Frankenly, Al, I do give a damn!

What a year or two! 2017 is the "Me Too!" year of difficult admission of gender abuse, mainly anti-female, by women (and a few men) against the political aristocracy. It seems that this charge has significant amount of cultural resonance that has toppled several politicians--and will definitely do the same to more.

It is of a sort of strange joy to seen hypocritical neoliberals getting their day in the sun (in a most unwelcome way). John Conyers, who is 88, apparently played with women against their will for decades. I'm not sure what an octogenarian could actually accomplish at this late stage in a physical assault but abuse is not only physical.

Now, Al Freaky Fingers Franken is feeling the heat. Those Hillary-loving female Senators have turned against Franken just as they did against Bernie. Their beef against Bernie was that he was misogynistic for daring to challenge the vagina-bearing candidate.

The point of this essay is not so much the karma being meted out to individual malefactors but to the amount of outrage this centuries old abuse is at last generating. Freedom from gender abuse is as prevalent as abuse against people of color. Some attacks have been mounted by the misogynists that be against gender rights all along. In the political realm, the despicable Roy Moore, pedophile and adult female abuser, is unfortunately running for Senate against some Democrat. The Repugnants don't seem to care as much as gender abuse as the Dims.

When pedogate bursts open, which will be very slowly because of its widespread nature in the circle of powerful, above the law sociopaths, that it could bring down the government entirely. The current political class has become so brazen that they make not the slightest effort to hide the corruption: e.g., the Tax "Reform" act of 2017. This is mainly a Republican endeavor, with the Damnocrats standing feebly by.

But what will tip the public to revolt on a more massive scale against their persecutors (i.e., the 1%)? Probably 40% of the population is struggling so hard to stay solvent, that they have no time nor interest in politics. Voting numbers, especially in bi-elections, are so dismal for quite understandable reasons, that a truly motivated activist movement could possibly affect some restoration of a more equitable society.

The elites really have no organized way to combat the mounting anger felt by women about past abuse. Why? Because money and military (police) forces will not overcome this growing revulsion. The elites have no counter-weapon against sexual discrimination.

One foreseeable outcome of this is that we will get a Brand New Congress, not because of economic or ideological considerations, but because a whole bunch of rascals are going to be tossed out. Don't expect Franken to survive politically another six months. Goodbye without regret, Freaky Fingers.

The ideology of the replacements may not change one bit but at least their past indiscretions will be better hidden.

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Comments

EdMass's picture

So goes the Senate?

Took her a while cause she's still loving that Todd Akin for saving her ass. Those were the good ole days...

Sheesh

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7 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

SnappleBC's picture

... nor do I want anyone else caught up in this whole thing to do anything other than receive a fair trial and/or HR investigation. After that and when found guilty then I'm all for "hang 'em high". But unlike Democrats, I still think the rule of law is a good thing.

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17 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

EdMass's picture

@SnappleBC

This position includes Moore in Alabama? Or Trump?

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6 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

SnappleBC's picture

@EdMass

It includes EVERYONE. I believe in the rule of law... not the rule of law for people I like. This witch hunt terrifies the crap out of me. Don't get me wrong, I want to find the real witches (as it were). But the way it's happening leaves me worried for society itself.

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19 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

EdMass's picture

@SnappleBC

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9 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

@SnappleBC that's been missing.

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7 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@SnappleBC

Imagine being hauled up before the Committee of Public Safety in 1794, on someone's say-so regarding possible royalist sympathies. A likely terminal situation.

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7 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!

SnappleBC's picture

@Bollox Ref

Since we know that women never lie about stuff like this then the accusation is as good as a trial, right?

By the way, my wife is pretty amused at the idea that a woman would never lie in this way. She is not of the opinion that women are "sweetness and spice and everything nice". It boggles my mind that anyone would believe that based on an off-the-cuff statement by the FBI. Actual studies report numbers substantially greater than 2%... as a rational and reasonable person would expect.

I have a family member who was the victim of such an accusation. I think that family member is an asshole in an awful lot of ways but I'd assign the likelihood of that accusation being correct at about .00001% knowing what I do of both parties. It hardly matters since no proof was ever offered.

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10 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Bollox Ref's picture

@SnappleBC

Just as in 1794, here we are in 2017, accepting what could be mere hearsay as absolute.... and people suffer consequences without a hearing.

And I should add that I'm no fan of Franken. He's no Wellstone, and something of prat (see recent USO photo), but how certain is the rest of it? We cannot know. And will never know.

(Edited)

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8 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!

