Two Follow-Ups

The strange case of President George H.W. Bush photo gropes continues to emerge.  My questions yesterday about how we define sexual assault remain, but it seems clear that President Bush and his condition have indeed been an occasion of embarrassment and perhaps offense to some people during photo ops.  This more detailed account both demonstrates that Ms. Lind’s claims of being touched are likely true, though whether or not they should be classified as sexual assault remains to be seen.

However Ms. Grolnick does acknowledge, towards the end of the article, that President Bush may not have been in full possession of his mental faculties, further calling into question the appropriateness of publicly describing his behavior as sexual assault.  Is there a difference between the inappropriateness of a senile person and the calculated manipulation of a rapist?  Is there a difference between publicly calling a former President a sexual offender and demanding belated justice against those in power who actively and knowingly use their position to bully or harass others?

I hope that President Bush and his family and friends will take this situation seriously, and realize that a lifetime of honorable behavior can be smudged in the last years of his life by the insistence of some to equate his actions with sexual assault.  I hope they make sure that in the future he isn’t positioned in a way where his joke could be misinterpreted – or frankly, even pulled again.  I also appreciate and empathize with Ms. Grolnick’s desire that Ms. Lind’s claims be taken seriously.  I just question whether the claims of sexual assault were appropriate or not.  It would have been far more appropriate to take up the matter privately with Mrs. Bush or others who look after President Bush, to let them know it was not appreciated and that they should work hard to ensure future incidents are avoided.

And on another matter, why are we here?  No, seriously.  Scientists don’t understand why the universe is rather than isn’t, based on the nearly identical properties of matter and anti-matter, which should have ensured a monumental and incredibly brief explosion followed directly by the cessation of any sort of existence of the universe at all after the initial Big Bang.  More good questions….


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