May 1, 2020

"Back in late 2017, it looked like Franken was going to weather the charges of inappropriate conduct against him, until Democrats apparently decided to sacrifice him..."

"... presumably in part to demonstrate that they could police their own.... The coup was quick and brutal. First, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand posted on Facebook a call for him to resign. Then, in quick succession, 13 more Democratic women senators (and a majority of the entire caucus) joined her. Whether Franken was guilty or innocent -- and he'd asked for a hearing -- his position became untenable. The day after Gillibrand’s shiv, he announced his intention to resign. (Chuck Schumer had told him to be out by 5 P.M.) If it looked like an orchestrated takeout, that's because it probably was. Biden -- even if innocent -- is now in a position where he must constantly worry about getting Frankened. By whom? Well, by the same sorts of powerful Democrats who helped him win the nomination (perhaps by helping orchestrate the well-timed withdrawals of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg).... I'm also not saying 'they' want to replace Biden now.... But they could change their mind, and quickly, if he gives enough of them enough reason -- either by faltering, or pissing them off, or a combination of the two.... Biden probably wasn’t about to forge bold new directions.... But now Biden’s really in no position to step on anyone’s toes. Power has shifted away from the candidate."

From "The Frankening" by Mickey Kaus.

That could be read to say that Biden's position is stronger than ever. The Party wanted Biden because he would do what they want, and now there's even more reason for them to believe he will. He's boxed in.

71 comments:

Birkel said...

Democratics weather the Republican pouncing.

Republicans did the bad thing that is accused and are bad people.

Rules.

mccullough said...

At this point, Bernie would get the nomination. There is no way to pass over Bernie unless Bernie publicly agreed to withdraw as well. He hasn’t. He only suspended his campaign. Amidst a virus, no less.

So the Dems would have to get Joe and Bernie to withdraw.

Original Mike said...

" is now in a position where he must constantly worry about getting Frankened."

Frankened? Hell, he should worry about getting Epsteined.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

for Dems, no actual standards,

...just cudgels when expedient

Temujin said...

Yeah. If the Dems were to think it over they'd do it differently. They are not about the principal of 'Me Too' or 'Believe All Women'. They are about working with the press to manipulate, break-down, and reconfigure the truth in order to maintain or acquire power.

Period.

WK said...

The Great A-Frankening.

Automatic_Wing said...

First, Franken would still be a Senator if the matter of Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate seat hadn't been in play. So the Franken situation doesn't seem all that analogous to what's going on with Biden now.

Second, Biden dropping out would put 'they' in a terrible dilemma, because 'they' would then have to pick another candidate and not only is there no process in place for picking another candidate, there aren't any terribly compelling candidates out there for them to pick. The whole thing would be a nightmare for 'they'.

cubanbob said...

If Gillibrand is running for reelection Franken just for the hell of it campaign for her opponent. Not only is Gillibrand stupid but she is a rank opportunist and nasty.

Achilles said...

The Democrat Party is misnamed.

Actual voters have no affect on it at all.

Milo Minderbinder said...

Biden's on the way out one way or the other. He's a walking 25th Amendment waiting to happen.

Bob Boyd said...

Biden probably knows where a lot more bodies are buried than Al Franken did.

Howard said...

So you're not listening to rhhardin's advice? Crazy or female? Is there a difference?

Nonapod said...

The Party wanted Biden because he would do want they want, and now there's even more reason for them to believe he will.

Perhaps. But if the party is merely demonstrating its power in this way (as in "We made you and we have the power to unmake you") it seems foolish to do it in this way at this point. Biden was already a company ma and there was no need for them to threaten him.

And I am unconvinced that this is a sort of trial by fire either (meaning that the party is testing his ability to withstand true scrutiny). It's far too late in the process for that sort of thing. It makes the party look confused and chaotic to have to take out the presumptive nominee at this stage.

WisRich said...

Yep, he's boxed in.

He'll remain the nominee as long as he's leading in the polls. The Democrat establishment can pull the plug on him any time they want.

Koot Katmandu said...

Will Americans vote for a boxed in President. I guess when your deranged you will. Any one but Trump means a mentally impaired president controlled by who?

Unknown said...

Let the media chase their tail (figuratively and literally) over this. That seems to be all they're good for these days.

Lurker21 said...

