Hiram Monserrate is a douchebag.
Need proof? Consider the lovely legislative record of the freshman NYS senator: he not once, but twice threatened to caucus against his own party–which for the first time in over 40 years was in control of the upper house of the New York State legislature and had an ambitious progressive and reform agenda, including legalizing gay marriage–making good on his threat the second time and throwing the entire state government into chaos (and costing the taxpayers billions of dollars.) And both times, he couldn’t even stand steadfast to his own dirtbag principles (well, except the most important: look out for Hiram first)–he turned coat on his turncoat companions and slunk back to the Democrats.
And that’s not even what earned him his nickname: Monster Rat.
That comes as a result of the “incident” of December 19th, 2009. Monserrate brought his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, to an emergency room over a half hour from his apartment. She had been slashed down to the bone by a broken glass. Monserrate claimed he had tripped in a darkened room and accidentally smashed the glass into her face. Giraldo disagreed, although she would later recant and say that his version was correct. But that night she called him “crazy” and said, “I can’t believe he did this to me!”
It seems that he had been driven into a jealous rage by finding another man’s business card in her purse. A security camera would later show images of him beating her in the hallway, dragging her by her hair. She tried to get away from him but nobody opened their door.
He was indicted, but once Giraldo changed her story, it proved impossible to convict him of anything but misdemeanor assault.
Now, I can leave it there: yet another case of a powerful man using his privilege to abuse a woman and get away with it–as Joanna Molloy did in the New York Daily News:
In the hallway after the verdict, women in jeans and lawyers’ suits clustered in groups and shook their heads. “This sets women’s rights back a long time,” said one female court officer.
Forgive us if we find the couple’s story the most incredible coincidence since Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same Fourth of July.
Erlbaum did find Monserrate – who courthouse wags have been calling Monster Rat – guilty of reckless assault, for forcibly dragging Giraldo out of the apartment in a scene caught on videotape.
It’s a misdemeanor, so Monserrate gets to keep his job in Albany.
So for your enjoyment (read: rage), here is a gallery of Bramhall’s cartoons, which are disturbing and triggering enough that (in a Second Awakening first) I present them after the jump.
A Gallery of the Damned
Most often, Bramhall used Monserrate’s image as a commentary on politics, albeit one divorced completely from anything having to do with women’s politics:
Don’t you just love the terrified woman in that last cartoon? Way to exhibit sensitivity as well as your usual perspicacity, Bill!
The Cartoonist’s Chore
A few times, Bramhall includes an image of Monserrate in cartoons commenting about how hard/easy it is for him to do his job, i.e. come up with cartoons:
Almost, But Not Quite
Once or twice, Bramhall almost shows some sensitivity to the underlying issue of violence towards women–but then as usual completely smothers that in a smug blanket of privileged fuckery that uses images of that violence to make a crude joke:
The Big Finish
This last cartoon ran during the height of the Senate leadership crisis. It is so full of douchebaggery and misogynistic imagery that it practically makes up its own genre: douchedy, maybe, or WTF-tire.
For those uninitiated into New York State politics: in addition to Senator Douche, you can see former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (presumably with a prostitute) at upper center, and in a nice homophobic touch former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith dressed in the little Lord Faunteleroy outfit. The horse’s ass at lower right is Assembly leader Shel Silver (and an assessment of his character I tend to agree with.)