July 22, 2019

"Holding his head in his hands, he said, 'I don’t think people who have been sexually assaulted, and those kinds of things, want to hear from people who have been #MeToo’d that they’re victims.'"

"Yet, he added, being on the losing side of the #MeToo movement, which he fervently supports, has led him to spend time thinking about such matters as due process, proportionality of punishment, and the consequences of Internet-fuelled outrage. He told me that his therapist had likened his experience to 'what happens when primates are shunned and humiliated by the rest of the other primates.' Their reaction, Franken said, with a mirthless laugh, 'is I’m going to die alone in the jungle.'... 'I can’t go anywhere without people reminding me of this, usually with some version of You shouldn’t have resigned,' Franken said. He appreciates the support, but such comments torment him about his departure from the Senate. He tends to respond curtly, 'Yup.' When I asked him if he truly regretted his decision to resign, he said, 'Oh, yeah. Absolutely.' He wishes that he had appeared before a Senate Ethics Committee hearing, as he had requested, allowing him to marshal facts that countered the narrative aired in the press.... A remarkable number of Franken’s Senate colleagues have regrets about their own roles in his fall."

Writes Jane Mayer in "The Case of Al Franken/A close look at the accusations against the former senator" (The New Yorker). Seven  of Franken’s Senate colleagues went on record with Mayer: Patrick Leahy, Heidi Heitkamp, Tammy Duckworth, Angus King, Jeff Merkley, Bill Nelson (“I realized almost right away I’d made a mistake. I felt terrible. I should have stood up for due process to render what it’s supposed to—the truth”), Tom Udall, Harry Reid (“It’s terrible what happened to him. It was unfair. It took the legs out from under him. He was a very fine senator”).

This is a long article. Let me just also excerpt the part where Franken weeps and Kirsten Gillibrand's new statements:

On December 1, 2017, seven female Democratic senators—Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Claire McCaskill, Mazie Hirono, Patty Murray, Maggie Hassan, and Catherine Cortez Masto—met with Chuck Schumer to tell him that most of them were on the verge of demanding Franken’s resignation.... According to someone familiar with the situation, Schumer spoke with Franken later that day, advising him to take the issue more seriously and to reach out to the women senators. Franken has no recollection of this conversation, but says that it’s wrong to suggest he wasn’t already taking the matter seriously. His plan was still to respond to Tweeden’s claims at the Senate Ethics Committee hearing. “I was going by the book,” Franken told me. “We didn’t think we should mount a lobbying campaign. But then it all started cascading.” He faults Schumer for not insisting to his caucus that an investigation was under way, and that due process required facts before a verdict. “Look, the Leader is called the Leader for a reason,” Franken told me....

On December 6th, Politico posted the story of the anonymous congressional staffer, under the headline “Another Woman Says Franken Tried to Forcibly Kiss Her.”... Franken has maintained that the woman’s story was the allegation “that killed me.” I asked her if his behavior was bad enough to end his Senate career. “I didn’t end his Senate career—he did,” she said.

Franken was stricken when I related her comments to him. “Look,” he said. “This has really affected my family. I loved being in the Senate. I loved my staff—we had fun and we got good things done, big and small, and they all meant something to me.” He started to cry. “For her to say that, it’s just so callous. It’s just so wrong.” Rubbing his eyes beneath his glasses, he said, “I ended my career by saying ‘Thanks’ to her—that’s what she’s saying.”

Minutes after Politico posted the story, Senator Gillibrand’s chief of staff called Franken’s to say that Gillibrand was going to demand his resignation. Franken was stung by Gillibrand’s failure to call him personally..... Gillibrand then went on Facebook and posted her demand that Franken resign....

I recently asked Gillibrand why she felt that Franken had to go. She said, “We had eight credible allegations, and they had been corroborated, in real time, by the press corps.” She acknowledged that she hadn’t spoken to any accusers, to assess their credibility, but said, “I had been a leader in this space of sexual harassment and assault, and it was weighing on me.” Franken was “entitled to whichever process he wants,” she said. “But he wasn’t entitled to me carrying his water, and defending him with my silence.” She acknowledged that the accusations against Franken “were different” from the kind of rape or molestation charges made against many other #MeToo targets. “But the women who came forward felt it was sexual harassment,” she said. “So it was.”... Gillibrand told me, “I’d do it again today”....

134 comments:

David Begley said...

Too stupid and weak to be a United States Senator. Cf., Brett Kavanaugh.

Bay Area Guy said...

When the Left eats its own......

JackWayne said...

It takes a heart of stone not to enjoy the schadenfreude. And laugh.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Shame for Republicans, due process for Democrats. That makes sense.

Only in the New Yorker.

rhhardin said...

Believe no woman on the subject of a particular man. She's narrating herself into a story that puts her into the story wherever she wants to be at the moment.

RNB said...

Live by the clown nose, die by the clown nose.

Tank said...

There is no one to root for in this story.

Automatic_Wing said...

He's not good enough or smart enough, and people don't like him.

Bob Boyd said...

