December 7, 2017

"A sad day indeed! This whole sexual harassment thing is devolving into McCarthyism I fear."

"Does sexual harassment exist? Of course it does - we've seen a number of perpetrators fall. In my 84 year old opinion I don't think Senator Franken is guilty of harassment, and I suspect the female senators who have asked for his resignation are guilty of grandstanding for political reasons. Sad day!"

That's (the first part of) the top-rated comment — with 1963 votes — on the NYT article "Al Franken Announces He Will Resign from Senate Amid Harassment Allegations." (The second part is a demand that the Senate go after Donald Trump.)

The comment jumped out at me because I'd just read a column by Ana Marie Cox at The Washington Post, "Al Franken isn’t being denied due process. None of these famous men are," which had a high-rated comment that sensed the arrival of McCarthyism:
What a sorry column. Yes, Franken is being denied an ethics probe and impeachment [sic] and conviction in the Senate. To tap dance around the established procedures to placate a Twitter Mob and a devious, grandstanding Senator whose doing a hell of a Joe McCarthy impression in a dress. And the spineless Senators that lined up behind her are a disgrace to the rules and procedures of the U.S. Senate.
I don't really think Franken can complain about due process: He's expelling himself. He just experienced political pressure to quit and he yielded. And I laughed when Franken said:
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.
He's leaving because he's deciding to leave. They're staying because they're deciding to stay. Same treatment. No irony. (And why is he "of all people" aware of irony? Because he's been a comedy writer?)

But I am interested in seeing how people in general may be shifting from enthusiasm about believing women and taking women seriously to feeling something is going wrong when the accused goes down so fast. Maybe Franken's case is where the public sentiment turns. Franken wouldn't admit to his misdeeds (so he couldn't apologize), and he described his predicament:
I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do. I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven’t done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others, I remember very differently.
He was afraid that to defend himself, he'd only make his troubles worse. He'd be questioning the credibility of his accusers. But maybe he should have defended himself. Because at some point people are going to flip into have-you-no-decency mode. And poor Franken may regret that he went with what seemed to be the trend at the time and gave up without a fight. Fighting may catch on.

Now, I'm searching the news reports for other invocations of McCarthy, and here's Cathy Young in The Daily News yesterday: "Al Franken, the latest casualty of the 'Weinstein' effect, now a victim of sexual McCarthyism." By contrast, here's lawprof Stephen L. Carter in Bloomberg, 3 days ago:
Are we facing a new McCarthy era?

No. Perhaps there is occasionally too great a rush to judgment, but that’s a familiar problem in human history. McCarthyism involved a huge effort to punish people for their opinions, not their actions. That’s despicable at any time.... Disciplining an employee because he expresses views that some hate is McCarthyist; disciplining him for harassment or assault isn’t.

It would be McCarthyist for an employer to fire an employee for insisting on more due process for those who are named, or for coming to the defense of one who has been accused. But taking strong action when there is credible evidence that an individual has been abusive toward women is simply the turning of the wheel of justice.
That's one man's opinion, but it might be the view from 3 days ago, and the culture has shifted since then.

131 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's hysteria, not McCarthyism.

For guys, very funny. For women, self-entertainment.

Fabi said...

You know the left is losing when their media acolytes toss around a term like "McCarthyism". So much winning.

Ann Althouse said...

"a devious, grandstanding Senator whose doing a hell of a Joe McCarthy impression in a dress" = Gillibrand.

She's making her name right now, and it will be interesting to see how this reputation works in the next 3 years. Do you picture it gelling into a presidential campaign? I think people are going to get tired of it or anxious about it and look for somebody who feels more sober and balanced.

But I'm always for the boring, sober, balanced person, and I never get what I want. America likes excitement and entertainment and... weirdness.

rhhardin said...

The women hate the men. The men nevertheless find the women interesting and amusing.

Men don't expect much from women.

MadisonMan said...

The right to remove politicians from office should remain in the hands of voters.

If a Political Party is collectively sad that one of their members is putting them in a difficult political position, I can play a very small violin for that party. Choose your candidates wisely -- and don't rely on friendly press covering for misdeeds. That worked during the Clinton years (which include the years up through Hillary's spectactularly bad Presidential run). It won't work now.

tcrosse said...

Franken: I have fallen on my sword (in a few weeks, maybe). Now you.

RichardJohnson said...

McCarthyism involved a huge effort to punish people for their opinions, not their actions.

Like Alger Hiss?
Like the Rosenbergs?

rhhardin said...

Without the women's equality thing, men could be less patronizing.

There would be less need to pretend things.

rhhardin said...

Gladius and vagina. Sword and sheath.

If you're going to fall on your sword.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

How much of the vilification of McCarthy is projection and virtue signaling by Democrats and RINOs then and now?

buwaya said...

"Disciplining an employee because he expresses views that some hate is McCarthyist"

Ahem - James Damore and Google. Brendan Eich. etc.

Biff said...

I have been concerned by the reports of various people being fired because of an allegation of harassment or other alleged inappropriate/unlawful behaviors. While there may be circumstances where allegations by themselves might be enough to warrant a firing, I hope that the bar is set a little higher than simple allegations.