I liked this from Kaus:

But keep in mind Walter Kirn’s note:

"I used to write for a news magazine and most big analytical stories would end like this: ‘X might happen or Y might happen, but one thing is certain: things will never be the same.’ Then, once time had passed, things would be the same

"Over and over."


Seems relevant in coronavirus times.

Andrew said...

But Franken was in a safe seat.

AllenS said...

Interesting times.

rehajm said...

...is now in a position where he must constantly worry about getting Frankened. By whom? Well, by the same sorts of powerful Democrats who helped him win the nomination...

Which is not to say those powerful Democrats are fickle. There's a significant group of people paying attention what believe Biden was put where he is to take him out later.

Drago said...

"Back in late 2017, it looked like Franken was going to weather the charges of inappropriate conduct against him, until Democrats apparently decided to sacrifice him...
... presumably in part to demonstrate that they could police their own...."

False.

It was done in order to allow the serial sexual assault lies against Trump to be added to the dems/LLR-lefties russia collusion/Trump is a traitor hoaxes in order to drive Trump's poll numbers so low just enough republicans would go along with the dems in impeaching Trump.

Period.

Rory said...

I don't see how an elected senator has an "untenable" position. Uncomfortable, maybe.

rcocean said...

Gilliland was just the first, she was no more praiseworthy than the other 12 Democrat broads. Further, Franken looked like he might lose his re-election AND was always considered a clown by his fellow Senators. what other Midwestern state except Minnesota would elect a failed NYC comedian - who looks like a big toad -as its Senator?

The real question is "Why did Franken resign?" He could have fought. He didn't have to resign because 13 D senators say so, that's not how the Senate works. Its more likely he knew he would lose a primary challenge and bailed out of cowardice.

GatorNavy said...

Franken barely won his seat and there was evidence of voter fraud. Also, he was lecturing, hectoring and patronizing to the old bulls in the senate. Lastly, it was a state with a Democratic governor, so no matter what, the senate seat would remain a reliable vote for the democratic agenda. Easy political calculus.

Biden on the other hand, is one of those old bulls, has the money game, and can call in favors that Franken never could. So yes, Biden is politically several order of magnitude greater than some schlub from Minnesota.

Therefore, Biden is the nominee and the DNC will drag his senile ass to some half-assed moral victory against Trump, while Trump wins the electoral vote and the Presidency, yet again

Sebastian said...

"He's boxed in."

Or boxed out.

Anyway, as I recall, Franken was Frankened as a tactical #MeToo move against Roy Moore and the GOP. That doesn't apply to Biden, though his nomination would make a fresh grab-them-by-the-pussy offensive against Trump less likely.

The real immediate calculation involves nice liberal women: will they be turned off enough by Joe's bad behavior to stray from the plantation?

The slightly longer-term calculation involves Joe's actual capacities: do Dems need to ditch him for reasons of senility, and if so, can Tara help?

Decisions, decisions.

rcocean said...

As for Biden "doing what the party wants". BIden IS The party. He's been part of the "establishment" "in-crowd" for 40 years. But if anyone thinks that means he's a "Moderate" you're nuts. He's no more "Moderate" than Pelosi and he'll cave to the Bernie Bros and ACO types if they put enough pressure on him. To Biden everything is Politics. He's move further and further left over the last 50 years, and there's no reason to believe he'll stop. And he's a weak old man.

Kevin said...

Biden -- even if innocent -- is now in a position where he must constantly worry about getting Frankened.

Still better than having to worry about being Murrayed.

RMc said...

The DFL had nothing to lose by cashiering Franken, since they had another Dem waiting in the wings. If MN had had a Repub (or Jessie!) in charge, it would've been a whole matter nother...

Jim Gust said...

Franken was pushed out to help in the argument against Roy Moore. No cost to the Democrats because a Democrat governor named Franken's replacement. Franken's "sins" were trivial, but they were real enough. They were nothing compared to what Chris Doss and Ted Kennedy did, which no Democrat ever complained about.

Yancey Ward said...

It really all depends on whether or not the leadership of the party really believes Biden can win November- not that he can be controlled now. I think the leadership knows Biden can't win, and will move to replace him, it is just that they haven't figure out with which replacement candidate. When that candidate is chosen, then a senior female in Congress will play the role if Gillibrand.

Biden's performance on MSNBC this morning is best described as a disaster, and here he was facing a friendly interview. Even having all the questions pre-approved and prepared for, Biden couldn't provide a coherent answer on pretty much anything regarding Reade.

RMc said...

Hey Dems, look at me, I can see the reality
'Cause when you shook me, took me out the Senate, I woke up
Suddenly I just woke up to
The Frankening

Is it real? Is it fake?
Is public service a mistake?
'Cause when I lost the seat I thought was mine for certain
Suddenly it starts hurtin'
The Frankening

Michael said...

The big question: who is ultimately pulling the strings? Schumer and Pelosi? Some big donors? The orchestra is keeping the tempo too well not to have a conductor.

rcocean said...

Plus, as stated: Franken had to go because the D's had crucified Roy Moore and wanted the "Sexual Harassment" weapon for use against Trump and his nominees. Think of the optics of Franken questioning Kavanaugh about Blowsey Ford!

Yancey Ward said...

Frankened? Hell, he should worry about getting Epsteined.

The solution to this problem is to not pick Shelob as the VP.

gspencer said...

Joe's never had an independent thought in his life. To think that he's a leader is simply preposterous.

Ann Althouse said...

"He's boxed in." Or boxed out."

He's in a box. They can put the box where they want.

Gusty Winds said...

The Kennedy Brothers and Pre-Presidential Reagan set a sexual conquest standard that the Bidens and Clintons of the world can’t live up to. Reagan slept with Doris Day.

Losers like Biden and Clinton thought at the time it was theirs for the taking. In many instances it probably was. A fringe benefit of the office. But only with the help. Not movie stars. That’s what makes them real losers.

Trump was a Kennedy of sorts. He could have what he wanted. Playboy models. Porn stars on the fly. The Kavanaugh keg party allegations were made up by a partisan out to get him. Biden’s accuser was 1) working for a Democrat, and 2) filed a complaint at the time.

Are we doubting this was pervasive activity the halls of the Capitol in 1993? Come on. If the walls could talk…

Michael K said...

Biden is "the generic Democrat" and has no qualification for office now. He is just the front man and the people running him are the people who ran Obama. We don't know who they are. A lot of them are heavily invested in China.

wendybar said...

THEY built the box. Now lay in it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Have you noticed that whether men and boys are assaulted, sexually or otherwise, isn’t even on Althouse’s radar?

PM said...

1. Biden's one great quality is making everyone feel superior to him - an achievement that escapes about every politico. It's natural for him.

2. Trump will have to commit murder, likely mass, before Biden has a chance. The Pelosi Posse will oversee Joe bowing out for health reasons for 'the good of the country.'

JAORE said...

Insert visual of mime in the invisible box.

But instead of touching it with his hands,Joe keeps walking into the glass wall.

Howard said...

Sounds like shouting Thomas is flying under the professor's radar

Brian said...

At this point, Bernie would get the nomination. There is no way to pass over Bernie

What about if the Biden delegates vote for someone else? Nobody has the majority needed (yet). They postponed enough delegates (NY) that that won't happen until closer to the convention.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Vote for the senile old puppet and his commie VP! Michael K has the key right there.

n.n said...

Franken wasn't viable. Democrats made a Choice to sacrifice him. It was the religious/ethical decision.

Brian said...

Biden's performance on MSNBC this morning is best described as a disaster, and here he was facing a friendly interview.

Almost as if that was planned. A couple of days after another prominent "interview" in his basement.

I wonder who benefits the most by not having to run in the primaries and be appointed at the last minute..... Who has access to a lot of funds, say in the form of a charity..... Who has experience on a national stage... Who may have even run for president before?

Someone who "knows where the bodies are buried"... so to speak.

rehajm said...

Franken had to be Frankened because #MeToo was always about Borking Kavanaugh. That failed so they don't have to Franken Biden.

Real American said...

Biden is just a front man. He's not calling the shots. Never was. He's a tool.

effinayright said...

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...
for Dems, no actual standards,

...just cudgels when expedient
***********
Hannity mispronounced "cudgels" last night on his show.

THEREFORE he must resign.

(some moron on Twitter will surely make that argument today)

Lurker21 said...