If Franken wouldn't stand up against the mob or the self-serving powerful for himself, he wouldn't stand up for anybody else either. Now he knows that about himself. And he knows who his party comrades are too.
And what? He only wishes he was back there comfortably ensconced as one of these powerful bullies?

RigelDog said...

I don't know how to feel about this situation. I don't like Franken; besides his politics he's an ass. But I don't think that careers should ever be ended by minor allegations like these. Does anyone remember those halcyon days when we could view mistakes as "teachable moments?" Now we go straight to social and career execution and that's frankly terrifying.

traditionalguy said...

Tina Rutnic complained the loudest. Good cover for the child trafficking cult . And a totally useless run for the Presidency has the same effect. Facing an insane mob instead of a vote fraud machine on his side, the life long comedian could not adapt.

Qwerty Smith said...

So some Democratic senators are having second thoughts about failing to stand up for a guy who was photographed grabbing an unconscous womans boob? How many of them piped up about due process and standards of evidence during the Kavanaugh hearings?

Unknown said...

Should have asked Northam what to do...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...

Franken was one of the most partisan, obnoxious members of the Senate.

Perhaps a Republican Senator might have spoken up in his defense if he ever had done anything at all to act civilly toward any Republican colleague.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Maybe Franken should’ve driven a campaign aide off a bridge into a pond and abandoned her to drown agonizingly over hours while he took a shower and got some sleep.

The Democrat Party lets you keep your Senate seat if you do it that way.

Bill Crawford said...

If it was a mistake to resign, what's stopping him from running again? Let the voters decide.

henry said...

"due process" he got as much as your average college guy, if not more.

live by the smear, die by the smear. And don't let the door hit you on the way out.

MadisonMan said...

There is no one to root for in this story.

But there are plenty to root against. Gillibrand for example. What a tool.

jaydub said...

I look at Franken's demise over the metoo hysteria as karma for stealing the senate election in the first place. Makes me smile.

rehajm said...

Like when The Globe does the think piece on Liz Warren they are laying the foundation for the comeback. Sure you can think he was a 'boob' but we wrote about it so it's all in the past. Al won't have to constantly answer the cries of you shouldn't have resigned. He's crawling his way back. Finding a leftie asshole full of pithy remarks is tougher than it looks...

If one were so cynical one might speculate this comeback was planned and promised. We need to make this #MeToo thing look serious or that Kavanaugh guy is going to be on the court. Take the fall and we'll rehab you when it's all over...

Hagar said...

Al Franken still in the Senate would be another good reason to vote Trump.

rehajm said...

Al lays the foundations for Harvey's comeback. Hey, if Al can come back...

MikeR said...

He was unfortunate. His accusations came at a point in time when people thought that #meToo might unseat Pres. Trump. They couldn't afford to let anyone slide; they needed a No Exceptions policy. By now they know better and wouldn't bother. See Virginia.
It would've been a good trade: Franken was replaced by a different Democrat, so it didn't cost anyone except Franken, which didn't matter to them.

Skipper said...

No mention of how he stole his election. Poor, poor baby.

Dave Begley said...

My interaction with Gillibrand.

"DDB: Maybe that. You’ve won elections in New York. Some of these same people say that you are not very likable. What would you say to those people? [Laughs.]

KG: Okay, I’ll ask everyone here. Raise your hand if you find me likable tonight. Raise your hands. [Crowd cheers and raises hands.]"

AllenS said...

At the present time, there are two women Senators for Minnesota, and if Franken wanted to run again, he'd have to go up against one of them, and I'd say that is the number one reason that he won't run again.

Drago said...

"If Franken wouldn't stand up against the mob or the self-serving powerful for himself, he wouldn't stand up for anybody else either. Now he knows that about himself. And he knows who his party comrades are too.

And what? He only wishes he was back there comfortably ensconced as one of these powerful bullies?"

Sounds like any run of the mill LLR-NeverTrumper.

Case in point: the astonishingly incompetent and fecklass Max Boot and the entire Bulwark cuck brigade.

Ralph L said...

“But he wasn’t entitled to me ... defending him with my silence.”

I wonder whom she is defending with her silence. Would a man have said this?

Howard said...

Life's not fair. AlF's resignation helped to narrow down on where the line is. This has probably helped a number of politicians cough Unka Joe cough. He did the right thing by the Demoncrap party taking one for the team.

William said...

Random selection. That's the governing principle of sex and procreation. Get lucky or unlucky. He's one of the unlucky ones. Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, et al.--they were the lucky ones. Your chances of surviving a sex scandal increase immeasurably if you're a Democrat or a member of a minority, but it's not foolproof. Fairfax will serve out his term, but his career is deader than that of Edwards.

Bob Boyd said...

He was unfortunate. His accusations came at a point in time when people thought that #meToo might unseat Pres. Trump. They couldn't afford to let anyone slide; they needed a No Exceptions policy. By now they know better and wouldn't bother. See Virginia.

MikeR nails it.

Hannio said...

Al weeps? Awesome!

n.n said...

He is only one, neither early nor late, to be denied due process ("warlock trial"). This has been in progress and operating with liberal license for at least several decades. Summary judgments. Cruel and unusual punishment. #HateLovesAbortion

Howard said...