Of course, resigning is another situation, even though a "resignation" often is, in reality, a firing in disguise.

buwaya said...

And then there is the fact that they all knew.
Properly, they should all just resign. Including their staffs.

rhhardin said...

The problem with patronizing, besides that women ought to be able to spot it and seem not to notice, is the having to take women seriously when everybody knows about women and what they complain about.

Yet everybody's afraid to mention it.

My accusers are just being women. There's the line.

mandrewa said...

McCarthyism involved a huge effort to punish people for their opinions, not their actions. That’s despicable at any time...

And yet somehow the man that's saying this is oblivious that this has been going on for the major portion of his life, and that he, most likely, is one of the people doing it. (I'm assuming he's left-wing.) And the evidence is all around us.

Look at our universities.

Look at our high schools.

Look at the media (for the greater part).

Look at Hollywood.

Look at Silicon Valley today. (And by the way, I believe Silicon Valley had the opposite political tilt in the beginning. And that's not evidence of McCarthyism because those people were self-selected. Nobody hired them.)

David Baker said...

The madness of crowds.

Khesanh 0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

A difference between McCarthy’s commie hunt and a witch hunt is that there were no witches.

Static Ping said...

Technically, Franken has not resigned. He has simply promised to resign at some vague future date that is not specified, which he can revoke.

Khesanh 0802 said...

If you want to get a decent take on what is happening at the moment read Witches by Stacy Schiff. You only have to read the beginning hundred pages - if that- where she describes how the Salem Witch hunt began. Kirsten Gillibrand plays an important part in a prior incarnation. You'll recognize some of the other characters too.

rhhardin said...

It's like women in STEM fields. They all wind up on the women's workplace issues committee, while the guys are completely self-entertained by STEM stuff.

Yet the women are the ones who take themselves as being serious. The guys are doing play for pay stuff and having fun and don't give serious a thought.

buwaya said...

True. Franken has not resigned.
This all may yet blow over. For him anyway.

Darkisland said...

I call Bullshit on the mccarthyism. Especially Carter.

McCarthy investigated only govt employees with security clearances. He investigated them not for beliefs but for actions. They were, we now know, colluding with Russia.

Nothing to do with mccarthy but we should remember that in that era the Russians were interfering with our govt to the point of having a vice president who may (or may not) have been Russian agent.

I think it is time we rehabilitate mccarthy. Franken fell because of mccarthesque treatment? So what? He was guilty as charged.

For those who claim he mistreated innocent people: name 3.

John Henry

Florence said...

I came across this article earlier today that pretty clearly explains why people, like me, are bothered by the current frenzy -- call it a witch trial, McCarthyism, whatever:

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/12/06/the-warlock-hunt/

Aside from her tribal call to liberal friends confirming that she does indeed hate Trump, I found myself nodding in agreement with most of the article.

Hopefully collective opinion tides are shifting back to a better equilibrium on how we react to these allegations, and the subject matter generally.

Darkisland said...

"He" above meaning ccarthy

rhhardin said...

Having high-pitched voices doesn't help either.

Phil 3:14 said...

And now Trent Franks, the most conservative US Rep in AZ

rcocean said...

Does McCarthyism require a "McCarthy"? In which case, who is it? I don't see one.

What I see, is a lot of Leftists and Democrat hacks upset that "sexual harrassment" is taking a toll of Democrat/Liberal media figures.

Of course, that's bad. Very bad. Cause...well it has to be.

So it's McCarthyism. Its Fascism. Its Stalinism.

Anyway, when its starts costing the Democrats power, its gone too far.

Rob said...

What's ironic is that people consider Franken a comedy writer when he's distinctly not funny.

rhhardin said...

The dynamic is that it's soap opera news. Ratings.

No story has legs without ratings.

Easy to stir up women.

Those damn men.

tcrosse said...

So the Maenads have forced Franken to make the correct noises. Trump is made of sterner stuff.

rhhardin said...

Advice: don't play serious in soap opera. Yet that's where you find women's equality on the loose.

etbass said...

There is no way Franken is going to resign. He doesn't feel guilty, just a bit of shame. He loves the power, worked hard to get it and plans to keep it as long as possible. It provides wealth (as it does for all in congress) and he doesn't plan to miss out on it. He loves the platform for his act just as he did on SNL.

And he gets plenty of opportunity to grab women, wherever. There's that.

He is just going to wait it out and somewhere along the line, he will seize upon a rationale for revoking his promise, maybe the election of Roy Moore.

etbass said...

There is no way Franken is going to resign. He doesn't feel guilty, just a bit of shame. He loves the power, worked hard to get it and plans to keep it as long as possible. It provides wealth (as it does for all in congress) and he doesn't plan to miss out on it. He loves the platform for his act just as he did on SNL.

And he gets plenty of opportunity to grab women, wherever. There's that.

He is just going to wait it out and somewhere along the line, he will seize upon a rationale for revoking his promise, maybe the election of Roy Moore.

rcocean said...

And Al Franken is such a weasel, I'll believe he's resigned, when he actually leaves the Senate. He left himself quite a few escape hatches in his so-called "resignation speech" lets see if uses any of them in the next couple weeks.

I don't see any evidence of it "Going too far". What I see is a few people in Hollywood and politics/news having to live by the same rules the rest of us live by. Very few peeps in Corporate American or Lower levels of Government could get away with acting like Al Franken or Weinstein. The sexual harrassment rules are strictly enforced.

rhhardin said...

If you write soap opera, women let you grab them by the pussy.

Darkisland said...

"ahhhh..." they say, "by doing this to Franken you are playing their low game. You're better than that."

Yes, I am playing their game. You can't win if you don't play.

And

No, I am not better than that

John Henry

Gusty Winds said...

Harold Ford Jr. seems to be fighting back today. Somebody needs to. I believe him.

Due process. The right to face your accuser. Innocent until proven guilty. All flying out the window for political gain.

Interesting how so many are so willing to throw these modern principals away so easily. Maybe we should have never made chivalry shameful.

Ken B said...

You say he cannot apologize for his misdeeds because he hasn’t admitted them. Do you really not see how that presumes his guilt?
Frankly I agree with him that the “I’m an entertainer “ thing is preposterous.

You used to say free speech went beyond the first amendment. You have forgotten fairness goes beyond legality too. Forget the phrase “due process”. How about due diligence? How about actually looking at evidence?

No wonder you buy into McGowan and her “I’m the evidence” stuff. When only evidence of guilt counts that’s a witch hunt.

rhhardin said...

The allegations even if true are an individual matter, not a public problem.

Why do people concede that point.

It's the Anita Hill effect.

Ken B said...

People ALREADY get attacked for asking for due process. Look for example at what happened to Lena Dunham.

mockturtle said...

Agree with rhhardin. It's not McCarthyism. It's mass hysteria. I guess 'witch hunt' might also apply, as it was also based on mass hysteria.

Gusty Winds said...

In regards to news today, This simply did not happen. I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life. Having drinks and dinner for work is part of my job, and all of my outreach to the news reporter making these false allegations was professional and at the direction of my firm for business purposes. I support and have tremendous respect for the brave women now speaking out in this important national dialogue. False claims like this though undermine the real silence breakers. I will now be bringing legal action against the reporter who made these false claims about me as well as Morgan Stanley for improper termination. Go get 'em Harold. Someone has to.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Uh...are we not supposed to punish people for their opinions? How the fuck else can you explain the twitter mobs and violent antifa goons who target "Nazi supporters" and alt-right types, getting them fired, etc?
The Left has no problem attacking people for "bad" opinions.

Anyway McCarthy targeted people who had taken the ACTION of supporting the mass murderous Communist movement. If it's ok to attack Nazi supporters for their opinions it ought to have been just as ok for McCarthyism to have taken scalps.

As usual the Left has no standard--just one set of rules for opponents and one for friends. Who, whom. Always.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

#BelieveAllWomen(Except those lists who have accused me)

Catchy.

William said...

There was an interview with one of his accusers on MSNBC. She was a Democrat activist so I don't think the attack was politically motivated. She remembered that he came on to her in a lewd way and she was vehement in denouncing him not only for the pass but for refusing to acknowledge that he was in the wrong. She looked like she was telling the truth. My one reservation was that she didn't look like the kind of woman any guy would ever flirt with, but maybe it was the lighting in the MSNBC studio. They have learned from bitter experience not to make the women look too attractive on the set. Some of the boys there cant be trusted. .......Then there's the matter of that photo. There's no escaping that. That's the feminist equivalent of wearing blackface.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Don't call this McCarthyism when we have bipartisan agreement on a basic point.

One thing Franken, Conyers, Ford, Moore, Trump, Bill and Hillary all agree on is that these women are all lying.

Sebastian said...

Progs trying to turn the Reckoning back into the Narrative. McCarthyism is a useful tool: prog-on-prog vilification is "McCarthyism," than which there is not greater sin, while prog-on-con vilification is -- fine.

Rigelsen said...

So Carter believes that some accusations are so bad that they brook no defense, even when they don't even involve illegal behavior.

Anyway, if Carter wants to insist on such a narrow and likely misguided view of McCarthyism, well, that's his right, but not sure he's worth humoring by anyone else. Whether you want to call it McCarthyism or an old fashioned witch hunt, this is is no way for a land of the free to behave.

William said...

You can fairly argue that all of these events happened before he became Senator. You can also fairly argue that if that photo had been published before the election, he would not have won by 314 votes.

AllenS said...

This insanity will stop when Amendment XIX is repealed.

Paddy O said...

I had to spend 2 hours of my time last week going through a Sexual Harassment training online. It demanded 2 hours, even if I could read and absorb faster than that.

It's common sense stuff for decent folks, but the problem is there's a lot of not-so-decent folks out there. It expects the kind of gentlemanly and lady-like behavior, but for far too long popular media and popular politics have celebrated the outrageous, telling us that cads are to be idolized and emulated. The Christian Right pushed against the coarsening of the culture and were told they were prudes.

Imagine if they were instead taken seriously in the 90s?

All this to say, I have absolutely no problem with someone who acts like a cad, getting the boot. They should be, along the the financially corrupt, be shamed and no longer given the advantages of power to shape our culture. And, above all, those who make the laws that forced me to spend hours of my time every years being reminded of how to act decently, should be required to live by those same laws.

The more hypocrisy we can kick out of politics the better for all involved.