If elected, Biden will do whatever what Pelosi wants. But he's not going to go further and do whatever AOC wants. That's what people mean when they say he's a moderate. It's not that he's further to the right than his party. It's that he's not as far to the left as some people in the party are. Also, he's not a man of great conviction, so his heart isn't in the Bernie Sanders thing. If there's pressure to go left -- and there may be more of that now than any Democratic president has faced since Lyndon Johnson -- he'll go there, but it won't be his wish to do so.

Lurker21 said...

It may be too late to "Franken" Biden. So long as he leads in polls, there will be pushback in DNC circles against any kind of coup. That may go on until the home stretch, when it will really be too late.

Automatic_Wing said...

Biden is The Man in the Box.

Won't you come and save him?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"The day after Gillibrand’s shiv, he announced his intention to resign. (Chuck Schumer had told him to be out by 5 P.M.)"

So it was Schumer who shivved him?

Sam L. said...

In a 24"x24"x72" box.

Richard Dolan said...

"That could be read to say that Biden's position is stronger than ever."

Yes, but only in a very disparaging sense of 'stronger.' His political position is stronger because he has become so weak that he can't even be his own man (to whatever extent he was able to be that before) and thus is just the dummy in a ventriloquism act.

buwaya said...

I don't think the public care much about what Biden did.
Well, maybe a very few do, but those are the usual edge neurotics and loonies.

This was embarassing to the system that was trying to use a certain propaganda line, which wasn't a very effective one everything considered.
This wasn't Biden's petard, and its not Biden thats been hoist by it.
Though he may have been hit by some of the shrapnel.

This business is not about Biden but about the credibility of the propaganda organs of the ruling caste. They were all hysterical about this point for the last 6-8 years, and now it turns out that it was all a put-on, as sincere as a duck decoy. Not that most people didn't know that already. Its an "emperors new clothes" thing.

Birkel said...

I like the coup language applied here.
It makes the charge - an attempted coup against Trump - much more poignant.

Also, Franken reaigned.
You cannot coup the willing.

Bay Area Guy said...

I like Mickey Kaus, I really do. But at the end of the day, when the going gets tough, he stays close to his tribe - liberal, of course.

What do I think happened? I have no idea. But that's not the point.

Umm, it could be the point if you wanted to honestly assess what happened, no? You think folks conveniently withheld judgment on whether Anita Hill was or was not harassed by Clarence Thomas; whether Teddy Kennedy did or did not leave Mary Jo Kopechne to die in the water; whether Bill Clinton or did not sleep with Monica Lewinsky; whether he did or did not rape Juanita Broaddrick; and whether Brett Kavanaugh did or did not dry hump Christy Blasey Ford at a high school party in the 80s.

Most folks form opinions on these events, even if they are soft opinions because of the dearth of evidence.

Mickey just conveniently dodges here. What a surprise.

I'm also not saying "they" want to replace Biden now. I doubt that, no matter how appealing Andrew Cuomo looks. Biden's winning the polls. But they could change their mind, and quickly, if he gives enough of them enough reason -- either by faltering, or pissing them off, or a combination of the two.

No shit, Sherlock. So what you're saying is that the Dems have no core principles other than to win. If they can win with Slow Joe fumbling and mumbling through the campaign, they will stay with him. If they think he will lose to Trump, they will replace him.

Not complicated, Mickey.

Anonymous said...

Franken was selected by a court not elected, after the court decided the votes of the Democrat dead and the Democrat felons did not really constitute voter fraud. Not really.

Ambrose said...

What's often ignored is that the Democrats forced Franken out so the the Democrat governor of Minnesota could name a Democrat replacement lest a Republican defeat him in the upcoming election.

Drago said...

PM: "2. Trump will have to commit murder, likely mass, before Biden has a chance."

According to the dems/LLR-left, Trump has already committed mass murder about 17 times now during his administration by my last count.

Remember, the Net Neutrality ruling alone cost us millions of lives.

That was followed by the obamacare mandate repeal which also cost us millions of lives.

This was followed by nuclear war with North Korea, Russia and Iran. Which also cost us millions of lives.

The "good" news? All those deaths have been retroactively deemed to be due to the ChiCom/WHO Wuhan Lab Bat Flu, which means Trump has killed tens of millions by virus.

Which, as we all know, impacts women and minorities more than Horrific Caucasian Males and thus, counts as voter suppression....which is now an impeachable offense.

Whew!