OPHe faults Schumer for not insisting to his caucus that an investigation was under way, and that due process required facts before a verdict. “Look, the Leader is called the Leader for a reason,” Franken told me....

Exactly accurate: Franken inadvertently compliments Little Chuckie Schumer who made a hard decision to cut off a hand to save the body.

Rick said...

I should have stood up for due process to render what it’s supposed to—the truth”),

Franken was contributing to leftism so her deserves due process. Send us a letter when you're willing to support due process for someone not on your team.

Temujin said...

Tank said it best- there is no one to root for in this story.

Franken, who spent years spitting on the reputation of those he did not agree with, won his Senate seat in a very questionable manner. Votes discovered after the election? It sounds like a regular feature of Democratic election practices today, but Franken was one of the first to successfully pull it off.

When you live as a collectivist, don't cry when the tribe comes for you. And it will. They always do.

William said...

They're scapegoating the scapegoater. Gillibrand was instrumental in Franken's resignation, but she wasn't the deciding factor. Franken played his hand out very poorly, so to speak.
'

Mr. D said...

He was replaced by a former Planned Parenthood executive. I don't think he'll be getting his seat back. Of course, if he really wants to avenge his humiliation, he could always move back to New York and run against Gillibrand.

whitney said...

What's the expression? Everybody's a conservative about what they know best. Franken's been attacked by the mob so now he wants due process. Anyone that's ever been part of a mob has this coming. That includes you Ann. You became part of the mob around the Covington boys

Howard said...

Franken's response posted here shows he's not Senate material. I never thought he was all that funny, so I might be biased

Leland said...

He could always run again for his position. Oh hell, that's what this is all about; paving the way for him to run again. Great! Can't wait to show the picture of Franken reaching to grab a sleeping woman's boobs.

Sebastian said...

Franken realized too late that he was just a tool.

But then, to progs anything and anyone is a tool.

Including "due process"--invoked if it's convenient, otherwise ignored.

For us righties, the episode is a useful reminder--about the utterly cynical instrumentalism of the left, and about their willingness to throw even close comrades overboard. Since 1789, what else is new?

n.n said...

He was tried under social justice (i.e. empathy or emotional judgment), deemed not viable, and his career was summarily aborted. He should thank Stork that it wasn't a progressive process that would target his wife, Posterity, friends, associates, and anyone in close or remote association.

dreams said...

Credibly accused is now tantamount to guilty, look at the mess liberals have made of our country the sixty years. Thanks a lot liberal baby boomers. As to Franken, I guess what goes around, comes around.

narciso said...

Meanwhile shes been after Thomas for nearly 30 years, and is a devil's advocate for 'poor' abu zubeydah

Expat(ish) said...

If he hadn't stuffed those ballot boxes and stolen the election from Norm Coleman he wouldn't be in this position.

We also wouldn't have had the ACA.

So, it's losers all the way down.

_XC

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

“But he wasn’t entitled to me carrying his water, and defending him with my silence.”

It's not about HIM, you nitwit. It's about defending the rule of law and not resorting to vagina-think and knee-jerk tribalist responses. Can you think big-picture, even a little bit?

buwaya said...

"Senate Material"?
What does that mean, in these depths of your corruption?
What gobbet of rot ranks higher than another?

Bob Boyd said...

Look at the bright side Al. How many people can say, I was thrown under a bus during a witch hunt.

Lyle Smith said...

Franken shouldn’t have let the people of Lake Wobegon push him out, but instead should have let the people of Minnesota decide.

Darrell said...

Assumes that #metoo was organic, not centrally planned.

John henry said...

Mike R,

Alf wS replaced by another Demmy. Not much difference between Demmies and Repos so not that big a deal.

The key is that he was replaced by someone with no experience and that is a pretty good thing. It they don't know where the levers of power are, they can't pull them.

Even more important! He was replaced by someone with no seniority. That's not nothing.

Think of it as term limits by other means.

John Henry

buwaya said...

These people aren't stupid.

Or not very stupid, on the whole.

They are mainly very tactical thinkers, and they will say that which they think suits the moment. Or, more often, that which they are paid to say.

They very rarely have any ideas of their own, and are unprepared to argue.

This is not unique to this moment, or this century, or the US Senate, or the US.

n.n said...

re: ACA

ACA is at best a salve to treat the symptoms, at worst a means to sustain a persistent condition. They have started to treat the underlying causes of affordability and availability, notably progressive prices, proximity (e.g. hierarchy, triage), and employment. People still need to accept personal responsibility and make the right choice(s) in order to mitigate the risk of injuries, preexisting, and chronic conditions.

Ken B said...

I said at the time, and on this blog in fact, he should not resign. This though I thought him a wretched senator.
This proves that Democrats are prone to moral panics, lack principle, and should not get power.

buwaya said...

It simply doesn't matter a bit, now, about experience or ability.
These are robots in fact. Mobile chair-occupation units controlled via wifi.

Lance said...