The trouble, of course, is that the Right tried electing decent folks who merely had policy differences, and those folks were called stupid, or worse, like Palin or GWB or Romney. So I don't believe any of the rhetoric coming from the Left now. But I'm happy to see them cleaning their own house, as maybe someday they'll have the decency not to run rape apologists who were bolstered in the media by sexual deviants. Maybe at some point they'll be trustworthy and invite decent folks to run for office as well.

Clyde said...

McCarthy may have been an odious character, but he wasn't wrong about the Communists. Most of those who were blacklisted were guilty of everything they were accused of.

AllenS said...

Alfranken's speech would have sounded more reasonable if he had mentioned Moore, Trump and BJ Clinton.

William said...

How much latitude would Franken grant a Republican accused of a similar crime? At least he's treating himself as unfairly as he would treat a Republican........Maybe sexual harassment will be like gay marriage. Being opposed to gay marriage wasn't really immoral until all the Dems got on board with it. Then opposition to gay marriage was an obscene crime against nature.....Sexual harassment was fine during the Clinton years. But that was then. Now sexual harassment is an impeachable offense.

CWJ said...

"'Disciplining an employee because he expresses views that some hate is McCarthyist'

Ahem - James Damore and Google. Brendan Eich. etc."

While historical allusions are always available, history itself starts anew every day.

tim maguire said...

Franken isn't accused of sexual harassment, he's accused of sexual assault. And there's more evidence of his guilt than there is of Moore's.

Mark said...

See, this is what punks do. First, they sucker punch you. Then when they get hit back, they cry that it's no fair.

Mark said...

How much latitude would Franken grant a Republican accused of a similar crime?

The left already condemns conservatives and Republicans of being inherently anti-woman.

gadfly said...

During a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) claimed that he had a list with the names of over 200 members of the Department of State that are “known communists.” The speech vaulted McCarthy to national prominence and sparked a nationwide tizzy about subversives in the American government. Over a four-year period, Sen. McCarthy relentlessly sought to uncover the truth about why men and women who had been investigated and identified as security risks were allowed to continue in the employ of various bodies and agencies of the federal government, even after their possible connections to international communism had been revealed to their superiors.
To be sure, McCarthy was not the first to incite anxiety about subversive communists. Congress had already investigated Hollywood for its supposed communist influences, and former State Department employee Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury in January 1950 for testimony dealing with accusations that he spied for the Soviet Union during the 1930s. But McCarthy went a step further, claiming that the U.S. government, and the Department of State in particular, knew that communists were working in their midst.

Given how pervasive Cold War tensions were at that time, one would expect that Sen. McCarthy’s campaign to discover the truth about communist influence in the U.S. government would have drawn praise and appreciation from all quarters. But such was not the case. On the contrary, right from the beginning, McCarthy was vigorously attacked by the mainstream press and the more attention McCarthy gained, the more vicious his critics became.
Somehow common people considered Communists to be dangerous requiring a search for truth, but the media and his political opponents needed to shut McCarthy up, and they did just that through publicly disgracing him and hounding him into an early grave.

In the decades that have passed since Joe McCarthy’s death, the sullying of his reputation has continued unabated, until "McCarthyism" became synonymous with abuse of power and the persecution of the innocent.

Funny how the VERONA records from the Soviet Union has proven the Communist infiltration to be real but words like McCarthyism have hung around.

steve uhr said...

Now the focus can be on the child molestor. If he wins he becomes the poster boy for the GOP for years to come.

Angel-Dyne said...

...and the culture has shifted since then.

"Shifted" as in, "Uh guys? Guys? What the hell? Hold up, we're not supposed to be taking down Democrats here..."

And that is the only problem they have with the "new McCarthyism".

Seeing Red said...

He should never have been senator in the first place.

R.J. Chatt said...

His explanation that he is resigning because of his sense of duty to the people of Minnesota doesn't pass the smell test. I don't like Franken in the least but the sight of any person being thrown under a bus is horrifying. I'd have more respect for him if he said he's resigning because he doesn't want to go up against the Democratic Party and he got the message that the Party would never support him in any future elections. I would respect him if he stated that he is willing to accept this sacrifice as it would provide a reason to get rid of Trump. Instead he comes across as a whimpering and whining weasel.

This was a raw power play, Gillibrand establishing her credibility versus Kamala Harris. IMO

Etienne said...
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AReasonableMan said...

So after literally a hundred hysterical posts firing up the mob Althouse is now unhappy that there is a mob. Quelle surprise! Maybe rhardin has a point after all.

sane_voter said...

It's 50-50 Franken actually resigns

Angel-Dyne said...

rcocean: And Al Franken is such a weasel, I'll believe he's resigned, when he actually leaves the Senate.

I certainly hope he doesn't resign. As others have noted, if the voters want 'im, they can have 'im. But mostly I'm just looking forward to watching all the indignant "reckoners" beclowning themselves as they back down from their righteous indignation and fall meekly back into (the party) line. They've already started.

I like Sebastian's turn of phrase, above, that the "Progs [are] trying to turn the Reckoning back into the Narrative", but there is no Reckoning and there never was. The prog grunts were momentarily without direction, just got a little confused about the mission and the enemy. They'll all be back on message in no time.

buwaya said...

