San Diego Mayor to Enter “Rehab” for Sexual Harassment

From USA Today:

“San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said Friday he will undergo “intensive therapy” amid growing calls that he resign because of sexual harassment charges from several women, including a former staffer.

Filner said he will check into a “behavior counseling clinic” on Aug. 5 for two weeks of therapy and return full time to his job on Aug. 19.

“I am responsible for my conduct,” Filner said at San Diego City Hall. “This intensive counseling will just be the first step … I must become a better person. My hope is by becoming a better person, I put myself in the position to someday be forgiven.”

This scandal has building for weeks, and over the past few days more accusers have come forward saying that they were sexually harassed by Filner, a Democrat. Both the local Democratic Party and DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz have called on Filner to resign in light of the allegations against him.

If there is one thing that is clear, it’s that Bob Filner needs to leave office and leave office now. This behavior is simply unacceptable for someone holding public office and despite his apologies, it is clear that he is no longer fit to run a major American city.

Personally, I am skeptical that “rehab” would be appropriate this situation. A case like this requires out-patient therapy over many months, not a two-week stint in some luxury clinic. Sadly it seems that many public figures use going to rehab as a way to absolve themselves from guilt, an act akin to receiving confession and being declared saved by the grace of God. But if Filner expects to get a clean slate after finishes rehab, he is sorely mistaken.

It’s unclear what the political ramifications of this will be, especially outside of San Diego. The Democrats like to talk about a GOP “War on Women,” but it seems that they don’t exactly hold the moral high ground when it comes to their own politicians. Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer, and now Bob Filner have all been in the news this week alone and all of them have been Democrats.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the GOP should raise the “Party of Women” banners just yet. Their congressional and Senate caucuses are overwhelmingly men, and the many stupid comments made by Republican candidates about abortion have made women feel anything but welcome in the party.

Unfortunately, the political life attracts liars, thieves, and perverts. The best we can do is call out this type of behavior and occasionally cull the herd as needed.

But until then, stay classy San Diego.


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