But I don't think that careers should ever be ended by minor allegations like these.

Groping women without their consent is not a minor allegation. Especially when some of the gropes occurred during and after his Senate campaign.

Fernandistein said...

I was made uncomfortable by the photograph of a leering Franken pretending to grab at an unconscious F->M transvestite. The pretense was offensive.

EDH said...

Just so I'm clear, it's okay for Democrats to actually "send back" an elected member of congress from Minnesota?

Donald Trump: 00:18:20 Representative Ilhan Omar, of a really great state, I almost won the first time in decades and decades, Minnesota...

Audience: 00:19:03 USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA.

Donald Trump: 00:20:53 So representative Omar, blames the United States, for the terrorist attacks on our country, saying that terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other people’s affairs. She smeared US Service members involved in Black Hawk Down. In other words, she slandered the brave Americans who were trying to keep peace in Somalia. Omar minimized the September 11th attacks on our homeland, saying some people did something. I don’t think so. Some people did something. Yeah, some people did something. All right. She pleaded for compassion for Isis recruits attempting to join the terrorist organization.

Donald Trump: 00:21:52 She was looking for compassion. Omar laughed that Americans speak of Al-Qaeda in a menacing tone and remark that, you don’t say America with this intensity. You say, Al-Qaeda makes you proud. Al-Qaeda makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America. And at a press conference just this week when asked whether she supported Al-Qaeda, that’s our enemy. That’s our enemy. They are a very serious problem that we take care of, but they always seem to come along somewhere. She refused to answer. She didn’t want to give an answer to that question. Omar blamed the United States for the crisis in Venezuela.

Donald Trump: 00:22:50 I mean think of that one, and she looks down with contempt on the hardworking American, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country. And obviously and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious antisemitic screens.

Audience: 00:23:19 Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

Rory said...

"what happens when primates are shunned and humiliated by the rest of the other primates"

Doing this to others has been Franken's life's work.

buwaya said...

What does it matter which of these interchangable characters occupies these positions?
Their official functions are predetermined in any case, per their instructions, which will be reliably carried out unless they malfunction. Malfunction is possible, but historically quite rare.

Darrell said...

Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor, says Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006, before the former comedian was a senator. She says Franken “aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth” when the pair rehearsed a skit that featured a kiss. A photo also surfaced showing Franken looking at a camera while pretending to grab Tweeden’s breasts as she was sleeping while clothed. The senator apologized for the photo but said he remembered the skit incident differently.

Lindsay Menz says Franken grabbed her buttocks when the pair posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. Franken later said he did not remember taking the picture but “felt badly” that Menz felt disrespected.

Two other unidentified women told HuffPost that Franken grabbed their buttocks at separate events in 2007 and 2008. One of the women says Franken suggested that he and she should go to the bathroom together. Franken said he did not remember the events and denied asking anyone to visit the bathroom with him.

Stephanie Kemplin, an Army veteran, says Franken put his hand on her breast during a USO tour in 2003. In a statement following that accusation, Franken’s office said he has not “intentionally engage in” the “kind of conduct” described.
A woman described as a “former elected official in New England” told the Jezebel website that Franken tried to give her a “wet, open-mouthed kiss” during an event in 2006. The senator has not appeared to respond specifically to the allegation.

An unnamed former Democratic congressional aide told Politico that the senator tried to forcibly kiss her after he taped a radio show in 2006. She says she avoided the kiss, then heard Franken say “it’s my right as an entertainer.” Franken called the allegation “categorically not true.”

Tina Dupuy writes in The Atlantic that Franken put his hand around her waist while the pair posed for a photo and squeezed “at least twice” during an event in 2009. The senator has not specifically responded to that allegation.

And these are just the ones from the first couple of weeks. His resignation ended further coverage and the point of coming forward and self-doxxing.

Darrell said...

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/07/al-franken-news-list-of-sexual-misconduct-allegations.html

daskol said...

Crying about missing his job, his sinecure, and sharing how he's gripped with regretful reflection, is pathetic. His clumsy humanity contrasts with KG's ruthless reaction. God help us all with leaders like these, bumbling Frankens and rigid Gillibrands.

Lucid-Ideas said...

"Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choking."

- Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare.

TL;DR The autophagy of my enemy's enemy is my friend.

daskol said...

Franken doesn't merit Shakespeare, nor does Gillibrand. This is a Twain moment: "Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can."

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Cry me a river.

When the left eat their own. I think - karma.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

There aren't two Jane Mayers, are there? Unless there are two people named Jane Mayer who both write for the New Yorker this is an hilarious joke.

Jane Mayer who insisted we all have a duty to believe ridiculous unsupported allegations against Brett Kavanaugh now wants us all to take a close, critical look and reevaluate the allegations against former Democrat senator Franken? #BelieveAllWomen, with a small asterisk at the end leading to tiny text that says "Not Valid Against Democrat Politicians The Left Likes"

rcocean said...

"He started to cry. “For her to say that, it’s just so callous. It’s just so wrong.” Rubbing his eyes beneath his glasses, he said, “I ended my career by saying ‘Thanks’ to her—that’s what she’s saying.”