SnappleBC's picture

@Bollox Ref

He's a corporate Democrat and my natural enemy as much as Trump is. That, however, is not the issue. The issue, in my mind, is PUTTING A STOP TO THIS SHIT. And that happens when the guilty go to jail not when the innocent or guilty get hounded into "stepping down"

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3 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Alligator Ed's picture

@SnappleBC for these miscreants, with our current two-tiered justice system. The politicos know (with the recent exception of Corrine Brown) that they don't go to jail for things that would put the rest of us away at the GrayBar Hotel for a long time..

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4 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

@Alligator Ed

That's what it means to live in a plutocracy. But I still want actual investigations with real justice delivered to the guilty and innocent alike.

Now, where did I leave my hookah. I'm going to need a deep drag to envision that outcome.

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4 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

@SnappleBC I haven't heard any of the accused asking for a trial or investigation, Maybe they have been offered but don't want a trial. Which leads me to believe that if they step down there is a reason and it isn't just because they are being asked to. Imo the whole congress and senate should step down they are all abusers and war criminals.

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12 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

@pro left

First, Franken explicitly DID ask for a hearing by the Senate ethics comittee.

Secondly, I agree that those who voluntarily step down seem a lot more likely to be guilty to me. Isn't that all the more reason for a trial?

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9 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Alligator Ed's picture

@SnappleBC not something a groper wants revealed. Gender abuse is ALWAYS a serial offense. The offender cannot modulate their behavior any more than a psychopath can feel empathy.

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9 users have voted.

@SnappleBC I doubt any of them would step down if they had nothing to hide, that being said I am all for innocent until proven guilty and yes there should be a trial to determine if a crime has been committed.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@pro left @pro left

that Al's being pressured into resigning by Democrats. It all boils down to Dems having to do this, in order to hang Roy Moore (and probably DT) around the necks of Repubs in 2018/2012.

BTW, Al's first accuser explicitly said (on CNN) that she didn't want him to lose his job. She said that he had apologized to her, and that she accepted his apology. (She just thought that he should be 'held accountable' for his actions.)

Which is not intended as an apology for his actions--just how I read the 'politics' of what's going on right now.

[Edited: Added final sentence.]

Mollie

"The standard of living of the average American has to decline. I don't think you can escape that."
--Paul Volcker, The New York Times, October 18, 1979, Page 1.

"Every time I lose a dog, he takes a piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. Someday, my heart will be total dog, and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving, and forgiving."
--Author Unknown

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8 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Apologies don't matter once the Mad Media has red meat in its teeth. The results are never good.

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8 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@TheOtherMaven

what she thinks about what's happening, now. I say 'first' accuser, she was the one in the photo--asleep on the military aircraft. (I suppose that was the first one.)

And, IIRC, no one else had stepped forward. So, it 'could be' that her feelings would not be as charitable, if she were interviewed today.

Mollie

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6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@SnappleBC
The standard of proof necessary to convict someone of a crime in the US is guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That has never been the standard necessary for disqualifying a person for political office. When a huge group of women come forward with very similar stories about Bill Cosby after the statute of limitation is exceeded; were unaware of each other; and can produce people to whom they told what happened when it happened; I can make my own decision about its significance.

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7 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

Statement released by Sen. Bernie Sanders today, Dec. 6, 2017:

Sen. Franken has said that he will be making an announcement about his political future tomorrow. The right thing is for him to resign. We are now at a crossroads in American culture. And it is an important one. The way we treat women in our country has been abysmal in almost every way. We are finally addressing the issue of sexual harassment, and we need to get it right. But the conversation we are having now is only the tip of the iceberg. It needs to be an ongoing movement of women and men that includes a national discussion about sexism, sexual harassment, objectification, inequality and abuse of power."

(Emphasis mine.)

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement...

There's no going back to the way things have been. If we want the kind of revolution we say we want, we cannot go back. "Evolve or die."

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16 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

EdMass's picture

@Centaurea

But you know that Bernie is irrelevant and has no influence over grass root voters nor leverage on the Democratic Party.

He's a Socialist Marxist Communist.

He did honeymoon in RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA after all.

/s

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10 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

Let the voters of Alabama and Wisconsin decide the fates of their Senate candidates and Senators. Calling for people to resign is easy. Getting up a recall petition, that is real work. If the principle of the rule of law is jettisoned entirely it will be little folks, that is, you and me, who will suffer for it. I for one, do not want to have to kiss up to some local baron, godfather, head of the Tong, or El Jefe to be able to live my life.

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10 users have voted.

Nastarana

SnappleBC's picture

@Nastarana

If these people have, in fact, done what they are accused of I do not want them to "step down". I want them behind bars. "Stepping down" is way to easy for someone like Weinstein. How does that really hurt him? It doesn't even hurt his reputation since everyone apparently already knew that he was a criminal and didn't care. But in my opinion, the excesses of the wealthy will not ever end as long as we don't actually punish them.