ARM, great literature requires depth, complexity and tension.

This drama, like all reality, is written by the greatest playwright of all.

Birkel said...

I agree with steve uhr.

We should now focus on Senator Menendez and his rape of underage girls on the Lolita Express.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

I still think the photo of him groping the woman in a flak jacket was funny.

I can tell his hands are nowhere near her, and I have seen this same picture taken at Hooters. The Hooters girls don't let you grope them, but they are game for that funny picture.

I think it is a healthy humour. Not a perverted humour. It show you know there are limits.

I think the ambulance chasers are winning.

sane_voter said...

Gillibrand is a piece of work. When she was appointed into Hillary's seat in the Senate, she was a conservative Dem (blue dog member) who represented a reddish district in upstate NY, and supported gun rights (NRA A rating). Once she got that senate seat she became a standard issue, gun-grabbing liberal (NRA F rating).

No principles at all.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Let the guys suffer. I'm a man and I don't feel sorry for any of them. They seem incapable of understanding a basic fact of life: Women do the picking.

A confident, courteous, successful, well-dressed man who listens more than he talks seldom has trouble attracting beautiful women in the political and commercial centers of the world.

Paco Wové said...

"They'll all be back on message in no time."

E.g., Steve Uhr, above.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

“So after literally a hundred hysterical posts firing up the mob Althouse is now unhappy that there is a mob. Quelle surprise! Maybe rhardin has a point after all.”

True! That is very fickle of her. One blogpost after another about liberal/leftie sexual abusers, then when the grass fire turned into a wildfire and burned up some conservatives and middle of the roaders too, she got scared and got out her hose.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger steve uhr said...
Now the focus can be on the child molestor. If he wins he becomes the poster boy for the GOP for years to come.

Like Howard Nevison? Who was he a poster boy for, Steve-O?

Inga said...

It was all fun and games to Trumpists and rightists until it got too close to their own homes.

steve uhr said...

Howard nevison. Had to look him up. A little antiSemitism on your part?

Ken B said...

Not just hundreds of posts, but drooling over witch-finder general Ms R McGowan.

It really does seem to have been an exercise in vindicating rhhardin.

Joshua Barker said...

Funny... I don't recall any of these idiots calling for Roy Moore's due process... he was an evil child-molesting rapist who should quit and then die...

Not so pretty now that the shoes on the other foot, is it? Well, suck it up buttercups... and get used to the new playbook, where you and your side are held to the same standards and rules you club us with... you WILL be made to care!

Inga said...

Not so pretty now that the shoes on the other foot, is it?”

I could ask your side the same question. Both sides are wearing the shoes, don’t get too cocky ( yes I meant to use that word).

Inga said...

https://www.speaker.gov/press-release/statement-office-speaker

Last Wednesday, the speaker was briefed on credible claims of misconduct by Rep. Trent Franks. He found the allegations to be serious and requiring action. The next day, the speaker presented Rep. Franks with the allegations, which he did not deny. The speaker told Rep. Franks that he intended to refer the allegations directly to the House Ethics Committee and told him that he should resign from Congress. The allegations were filed with the Ethics Committee last Friday. And today, the speaker accepted a letter of resignation. The speaker takes seriously his obligation to ensure a safe workplace in the House.

Background:

About two weeks ago, the general counsel to the speaker was contacted by a friend with information about troubling behavior by Rep. Trent Franks directed at a former staffer that took place at the time that this person worked in the congressman's office. The speaker’s general counsel believed the information was concerning and warranted examination. The speaker’s general counsel inquired whether the former staffer would be willing to share their story directly, and the person agreed. On Tuesday of last week, the speaker’s general counsel interviewed the former staffer, who shared claims of misconduct directed at this person as well as a second former staff member. The claim involving the second aide was validated independently by the speaker’s office through a third party who had been made aware of the matter at the time. The next day, the speaker was briefed. The following day, he brought the claims to Rep. Franks, and the next morning the complaint was filed with the Ethics Committee. Subsequent conversations took place this week between the speaker and Rep. Franks leading to the congressman’s decision to offer his letter of resignation.

Paul Ryan

Amexpat said...
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Bad Lieutenant said...

Howard nevison. Had to look him up. A little antiSemitism on your part?

Asshole, I'm Jewish too. As a matter of fact he was my cantor, I studied for my bar mitzvah with him. Now do you get my point or do I have to spell it out for you?

Amexpat said...

Have there been any innocent victims of the reckoning yet?

When NBC fired Lauer on what they said was the first complaint against him because of their newly created zero tolerance policy for sexually harassment, I initially thought that it was a witch hunt and NBC was caving in to the mob. It's now known that NBC knew that there many such serious incidents that would shortly come to light. So Lauer was not unjustly fired because of the mob, the mob pressured NBC to do the right thing.

Garrison Keillor claims that there was just one incident where his hand inadvertently touched a woman's bare back while he was trying to comfort her. I don't believe him. I can't believe that he would allow one innocent incident to ruin his career and reputation and I don't think Minnesota Public Radio would fire for their legend for just that. My guess is that there were other incidents that they didn't want to come to light. For Keillor, he can pretend that he's taking the high road by not fighting for his reputation and MPR can claim that they have zero tolerance even for their biggest star.

