It’s an axiomatic truth that all conservatives understand: once a law is passed, it is virtually impossible to get it repealed. That’s why we wanted to fight Obamacare with such ferocity. We knew that once it became law, the fight to get rid of it would be a bloody battle with little hope of success. But the truth about the law applies to liberalism across the board. When it sinks its teeth into policy, it doesn’t let go even when the support structure beneath it gives way.
No clearer example of this can be found than at the University of Virginia. Finally admitting publicly that the Rolling Stone article that accused campus fraternity Phi Kappa Psi of harboring a brutal gang rape in 2012 was an unsubstantiated fiction, President Teresa Sullivan said that the dark suspicions cast by the article had been “soundly refuted” over the last couple of months.
She then went on to apologize to the UVA Greek community for jumping the gun, pledged to let these fraternities resume their usual schedules, and promised that they would put these idiotic liberal lies behind them for good.
Oh wait, she didn’t do any of that.
Like liberal bloggers who were made to look ridiculous when the truth of the Rolling Stone article became evident, Sullivan believes that the fictional account led to some good changes in policy. We shouldn’t let the inconvenient fact that it was all made up stop us from furthering the liberal agenda, should we? Of course not. After the article hit the newsstands, Sullivan suspended the Greek council’s ban through January 9. But even after police officials told her that they could find nothing to substantiate the story, she still required fraternities to sign a new contract, filled with demands directly spurred by the allegations.
Instead of repudiating the changes made under false duress, Sullivan defended the new policies as being born of the fraternity organizations themselves rather than thrust upon them by the administration. She further insisted that UVA was “using this moment of national attention to provide strong leadership in the long-running effort to improve student safety on America’s college campuses.”
Policies Based on Ghosts and Whispers
That’s a fine mission, but it is a weak statement in the wake of this journalistic shame. It is, of course, reminiscent of colleges in California who are revising their consent policies well beyond the point of realism in response to inflated feminist claims that 1 in 5 female university students are raped. But even when these stats are shown to be just as fictitious as the Rolling Stone story, the policies stay. In fact, they are strengthened. Before long, men will need to obtain a notarized contract before they can safely engage in sex.
We have to stop letting the extreme left dictate the terms of the debate. There’s nothing wrong with finding ways to make women safer, both on campus and off. But these ways should be born of common sense, real numbers, and real solutions. They should not come out of the feminist blogosphere, where truth is eschewed for sensationalism. Unfortunately, the left’s most outrageous viewpoints are slowly but surely gaining mainstream acceptance.