Sen. Al Franken: His robust questioning of criminal Repukes was clearly too much, so Dem toadies had to be enlisted to take him down.
"Would Senator Gillibrand resign if several people came forward to allege she sexually harassed/abused them?
Why does Franken have to be forced out of office? What happened to due process? Shouldn't the residents of the state he represents have a say in this matter; not just a contingent of Democratic Senators." - Comment on NY Times website
It now appears Sen. Al Franken will resign tomorrow, marking one of the most successful "dirty trick" jobs the Repukes have ever pulled using trained pawns. This time, getting Dem Senators to act as accessories after the fact, piling on Franken after a 7th accuser has come forward about "forced kissing", for god's sake. Thereby putting kisses, a mock grope and some butt pinches (MAYBE- we have no evidence only claims) on the same level as the child molestations of Roy Moore. This followed a coordinated Senate gang up, compliments of female Dem Senators led by Kirsten Gillibrand - who I used to respect. Not any more, not when she can so easily be manipulated and used as a tool to destroy a fellow Senator's career - merely out of unproven, unsubstantiated claims. And NO -I do not believe them just because a woman or women said them. As Bari Weiss wrote in a recent NY Times piece:
"We don’t owe anyone our unthinking belief. “Trust but verify” may not have the same ring as “believe all women.” But it’s a far better policy."-
As I wrote in a previous blog post:
Some outspoken feminists and defenders of women's rights have actually come out in public and insisted "Zero tolerance!" Meaning that even the slightest perceived infraction must receive the full, maximal weight of penalty. In other words, analogous to putting a jaywalker in a gas chamber.
But this is bonkers and counterproductive. If all infractions major and minor receive the same condemnation and sanction - say expulsion from office and equal destruction of reputation - then there is total loss of balance, of moral perspective. In that case, what we end up with is a misfiring moralism and an atmosphere of feeding frenzy, not morality. We end up with absolutism as opposed to conscious interpolation of actions differing in intent and transgressive impact.
What is needed instead of "zero tolerance" absolutism is to arrive at a weighing or interpolation of actions based on critical thinking combined with the exercise of ethical provisionalism. Just as provisional ethics provides a reasonable middle ground between absolute and relative systems, it also provides a middle ground for sanctions imposed on a scale of actions or infractions. Thus, while one may rightly demand a capital punishment (say lethal injection) for a mass murderer of infants in their cribs, one may not do so for a jaywalker.
The scale of infraction is vastly different, hence it is madness to apply the same sanction to both violations. By the same token, provisional ethics bids us withhold the hand of punitive extremism, say for infractions like Al Franken's, compared to those of Roy Moore (sexually assaulting children). Hence it is also madness to demand the expulsion of Al Franken for his alleged violations, which are nowhere in the same league as Moore's. It is also nonsense to demand Franken's resignation if you don't also demand Donnie Dotard's for his much more malicious "grabbing pussies".
Former GOP Rep. (FL) Dave Jolly put it well in his appearance on Lawrence O''Donnell's show on Wednesday, that "we have to take care to distinguish fallibility from criminality". This is especially as Mr. Jolly expects many more allegations to erupt in the coming weeks. As these further accusations pile up one must bear in mind that Roy Moore's advances on underage girls amount to the criminality (pedophilia), but Al Franken's mock grope of Leeann Tweeden does not. Neither do his "inappropriate touches" - construed as such by assorted women who posed with him in takes at the MN state fair.
And let us pause here to note again that not all allegations made by women are true, especially if there is no clear evidence of such. While we desire to give women's claims of sexual harassment validation, we cannot ignore the possibility that there may also be ulterior motives in play- and bad actors. These motives (and strategies) didn't just originate recently but have been around for decades under the guise of "dirty tricks" - e.g. since the Nixon campaign's tactics against Dems in 1968 and 1972..
Let us note the first to come out and level accusations at Franken was Leeann Tweeden . She was clever- perhaps too clever by half - in also producing a photo. This she likely saved since the transgression occurred to use as a conservative payback, as she looked forward to a career as a conservative talk host. Franken wasn't a Senator yet but Tweeden perhaps had an instinct, or maybe intuition, he might have a future political career. If and when the time came she could then pull out her evidence and lower the boom, in the right circumstances.
Indeed, it also appears Nixon- era dirty trickster Roger Stone might have put Tweeden up to it, and yeah, you can call me conspiracy -minded if you want, see:
Roy Stone knew well ahead of time that Al Franken was going to be accused of something.
We know also Tweeden's background has indeed been exposed as "a Conservative talk show host, conservative commentator on many shows, Trump supporter, model.:" Left blogger Amanda Marcotte, in a recent salon.com piece, suspected a Reepo dirty trick or political stunt after Tweeden came out with her claims. However, Amanda perversely invoked that to insist Franken resign -which was total bollocks - on the fear the Reeptards might employ it later.. According to Marcotte "if this is a political stunt then the people behind it surely want Franken to stay".
Of course! And Tweeden and her conservo allies can now point to a victory enabled by Dem weaklings acting as accomplices because they insist on a stupid, conflationary, "zero tolerance" policy. Thus Sen. Gillibrand's exclaiming "I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping you are having the wrong conversation." Adding:
"You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable."
So the moral scolds like Gillibrand appear to have won. In this new climate of moral absolutism and "zero tolerance" I guess we can expect child rapists and wanton kissers (like Franken) to suffer the exact same sanctions. Wifey conjectures that the Dem Senate women were emboldened and triggered into action by TIME's earlier selection of the #MeToo movement as "Person of the Year". Who knows? . I hope they are all satisfied in their exultation after tomorrow, but are also aware of the can of worms they've opened with their imperious hyper rectitude.
That is, now anyone's past from years ago- including minor sexual indiscretions - can be dredged up and re-litigated by the pseudo-moral scolds to destroy their current careers. How many of us really, seriously, would be able to withstand such scrutiny? Let's please let all those pure as the driven snow, without any moral blemishes, cast the first 'stones'.
Lawrence O'Donnell ruminated on his 'Last Word' show that "perhaps the Democrats have now risen to a higher moral standard." Maybe. But cynic that I am, I suspect it is more about political expediency - and believing that if they can just ditch their "Roy Moores" (never mind the violations weren't the same) they can expect a huge, unencumbered wave win in the mid terms next year. Let us hope they're right - though I won't be donating any more $$$ to their campaigns.
What was really choice yesterday is seeing and hearing guppy mouth Sen. Mitch McConnell also calling for Mr. Franken to leave the Senate. This barely days after he did a 180 and has now opted to temper his opposition to pederast Roy Moore. He will "let the people of Alabama decide" Moore's fate in that state's Dec. 12th election. What a gracious POS.
Way to go, Sens. Schumer, Gillebrand and company! You stupid, effing dupes!
Update: Dec. 7th - Sen. Franken to resign:
“I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,”
Thanks for your stalwart service, Senator! And you did hit the nail on its proverbial head. It is a pity the Democrats took the easy road of adopting zero tolerance (for political expediency) , rather than exercising their presumed intellectual capacity to make the case that the acts of Moore and yourself amount to comparing chalk and cheese. As Bill Maher put it in his last show - it should not have been that difficult to do. See also: