Al Franken needs to resign sooner rather than later

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josh

NorthReport wrote:

Who Survives a Sexual-Harassment Allegation?

There’s no clear pattern to the disparate trajectories of Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, and Roy Moore.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/what-does-it-take-t...

 

It's very clear who survives:  A Republican does and a Democrat doesn't.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

josh wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Who Survives a Sexual-Harassment Allegation?

There’s no clear pattern to the disparate trajectories of Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, and Roy Moore.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/what-does-it-take-t...

 

It's very clear who survives:  A Republican does and a Democrat doesn't.

Perhaps that is because Republicans are expected to be sexist, misogynistic, racist, misanthropic, etc. and Democrats aren't. 

NorthReport

 Ugly comment but a good point!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Perhaps that is because Republicans are expected to be sexist, misogynistic, racist, misanthropic, etc. and Democrats aren't.

To be fair, there also may be different definitions of "survive".

Moore might "survive" in the sense of being re-elected.  But Trump "survived" bragging on camera about 'grabbing them by the p**sy' in the sense that he's in the White House now despite it.  And Franken might not survive, career-wise.

Seems like maybe supporters decide who survives and who doesn't, not the crime in question.  Some supporters seem happier to accept stuff than others.

NorthReport
NorthReport

Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/arts/music/james-levine-met-opera.html

NorthReport
bekayne
NorthReport
NorthReport

What will It take for Moore er I mean Franken to resign over his disgusting behaviour!

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/franken-accuser-tried-to-forcibly-kiss-me

NorthReport

Several Democratic Senators Call on Al Franken to Resign After New Accusation Emerges

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2017/12/al-franken-calls-to-resign-s...

NorthReport

 

Republican Congressman Trashes GOP’s Support of Roy Moore: ‘I Don’t Want to Be That Party’

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/republican-congressman-trashes-gops-support-...

josh

Looks like Franken's going to announce his resignation tomorrow.

NorthReport

Yea, what's with the waitng until tomorrow!!!

But I get it, it only took was it seven women to complain about him sexually harassing them? What a prince and quite the contrast from this Republican Congressman!

Republican Congressman Trashes GOP’s Support of Roy Moore: ‘I Don’t Want to Be That Party’

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/republican-congressman-trashes-gops-support-...

josh

They’ve circumvented process and the principle of hearing from both sides. They’ve completely ignored the possibility that a person can reform himself. (Maybe Franken used to be a sexist jerk but has genuinely changed; aren’t liberals supposed to welcome that?) And they’ve blurred the line, which I think should exist, between different categories of sexual crimes, some of which are obviously worse than others. The day will almost surely come when they’ll regret having established these precedents.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-why-democrats-forced-al-franken-to-do-the-right-thing-and-why-they-may-come-to-regret-it

6079_Smith_W

Sure it was a hard decision all around, but once it turned from one accusation to several the writing was on the wall for him. Perhaps it might have been different for him had there not been this wave of calling abusers to task, but this is what is happening right now, and the fact is had he not done those things he wouldn't be where he is now.

And I can't help but notice that his explanations and apologies have been getting progressively more mealymouthed. We don't need to hear at his resignation that he's going to be okay or that some of the accusations are false. He isn't the victim here, and what is important is that enough of them are true that what we should be hearing is the sound of him jumping on his sword.

He was a great senator in many things, but the notion that they will regret losing him, or that he is irreplacable is part of that exceptionalism that drives privilege in the first place. Abusers get away with abuse because they are too important to lose. And we make excuses about it not being so bad because he didn't kill anyone for the same reason.

Bottom line here he is going to be replaced by a democrat and the senate numbers won't change.

I have to say though it wasn't my favourite resignation of the day. That goes to Brad Wall.

josh

The numbers won't change, now.  But there will need to be a special election in the fall of 2018 in a cycle where Democrats have far more vulnerable seats than Republicans.  Had he not resigned, the seat wouldn't have been up until 2020.  A presidential election year where it will be the Republicans who will have more vulnerable seats to defend.

NorthReport

Very well said Smith

Pogo Pogo's picture

It is not just the volume, it was his attempts to avoid taking responsibility for what he had done.  One thing about Louis CK was that when the accusations came forward he immediately said yes that was him, it was wrong and he took responsibility for the damage he has done.

josh

“Strange principle is emerging: If you admit misconduct, you resign. But if you deny it, however compelling or voluminous the testimony against you, you continue in office-or on to office-with impunity?”

https://twitter.com/davidaxelrod/status/938771695753728000

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Oh yes..Let's celebrate Franken's resignation. Yay! where's the cake and ice cream?

Meanwhile a pedophile just got elected (he has also been quoted that the country would be better off with slavery...and this maniac was a judge)

A serial admitted sexual predator is President. 

Both their crimes dwarf Franken's accusations. The only thing that was settled is democrats losing a senator who cared about his country. Fired and disgraced Democrats and celebrated and worshipped pigs walk free simply for having an (R) next to their names.

