HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Could I say this about "H...

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:27 PM

Could I say this about "He said, she said"?

That is the phrase that we used to use to imply that it was impossible to know who was telling the truth when He Said one thing and She Said the opposite. The phrase was thought to be perfectly sufficient to explain the impossibility of getting to a truth that would stand up in a court of law.

In the old days the phrase was used to explain why a woman's accusation of rape would not be prosecuted, because there had been no witnesses. And to this day we keep asking for a higher degree of certitude than one man's or one woman's unsupported statement. Since the MeToo movement took off, we have accepted that the phrase by itself is insufficient to determine whether a predator can and should be prosecuted. Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein have been. We have accepted that there may be circumstantial evidence that could usefully be introduced to give credence to the accuser, and we have seen convictions and jail sentences.

But I want to point out that both male and female predators are usually not so stupid as to commit rape in front of witnesses. In many many cases, it will be impossible to produce a witness because there wasn't one. We will have to do justice, or just make up our minds, without the relative security of a conviction in a court of law. This is not the standard of proof that I would like to have before I make up my mind about an accusation against anyone, especially a prominent figure running for office, like Joe Biden. But I will not get that certitude, because there were, as usual, no witnesses.

What the MeToo movement says is that women can be believed, and should be treated as though they are telling the truth by prosecutors. But we cannot manufacture a witness if none exists. We have to accept the lack of witnesses, and get on with the job of making the best judgment we can. Many of us were deeply suspicious about Al Franken's accusers, and I am suspicious of Joe Biden's accuser. The existence of MeToo does not automatically guarantee that every victim will tell the truth all the time. MeToo was used against Franken, and is now being used against Biden, to the extent we feel we should automatically believe the accuser. In a court of law, we would be instructed NOT to automatically believe anyone, but to weigh all the evidence and arrive at the best judgment we can. Perfect certitude is impossible, but we have to keep our wits about us. We have to accept the fact that in many cases, one person is lying, and while the other is not. Life is messy, and politics recently has been messier. Let us continue to wade on through the mess with prudence, and caution, and care for the truth, even if we can't wrap it up in a tidy package handed to us by a jury foreman.

15 replies, 998 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:30 PM

1. Can't have a witness to something that never happened

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:41 PM

2. A reasoned statement n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:48 PM

3. 8 Al Frankin accusers. A difference would be this is the first accuser of sexual assault for Biden.

8 accusers set a pattern. One of the reasons I tend to believe Biden, along with different stories from accuser is it is the first time we have heard about sexual assault. It has legs because for decades Biden has invaded personal space and touchy feely Biden reputation. What was worse was Biden and his supporters making fun of, laughing at and mocking Democratic women that challenged Biden on his touchy feely reducing it to mere hugs, which was not the case.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LizBeth (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 05:13 PM

6. The so called Franken 'accusers' refused to give their name;the only ones we know who they are were

GOP operatives. Then the right tried for a coup in Virginia using me too against the lieutenent Governor...and of course digging up the black face bullshit...time to say no more to the GOP liars and the women they recruit...I would say some involved may be trying to make Sanders the candidate this time...but none the less, It must stop.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 06:03 PM

9. That simply is not true that they have only one persons name. And that one had a tacky, adolescent

photo that was a "joke" for the guys to giggle about at the expense of women. None were the end of the word. Certainly a much lower level of invasion. But, eight.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LizBeth (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 07:41 PM

13. I was disappointed that Sen. Franken resigned.

He resigned before a decent investigation could get under way. In doing so, he made an investigation much less likely while depriving the senate and the voters who elected him of his services. The Democratic leadership attempted, successfully, to force him out. I think they were hasty, and he was hasty. Among the things I was trying to say is that women can lie, and some of them do, and those who have been accused deserve more than knee jerk reactions. If they're serving Senators, they deserve the patience of their colleagues, especially given the history of dirty politics the Republican party is guilty of.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Reply #13)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 07:58 PM

14. He made the decision to walk. And I am done with blaming one woman senator in a room of 38.

Franken walked. He has never stood up and educated us, he has only allowed his supporters to attack one Democratic woman while he is now the victim. I think it is weak, and I am done with defending what Franken did not have the decency to stand up to. But walked. And allows his supporters to defend him to the extent of vilifying one Democratic woman.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:49 PM

4. I have gained convictions in court

solely on he said she said. It's absolutely possible. It requires a credible victim. What does that mean? It does not mean zero variations in their story. Variations are a natural function of human memory. But what it does mean is you must have internal consistency (the story holds together, makes sense, is rational) and consistency over time (the story has not radically changed multiple times).

If Tara Reade had those things, more folks would believe her, including me. She really, really, really does not have those things. She's about the worst or second worst alleged sexual assault victim I think I have seen. And I can count on one hand the number I thought were straight up lying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to qazplm135 (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 07:29 PM

11. Thanks for your comment.

I'm delighted to see that a determined prosecutor can build a case for a woman who complains to the law.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:52 PM

5. When does the same level of scrutiny get applied to the TrumpenFuhrer???

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoMoreRepugs (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 05:13 PM

7. Are you responsible for his behavior?

Or are you just responsible for your own principles?

Do you let faults in his behavior justify inconsistencies in yours? If he went around groping women a dozen times, does that make it okay if you've only done it a few times?

At what point is principle something we uphold even when it doesn't suit us or even makes us look bad, or do our principles always perfectly align with what we currently want ... because what we want is what our principles are molded to?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoMoreRepugs (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 05:15 PM

8. IOKIYAR...as usual...nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 07:26 PM

10. IOKIYAR means ??? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 07:30 PM

12. It's OK If You're A Republican

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 10:46 PM

15. Cosby and Weinstein did the same thing over and over.

Generally, predators have a lot more than one victim.

My guess, the woman is a liar who has somehow come to a conclusion that her lie won't be completely exposed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread