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Oregonian Digs Deep For Dirt on Wu

3 weeks until the election . . . Oregonian endorses Goli Ameri . . . this morning's paper carried an inexplicable front page feature article on a single unresolved personal incident 28 years in Wu's past. Why? You do the math.
This incident, in the Oregonian's own words, "has no link to Wu's record as a politician," "The newspaper established no pattern of similar behavior," and "The lack of interviews with the two people most directly involved [and the only actual witnesses to the event] made it more difficult to establish precisely what had transpired."

Try "practically impossible." In court they call what details the Oregonian managed to dredge up, "heresay." One of the persons quoted in the article was not available for personal or contemporary comment, Leah Kaplan, the school counselor, died August 24th. "Whether it was an amorous [relationship] or whether it was just platonic or what, I was never able to determine . . ." says Raoul K. Niemeyer, a patrol commander who questioned Wu and who is quoted extensively throughout the article. Wu was NOT CHARGED, NOT ARRESTED by the police nor was ANY FORMAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION TAKEN, despite what other newspapers and television outlets are now reporting.

In its groping attempt to find further evidence of a serious crime, the Oregonian came up against many brick walls:

"Reporters searched extensively for records documenting the incident but found none . . . Santa Clara County courts also had no relevant records . . ." yet it justified its intrusion into the lives of two private individuals in an incident that impacts the election not one iota by saying:

". . . in the final analysis, we decided to publish the story because we believe that readers, with the full benefit of the facts we know, want to determine for themselves wehther they find an incident from 28 years ago, involving a much younger David Wu, relevent - or not relevant - to his qualifications for office."

Excuse me, but what horseshit. This incident does not remotely compare with the sexual harassment and juvenile sex crimes of Goldschmidt and Packwood - repeated incidents which established a pattern and extended over a long period of time. What Wu did - in his own words - was "inexcusable" but he was 21 and apparently the relationship of two years and their regard for each other's personal lives mattered enough that the two people involved resolved to this day that it was something that they did not care to share with the general public.

There is probably not one person among us who didn't see, hear about, or become involved in an incident in college or high school which can be compared to the Wu incident. We may not have liked it but the last thing we would expect is that it would be resurrected as a crutch for our political opponent to win an election -- an opponent endorsed by the paper which self-righteously makes it a front page feature.

What's next? A six year old David Wu - living in Taiwan - forgot to feed his pet turtle and let it die? That he got into a shoving match in kindergarten that resulted in a bloody nose? Oh, the humanity.

Here is the link to the Oregonian articles:
 http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/exclude/109758279117340.xml
(It does not include the Oregonian's disclaimer, "To Our Readers", which I include below)

Sandy Rowe, the editor who write the sidebar justification for publishing invites comment. Let her know what you think about this kind of yellow journalism:

FAX: (503) 294-4193
E-mail:  letters@news.oregonian.com
Public Editor Phone: (503) 221-8221
 publiceditor@news.oregonian.com

News researchers: Kathleen Blythe, Margie Gultry, Gail Hulden and Lynne Palombo contributed to the report.

Laura Gunderson: (503) 294-5958
 lauragunderson@news.oregonian.com

Dave Hogen: (503) 221-8531
 davehogan@news.oregonian.com

Jeff Kosseff: (202) 383-7814
 jeff.kosseff@newhouse.com

TO OUR READERS

Today the Oregonian publishes an article about David Wu, who is running for a fourth term representing Oregon's 1st Congressional District. Printing this story was a difficult decision, raising serious questions about how far the news media should go in examining a candidate's background.

The story resulted from allegations that Wu attacked a woman while an undergraduate at Stanford University 28 years ago.

Early in the reporting, The Oregonian approached Wu for his side of the story. Over several months, his campaign manager repeatedly said Wu would not comment on "unsubstantiated allegations."

Several former Stanford officials and professors, as well as friends of the woman, provided accounts of what they said was a violent encounter.

The woman did not seek out reporters to tell her story. A reporter contacted her, and she declined to comment for privacy reasons. Reporters talked numerous times with a representative of the woman in an attempt to confirm the various accounts.

In deciding to go forward with the story, editors at The Oregonian weighed two basic issues: accuracy and relevance.

The lack of interviews with the two people most directly involved made it more difficult to establish precisely what had transpired. Some questions remain unanswered. In this story we have tried to clearly state what we know, how we know it and what is unknown. All sources used for publication are named.

Relevancy posed an even more challenging and subjective question. The incident occurred long before Wu entered public life. The incident had no link to Wu's record as a politician. The newspaper established no pattern of similar behavior. But, in the final analysis, we decided to publish the story because we believe that readers, with the full benefit of the facts we know, want to determine for themselves whether they find an incident from 28 years earlier, involving a much younger David Wu, relevant - or not relevant - to his qualifications for office.

Over the past two decades, the private lives and personal histories of political figures have come under increasing scrutiny. An incident can be judged as serious or trivial, depending upon a reader's own values, life experience, and, often, gender.

We believe candidates who ask the public for support should expect their past to be scrutinized. For this reason, The Oregonian and most newspaper routinely examine the backgrounds of major candidates. If a resulting story is accurate and ready for publication, as we believe this is, we believe our responsiblity is to publish rather than withhold information voters may need, even if some would consider it minor or too distant in time to be important.

We have carefully considered the political context and community expectations for political leaders in making this decisino, and we have discussed at great length the ethical questions involved. We recognize that many people may disagree with our decision, and we respect the opinions of others and the expression of them.

Boohoo 12.Oct.2004 15:11

Que Sera Sera

The Oregonian? News?

This story and its timing is pure crap, but...Wu is as responsible for this as any member of either political party. The Oregonian has been slipping into the absurd for a while now and there hasn't been a whisper from anyone influential, including Wu. When the nonsense finally targets you it is too late to complain. Maybe others will show some leadership and comment on this slander, I just won't bet on it.

The Oregonian Has No Credibility on Scandal Stories. None. 12.Oct.2004 15:39

newsie

The Oregonian's non-story on Congressman Wu is a complete smear job. Why bring this incident to light now, only days before the election when the accuser has absolutely no involvement and apparently no desire to air this incident?

Of course, it has something to do with the paper's endorsement of challenger Goli Ameri. This paper will always claim that the Editorial and News department are separate with no connections to each other. If you believe that, just look at the uninspired coverage of Portland's aggressive antiwar movement coupled with the paper's editorial support of the Bush invasion and the city's aggressive police actions against the antiwar demonstrators.

No, there's no connection whatsoever.

Anyhow, I believe the real reason The Oregonian has printed this "story" at this time is mostly due to the continued fallout and embarrassment of its alleged News Department as regards the N. Goldschmidt rape scandal scoop by the Willamette Week.

No way The Oregonian is ever going to live down that incredible situation whereby it sat on, literally for decades, that very real story and in essence protected the titular head of the state's political power elite. That's a group The Oregonian is part and parcel of, whether or not it ever wants to admit that fact to itself.

For a very long time The Oregonian got away with protecting one of its power establishment's own, an individual who belonged in jail for rape with a minor.

So The Oregonian is going to go after any and every politician now, for a while at least, with even a whiff of scandal about him or her.

Funny, but they sould have been doing that a long time ago.

The Oregonian has no credibility on this or any other related scandal story. Maybe it should stick to writing about heroic disfigured individuals and the Willamette River.

And, yes, Congressman Wu did immediately fess up to this incident this morning. Obviously, something serious did happen. Again, why did The Oregonian bring it up now? Did they rummage through their "cold scandal" file and figure the time was ripe.

Probably.

To cancell a subscription 12.Oct.2004 15:45

kzoo

To Contact The Oregonian Customer Service Department By Phone, Call 503-221-8240 OR 1-800-452-1420, or by e-mail,  homedelivery@oregonian.com

Lots to consider here . . . 12.Oct.2004 16:02

. . . what's that sound? . . .

The Oregonian's October 8 endorsement of Goli Ameri against Congressman David Wu should come as no surprise. The Oregonian endorsed Bush for president in 2000 and likewise his illegal, immoral and disasterous invasion of Iraq.

By endorsing Ameri, The Oregonian is simply trying to foist a more attractive Bush-lite candidate on the people of the state's 1st Congressional District: someone who will brilliantly smile and warmly shake our hands while she tries to break down Social Security, support the anti-working class Bush tax policies, as well as work to prevent any meaningful health care reform from ever being enacted.

But even more importantly, Ameri continues to support the discredited Bush invasion of Iraq and undoubtedly will carry water for the president's infamous pre-emptive foreign policy if she defeats Congressman Wu.

And know this: if Bush somehow gets a second term in the White House, he WILL invade or otherwise orchestrate an attack (possibly through the Israeli military) on Iran, Ameri's homeland. That makes Ameri an incredibly useful and pliable tool when the need arises to justify these attacks on the next "Axis of Evil" target.

Does anyone actually think Ameri would ever come out against a Bush invasion or attack on Iran? Not in this life. My bet is she will definitely support the further degredation of Iran, no matter how many innocent Iranians would be killed and wounded and have their lives shattered in the process. All in the name of "liberation." Sound familiar?

So does this have anything to do with today's Oregonian Wu scandal story?

You decide, people.

You decide.

The Oregonian is staunchly raunchy 12.Oct.2004 17:30

Pravda or Consequences

There are so many instances where our largest daily paper has shown itself for the bullshit pretense it displays as journalism.

The rationale for the war in Iraq was bogus and the big "O" just sorts of rambles along so as not to piss off the right wing advertisers.

What do we expect from a voice that serves the dim-witted?

pic for feature 12.Oct.2004 19:11

indydrone#667

asdf

Ameri wants regime-change (war) in Iran 12.Oct.2004 19:27

Learning from Others

Goli Yazdi Ameri is a privileged woman whose family
was part of the elite of an absolute monarchy and now,
in FORCED exile (NOT voluntarily-chosen residence in
the United States -- after all she says she is a
"refugee"), she is an ultra-conservative Republican
who supports regime-change in her homeland with
another war by a re-elected Bush administration
against Iran. She has refused to sign a pledge
in the Iranian community in the US opposing a
pre-emptive strike by the US against Iran.

Ameri - the Illusion 12.Oct.2004 19:50

Cheney Watch

I have met others who fall into Ameri's category; they have been in American since the fall of the Shah. They do not call themselves Iranian, but Persian, to avoid having to explain their situation. All of them come from privileged families and are only here because they cannot return to Iran although they would like to.

The most galling thing I heard Ameri say today, when asked for her opinion on the David Wu story was that she did not want to comment because, "I do not believe in partisan politics." Yet every one of her ads derides Wu for voting with his party and following "liberal" politics.

I guess if you can say that you are not in favor of privitizing social security when you are, but use different words to describe the exact same position, you can smile, say anything and make yourself believe it.

it does not matter what Ameri's espoused "politics" are 12.Oct.2004 20:12

because she is a tool of fascist multibillionaires

and corporations -

why else do you think they, the elites and their puppet mouthpiece The Oregonian are so desperate to unseat the entrenched Wu?

What happened to feminism, folks? 13.Oct.2004 06:20

IMPA

Now not a single person is willing to post anything but rapist apologisms in this thread?

Obviously the timing is political. No one is under the illusion that the Republican Party cares about victims of sexual assault. Some people seem to be under the illusion that the Democratic Party does care, though. Read the Oregonian story, read the whole thing, every detail, and you should notice the following FACTS:

1) David Wu, his campaign staff and everyone who works for the Democratic Party has known about the incident for years. So they all knew that this story would sprout legs sooner or later, in fact Wu's campaign manager in a previous campaign quit over this very issue, but Wu, his staff and the Dem Party have done NOTHING to pre-empt the story from growing legs at the absolute worst time for his campaign. Whose fault is that????? Mostly Wu's fault, it seems, because he has refused to deal with the issue throughout his entire career, until it finally blew up in his face. He has betrayed his supporters by trying to bury this story. Is this the kind of incompetent politician you want representing you in Congress?

2) Months ago the feminist activist who handled the sexual assault complaint at Stanford in 1976 came out publicly denouncing Stanford's handling of the situation at the time. She went on to write Stanford's sexual harassment policy, and while some high-ranking administrators who were the target of her denunciation have selective memories about it, none dared challenge her credibility, and one even said he trusted and deferred to her recollection of the incident, even though it puts his own administrative conduct in a bad light. Did the Wu campaign deal with the issue months ago when ? No. Why not? Because they were hoping that the 84 year old feminist's death on August 24 had shut her up in time for the story to be forgotten by election day? Wu and his campaign's handling of the case is not just incompetent, but disgustingly Machiavellian here.

3) Wu's alleged victim decided not to prosecute, but she did ask for disciplinary action from Stanford. For a victim to seek even that much must have taken enormous courage and determination at a time when feminists were just beginning to get marital rape exemptions repealed from state rape laws (the exemptions were clauses that specifically legalized husbands raping their wives, rendering wives sexual slaves under the law). Attempted rape is not just an attack on an individual. It is a hate crime, an act of enforcing male supremacy and chilling dissent against it not just in sexual relationships but in all areas of life, every bit as much as assaults on queers are acts enforcing compulsory heterosexuality and chilling dissent against pervasive heterosexual privilege. So everyone leaping up here to defend David Wu and minimize the significance of what he has all but admitted he has done, no doubt knows why they are voting No on Measure 36, but they still plan on voting for David Wu? It is not just his actions 28 years ago that matter, and they do still matter, but his choice to remain silent every single day since he first sought public office, even when the press was amassing evidence of what he had done, that should give pause to anyone still considering voting for Wu.

What if the allegation was not attempted rape, but that he had beaten the crap out of a gay man in a fit of homophobic rage at the dorm one night 28 years ago? He might be contrite about it now, and might have been to counseling about it and said it changed his life, but how his violence affects his own life should be the least of our concerns. How it made life even more of the same hell for the entire oppressed class of people he lashed out against back then, is the real concern here. The vast majority of people don't engage in beating up queers in dorms. Not a particularly vast majority of people don't engage in sexual assault in dorms. Does the relative ubiquity of sexual assault make it less of a hate crime, as one poster to this thread suggests?

