It’s not a big secret anymore that Dennis Hastert is a dirty old man and a coercive rapist and pedophile: pretty much everyone is covering it. What’s sort of news is that we’re not collectively flipping tables over it and just sort of shrugging “LOL those old white guys amirite”. North Carolina’s GOP is more exercised by protecting bathrooms from non-existent predation when apparently it’s more likely their own party members are going to try to rape people under their care. They should be writing laws to prevent themselves from being left alone with kids.
In (marginally more) seriousness, the BBC was rocked by stories of a “Sex Monster” within recent memory, and it’s no great stretch to say that particular scandal involved more higher-ups than it should’ve in any functionally moral society. So… this isn’t exactly unique, in that a (very) influential man high up used his influence to coerce and rape younger folks.
What’s a little more intriguing is that folks are more excited and fearful of the monsters within their midst, but are projecting that fear onto the unknown (such as the transgendered) rather than, say, the old guy with lots of money and friends that runs their town. The fact is that The Other is a convenient foe when you need to whip up the base, and that will ever be true.
In the end, folks will always be more afraid of The Other than someone they know, when it is significantly more likely that The Other is just some marginalized political group convenient to project cultural fears onto, whereas the person you know is actually more likely to be the rapist and pedophile.
Not only that, but ol’ Dennis was caught for trying to move money around, not because he was pinned to a wall by some wronged adult for crimes in the past. Our laws about sexual assault, being what they are, are much more amorphous and difficult to work with than proving that someone tried to bribe you with undeclared money. We live in a society where we haven’t found out a better way to get to the root of these nasty issues without seeing money fly around.
This isn’t a new phenomena: capitalism and liberalism’s obsession with the proper movement of money is the foundation of justice for the otherwise overlooked. Al Capone was caught for tax evasion. Dennis Hastert was caught for moving undeclared cash around. It’s just easier in our legal society to find weird money movements than it is to pursue justice, and that’s just where we live.