So, tough guy Franken cries like a little girl. God how i hate these fucking Liberals. Go back and watch him question Sessions or talk about Republicans. But he cries like a six-year old when his Big Sister says a mean word. Oy vey, I gave up all that power. Sniff. I was having so much fun. And then those meanies betrayed me. wah wah.

Of course, knowing Minnesota he can probably run again and get elected. They are a clown state.

Big Mike said...

Believe no woman on the subject of a particular man.

rhhardin (7:21) is mostly right. I’d say “Believe no woman ever, unless there’s independent proof.” Trouble for Franken is that photo of him acting as though he was groping Leeann Tweeden, which certainly looks like independent verification. There’s a YouTube video of Leeann Tweeden shooting a high-powered handgun with some skill — Franken is probably lucky she didn’t borrow an M4 from one of the troops and shoot his balls off. Two minutes later Tank has an astute observation, then at 7:38 MikeR provides a succinct analysis, puts it in the truth box and nails the lid shut. Great thread.

The Vault Dweller said...

Ironically enough, Franken, the man from show-business, seems to have not grasped the show-business involved in politics. I think he had an idealized vision of how the Senate and politics worked and believed there was some sort of defined process of things worked. I think his earnest belief in the process and the Senate was endearing. Though it apparently made him a bad politician because he lost his job, and for relatively the least bad allegations of anyone. The behavior described in the allegations is bad sure, but not resign from the Senate bad. More like public apology bad and talk about misreading the situation and putting women in uncomfortable positions.

Trump understands the show-business of Politics and that is why he is unscathed by bad allegations.

rcocean said...

Of course Franken sexually abused women. He looks like a toad with glasses. No woman would let him touch her breasts unless she was asleep or needed his help to get ahead in Show Biz.

Giovan Pietro Bellori said...

Howard—
Did he really take one for the team? He didn’t have any choice.

Leo said...

I recall Franken being sacrificed on the altar of condemnation of Roy Moore, as opposed to direct anti-Trumpism.

That being said, he stole the initial election and he wasn't funny before that.

Roy Jacobsen said...

An illuminating "compare and contrast" exercise between what Mayer says about Franken and what she said about Kavanaugh: https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2019/07/22/she-lacks-shame-anti-kavanaugh-smear-merchant-jane-mayer-writes-passionate-defense-of-al-franken/

Summary: Mayer is a hack.

Saint Croix said...

So some Democratic senators are having second thoughts about failing to stand up for a guy who was photographed grabbing an unconscous womans boob?

This lie irritates the shit out of me.

Here's the photograph.

It's a staged photograph. He's looking at the camera. He's making fun of the soldier for sleeping. He's not attacking her. He's pretending to attack her. He's mocking her for sleeping on the job.

You can say that he's sexist. You can say that he's rude. You can say that he's laughing at innocent people and has no class.

But what you can't say is that he's harassing this woman for sex.

To take a snapshot of a man pretending to be a bad guy and say to people, "See? He's a bad guy!" It's just idiotic.

stevew said...

Seems like a piece written to generate some sympathy for Franken, and maybe build up Gillibrand's toughness. Fails, for me at least.

dreams said...

When you think about it, it's poetic justice, given that he and his fellow crooked democrats cheated to win his senate seat.

Michael K said...

Everything Jane Mayer writes is a lie, including "the" and "and."

Bay Area Guy said...

"Everything Jane Mayer writes is a lie, including "the" and "and."

Heh -- the old Lillian Hellman standard:)

(I don't know much about Lillian Hellman, but I did read that Paul Johnson book, "Intellectuals" where they roast Hellman for being a Commie sympathizer.

Rob said...

Leo is exactly right. The Alabama Senate runoff was imminent. Franken would be replaced by a Democrat, so keeping Roy Moore from winning took priority over saving Franken’s sorry ass. Politics ain’t beanbag.

John henry said...

You know what St X, you are absolutely right.

But others have had far worse happen to them for far lesser offenses. Sometimes with Alf egging them on, sometimes at his hands.

So fuck him. It's just well deserved karma.

John Henry

Bay Area Guy said...

@Saint Croix,

"It's a staged photograph. He's looking at the camera. He's making fun of the soldier for sleeping. He's not attacking her. He's pretending to attack her. He's mocking her for sleeping on the job.

"You can say that he's sexist. You can say that he's rude. You can say that he's laughing at innocent people and has no class."

"But what you can't say is that he's harassing this woman for sex."

In a sane world, with a sane set of standards, that's all true.

But the Left has changed the standards multiple times. If the woman feels embarrassed , the allegations are true, and the guy loses his job, or college education or congressional office.

As Alinksy said, make 'em live up to their own rules.

Politics, baby!

Craig Howard said...

Liberals [and, yes, I'm generalizing] seem susceptible to periodic moral panics where all rational thought goes out the window.

Saint Croix said...

This photograph makes me laugh.

I can’t stop thinking about this picture, and I confess I find it really upsetting.

Seriously, what the fuck? What is up with people who cannot distinguish truth from fiction? It's an important distinction!