Wu should not simply show contrition and claim he has been rehabilitated. He should withdraw from the race and seek to contribute to society in a different role. By doing so, he would turn this political attack on his candidacy into an opportunity to emphasize the seriousness of hate crimes against women. He should withdraw and call the Republicans' bluff -- say to Goli Ameri that now that he has withdrawn from the race, if she wins, he will devote the next two years to working with her to promote stronger legislation in Congress in support of victims of rape and domestic violence, to guarantee the civil rights of women in all areas of life, and to guarantee that teenagers know their rights in sexual relationships and know how to exercise those rights in full.

He should challenge the Republican Party to end their hypocrisy on abortion by agreeing to provide comprehensive sex education, including an understanding of the most effective means of assault prevention and resistance (studies show that non-negotiation and skillful and immediate and confident reciprocal violence in self-defense and then immediate flight results in the least successful rapes and least victim injuries, even when the assailant has a knife or other weapon. Studies also show that adherence to traditional expectations of male/female reciprocal behavior and interaction correlates with much higher rates of violence against women by their male intimate partnes, that the onset of domestic violence generally comes after a significant milestone in relationship commitment has been made by the victim such as moving in or engagement or marriage or especially pregnancy, that the risk and severity of assault increases sharply for a period up to years after a victim breaks off an abusive relationship -- this is the pattern of Wu's alleged assault, referred to as a "separation assault" to re-assert the abusive relationship against the will of the victim who has taken steps to end it. Studies show that women are safer from assault walking alone in a dark parking lot than in their own college dorm rooms, due to the high incidence of sexist violence against women there by intimate partners and other acquaintances.). These examples are from studies in the early to mid-nineties, so if you are looking for current information please seek up-to-date data from credible sources like The Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

North Portlander, some rape education 13.Oct.2004 07:01

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!

"This incident, in the Oregonian's own words, "has no link to Wu's record as a politician,""

So you don't believe the Oregonian when it provides evidence of a hate crime against women, but you do believe it when it claims that when a politican commites a hate crimes against women it has nothing to do with his or her politics? The personal is political, that was the motto of the women's movement back when there was one to speak of.

""The newspaper established no pattern of similar behavior,""

You are confusing sexual assault cases with sexual harassment cases here. To prove sexual assault, you do not have to show a pattern of similar behavior, just that the assualt occurred -- beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case and with a preponderance of the evidence in a civil case.

" and "The lack of interviews with the two people most directly involved [and the only actual witnesses to the event] made it more difficult to establish precisely what had transpired.""

Not surprisingly, the Oregonian is engaging in victim-blaming here -- there is a credible account of exactly what happened right there in their own story. He enters the room, demands sex, responds to her refusal by trying to force her to have sex with him, smothering her with a pillow while she scratches at his face and neck in fierce resistance. That is the account of what happened. The disclaimer suggests that there is some suspicion of a different account, but no other account exists as part of the record other than Wu's original vague and not at all credible comment to police at the time that it was consensual.

"Try "practically impossible." In court they call what details the Oregonian managed to dredge up, "heresay.""

Wrong. A basic exception to the hearsay rule is testimony by a direct witness to a person's emotional reaction, often verbally expressed, to some incident or experience, especially to incidents or experiences that are highly emotionally charged, traumatizing, or have just recently occurred. This applies certainly to the victim's repeated telling of the incident to police and school officials, and applies also to the reporter's records of Kaplan's emotional recollection of the victim's state of mind and verbal expression of the incident.

"One of the persons quoted in the article was not available for personal or contemporary comment, Leah Kaplan, the school counselor, died August 24th. "
Kaplan spoke at length with reporters in no uncertain terms about what she witnessed of the victim's verbal and emotional response to the incident. To say she is not available for "personal or contemporary" comment is pure prevarication on your part -- her comments on the matter are absolutely clear and personal, recent enough to count as "contemporary" by any reasonable interpretation. If by this you mean to say that she cannot now testify in court, then all you have proven is that any prosecution -- impossible anyway because of the statute of limitations -- would lack its star witness.

""Whether it was an amorous [relationship] or whether it was just platonic or what, I was never able to determine . . ." says Raoul K. Niemeyer, a patrol commander who questioned Wu and who is quoted extensively throughout the article. "

And what, exactly, is this supposed to mean? You obviously know very little about violence against women, and that is quite frankly inexcusable.

"Wu was NOT CHARGED, NOT ARRESTED by the police nor was ANY FORMAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION TAKEN, despite what other newspapers and television outlets are now reporting."

The chances of successful prosecution of even the most blatantly obvious rape cases are slim to none -- there's about a 2% success rate overall. Successful defenses have included:

a) the argument that rape is a feature of natural selection in reproductive behavior among animals of all species, including dragonflies, and therefore prosecuting a man for raping a woman is prosecuting him for being human and acting in the interest of bettering the human race through strengthening survival traits in the gene pool.

b) the argument that men who grew up in an Asian culture are acting in accordance with their culture's values when they rape their wives, so prosecuting an Asian-American man for raping his wife is institutionalized racism and a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

c) the argument that a five-year-old girl was "sexually precocious" and had seduced a hapless thirty-five year old man into having consensual sex with her which he later greatly regretted -- well, at least it was consensual on her part, according to the judge and the defense lawyer.

Kaplan explains that the victim did seek disciplinary action, but the administration did what all university administrations did about sexual assault back then -- ignored it, covered it up, treated it like it was not any sort of serious incident, just as many of the postings to this thread have done.

As for verifying what Kaplan said to the reporter, the story clearly says that her son was present for those interviews and he could be asked to vouch for the accuracy of the story to Kaplan's words and expressions at the time.

This takes nothing away from the fact that pulling this out right before the election was obviously politically motivated, just as the valid accusations against Clinton were politically motivated, just as the valid accusations against Schwarzenegger right before the California recall election were politically motivated. The political motivations in all these cases take absolutely nothing away from their validity as allegations of serious wrongdoing by public officials. They should all have resigned and devoted themselves to working on the specific injustices over which they owe a tremendous debt to society for their participation in them and covering up of that participation.

Hmmm...Wait a minute 13.Oct.2004 09:17

another woman

Is there a difference between a decision to go to an ex-lover's house and act inappropriately once, really act llke an ass, maybe even be altered, maybe lash out, and be a repeat offender, as it were, someone who is knownto be a "skirt-chaser", who acts inappropriately and/or violently toward women/othe kinds of people/species? I look back at my own life. I have always been cautious. I have never used substances in excess, except once. I have acted really stupid around a couple of boyfriends when the relationships were collapsing. Of course, anyone who even thinks s/he will ever be interested in "politics" needs to remember that ANY incident of indiscretion could be dragged up by one's opponents.

So, maybe Goli Ameri would be more morally and ethically appropriate in Congress. We need the voice of the former Shah of Iran in Washington, to be sure. We need more upright individuals with strong family values--Bush, Cheney,DeLay,Karzai, Allawi,Gordon Smith,Ariel Sharon. Only deliverate state torure is permitted in our system. Personal screw-ups must be disclosed and punished severely.

Degree 13.Oct.2004 11:08

North Portlander

"Another Woman" is correct is saying that there is a difference between one incident that occurred apparently in passion, was not premeditated, and did not end in rape and the repeated sexual harrassment crimes of Schwartzenegger, Goldschmidt, and Packwood - all of which constituted records of premeditated predatory behavior. Schwartenzegger, Goldschmidt, and Packwood deserve severe condemnation; Wu does not although I certainly agree that what he did should not have happened.

Our criminal justice system treats crimes of passion and crimes of premeditation differently for this very reason.

In the past, the Oregonian has not handled its exposes even-handedly. It drug its feet on the Goldschmidt story until after elections. The Wall Street Journal had to break the Packwood story before the Oregonian got around to doing so despite massive evidence of abuse.

IMPEACH BUSH NOW: Do not assume that you know everything about either the Wu situation or the writers in this forum. You state, "You obviously know very little about violence against women, and that is quite frankly inexcusable."

To the contrary, I was a victim of prolonged and unpleasant sexual harrassment in a mom and pop, three-employee shop in 1976. Like many others at the time, I had no other job options - avoided and endured until I could get out with a written recommendation and procure another job. After I had done so, I blew the whistle on the pervert. Nothing happened. Not a rare story, unfortunately, but I've long got over it and it was - as far as I can tell from the information released - FAR worse than the single incident involving Wu. I would in NO WAY compare my personal incident (which was far more extreme), the years of Schwartzenegger groping and lewd comments, the Packwood tongue-thrusting and womanizing, or the incidents of Goldschmidt taking sexual advantage of a minor with Wu's single incident.

For the Oregonian to pump this into a major story on the weight of one long-ago incident, and without evidence of any pattern of such behavior is curious, at best.

euphemisms 13.Oct.2004 11:30

Vineeta

"personal screw-up"? How about assault and attempted rape?

I think the above anecdote about how differently people would feel about Wu if he had beaten up a gay man in a homophobic rage says a lot about how little we as a society value women's basic human rights compared to men's,

"Our criminal justice system treats crimes of passion and crimes of premeditation differently for this very reason."

North Porltander, crimes of passion is codeword for men's sexual violence towards women they know, and it's fucked up but true that these assaults are classified as different from when men assault each other and anonymous people. I truly doubt a man physically assaulting you in the same manner Wu did this woman would provoke you to respond "At least it only happened once" upon learning your attacker had no criminal record.

When I think of the posts to this thread representing general liberal opinion, I think too many liberals hate toady politicking more than they love female victims of male violence.

