Aside from some brimming right-wingers on social media, the vast majority of non-lefties have decided to give Shorten the benefit of the doubt. The reaction of the Left has been jaw-droppingly inconsistent, as usual.
They've been very quiet about these claims right across the media spectrum, from snarky tweeps to "professional" journos. Imagine if the same claims had been made about Tony Abbott. Without a doubt there'd be bolshie trolls aplenty tweeting up a storm about it, all utterly certain of the PM's guilt.
Yes, ABC hacks probably would have kept mum like they did in regards to Shorten. But would those from joints like The Guardian and The Age have managed to resist the urge to tell the world about them? Not likely.
Then there's the deafening silence of the frightbats. (Hey, that sounds like a movie title, dunnit?) They claim to champion the rights of women regardless of political affiliation, and are forever claiming that the legal system is stacked against them if they do make an accusation of rape -- particularly against a powerful white male. Not only have these malignant nags been totally silent since every Aussie on social media learned about the Shorten allegations, they've also dutifully kept quiet, or even defended the Opposition Leader since he's gone public about them.
And since when were feminists satisfied that a refusal to charge some bloke for rape constituted a complete exoneration of him? On the contrary, they often see such decisions as yet more evidence of systemic, patriarchal misogyny.
Why aren't any of them sticking up for the accuser in this case? People do know who she is, and Shorten -- an extremely influential individual -- has pretty much implied that she's a liar, or fantasist at best. Come on "feminists", justify your label. Stop being such tragic tools of the patriarchal penis people, why don't ya!
As well as the specific feminist hypocrisy, there's the general leftist double standard regarding their view of the plods. Usually they don't trust anything "the pigs" say, right? And the more extreme of them will glow with pride if they manage to clock a copper with a rock at some stupid demo. But now that the boys in blue have done something the leftards actually approve of, well, their decision is wise, unbiased, unquestionably correct ... friggin' Solomonic even! There is simply no reason on Gaia's green earth to doubt them.
The reaction to my tweet about the issue, comparing two unedifying claims from the mists of time, illustrates this selective credulity. (By the way, when I wrote it I was originally referring to the wall punching incident. And while leftists thought I meant sexual assault charges, their reaction still proves my point.)
@matthewhayden Abbott was CHARGED by the police. He got off in the court case http://t.co/cZwmijzwAN #auspolStill on these two cases, another double standard: The incident Ash refers to involved Abbott allegedly goosing a female political enemy on stage. Now while that is still bad and wrong, it sure as hell ain't rape now is it?
— AshGhebranious (@AshGhebranious) August 21, 2014
So, a bit of an apples and oranges type situation there. But no matter. If you're a leftist it's your feelings about something that matter isn't it? (And remember all the leftist lamentation after Abbott winked when that grumpy gran sex worker called in to berate him? Gawd, anyone would've thought that he'd just beheaded the poor old duck right there in the studio.)
There are other inconsistencies in the leftist reaction to this issue that illustrate their stupid childish malice. But I think the ones I've listed will do for now. Any sensible person can see that these squealing quarterwits have no moral authority whatsoever.
Which begs the question: Do they not realize how utterly ridiculous they appear to any rational person when they react in this way? You'd think they might be mindful of that fact ... But I suppose that being mindful and self aware is too big an ask when your ideology is about bossing people around and nothing else.