- Frank Cerabino Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Turn yourselves in, guys.
No use waiting. There’s no hiding out from this one. They’re going to find you.
Men-Are-Pigs-Gate is in full bloom, and the way things are going, there will be many more carcasses of once-powerful men littering the gutters of politics, commerce and the arts before it’s settled.
Get out in front of it, fellas. Surrender before you get caught. It’s easier that way.
If not, you could end up like Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel, who suddenly resigned this week after six women who worked with him told Politico that Bittel is “creepy.”
Bittel didn’t date underage girls or sign their yearbook, like Judge Roy Moore of Alabama. Bittel didn’t stalk them at the mall, pull them out of trigonometry class to ask for a date, or try to maul them in his car parked a darkened restaurant parking lot.
Nobody’s accusing Bittel of an Al-Frankenlike unwanted, tongue-inserting juicy kiss. And there’s no photograph of Bittel pretending to molest a sleeping woman.
Bittel’s principal sin might best be described as extreme eyeballing.
I guess you could say that he was accused of being an aspiration groper, a guy who seemed capable of initiating unwanted sexual contact without actually being accused of carrying out with his body all of the things his eyes seemed to be saying.
“He’s just so f—-ing creepy,” a former female party staffer told Politico. “He just leers at you, and stares. I don’t know if you know what that feels like, but he just leers at you. I don’t know how to describe the feeling.”
Bittel did some objectionable mouth work too. Not kissing. Talking.
He was always making suggestive comments, and asking women if they wanted to fly in his private plane, or come to his house when his wife wasn’t home, the women said.
“He makes comments about what women wear, about how they look. It’s inappropriate,” one woman said. “At a certain point, it becomes difficult and uncomfortable to do your job.”
I know what you’re thinking. If only there was some physical evidence of Bittel’s creepiness. At least with Moore and Franken, there was a yearbook inscription and a photo.
But with Bittel, there was … wait, this just in!
“There was a lot of boob stuff in his office,” one woman said.
You know those rubbery stress balls that people sometimes have on their desks, the kind you squeeze in your hands? Bittel’s stress balls were shaped like women’s breasts, they said.
Bittel acknowledged having boob-shaped stress balls, then explained they were a gag birthday gift he got from a woman.
That excuse might have worked in the pre-Harvey-Weinstein era.
Sure, I can remember back to those misty days of the distant past, way back in November of last year when tens of millions of women voted for a U.S. presidential candidate who bragged about groping unsuspecting women and was accused by 16 different women of some variety of sexual assault.
But those days are fading fast.
The jig is up for the Stephen Bittels of the world. It’s been quite an impressive 241-year-run.
But it looks like the women have had their fill, and in the interest of bringing competent adult supervision into the world of government, business and the arts, we might have to turn things over to them temporarily, while, one by one, we guys fall in disgrace, left to molder in our many exiles, squeezing our boob balls and plotting a pathway back to redemption.