I hope everyone is satisfied. I know I am. Franken was the cancer in the Congress. Now the government can work hard to fuck the population,free of all sexual 'predators'

josh

Moore hasn't been elected.  Yet.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

josh wrote:

Moore hasn't been elected.  Yet.

Yet being the operative word. I consider him elected his defeat is unlikely and I'd expect nothing less of Alabama.

6079_Smith_W

He is favoured to win, but it is not over yet, and the fact it is a close race says something about the people of Alabama too.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/doug-jones-is-just-a-normal-polling...

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

More holes in the Franken accusations than a brick of Swiss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKFOXRooAXM

Rev Pesky

What the lesson is, for the Republicans, is that if they can convince a few women to slander a Democrat, that Democrat will be gone.

What the Democrats could have done was to exclude Franken from their caucus while they carried out an investigation of the allegations. But's what's done is done.

Meanwhile, the family values party seems impervious, not only to allegations, but a president bragging about sexual transgressions.

Way to go, Democrats.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
What the Democrats could have done was to exclude Franken from their caucus while they carried out an investigation of the allegations.

Well, hooking some women up to polygraph machines might have had some bad optics, too.

What if Marie Henein could have defended him?  A bittersweet "win" to be sure.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Rumor has it that Roger Stone tweeted the impending Franken accusation days before Leeann Tweeden made it public. Ms. Tweeden a right wing radio host and regular on Hannity and Gutfeld.

Hmmmm.

Democrats neeed to be more forceful in dealing with the Repugnicans. Protect their members as unconditionally as the Repugs.

Seems to me,the only people losing work are Democrats,not Repuglicans,even though they have a child molester running for Senate and a President with anywhere from 16 -20 accusers. Not to mention other Republicans (Family Values nuts) caught having sex with underage boys and the dripping hypocrisy in general of the Repugnican Party.

Hmmm.

Rev Pesky

From Mr. Magoo.

Well, hooking some women up to polygraph machines might have had some bad optics, too.

Being able to question accusers is a right that goes back a long ways. Here's Wikipedia on this topic:

...the United States Supreme Court has cited Acts of the Apostles 25:16, which reports the Roman governor Porcius Festus, discussing the proper treatment of his prisoner Paul: "It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man up to die before the accused has met his accusers face-to-face, and has been given a chance to defend himself against the charges." It is also cited in Shakespeare's Richard II, Blackstone's treatise, and statutes.

That's what's been tossed out the window, in the search for 'good optics'.. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That's what's been tossed out the window, in the search for 'good optics'..

I'm not even disagreeing.  I'm just saying that these days, it's not good optics.  If you "believe victims" then what need could there be for investigation?

If Franken were to settle this in court, and were acquitted, for many there would now be THREE abusers:  Franken, his lawyer and a judge.  That's just how it is.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I am very disappointed in the accusations and resultant resignation. Crap, compare the accusations against Franken to what Clinton got away with and it's astonishing that the Democratic Party insisted he resign. I agree that the Rev has a point - some breathing room for investigating the allegations should have been on offer. Especially in this climate of fake news.

 

Rev Pesky

From laine lowe:

...compare the accusations against Franken to what Clinton got away with...

What did Clinton 'get away with? 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Well having a sexual relationship with an aide is pretty out there. Plus he had allegedly many similar relationships prior to being President. Yes, you could say it was "consensual" but it really is similar to the imbalanced power imbalance between a professor and his student in college or university. That imbalance of power in a sexual relationship is far more negatively impacting than a inappropriate comment or kiss or grope.

 

cco

laine lowe wrote:

Plus he had allegedly many similar relationships prior to being President. Yes, you could say it was "consensual" but it really is similar to the imbalanced power imbalance between a professor and his student in college or university. That imbalance of power in a sexual relationship is far more negatively impacting than a inappropriate comment or kiss or grope.

Were they consensual until he became President? What's the level of economic and power imbalance necessary to invalidate consent? And under this standard, is it possible for anyone to consent to sex with Donald Trump? (If you're thinking "Melania", martal rape is still rape.)

NorthReport

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josh

laine lowe wrote:

Well having a sexual relationship with an aide is pretty out there. Plus he had allegedly many similar relationships prior to being President. Yes, you could say it was "consensual" but it really is similar to the imbalanced power imbalance between a professor and his student in college or university. That imbalance of power in a sexual relationship is far more negatively impacting than a inappropriate comment or kiss or grope.

 

He’s been accused of rape by Juanita Broderick and attempted sexual assault by Paula Jones.  The same party that worshiped him just threw ass grabber Al Franken to the wolves.

Rev Pesky

From cco:

What's the level of economic and power imbalance necessary to invalidate consent?

This is a good point. The fact is, there probably aren't any two people who have exactly the same level of 'power'. There is something called the 'age of consent'. Once having reached that age, a person can have consensual sex with another person who has reached that age, and the law can say nothing about it.

