Politics & Prejudices
Drawing the lines
Republicans redraw congressional districts to their advantage
Published: June 22, 2011
However, the media should be ashamed of themselves for the question they didn't ask: How much of the way Karen Dumas was treated was due to the fact that she was a woman, and an attractive one as well? I've never seen her being the least bit flirty, or coquettish, or acting cutesy, a la Jennifer Granholm.
Dumas was all business, all the time. I've seen office romances between powerful men and their female aides. I never saw any sign of that here. Nevertheless, Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson thought it was appropriate to write this in a column shortly before she was fired:
"Bing and Dumas' personal relationship is no one's business, really. And no one has produced any evidence that it goes beyond a close professional association. Even the suggestion that it does is probably unfair." Yeah, well, Steve-o, you just did exactly that, sliming both parties by implication while pretending not to.
Having done that, the very next line Henderson wrote was this: "Certainly, a man in Dumas' position would never face such scrutiny."
My guess is that Karen Dumas could be short and harsh and possibly not collegial enough and didn't suffer fools gladly. She behaved, in short, like many male chiefs of staff I've encountered.
They, however, had testicles, as did their bosses. Even if running Dumas out was the right thing to do, there was a clear double standard here, and nobody can pretend otherwise.
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story said congressional districts are to vary by no more than 1 percent. They should, in fact, vary by no more than one person.
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