The photo of Franken groping a sleeping Leeann Tweeden along with her story would have been damaging under any circumstances. Franken also liked to hug and kiss women in a way that may have been tolerated before but is not now. He had to go if the Democrats wanted to plausibly claim that they are the party supporting women's rights. He's not a victim because he had helped create the new standard that caused his demise.

Inga said...

Blake Farenthold being investigated by the House Ethics Committee. $84,000 of tax payer money paid out in sexual harassment settlement.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/07/politics/mia-love-blake-farenthold-cnntv/index.html

“Washington (CNN)Republican Rep. Mia Love of Utah said on Thursday that her colleague GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas should resign in light of allegations he sexually harassed members of his staff.

"I think that he should voluntarily resign," Love said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" with anchor Kate Bolduan.
The House Ethics Committee announced earlier Thursday that it had received information about Farenthold over the last two weeks and was investigating the Texas Republican.

The House Ethics Committee announced earlier Thursday that it had received information about Farenthold over the last two weeks and was investigating the Texas Republican.

A report in Politico last week identified Farenthold as having used a taxpayer fund to pay a sexual harassment settlement to his former communications director. The woman, Lauren Greene, said in a lawsuit that the congressman had made sexually charged comments to another staffer.”

Joshua Barker said...

Inga said:

I could ask your side the same question. Both sides are wearing the shoes, don’t get too cocky ( yes I meant to use that word).

12/7/17, 10:48 PM

-----------------

You know what... I'm all for going scorched earth... let all the skeletons come out on both sides... if someone is guilty, they should get their just rewards... but at the end of the day, I'm pretty confident your side has a LOT more bodies buried than ours does...

Inga said...

Joshua, you’re still being cocky!

FullMoon said...

Blogger steve uhr said...
Now the focus can be on the child molestor. If he wins he becomes the poster boy for the GOP for years to come.


When he wins, it will be a big "fuck you" to establishment.

It is the media and you people calling him a child molester that will help put Moore, an apparent whacko, into office.

bgates said...

I'm always for the boring, sober, balanced person

lol. Promise(/threaten) to "fundamentally transform the United States of America", then pretend to walk it back and you're "boring".
Announce that your nomination will be remembered by future generations as the moment the planet began to heal and you're "sober". Claim to be better at every job in the White House than the people you've hired to do those jobs and you're "balanced".

You may as well claim to always vote for the person with the longer family history of naval service.

bgates said...

Now the focus can be on the child molestor.

He retired after he got beat up by "exercise equipment" and pushed out as minority leader.

n.n said...
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narciso said...

Kirsten gillebrand the trident who stuck up for mattress girl at Columbia, who has waged a jihad against the military ranks that one, quelle surprise.

wwww said...
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n.n said...

It's progressing as a baby hunt, that denies civil rights, and paints people with broad, sweeping strokes.

wwww said...
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Lucien said...

Venona, not Verona.

Yancey Ward said...

"I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously."

Well, Franken knows whether or not the claims are true. Could defending his honor really be worse than what Franken did today? I suspect that he probably did the things he is accused of, but I might have felt differently but for that photo from which his reputation didn't seem to recover.

narciso said...

Rick Wilson, surely he can't be serious, about him or may yet reap another whirlwind.

wwww said...
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cubanbob said...

The Democrats insist that Moore drop out thus allowing a Democrat to run unopposed. The Democrats are pushing to get rid of Franken knowing full well a Democrat Governor will appoint a replacement Democrat Senator. However when it comes to an actual criminal and someone who has credible evidence of having sex with minors, Democrat Senator Menendez, the very same Democrat woman Senators are stone cold silent in demanding his resignation while a Republican Governor is still in office and could name a Republican to replace Menendez. Once again proving Democrats are always full of shit. I would have some respect for Franken if he told Gillibrand to go eff yourself.

Unknown said...

The penalty for harassment should be to give up everything you have.

If you own a business you should sign the whole thing over to whoever says you touched them and they did not like it.

If you are a govt official, you should give your seat to whoever you directed a displeasing remark too.

Voting for penalty should be done by Twitter - everyone is informed and fair minded.

Problem solved, what's next?

Kevin said...

I still think the photo of him groping the woman in a flak jacket was funny.

I can tell his hands are nowhere near her, and I have seen this same picture taken at Hooters. The Hooters girls don't let you grope them, but they are game for that funny picture.


We don't think having sex with a willing participant is the same as having sex with someone who passed out on the couch. Using your logic above, it's just sex and other women have enjoyed it.

As for the not touching part, if he pulled out his erect penis and put it next to her mouth without touching, are we OK with that? In both cases, he's not touching her.

Kevin said...

Democrat Senator Menendez, the very same Democrat woman Senators are stone cold silent in demanding his resignation while a Republican Governor is still in office and could name a Republican to replace Menendez.

This. It's easy to call for accountability when it costs you nothing to do so.

I'll believe the Dems are serious about this when they willingly start handing over seats in Congress. Until then, it's all just a show.

FIDO said...

Hooter girls are generally awake to consent.

That you don't see a difference is telling.