Another thing is that in almost all sexual relationships there was one partner who 'asked' the other partner, or in some way pushed the other partner towards sex.

The incidence of two people. of equal levels of 'power', spotting each other and mutually deciding  to have sex would be relatively small. It happens a lot more in the movies than it does in real life.

Which means that most sexual relationships are between two people of differing levels of 'power', where one of the partners urges the other toward sex. It's easy to see there are a lot of possible misunderstandings in that process.

Besides which I'll just point out the Catholic church has been trying for two thousand years to get people to stop having sex, with a singular lack of success. It seems obvious to me that the urge for sex overcomes the rules, time after time. 

josh
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
What's the level of economic and power imbalance necessary to invalidate consent?

I trust we can all understand power imbalance.  Your boss, your professor, your priest, a cop.

But what's this about "economic" imbalance?  If you have sex with someone who has more money than you, was it on the assumption that they would give you some?  Or what's the 'predatory' part of that?

Rev Pesky

From Mr. Magoo:

I trust we can all understand power imbalance.

The question, which you failed to address, is where do you draw the line?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Fair question.  I suppose I, personally, would draw it where one partner has material and significant power over the other.  Again, a boss, a landlord, a doctor, a police officer.  Someone who could reasonably make your life miserable if they wished to.

A teacher, having sex with an 18 year old who attends a different school, really shouldn't count.  A hockey coach, if you're not on their team, shouldn't count.  A priest from a church you don't worship at shouldn't count.

6079_Smith_W
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Indeed. Let's not go overboard here.

Was that for me?  If so, I genuinely don't get what you're getting at.

6079_Smith_W

Not in particular.

It's about the running theme in this thread turning sexual harrassment and assault into a numbers game around how much abusers should get away with before we acknowledge it for what it is and deal with it.

Those who have to put up with the abuse? Who the fuck cares?

To get back to the central incident, is it unfortunate timing that Franken got swept away by this, instead of having it be a more isolated incident that could have been dealt with in a hearing? Maybe. But it pretty small compared to the real issue here. He has been an effective senator in many ways, but he doesn't own that seat. If the Democratic party is going to fall apart without him, or without resorting to the same rules as the Republicans and expecting women to take another one for the team then it really isn't that much of a party, is it? 

For that matter, turning a mention of power structures into a hunt for loopholes to avoid getting called out is both missing the point, and an illustration of the point at the same time. Having a power relationship doesn't determine whether someone is sexually harrassed or assaulted. Anyone can do it. But people suffering abuse from others in power, and facing consequences if they speak out is a common aggravating factor in these recent accusations.

I don't see the point of a theoretical argument about whether it was Don Draper or the guy down the hall who wasn't actually someone's boss. I'm more interested in how this managed to come out of thin air:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/rose-mcgowan-speaks-out-about-h...

 

 

6079_Smith_W
Rev Pesky

Rose McGowan on her arrest warrant (from the posted article):

"I even hired a private investigator to investigate whether the warrant was real.”

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I'm more interested in how this managed to come out of thin air:

If you mean the article and its assumptions, it didn't come out of thin air at all.  Google "Ronan Farrow Weinstein" and be in awe of a man on a mission.

As for McGowan, I guess I'm just having a hard time believing Loudoun County, Virginia police elected to stand shoulder to shoulder with their dude-bro Harvey Weinstein, and frame her (alone out of Weinstein's 83 accusers) in order to "send a message" to women everywhere.   To be clear, I'm not doubting those accusers.  I'm doubting that whatever happens to all 83 of them for the rest of their lives is Harvey Weinstein's doing.

Here's an alternate theory:  maybe she had some drugs.  It was inevitable that they'd finally find their way into the world of Hollywood, yes?  Isn't that a bit more plausible than a theory that Harvey Weinstein has every little police department in the U.S. in his pocket helping him settle his scores?

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

Indeed. Let's not go overboard here.

I have no problem with women reporting sexual assault or harassment. 

​I do have a problem with them reporting it years after the fact.

6079_Smith_W

That you have a problem with it isn't relevant; there is no statute of limitations for sexual assault in Canada. And there is a range in the United States.

But in case anyone is wondering what I meant by loopholes for abusers.

 

 

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

For that matter, turning a mention of power structures into a hunt for loopholes to avoid getting called out is both missing the point, and an illustration of the point at the same time. Having a power relationship doesn't determine whether someone is sexually harrassed or assaulted. Anyone can do it. But people suffering abuse from others in power, and facing consequences if they speak out is a common aggravating factor in these recent accusations.

I don't see the point of a theoretical argument about whether it was Don Draper or the guy down the hall who wasn't actually someone's boss.

I brought up the power differential issue in the specific referenced case of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and I did so because Lewinsky's been consistent for the past 20 years that she consented. None of Franken's accusers (or Weinstein's) say they consented. To me, that's an extremely relevant distinction. It's why Franken had to go. And I've liked the guy in the past (I own a few of his books), but it's not the first time a politician I've liked has done something shitty, and it won't be the last.

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