Have You No Decency, Senator Patty Murray?

Ben Smith reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has responded to Senator Scott Brown’s revelations about the abuse he suffered as a child  in a rather vile, disgusting manner:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is circulating a number of clips to reporters suggesting that Sen. Scott Brown’s revelations of sexual abuse as a child is either a political stunt or a hypocritical move in the light of his endorsement of a congressional candidate who was accused of insensitivity to sexual assault — including this column by the editor of a Cape Cod website:

Many have questioned how Brown could let a pedophile run free instead of stopping what could be a serial molester who may now have been at it for upwards of 40 years. Among the “believers” are many who are appalled that a U.S. senator would throw a literary grenade at a respected Christian summer camp and not disclose a name so that Cape officials can pursue the attacker and defend their reputation.

On the other side are alumni and friends of the camp who accuse the senator of fabricating the whole matter for political purposes – or at least to sell more books – leaving Camp Good News with a damaged reputation and no way to refute his accusations.

Neither story line is playing well with readers of CapeCodToday.com. Those who believe Brown’s story feel that his political career cannot survive his sheltering of the molester. Those who feel he fabricated the account feel he should step down from office if he is proven to have lied.

Are you serious? Criticizing someone for keeping childhood sexual abuse a secret is now a legitimate political tactic. Senator Murray is the head of the DSCC, she should be ashamed of herself.

Via Nathan Wurtzel who I will also credit as the inspiration for the post title

FILED UNDER: 2009 Election, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Steven Donegal says:

    I can’t tell whether your tongue is stuck in your cheek or not. It does seem like a bit of stunt to go public with a molestation charge but refuse to identify the perpetrator, particularly after the camp has requested the information.

  2. mantis says:

    Indeed. Keeping it a secret is one thing, and understandable for a victim, but revealing it yet not identifying the perpetrator, who for all we know is still out there, is another. It’s weird.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Disclosure: I’m also a victim of sexual abuse as a child.

    I don’t name the individuals involved because I wouldn’t be able to produce any evidence. I would consider it a cheap shot to accuse an institution without being willing to offer details, and I would consider it a cheap shot to come along 45 years later and name names. Which definitely limits me.

    I apply the same standards of fairness in my private life that I’d want to see in a court. If I accuse someone I should have evidence, and the person I accuse should have the right to defend himself. If I accuse an institution I should be willing to provide detail so as to offer them a chance at refutation. Those two points are sometimes in conflict, not in my case, but evidently in Mr. Brown’s.

    The day may come when I write an autobiography, but I won’t name the person most directly responsible because you just do not go around making that kind of an accusation as a sort of sucker punch. Even bad guys have the right to defend themselves against accusations.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    One more point. The way Mr. Brown has left it every person employed at the camp during Mr. Brown’s time there is now a suspect. Uncool. We’re not talking about hints that someone smoked a joint or whatever, we’re talking about suggesting a person or persons has committed a profoundly evil act. How do you just leave that out there and not clear the people who are blameless?

  5. mantis says:

    The way Mr. Brown has left it every person employed at the camp during Mr. Brown’s time there is now a suspect.

    Exactly. And not to mention the people who work there now. Such an accusation can destroy an institution, and to leave them with no way to even investigate or respond to the claim, Brown just leaves them twisting in the wind.

  6. CCredentials says:

    I must admit, I had/have my suspicions. But the optics on this are bad. You have to KNOW that he is lying before you do this crap. Especially in this political environment.

    Sadly, Fox will beat this story to death and the other outlets will only whisper it.

    If he did lie, he should resign. If he didn’t lie, Murray needs to step down.


  7. michael reynolds says:


    I don’t think it’s a question of him lying. I would bet he’s telling the truth. But in the process of telling the truth you can’t harm innocent bystanders, and you can’t damage people who are left unable to defend themselves. His trauma does not exempt him from a decent consideration of the consequences of his personal decisions.

  8. CCredentials says:

    Michael, I agree, he should disclose the info to those who need to hear it. Privately.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    That may be a good solution vis a vis the camp in question. They should then be prepared to field questions from former camp employees.

    Can you imagine being some poor innocent guy who was a counsellor then and suddenly now his wife and kids are looking at him sideways?

  10. CCredentials says:

    Yeah the problem though is the press might do some searching and who knows what will happen. The press does not usually care who they hurt. As long as they have a story.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hopefully it won’t be messy.