Never happened to you, you've never done it, Vineeta? 13.Oct.2004 12:08

what did Wu do?

It is with great relief that I read that Vineeta has never been on either end of a stupid, regrettable incident with a lover or ex. In my experience talking with people all day about the regrets they have in their lives, a human would have to be in a box to avoid such incidents. What should be done? Should we be pilored, burned at the stake, castrated, shamed forever? It feels quite fundamentalist to me.

spot on 13.Oct.2004 13:11

Vineeta

Stuoid, regreattable incident? You sound like Kobe Bryant.

You're right, I've never sexually or otherwise physically assaulted anyone I've been in a relationship with nor been sexually or otherwise physically assaulted by anyone I've been in a relationships with.

Do you think most people, men and women, have at least one attempted rape in their past? Frankly, that you consider such violence against others as so commonplace as to be unremarkable and easily ignored freaks me out a bit about you.

The Oregonions dirty election tricks 13.Oct.2004 14:51

jake

this may be a dirty election trick, but what about reporting George Bushes DWII just a few days before the election in 2000? Besides if Wu did "take full responsibility" like he said he would, he would have let us know about this long ago.

Vineeta wake up 13.Oct.2004 18:37

gray mare

Most men and women DO have an attempted rape, successful rape, violent incident in a relationship, domestic violence, etc. in their background-how old are you anyway? Very, very few involved people apologize, get counseling and behave the rest of their lives. It really is another form of fundamentalism to believe it's always happening to someone else and I shudder to think of what sort of re-education camps the young and unexperienced would put us, the doers and done to, in for our mistakes. Life is a lot more complex than many fundies think.

Age has nothing to do with it 13.Oct.2004 22:53

anonymous

I don't think Vineeta's age has anything to do with her views of common experience, nor yours gray mare. It is your crowd and experience that forms your views. I don't doubt that she knows fewer rapists and victims than you do. I don't doubt your experience either.

North Portlander, I always appreciate your posts, especially the ones on the PUD. But I wonder if I read the same thing about Wu that you did.

If the description of what happened is true, albeit from a third party, then the incident is much more serious than you seem to think. The reason the assault ended was not because he gave up, but because a third party interrupted. It is said that he put a pillow over her face during the assault to muffle her screams. Thank God someone interrupted, saving her from a rape, and possibly him from a murder charge. I understand this is third party information, but it is hard to ignore when neither party involved has come out to explain the details. I don't know how the Oregonian could have ignored this after what they found out, even if their investigation was politically motivated.

I think everyone is angered by this situation, and the Oregonian, as messenger, cannot come out unscathed. That's the breaks.

I am angry. Angry that I have such a lousy choice. There is no way I will sacrifice the health of this state and vote for Ameri. But I am very unhappy that I have to vote for Wu in light of this story. I will vote for him. But I hope during his next term the Democrats will find another candidate for the next. Just my view.

between the weird 'fundie' stuff 14.Oct.2004 09:52

Vineeta

and the bizarro age fixation of a person you've never met, your credibility is mightily strained.

gray mare, tell us how many times you've angrily smothered a person with a pillow as they screamed and scratched at your face, or something akin to such an assault (notice I left the sex crime part of the violence out).

If you're as 'gray' as your name suggests, you probably grew up in a time before there were laws against marital rape (1976 in Nebraska, 1993 in all 50 states), laws against sexual harrassment (1986), and before the term 'date rape' was coined (1975). Try to understand that attitudes about sexual violence, while still quite sexist, have undergone many societal changes in an exceptionally short period of time historically speaking. Despite the commoness of the age-old crime "raping and pillaging" that military men have always done, it wasn't until 1999 that the Geneva Convention adopted rape as a crime of war.

I agree that this is not going to stop me from voting Wu because I believe in reform and I believe he's doing an adequate (though not great) job. But it is a black mark on his character, and his lack of forthrightness doesn't sit well, and I will never think of him again without thinking of what this woman endured at his hands.

assumptions and conclusions, normality and futility 15.Oct.2004 00:06

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!

I have not assumed that I know everything about the Wu incident, nor have I assumed anything about your personal survival of sexist violence. Show me something else about the Wu incident, and I'll respond to it. My response to your information about your survival? Survival is certainly eye-opening, and necessary, and while it certainly provides the material for insight into the dynamics of one's victimization, it does not provide context or result automatically in insight. For example, having "gotten over" an experience of intense victimization, while necessary for survival, does not constitute having come to an effective political understanding or strategy of how that kind of victimization gets sustained in society or how to counteract and end it. And insinuating that anyone else who doesn't similarly "get over it", meaning separate from it and disregard it, is plain sexist. Sometimes the worst secondary victimizers are survivors who still feel defeated and simply do not want to hear other survivors complaining and agitating about what they consider a futile direction for anger. Having beaten themselves up over their victimization for far too long, they don't want to see anyone else go through the same protracted and unnecessary self-torture, so they counsel "get over it, move on, focus on banging on things that are not such brick walls for your tender skull."

