Editorial: Unhappy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is set aside for expressions of love and acts of romance. Candy, cards and candlelight.

 

We’d rather be writing about that.

But with the lingering #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, and the White House’s stumbling, bumbling response to several alleged abusers in its midst, the ugly underbelly of flawed relationships – too often at the hands of cruel, controlling, coercive companions – is impossible to ignore.

In this climate, and especially inside this particular administration, how could Oval Office officials have been so tone deaf – so slow to dismiss alleged abusers Staff Secretary Rob Porter and speechwriter David Sorensen, and so quick to defense and defensiveness of them?

Loyalty is an admirable quality – until it becomes a fault. And it cuts both ways; any man despicable enough to take hand to woman has shown a decided lack of loyalty in his own life, not to mention integrity, humanity or, heaven forbid, courtliness.

Domestic abuse isn’t just politically incorrect; it’s wrong, it’s immoral and it’s criminal.

And to see where it can frequently lead, look no further than Augusta. Look no further back than last Friday.

That’s when Jaz-na O. Timmons, 34, was gunned down in broad daylight in the parking lot of the Georgia War Veterans nursing home where she worked, just three days after filing for divorce from the shooting suspect – an allegedly abusive husband and father to her children.

She is gone, and her children are motherless, purportedly at the hands of a domestic abuser.

If guilty, it wouldn’t be the first time domestic abuse has ended so tragically in 29-year-old Richard Lyle Timmons Jr.’s family. In 1997, The Chronicle’s Sandy Hodson reported this week, “Richard Timmons Sr., murdered his wife, Annita, and his 7-year-old son by cutting off their heads, and he stabbed to death his 13-year-old stepson. According to reports in New York City newspapers, he had been physically abusive.”

Indeed, a month before those savage killings, Timmons Sr. had been given a suspended sentence for having broken his wife’s eye socket.

The young Richard Timmons Jr. isn’t mentioned in news accounts at the time, but would’ve been about 8, Hodson writes.

The adult Timmons Jr.’s Facebook page featured a photo of Annita’s and her murdered sons’ gravestones. But if he thought them martyred, he allegedly chose his father’s path instead.

It shouldn’t take Hollywood and political scandals, or the death of a beautiful young mother, to drive home the inherent perils and evils present in the very first signs of domestic abuse.

President Trump did a marvelous job at his State of the Union address of pointing out the attendant risks and occasional catastrophes of unfettered illegal immigration – highlighting survivors of those murdered by illegal aliens.

He should have likewise used the Porter/Sorensen affair to point out the many wrongs inflicted on women by tyrannical “loved ones” – which sometimes end in death.

It’s a Valentine’s Day massacre, observed year-round.

 

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Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon