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Elliot: Beating reality

BY BEAU ELLIOT | DECEMBER 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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So, do we now believe that Ohio State has three better quarterbacks than Iowa's two? Well, does the Sun rise in the east?

I wonder if, before next season, the Buckeyes would be willing to trade No. 3 for Sally Mason.

We could throw in Greg Davis for a third-string linebacker (thus demonstrating that we would do anything to slow down the Buckeye offense).

Of course, I jest. We wouldn't trade Sally Mason for anything (even though that No. 3 Buckeye QB looked pretty good).

And I'm pretty sure she'll be here for years to come, or at least until Cornell University needs another president. Turns out, when it comes to college presidents, that the University of Iowa is sort of the Triple-A team for Cornell. Just ask Hunter Rawlings and David Skorton.

These are the sort of idle thoughts you have when you're trying (and I mean trying) not to think about attempted forced kissing.

What? You've never heard of attempted forced kissing? Well, actually, neither had I until Rich Lowry brought it up. Lowry is the editor of the National Review, a publication of some repute, albeit rather conservative, who was on a panel discussing sexual assault at American universities — a serious topic, whether one is liberal, conservative, or not particularly interested in either.

At one point, as the good folks at Talking Points Memo report, Lowry said "attempted forced kissing" was not sexual assault.

The panel was talking about the alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, as reported by Rolling Stone in a story that became famous and now seems to be falling apart. Lowry contended that the magazine had an "agenda."

Or, in his own words, "Rolling Stone didn't do basic fact-checking here; I believe because they [sic] had an agenda to portray UVA as the bastion of white male privilege, where basically rapists rule the social life."

Upon which, apparently, CNN's Van Jones countered with the statistic that 1 in 5 college women are sexually assaulted. Lowry said that statistic was "bogus," because it included "attempted forced kissing."

"It's not a crime that the police are going to be involved in and prosecute," he contended.

Now, I have no idea what "attempted forced kissing" might be; I certainly haven't engaged in it. But it doesn't sound very amiable, and in my experience, though it might be limited, kissing is an amiable activity between two consenting people.

In any case, there's no disputing that sexual assault is a serious problem, on America's college campuses and in the society at large (why is so much of society at large? — maybe new Sen. Joni Ernst will take care of that problem). There was a new report of such an assault over the weekend in a UI dorm.

For a conservative intellectual to try to diminish the seriousness of the problem by describing it as "forced kissing" is unseemly at best, and at worst, well, you can figure that out. The word "troglodyte" comes to mind, but I don't like calling people names.

At least most of the time.

So instead, I have idle thoughts about trading for the Buckeye's No. 3 quarterback. Lots of times, idle thoughts beat reality.


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