Gansler criticism gets despicable [Letter]

November 16, 2013

Susan Burke's recent letter was ill-considered ("Gansler's comments reflect 'boys will be boys' culture," Nov. 11). She voiced false assumptions and assertions about Attorney General Doug Gansler's presence at his son's high school graduation week celebration in Bethany Beach this summer. Her use of the word, "attendance," deliberately implies participation and revelry when, in fact, Mr. Gansler only briefly stopped by to check on his son. Ms. Burke states that Mr. Gansler paid for his son's house at the beach. It is, however, verifiable that Mr. Gansler's name was not even on the rental lease. Conspicuously absent from her statement was the acknowledged fact that quite a number of other parents of the graduates shared the rental cost of that house.

In my opinion, even more irresponsible was Ms. Burke's decision not to mention the fact that the parents who did rent the house actually stayed at the house all week to oversee the celebration. She also chose not to mention the fact that the parents chaperoned the party at all times. It is very curious that she also chose not to point out that the now-famous picture of Mr. Gansler reading a text in the middle of the dancing shows two adult chaperons in the background. A reasonable and objective person would conclude that Mr. Gansler and the other parents provided and managed a strictly controlled environment for this kind of annual "rite of passage" celebration.

Any parent knows that 18-year-old high school graduates heading to the summer beaches are going to drink beer. Mr. Gansler and his friends saw to it that their children behaved responsibly in a parent-controlled environment. I recall no police reporting of the "intoxication" to which Ms. Burke refers. Nor was any rape ever reported or implied. In fact, the parents insisted that no kids could be behind closed doors at any time in the house and had established and reviewed with the kids numerous rules which made clear parental disapproval of the "rape culture" to which Ms. Burke refers.

I understand and share Ms. Burke's abhorrence of non-consensual sex. But her diatribe asserting that Doug Gansler "...espouses the very views that permit the rape culture to thrive," and that he "...encouraged young men to drink and have as much sex as possible..." is unconscionable, despicable and inaccurate. Her rantings are demeaning — not just to Doug Gansler but to herself. And to her cause.

Thomas F. Sandusky, Ocean Pines

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