John henry said...

Bag,

I can't remember now and don't care enough to look it up

Did Hell an say that about Mary McCarthy or did mccarthy say that about Hellman?

John Henry

Mr. D said...

Did Hell an say that about Mary McCarthy or did mccarthy say that about Hellman?

John Henry


It was McCarthy on Hellman.

Howard said...

Blogger Giovan Pietro Bellori said... Howard—
Did he really take one for the team? He didn’t have any choice.


He did have a choice. He could have refused to resign and forced the Senate to remove him. Maybe you mean he made the most obviously better choice.

Now, he's crying me a river because not fair

tim maguire said...

I might feel worse if Franken hadn't stolen his seat in the first place.

No, no I wouldn't. Franken was brought down by a system he helped engineer. Even if I feel that system is unfair, this is still not an example of unfairness. It's an example of poetic justice.

Char Char Binks said...

“But the women who came forward felt it was sexual harassment,” she said. “So it was.”

Women have an uncanny ability to feel the truth.

Anyway, Franken took one for the team. The allegations against him were ridiculous, but it was the Republicans way of holding the Dems to their own rules, and that's fair.

Amadeus 48 said...

Dear Ann Landers,

I am a former comedian who used to be a US Senator. I loved it. I won't go into the details, but there was some misunderstanding about some fun with members of the public, and a bunch of my colleagues demanded that I resign, so I did.

Now I regret it, and I wake up angry. In fact, I get angier every day. What can I do to get rid of this feeling that I am an idiot?

Signed, "Stuart Smalley"

Reply:

Dear Stuart,

You are an idiot, and the country is better off without you. Buy a dog.

Amadeus 48 said...

By the way, this never would have happened if there were any chance that Franken would have been replaced by a Republican.

Cf., Virginia Democratic Party rape and racism antics.

Johnathan Birks said...

You reap what you sow. See Alinsky rule #4.

rcocean said...

His fellow D Senators always considered Franken an embarrassment. He was unfunny clown, who never should have been elected. As a result, they used this to get rid of him. Franken should recognize the truth.

rcocean said...

Dear Stuart,

You are an idiot, and the country is better off without you. Buy a dog.

P.S. - And please stop crying. Unless its that "time of the month".

dreams said...

Jane Mayer is a despicable liberal, a piss poor excuse for a human being.

Kevin said...

You can just see him getting his due process, continuing to sit on the Judiciary Committee, and demanding Kavanaugh get fair treatment.

No you can't.

It isn't about principles.

It's about his personal situation, where a good-hearted person got swept up with all the black-hearted people.

The non-Jew who can't convince the Concentration Camp guards that he really doesn't belong there.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Saint Croix said...
It's a staged photograph. He's looking at the camera. He's making fun of the soldier for sleeping. He's not attacking her. He's pretending to attack her. He's mocking her for sleeping on the job.

The woman in the photo is Leeann Tweeden. She's not a soldier; she was a fellow performer on a USO tour. And the photo was staged without her consent.

So if one were going to go on a tear about people lying about what's going on in the photo, one would do well to get the basic details right.

John Lynch said...

My eyes are dry over here. Like, I need some Visine.

BADuBois said...

Democratic Party circular firing squads are the best!

rcocean said...

"It's a staged photograph. He's looking at the camera. He's making fun of the soldier for sleeping. He's not attacking her. He's pretending to attack her. He's mocking her for sleeping on the job.'

Show me one instance of AL Franken defending Trump or any other Republican from charges of Sexual Harassment. You may have forgotten that Franken laughed and applauded when he heard Limbaugh was going deaf and was even more happy when Limbaugh was convicted of Doctor shopping. He laughed and laughed.

Now he cries. Because its different when bad things happen to him.

Saint Croix said...

And the photo was staged without her consent.

Who gives a shit?

The important thing is acknowledging the photo was staged

And your attempt to reframe this play-acting as some kind of tort, or crime, by using the feminist catchphrase, without her consent, is just embarrassing.

Do you think the non-consensual nature of the photograph makes it proof of sexual assault?

She's not a soldier; she was a fellow performer on a USO tour.

You are right. I got her job wrong.

There's a big difference between getting somebody's job wrong and a false accusation of sexual assault. Yes? My mistake is an innocent one. But saying someone is guilty of sexual assault, when he's not, is malicious.

Giovan Pietro Bellori said...


He did have a choice. He could have refused to resign and forced the Senate to remove him. Maybe you mean he made the most obviously better choice.


Howard—
That never occurred to me and it probably never occurred to him, because it
would have cost him his Hollywood/NYC contacts (btw he moved away from MN soon after), his chance for a comeback however remote, and his amour-propre.
But you are not technically wrong.

Rick said...

But what you can't say is that he's harassing this woman for sex.

Not in this photograph. But you should recall she made other accusations such as his unscripted kissing her (with tongue) at the end of a show.

Comanche Voter said...

I'm with commenter jaydub. Franken stole his Senate seat--and then was too weak and stupid and "handsy" to defend it. You have to be a "Lion of The Senate" aka Teddy Kennedy to get awy with Franken's sexual shenanigans.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Saint Croix said...