That you find it amusing to do that to a girl who had already rebuffed him makes him a cad, a jerk, and a weasel.

PB said...

Perhaps hold off on these "Franken resigns" until he actually resigns. He merely announced he'd resign in several weeks. Seems like he's positioning to be able to not resign.

What a worm.

Professional lady said...

Franken crossed the line in my opinion. Yes, men can act like jerks and they shouldn't be ruined for it. Men also make unwanted passes that women rebuff. An adult woman should be able to handle it in most situations. But setting up a sexually suggestive scene of a sleeping woman and taking a photo of it crosses a line that should not be crossed. It goes way beyond jerkiness.

Saint Croix said...

I am interested in seeing how people in general may be shifting from enthusiasm about believing women and taking women seriously to feeling something is going wrong

No one should be enthusiastic by any of this.

The woman aren't heroic.

Only a few of the men seem actually villainous to me. Most of them are pathetic.

I think anybody who is enthusiastic is thriving on hatred. "We got another one!" It's either hatred against liberals, or hatred against men.

Human sexuality requires a lot of rejection. Men initiate. Women reject. Or accept. But there's nothing particularly newsworthy about a man trying to kiss a woman. Why would anybody get enthusiastic about a rejected kiss? It's embarrassing.

"He tried to kiss me. He should be fired."

Mac McConnell said...

I think Franken is repulsive, but I don't think he should resign. Let the Minnesota voters decide in the next election. His problem with his party is he had a history of inappropriate behavior prior to becoming a Senator and it continued while he was in office.

While Moore has been accused of what most consider perverse behavior from forty years ago the Senate has no grounds to not seat him if he should win. His actions even if true happened prior too being a Senator, not while in office. The few times the Supreme Court has backed the refusal to seat a certified winner of an election is if there is credible evidence of gross election fraud. Win or lose, the voters of Alabama are informed of the allegations, it's their constitutional choice not the Senate's.

Mac McConnell said...

sane_voter said...
Gillibrand is a piece of work.

Isn't she the one pushing the college girls needed Title X kangaroo sex courts because a fake study concluded most campuses were 20% Saddam Hussian rape rooms.

Saint Croix said...

The comment jumped out at me because I'd just read a column by Ana Marie Cox at The Washington Post, "Al Franken isn’t being denied due process. None of these famous men are," which had a high-rated comment that sensed the arrival of McCarthyism:

I associate "McCarthyism" with going after innocent people and not appreciating due process. But part of it too is this zero tolerance mindset. "He listened to a Communist speaker. He should be fired." You exaggerate the offense and the punishment is way out of whack with the crime.

You can argue that anti-Communism, or feminism, is right. But there's a real problem with a zero tolerance mindset. A failure to appreciate the virtues of tolerance is a failure to recognize your own capacity for wrong-doing. This is particular apt in these cases because it's sex-specific.

"Bad man! I will never be a bad man!" It's a lot easier for a woman to say that.

Take Taylor Swift for example. Some anonymous guy tried to touch her. I forget what he did. Tried to kiss her, put a hand on her. He did something. And she complained and he got fired.

Losing your job is a serious thing. Taylor Swift can't appreciate that, because she's a multi-millionaire. To put her on the cover of Time, dressed in black, like she's in mourning for her stolen virtue, is ridiculous.

The only reason Taylor Swift "came forward" is because the guy sued her. His lawsuit was ridiculous. It was based on her deep pockets and ability to pay.

It would be ironic, and funny, if her celebratory cover shot, dressed in black, mourning her stolen virtue, creates a new anti-sex persona for her, and she starts suffering financially because of lost sales.

Saint Croix said...

We don't think having sex with a willing participant is the same as having sex with someone who passed out on the couch.

Pretending to be a monster is not the same thing as being a monster.

She's in the military. Supposed to be protecting us. And she's asleep on the job!

He's making fun of her sleeping by pretending to assault her. He's also making fun of the idea of women in the military protecting us. He's a hypocrite, I think, in that he pretends to be liberal.

But he's (obviously) not assaulting her, because he's aware of the photograph and posing for it.

It's meant as a joke (at her expense).

I don't blame her for being angry, and maybe humiliated. She fell asleep on the job. He is mocking her, and pointing out how vulnerable she is.

Professional lady said...

Saint Croix,
How do you know she was on duty at the time the photo was taken? Franken's action was pretty despicable in my book even if she was on duty. Oh, and Franken was "on duty" as a US Senator when the photo was taken - makes the case stronger that he should resign.

Saint Croix said...

I don't think Al Franken is funny. Liberal humor is kind of boring. Like Portlandia? Boring. The only thing I remember Al Franken doing on SNL was his Stuart Smalley routine. He was mocking daily affirmations and the power of positive thinking and the whole self-help universe.

He probably had some experiences there. That name "Smalley" reminds us that he's short.

Just like Napolean!

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Here is the key sentence from Al Franken’s resignation speech that the witch hunt hunters are choosing not to notice:

“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a Senator, nothing has brought dishonor on this institution.”

Do you see what is excluded there?

(1) Conduct on USO tours before he became a Senator.

(2) Bringing dishonor on himself, as opposed to the institution.

Saint Croix said...

How do you know she was on duty at the time the photo was taken?