Just in time too since the dems/left/LLR-left Sham-peachment III effort needed a boost!

Bruce Hayden said...

“It really all depends on whether or not the leadership of the party really believes Biden can win November- not that he can be controlled now. I think the leadership knows Biden can't win, and will move to replace him, it is just that they haven't figure out with which replacement candidate. When that candidate is chosen, then a senior female in Congress will play the role if Gillibrand.”

I quibble with your line. I don’t think that any Dem right now can beat Trump in November. Esp not the ones we have seen very much of. Crazy Bernie? Crooked Hillary? Fauxhauntis Warren? Maybe Michele or Oprah. Obama had eight years to bring the economy back, and failed. Trump created far more jobs in just three years. The Dems, overall have consistently screwed up their COVID-19 responses, going in unprepared, dithering, then going authoritarian and likely reopening their states much too slowly. Trump’s support, already strong, appears to have further solidified as he led the country through responding to the pandemic. He is going to be very hard to beat, regardless, in November.

Sure, they could maybe slide someone else into the slot - except that Crazy Bernie is his logical successor, and no one really wants that. But if they don’t give it to Sanders, cheating him again of the nomination, I would expect a lot of disillusioned Bernie Bros, disinclined to support whomever he was passed over for. And, of course, the inside candidate, the loathsome Crooked Hillary, is rested, tanned, and apparently (maybe) in remission from whatever neurological disease she was suffering from four years ago. Or, at least it doesn’t appear to have progressed as quickly as China Joe’s dementia. Mini Mike Bloomberg is another choice. He can self finance, which could be important given Trump’s fund raising advantages over other Dems. But a lot of Dems don’t trust him, having been a Republican in recent years.

I think that, as a result of these factors, it is still going to be hard to replace Biden. But the dam may have broken this week, and he may indeed get Frankened - except that he would have the fig leaf of withdrawing for very visible health reasons, as his dementia seems to be accelerating, if anything.

Mr Wibble said...

At this point, Bernie would get the nomination. There is no way to pass over Bernie unless Bernie publicly agreed to withdraw as well. He hasn’t. He only suspended his campaign. Amidst a virus, no less.

So the Dems would have to get Joe and Bernie to withdraw.


A Biden withdrawal before the convention would lead to a greco-roman clusterfark the likes of which hasn't been seen ever. Every candidate would have reason to claim that absent Biden they would gain his voters, and there's no way to come out of the convention without a lot of Dems butthurt over the results.

I still think the goal is to pull a Toricelli: have Biden announce his withdrawal due to health reasons sometime in late August/early-September and put in another Dem at that time.

Biff said...

2020...when the smoke-filled room was replaced by the smoke-filled Zoom.

narayanan said...

AA "commented"
That could be read to say that Biden's position is stronger than ever. The Party wanted Biden because he would do want they want, and now there's even more reason for them to believe he will. He's boxed in.

-------------=========
The Party is still doing Hillary bidding

I see a twist in this tale

"A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both

Hillary is the scorpion who has agreed to guide Joe the frog navigate the river.

she will hold her sting till come close enough to election day.

wildswan said...

The Hindenburg Ploy. Put in a senile old man whom people like and a dynamic socialist who will really run the show. Imply that Hindenburg Joe will restrain the socialist in order to gain the moderate votes but in fact Hindenburg Joe will be too worn to do anything and so the socialist runs the show. This has happened before.

Lurker21 said...


Virtual convention nominates Biden. He drops out. Democratic National Committee picks his replacement.

I'm not sure if the timeline makes that possible, but it would avoid the possibility of a disastrously chaotic convention.

It would be easier if Biden were a sure winner or a sure loser. The idea that taking him out of the race would doom the party to defeat when they could have won with Biden is likely to make many Democrat powerbrokers hesitate to remove him.

Bunkypotatohead said...

"Frankened? Hell, he should worry about getting Epsteined."
Frankensteined

Zach said...

Forcing him to drop out is one thing, but who would you replace him with? The second place finisher was Sanders, who he *decisively* defeated. Everybody else dropped out too early to have a solid claim to the nomination.

A dark horse candidate would be starting from scratch with no name recognition at a time when nobody is paying attention to the race and no money at a time when lots of potential donors are feeling the pinch.

Gunner said...

Dems do not want to piss off Bidens base: Old women, mostly black, but some white.