And your attempt to reframe this play-acting as some kind of tort, or crime, by using the feminist catchphrase, without her consent, is just embarrassing.

Do you think the non-consensual nature of the photograph makes it proof of sexual assault?


I didn't say it was a tort, did I?

I agreed with you that the photo was staged. But it was staged without her consent. I am not a lawyer, so I can't say much about it being a tort.

But being a man, I feel comfortable saying that staging that picture without her consent was an asshole-grade move.

Roy Jacobsen said...

And for what it's worth, I don't much give a damn about what a "feminist" would say about it.

n.n said...

"Holding his head in his hands... Franken"

A positive development. You can teach an old ass a traditional behavioral protocol.

Right Man said...

He should run again. The fine people of Minnesota will always vote for the worst people they possibly find so, he has a solid chance.

AAT said...

“with a mirthless laugh”

It’s “mirthless chuckle.” If it’s “mirthless” it can’t get to laugh; that’s bad writing. Plus, we have all seen Hail Caesar.

iowan2 said...

Its been pointed out in many different ways on this thread.

Franken got exactly what leftist have created. Conviction by twitter. Facts have no use. That's a position championed by the left. Remember the Democrats? It's not the extent of a crime, but rather "THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CHARGES" This is the battle field the Democrats worked extremely hard to create and are now taking massive losses.

That's bad enough, but they show no sign of seeing the error of their ways and reverting back to a position of due process. I see that as the true sign of how corrupt the Democrat Party has become. Their only response is to double down on the idiocy they themselves have created.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Tina Rutnik/Kirsten Jellybrains is a phony. Especially in this regard.
She's up to her ass in nxivm and she likes the bronfman $$$

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Saint Croix said...To take a snapshot of a man pretending to be a bad guy and say to people, "See? He's a bad guy!" It's just idiotic.

Hmm, by that standard wouldn't it also be idiotic to claim that someone saying/bragging that "when you're famous women let you grab 'em by the pussy" is a clear example of confessing to having committed sexual assault?

I mean, the picture communicates "ha-ha, I could grab her chest 'cause she's sleeping!" and the statement communicates "I could get away with sexually assaulting women 'cause I'm so famous" but neither are actual examples of that thing.

I seem to recall, though, that many nice centrist smart people on this blog described Trump's comment as an obvious confession. IF that's true, and non-idiotic, then by the same standard the joking picture of Franken should be considered, itself, as sexual assault.

Saint Croix said...

His accusations came at a point in time when people thought that #meToo might unseat Pres. Trump.

It was more specific than that. There was a special election in Alabama and there were allegations about Roy Moore.

Al Franken resigned on December 7, 2017.

The special election in Alabama was on December 12, 2017.

The Democrats sacrificed Franken in an attempt to win the seat in Alabama, which worked. And of course they kept the seat in Minnesota.

Howard said...

Thanks St Croix, I forgot it was tied to the schmear of Roy Moore for a touch of harmless and perfectly legal teeniebopperitis

tcrosse said...

Al could go Independent and run for President on a ticket with Jill Stein. Franken-Stein 2020!

Saint Croix said...

Hmm, by that standard wouldn't it also be idiotic to claim that someone saying/bragging that "when you're famous women let you grab 'em by the pussy" is a clear example of confessing to having committed sexual assault?

No.

Donald Trump's interview was (presumably) in regard to real events. Reasonable people could disagree about what it means. Certainly "grab 'em by the pussy" sounds like a crime. On the other hand, "women let you," sounds like consent.

I think if Trump was indicted for sexual assault, and the prosecutor wanted to bring in this tape as evidence of his state of mind, many judges would allow it (particularly if it impeached some testimony given by Trump).

What would be idiotic would be a prosecutor who wanted to bring in this video as proof of Donald Trump's crimes.

"We need to impeach Donald Trump, look what he did to that poor Vince McMahon!"

Yancey Ward said...

A man falsely accused is far more likely to object vehemently to the allegations. The numbers and Franken's actual responses at the time lead me to believe Tweeden at the very least- the photograph from the plane also does so. Franken wasn't willing to fight for his reputation- that alone probably disqualifies him from public office, even if all the allegations were lies.

Jim at said...

So Franken is still whining he was held to the same standards he demands for others.

Got it.

ussmidway said...

Franken attended an all male private school (Grades 3-12) in Hopkins, MN - so in his formative years, he learned to be juvenile & sophomoric in dealings with teen-aged girls. The stories from the USO Tour portray a man who was still stuck at 14 years of age with a sense of humor forged in the 1970s. He did live by the sword with his vicious attacks against his political rivals, so no tears for him when the sword came for the senator who stopped being funny in the 1980s!

It is also poetic justice that he was ejected for being a jerk, given that he only got into the Senate after the Minnesota DFL Party "found" enough missing votes to declare him the winner in 2008 after an extended period (35+ weeks) of counting & recounting until they got the result they wanted. 312 manufactured votes was the final margin of victory.

