Just in case you didn’t believe my latest post on the Ross Mirkarimi case, check this out (San Jose Mercury News, 10/11/12). On Monday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to retain Sheriff Mirkarimi in office despite his having pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor because he grabbed his wife’s upper arm. The hearing on whether to fire or retain Mirkarimi was attended by hundreds of people, the great majority of whom wanted the Sheriff to keep his job.
As I pointed out in my report on the hearing, the domestic violence industry routinely claims that anyone who’s been charged with, pleaded guilty to or been convicted of any form of domestic violence, regardless of how trivial, must suffer not only the legal consequences of his actions, but others as well. In many cases, that means he must lose his job or career. So, if he’s a law enforcement officer or serves in the armed services, he must lose his job because keeping it requires carrying a firearm and no one who’s had a DV charge leveled against him is permitted to do that.
Most heinous is the claim by DV extremists that any elected official must automatically resign or be removed from office, not by the voters, but by whatever body is empowered to do so. In Mirkarimi’s case, that body was the Board of Supervisors. Either the domestic violence industry doesn’t understand the astonishingly anti-democratic nature of its claims or doesn’t care. I’ve never figured out which it is, but my guess is it’s the latter. To me, they seem so caught up in their own rhetoric, that all incidents of DV inevitably lead to worse incidents and they’re all aimed at keeping women down, they can’t see the obvious. The fact that those claims have been shown, time and again over some 37 years, to be simply wrong discourages the DV industry not a whit. They’ve been singing the same song far too long to change their tune now and, more importantly, they’e not about to jeopardize the massive funding they receive, from federal, state and private sources, by admitting the truth.
And that’s what yesterday’s vote by the Board of Supervisors represents – the truth. The truth about Mirkarimi’s case is that his action of grabbing his wife’s arm to prevent her from leaving a room, while not ideal behavior, should never have been made the subject of criminal charges, much less cause for dismissing a publicly-elected official. Indeed, his wife never reported the matter to police; a neighbor, who, not coincidentally, is herself a card-carrying member of the DV establishment, did that. Since then, Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, has stood staunchly by him proclaiming that she was “never afraid of Ross.”
So when the Board of Supervisors stood up for science, common sense and the will of the people of San Francisco, it was a devastating defeat for the DV establishment. One day later, it shows.
When the curtain closed on the political theater over San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s future, shock set in for domestic violence activists across the Bay Area.Apparently they’re still trying to figure out how to respond to the good sense shown by the Board of Supervisors. For the time being, they’re reciting the usual litany of inaccuracies and outright fraud that for so long has characterized the rhetoric of the DV industry. So we’re told that it’s wrong to call Mirkarimi’s action “no big deal,” that Lopez can’t possibly decide for herself what to do or what her relationship with her husband should be, that Mirkarimi “got away with it,” and of course that the voters should be prevented from making up their own minds about whether they want the man to remain in office.
There’s a definite consistency in the way DV activists have treated this case; to them, people aren’t to be trusted, and so the better course is to allow DV activists to make decisions for them. It’s true in Lopez’s case and it’s true for the voters as well. According to the DV establishment, Lopez, a woman of some wealth and standing both here and in her native Venezuela, is simply a witless tool of her husband. She’s incapable of deciding her own best interests, in their narrative of the case (and indeed most DV cases). As domestic violence lecturer at Berkeley Law School, Nancy K.D. Lemon said, “It is also typical for victims of domestic violence to minimize the actions of their abusers.” That is, Lopez thinks the incident to be relatively unimportant, but we know better.
Then of course there are the voters who can’t be trusted to remove Mirkarimi from office come the next election. So DV activists were counting on the Board of Supervisors to do their bidding and are mightily miffed that they refused.
The point being that there’s a pattern here – DV activists think very little of everyone but themselves. DV victims? Can’t be trusted. Voters? Ditto.
Interestingly, the precise legal reasoning for that refusal goes to the heart of the disinformation peddled by the DV establishment lo these many years. The legal question involved whether Mirkarimi’s actions constituted “official misconduct.” If so, he’s out; if not, he stays. So, could Mirkarimi be said to have been acting in his official capacity as sheriff when he and his wife had their spat in the privacy of their home? The answer given by Board Members who voted to retain him was “no,” and in all honesty, there’s not a legal theory I’m aware of that would conclude otherwise.
But to DV activists, there is no zone of privacy inside one’s own home. To them, if DV is alleged, all distinctions between private and public spheres vanish; all behavior becomes a matter of public concern.
Fortunately, the people know better. That’s why, when DV occurs, the great majority of those involved decide to keep the police, courts, media and DV activists out of it. They deal with it themselves, just as Mirkarimi and Lopez would have done had she not made the mistake of informing her neighbor about the incident.
It’s seldom noticed, but people vote against the domestic violence system every day. Every single day there’s an election and the DV system loses in a landslide. That’s shown by the fact that the overwhelming majority of people involved in a DV incident each day vote to stay out of the DV system. They simply don’t report it to any authority. In so doing they say loudly and clearly that what the DV system is offering them is not something they want. When Dad grabs Mom’s arm, when the wife slaps her husband’s face, all understand that the “victim” could call the police, have the other person carted off to jail, placed under a restraining order, prevented from returning home, deprived of possessions, required to hire an attorney, separated from children, have their job threatened, etc. Once the police are called, it’s all out of the hands of the people actually involved. Does she not want him charged? Too bad; it’s not up to her. Does he not want his children to lose their mother for weeks on end? Tough luck; he doesn’t have a voice in the matter.
That’s what the geniuses of the DV establishment have wrought, so it’s no surprise that people vote with their feet and avoid the DV system if possible.
That Ross Mirkarimi held onto his job is a crack in the armor of the DV system and the tens of thousands of people who make their livings off of it, and DV activists are screaming bloody murder. It’s about time.