She's dressed for it, including the helmet. It looks like she's on duty. That's the basis of the gag, anyway. I'm not her boss so I don't actually care if she was off-duty or on-duty.

Franken's action was pretty despicable in my book even if she was on duty.

Again, he's pretending to be despicable. Not the same thing as despicable. He's a comedian and he's not being serious. I don't think Franken is funny. But what's really not funny are the people who are pretending that this is evidence of sexual assault.

Known Unknown said...

"Portlandia"

Oh, I don't know. Most progressive humor is startlingly not self-aware, but Portlandia wallows in its keen self-awareness of the progressive mind. I find it pretty damn funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdEPgB2yizw

"Next week is gender swap day."

Saint Croix said...

I suspect Gillibrand will be running for president.

My own opinion, the feminist claims of rape are directly analogous to pro-life claims of infanticide.

Emotionally upsetting, with enough underlying plausibility to make people want to change the subject.

(Note that Roy Moore responded to his accusers by suggesting his opponent was a baby-killer).

The media that has been silent about all this sex harassment for so long is the same media that has been censoring and hiding abortion photographs for so long.

Of course, feminism has had way more success than the pro-life movement. Feminism has gotten to the point where it wants to indoctrinate everyone, and get rid of people for thought crimes and touch fouls. Feminism has gone overboard, in other words.

The pro-life analogy would be that we recognize the humanity of the unborn child, and then go to work destroying the lives of all the celebrities, the journalists, and the politicians who participated in the wrong-doing. "You had an abortion!" And point fingers and try to hurt them.

I hope we do the former without the latter.

Note that our Constitution forbids ex post facto law (I.e. punishments for crimes that were legal when you did them). That's why slave-owners did not go to prison after the civil war.

Also, Christianity reminds us that we are all sinners, and all of us have done wrongs. And all of us can be forgiven, no matter how bad our actions. It is the blessing of Christ.

mockturtle said...

St. Croix: Portlandia isn't boring if you know Portland at all. It pokes fun at the extreme weirdness that is Portlandic culture. I've only seen it a few times but found it very funny.

DHunter said...

Uh, point of order. Al Franken has not actually resigned yet. What exactly is "in the coming weeks"?

Thorley Winston said...

Pretending to be a monster is not the same thing as being a monster.

She's in the military. Supposed to be protecting us. And she's asleep on the job!


No, she wasn’t. You’re confusing Leeann Tweeden (who was there as an entertainer as part of a USO tour) who was the woman in the photo being groped by Franken when he was asleep with Stephanie Kemplin who was active duty military and claimed Franken groped her when they took a picture together.

Jim at said...

It was all fun and games to Trumpists and rightists until it got too close to their own homes.

You leftists assholes have been burning down our homes for decades. I, for one, am glad you can no longer control the winds that fan the flames.

Burn it all down. I don't care.

Char Char Binks said...

"You say he cannot apologize for his misdeeds because he hasn’t admitted them."

That's just common sense. When you apologize for something, you're admitting the something. DUH!

If Franken didn't do anything wrong, and I believe there's no credible evidence of him sexually harassing anyone, he should neither admit wrongdoing nor apologize for it. He made a gag photo of Tweeden, supposedly without her consent (horrors!) and so what? She rubbed her butt on a singer onstage and slapped his ass, and also slapped Robin William's ass. Why isn't she being disciplined, or charged with assault. For that matter, why is NOT EVEN ONE WOMAN on earth being pilloried for any sexual misconduct like this?

Al Franken was a brilliant comedian. He was probably the best writer/performer SNL ever had. I don't share his political views, but I greatly admire his comedy talent.

He' resigning (or is he?) so Dems can hammer at Moore, Trump, and any other Republican they deem deplorable,so he's not a perv, just a partisan weasel.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Saint, Char,


If this is part of your shtick, fine, but trust me, Al Franken is a wrong'un. Oh my fuck, he is a bad guy. The Giant Colon Polyp of the Senate. No, for reals. Please do not die on this hill.

Professional lady said...

It's wrong to set up a photo of a sleeping woman while staging sexual overtones. That's what Franken did. It would be wrong to do it to anyone, man, woman, or child. It's not funny and it's not harmless. I don't know whether Franken should resign or not, I personally, am trying to sort all this out in my mind. But I won't accept that what he did was harmless or acceptable.

Professional lady said...
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Professional lady said...
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Bad Lieutenant said...

Franken's pattern, to me, shows an inner meanness, a cruelty, malice, spite, that IMHO at all costs should be barred from the levers of power.

Saint Croix said...

You’re confusing Leeann Tweeden (who was there as an entertainer as part of a USO tour) who was the woman in the photo being groped by Franken when he was asleep with Stephanie Kemplin who was active duty military and claimed Franken groped her when they took a picture together.

I was talking about Leeann Tweeden. It was in response to the allegation that Franken molests sleeping women. I didn't mention either Tweeden or Franken by name but it was obvious in context who we were talking about.

There was a joke similar to this photograph in an episode of Archer where a gay man molests Archer who is passed out in the bathroom. I remember going, "that's not funny!" But if I was a judge I would not allow anybody to bring that cartoon into evidence as proof of a crime.

Archer is a very funny show, by the way.