But it gets worse. For example, there are plenty of out-and-out horribly sexist victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Do you think there are no victims of sexist violence active in the Eagle Forum, in Operation Rescue, or among Bush supporters generally? Do you think there are no victims of sexual assault, harassment, abuse, torture among the very perpetrators of sexual assualt, harassment, abuse and torture? The experience of sexism and sexist violence and torture does not in and of itself invoke a response from people to develop anti-sexist instincts or habits. There are victims of sexist violence against women in all walks of life, of every political persuasion, and of every condition of disinformation or demoralization about the prospects of working effectively for an end, not an incremental treadmill of gradual steps to more of the same, but an end to male supremacy, because the normality of male supremacy we struggle against or struggle to ignore every day is an anomaly, an extreme haywire out-of-whack-ness, to the sustainable center of gendered social behavior that guided our ancestors through hundreds of thousands of generations until the last hundred or so flew off kilter and sent our species barreling off into patriarchal mayhem and oblivion.

Any true progressive should be a pre-patriarchal conservative, because only the recognition that by radically redirecting society away from the train wreck trajectory that is male supremacy and back to the optimal path of minimal gender rigidity or difference and maximal maternal instinct in all creatures of woman born, can we really understand that it is crazy, absolutely crazy, NOT to utterly denounce and disparage any hint, any suggestion, any insane notion that there is ANYTHING we should consider REMOTELY acceptable, ignorable or unremarkable about anyone who acts upon a regard for another person as enslavable, especially if that status being marked out for disparagement and enslavement is the status of being physiologically capable of the generative work of ovulating, bearing, birthing and nursing our young. Has anyone here recently considered just how absolutely absurd male supremacy is, how absolutely insane misogyny is?

Andrea Dworkin has called our culture "a rape culture", and that means we regard rape as a norm, sexist degradation, subjugation, and second-class citizenship for women a norm, we regard it like the weather, something that just is, just forms the backdrop of our daily lives, something to talk about or not talk about like the weather, sometimes harsher sometimes milder, every transmuting, but always there and not anything to fight against. "Wu beat up, smothered and almost succeeded in raping his ex-girlfriend in college"; "Wu's girlfriend stormed out of the dorm after a spat with him and got caught in a squall and caught pneumonia and nearly died of it" -- what does either have to do with politics, with voting for change and progress, because whatever changes? Nothing will change either the uncertainty of the weather or the uncertainty of the physically and psychically perilous condition of womanhood. So any woman or man or other-gendered being who does not "get over it" and focus on the things that CAN be changed for the better, is, from the point of view you are promoting here, hopelessly out of touch with reality and counterproductive to progressive change.

There is no progress for life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness down a course of minimization or apologism for acts of male supremacy, because minimilization and apologism are methods of NORMALIZATION. You cannot change society for the better if you continually act to normalize the very things that make it bad and worse. Your vote is the one thing you have that gives you sovereign power over the social condition. It is your one vector into the power structure. How you point that vector has a physical impact on the shape of our society's norms. Align your vote with those who would treat male supremacy as a norm, and you act to make male supremacy more the norm. Perpendicularize your vote to those norms and you crack them, destabilize them, break them. As I have suggested, Wu could perpendicularize his entire campaign against the norm this typical feminist-baiting two-faced hypocritical Republican attack on women is using his own sexist career of rape cover-up and rape normalization to carry out. He could sidestep it and ambush if from the side by withdrawing from the race and challenging Ameri to become a champion of the cause her party has decided to make THE issue of the campaign, after all. He could to that, and force Ameri and the Republicans to cave in to more anti-male-supremacist legislation and culture shift than he could ever do as an incumbent Demosnooze. Then, after a dynamic two years of guerilla activism against the normality of male supremacy, he would be swept back into office in a landslide. But no, he is contrite about his male supremacism, but not ready turn on it with a vengeance and work against it with all his might. But hey, why should we demand that of him, right? Why should we demand of him something so divergent from the norm? Why should he do it when nobody else does? Ameri is a woman, shouldn't she do it first, the hypocrite?

And so you fall for the trick of the futilizer and the normalizer -- the Republican two-faced taunting makes the fight against male supremacy seem futile, because they are so disgustingly brazen and callous and belittling about it, but then the Democrats are just long-faced about it and act like it's just so normal to acquiesce to it, and pretend to be the strongest front against male supremacy so they can demonstrate with their weak responses how futile indeed it is to even consider actually breaking with the norm and attacking it from the side. They will mobilize us to run to one side of the ship to shift it three degrees of arc off of the norm, to the other side to go four degrees back, back againg for two degrees off again, and say with a wink and a not that all our concerted rushing about is steering the boat strategically as much as it can be steered without those ogre Republicans at the wheel realizing what is happening to the boat, so that one day five millennia hence, we can all gloat that the boat has finally perpendicularized itself without having to actually jump off it and ram it with every bone and tendril in our bodies and souls to break us all free of it for good.

Pick your strategy. I'm off this boat. I don't vote for anyone I think the dolphins wouldn't want me to vote for.

and furthermore 15.Oct.2004 00:38

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!

calling a separation assault of near murderous severity an isolated incident simply shows exactly what I said before, that you do not understand the facts surrounding violence against women, facts that are available in pamphlets in thousands of women's resource centers and other feminist organizations, and on even (at least in 2000, not really this year) Democrat apologist feminist websites like the NOW website. woman breaks up with man. months later man viciously assults woman. This is not an isolated act of violence, but the culmination of years of relationship abuse.

Attempted rape is attempted slavery. It is an act of fundamentally undermining and obliterating another person's basic civil and human rights, and their sense of entitlement to exercise those rights. Sexual harassment is the same thing in a more sly mode, not something different in either severity or kind. Both have a protracted chilling effect on a woman's exercise of basic rights, years to decades of chilled and suppressed exercise of basic rights.

What is Important now is Who will serve Oregonians' Interests Better 15.Oct.2004 12:02

Schoolteacher

It is election time folks. I am not excusing Wu but let's think here about which candidate is going to serve the progressive community better. Remember folks, that David Wu voted against the war with very little urging from us. This is major. Remember that David Wu is accesible, reasonable and does a tremendous job of reaching out to his varied constituencies. He does a credible job. It is easy to access his office, aids and he is often out in public where he listens respectfully to the full range of opinion. He is an example of govt. actually functioning to meet our needs. Are we going to support him and help him? You bet we are!

What is important now 16.Oct.2004 12:25

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!

Schoolteacher, you have made the first pro-Wu posting in this thread that at least begins to disengage from male supremacist rhetoric. You are only halfway there, though. By saying, "What is important..." you imply that the the struggle against the normalcy of male supremacy in our society is not important, and that focusing on it when the issue arises is somehow a distraction from what IS important.

If it came to light that Wu had participated in an attempted lynching of a black man back in his ruddy youth, wouldn't you think it might be a good idea for him to make anti-racism a basic plank of his campaign and his work in Congress? What if he were running in a state that had a black majority? Well, he's running in a state with a female majority right now. So if your advice is for all of us to just ignore what he appears to have done, not excuse it but just ignore it, then you are half way towards a reasonable response.

Let's all compare wounds now shall we 17.Oct.2004 12:00

colby

Everyone does some dumb, mean stuff when they're young. Everyone fights with exes. I beat up my ex pretty bad one time in high school. Did he go to the principal? No. Did I? No. We settled it right then and there and then had nothing more to do with each other. It was personal.

Wu did something awful, and it does make me lose a bit of respect for him. I don't know him well, so I can't judge whether he's a better person now, or what he thinks of all this. But I think that if he was a repeat offender, we'd know about it by now, and if the woman really wanted to, she could punish him by coming forward and dishing it all out. But she refused to speak to the Oregonian. She's kept it to herself. That is her choice. It was her choice not to press charges at the time, when she could have. It is her choice, and it is her right as the victim, to decide to prosecute or not, to beat and scratch him up, or not.

I know that when I was assaulted in elementary school, all I wanted was to go to that man's house and hurt him real bad. I didn't care about evidence or police or shaming him publicly. I just wanted to hit him and yell at him and make him feel bad.

I think it's highly suspicious of the Oregonian to pop this story a week after endorsing Ameri. She's an elitist liar - oh, boo hoo, run out of the country during the Revolution! Sure, to European private schools! The real reason she wouldn't be welcome back to Iran? Because she supports the "War on Terror" and Bush wants to target Iran next! She'd vote to bomb her own fellow Iranians....yeah that'll get you invited over for tea REAL fast!

Rape is wrong 17.Oct.2004 15:09

Bigpuppy

Yeah, the timing is clumsy, and the Oregonian seems more interested in covering its own ass from being critized for softballing an abuser like they did for Goldschmidt and Packwood. But Wu shares some blame for the fact that this is just coming out. The Oregonian has been chasing the story for months, and Wu's staff people kept trying to stifle it--just like Wu tried to smother the screams of his victim.

It really bothers me to hear people dismiss this attempted rape as a silly mistake that everyone makes. I toked up a storm in college (still do sometimes) and participated happily in the sexual revolution. But I never, ever raped a woman, or tried; I never hurt a woman, or threatened to, or ever thought about it. This is something decent people don't do. Men who hurt women are small-dicked cowards.

what did Wu do? 18.Oct.2004 00:08

not an Oregonian reader

Wu is being discussed as though he is a sex offender. What did he proportedly do?