them stick. Every week we face another crisis. How many times have the left danced with glee, believing they now have the goods to bring Trump down? I have no doubt the left would love to drive Kelly from the WH.

Until then, Trump haters still hate and Trump supporters, still support.

Posted by: Blaine at February 14, 2018 10:07 PM
Comment #424372

Well, everything has changed in the past 24 hours. The WH staff and spousal abuse has now taken the back seat. Trump and conservatives will now be attack because a registered democrat phsycopath killed 17 people with a gun. As usual, 5 minutes after the shooting, the useless democrats (never waste a crisis) are calling for more gun control. It doesn’t matter that the FBI were informed of a problem with this guy last September. We have laws, but it never fails that the reason for the carnage is that they fell through the cracks. This guy will be no different, it will be determined that there were warning signs, but he fell through the cracks.

Posted by: Blaine at February 15, 2018 12:42 PM
Comment #424374

Allardk, I disagree on the need for a security clearance where one is needed to work in the WH. Admin should be squeaky clean, never subject to blackmail OR issues popping up like wife abuse.

Really makes one shake their head about how the WH is being managed. Porter should have been gone the minit it was known that he was accused of abuse.

I don’t believe the President is expected to keep up with the day to day ops like managing security clearances. It’s just amazing that Port gained employment in the WH to begin with.

And, perhaps worse yet, is Omaroso being hired to work in the WH. Since she was around Trump during his TV days it would seem likely that Trump himself had something to do with her hire. I’ve given Trump way more credibility than to do something like that. I really hope he had nothing to do with it but, how could he not?

And, the porn woman, Stormy, is back in the news. Seems there is no end to the giving the media all they need to portray Trump in a bad way.

I don’t recall Obama having such problems. His problems were more the ‘reverend wright’ type. And, don’t you know, his CIA Director, Brennan, once voted for a self ascribed commie.

Agree Blaine, the communist news network has been on Porter 24/7 everyday since he became an issue to them. A waste of good electrons but, they are paying the bill.

Why a retired General would stay in such a job, I dunno. .. Gus Hall. Told the polygrapher he did it in disgust of the other parties and received a clearance.

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