It was later discovered that there were major errors in the process with felons voting illegally, although it was never proven there were enough votes to change the outcome. but he was later re-elected in 2014 with a large enough margin (> 53%) to win outright.

He is not a nice man, and he deserves no sympathy for his fate at the feet of SJWs who slayed one of their own!

Jim at said...

Votes discovered after the election? It sounds like a regular feature of Democratic election practices today, but Franken was one of the first to successfully pull it off.

The earliest, most egregious example was the 2004 Washington state governor's race between Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi.

Want to know who was the chairman of the state Democratic Party and headed up the recount effort during that election? Paul Berendt. Want to know who was called in to head up the recount effort in the Franken election? Paul Berendt.

Yancey Ward said...

Saint Croix

I more or less agree with you about the photograph and how it was described, but here is where I came down on the issue- what kind of man stages such a photograph? Had Tweeden and Franken been good friends, I could have accepted it as a good-hearted prank between such people, but that photograph wasn't the entirety of Tweeden's claims about Franken. The story about the skit puts Franken's photograph in a different light altogether- if you believe the story about the forced kiss, then the photograph seems extremely mean-spirited and a show of dominance and disrespect.

Had the stories been just Tweeden's alone, Franken would still be a senator today, but that isn't what happened- other people also made similar claims, and those weren't so easily dismissed as partisan lies since most seemed to be against political interest.

James K said...

Mayer also did a hatchet job on Clarence Thomas. Zero credibility.

FullMoon said...

Ya know, as most here believe accusations against Franklin, there are many who are just as certain the allegations against Kav and Trump are true.

Still people calling Kav a rapist and still people believe Russia stole the election for Trump.

FullMoon said...

Donald Trump's interview was (presumably) in regard to real events. Reasonable people could disagree about what it means. Certainly "grab 'em by the pussy" sounds like a crime. On the other hand, "women let you," sounds like consent.

I think if Trump was indicted for sexual assault, and the prosecutor wanted to bring in this tape as evidence of his state of mind, many judges would allow it (particularly if it impeached some testimony given by Trump).


Sure, jury of rock stars.Or sports stars. Or rappers. Or actors. Acquitted in five minutes .

Does anybody believe Trump's observation that many women let you do anything if you are rich and famous is not true?

JAORE said...

In saner times Franken's missteps could be written off as immaturity on display. Not a good look for a Senator, but survivable.

The fact that Franken engaged in politics of personal destruction AND that he and his team cheered the loudest when the targets were on the right....

Sorry, Al, not sorry.

Joe said...

One thing about Hollywood celebrity scandals, of which comics are a part, is how much others knew. Not just rumor, but witnesses of bad behavior. Word gets around to not drink with him, don't be around her, don't accept a hotel room invite from him and so forth. Yet, the entire enterprise is so incestuous that everyone keeps their mouths shut until speaking doesn't harm them. One twist is that nobody in this crowd is quite sure what everyone else knows and what they are willing to reveal.

Franken resigned so fast that I figured he was afraid of what else would surface.

(A variation of this is watching press junkets for objectively horrible movies or TV shows where the finger really does point to the director and/or producer. But the actors will praise the offenders so as to not shut off future work AND so they don't get a reputation for disloyalty. Yes, Hollywood behaves like a cliche gang of 14-year-olds.)

Unknown said...

"I forfeited my position of power so I cried"

Democrats, 2020

policraticus said...

“But the women who came forward felt it was sexual harassment,” she said. “So it was.”...

I am trying very hard to wrap my head around this idea and I am failing. This seems like an argument Cotton Mather would make, not a US Senator in the 21st century. Chilling.

Anga2010 said...

Just one look at the "groping" picture, which I noticed they barely showed on the PBS broadcast, would let you know that he is, now, unelectable (even if the spell-checker doesn't know what that word is) and so must be dropped by the dems.
It's just politix, baby. Can't afford to lose that seat!

Crazy Jane said...


Let's not forget that a senator on the judiciary committee said that Christine Blasey Ford was "entitled to her own truth."

We're in a post-truth era in which feelings are primary and actual, demonstrable truth comes second. We should be very worried that this standard will be taken up by even a few federal judges.

As for Jane Mayer, she is not so much a journalist as an advocate for her team. When she re-evaluates Franken's banishment, it can be taken as a signal that the dominant narrative has shifted, at least for Democratic politicians.

Don't look for her to take back what she wrote about Clarence Thomas. It would be heresy for her to give even an inch to any member of the other side.

The New Yorker would be a more interesting magazine if it had a right-wing Jane Mayer. That it does not tells us that a particular point of view is essential to its "brand."

Clyde said...

I can't think of a single Democrat politician that I have a shred of a scintilla of respect for, and that includes every single one of the Democrat politicians named in this story. All of them have terrible ideas. Many (most?) of them are terrible people. The Republicans are far from perfect, but the Democrats make my skin crawl. Reading about Franken vs. Gillibrand, Harris, Hirono, et. al. is like reading about the Iran-Iraq War; you hope they all lose.

sdharms said...

where is your soppy article about the countless Repubs forced out over less?