If there are no laws for some of these actions then perhaps that's something that needs addressing?

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13 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

with SnappleBC in this discussion because it just seems too easy for this accusation free-for-all to become a political circus. At the same time, I can understand how women, and especially young people, can be overwhelmed by such an assault or abuse and therefore not report it. If someone raises the issue years later, it's hard for the victim of the assault to have any legal credibility after not having reported it. This whole subject is very difficult.

I think what troubles me about Al Franken is that he's not saying he didn't do these things. He's saying he has his picture taken a lot. So in his case, if that's what he's saying, he's a dissembler. And I hope he resigns for that.

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7 users have voted.

@Linda Wood equality and opportunity, same as men, so with that comes responsibility. You are a crime victim, you have to report it in a timely fashion if you want justice done. Sorry about the ladies' feelings, but too bad. Speak now or forever keep your peace.

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1 user has voted.

Nastarana

Alligator Ed's picture

@Nastarana or otherwise humiliated when they tried complaining about sexual abuse. For every fraudulent claim of abuse there are at least 100 more unreported. It's still hard enough to summon the courage to speak out, even though this situation is improving recently.

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11 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@Alligator Ed
Or slut shamed. "She was on the cover of Playboy." "She should have told him to stop." "When a guy got fresh with me, I just gave him a look." "She should have changed seats." "She should have ____________(fill in the blank)."

And, since it happens right here on this site, which baffles, and disgusts me, I can only imagine it's happening all over the country. We are, supposedly, more liberal on this site, though some are obviously stuck in a time warp - and I know, liberal doesn't necessarily mean compassionate, empathetic, or even tolerant of victims, which I always thought it did, so I've had a cold glass of water thrown in my face as of late. I can only imagine what they're saying at Breitbart (however you spell it).

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5 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood

in the one where the first woman said that he grabbed her butt, he has his cheek next to hers. This is a total stranger and it's inappropriate for him to have been that friendly with someone he doesn't know. I'd freak out if someone did that to me.
I've heard that the ethics's committee is where things go to die. This was why he asked for one, if this is true.

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10 users have voted.

a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

is invoked by the filing of a civil suit or upon the arrest of a person in a criminal case.
These are allegations, responses to them, and they are not in court.
Please.
Very often, a person will get a letter from an attorney demand to do a thing or not do a thing so as to prevent litigation. I send them out routinely.
If you defame me, I will give you the option to retract your statement. Failure to do so might result in litigation.
If you do not pay your rent, I will ask you to pay up before I file for your eviction.
NONE OF THIS sexual harassment/abuse is about the rule of law UNTIL IT IS IN COURT.
Please.
This is THE COURT OF OPINION.
Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

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10 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@on the cusp

NONE OF THIS sexual harassment/abuse is about the rule of law UNTIL IT IS IN COURT.
Please.
This is THE COURT OF OPINION.
Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

This is the point most of us are making, on the cusp.

There should be no punishment without criminal court action. Anything else is relying on the "court of opinion", in which there is neither order, nor rule, nor law.

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4 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

@thanatokephaloides Franken, the voters choose to dismiss him.

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3 users have voted.

Nastarana

@thanatokephaloides away from "rule of law" and strictly focus on opinion.
If the statute of limitations has run for either a civil suit or criminal charge, are we just supposed to hide behind that to tell victims to stfu?
They are, in fact, telling their stories, giving THEIR opinions on what happened.
We out here can give value to them, or value to the apologies.
I fall on the side in virtually every instance of the apologies being worth a bucket of spit.
Don't do it, you never have to apologize for something you did not do.

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12 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@on the cusp This will be as successful as getting swine to sing. The accused abusers are wealthy, with more lawyers than the average person has teeth. 100 motions to dismiss, delay, change venue, etc. get filed. The poor victim is thus required under the so-called "rule of law" to undergo hostile questioning and further humiliation many times. How many times does a victim have to undergo such tribulations before discouragement and increased shame makes her give up the task?

The corruption is so pervasive in government (as well as other sectors) that I believe the sentiment is properly "guilty until proven innocent", just as so many "second-tier" citizens get lower tier "justice".

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10 users have voted.

@Alligator Ed I do not automatically head towards court in my head when I read the accusations, or apologies.
If the accusers were theft victims, and apologies made, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Right here on this site, some are upset that the rule of law must apply, while ignoring the fact that the victims would have been publicly shamed, financially overpowered by the wealthy perps in court. They are not, by and large, lawyering up. They are not seeking money, not making criminal complaints.
Again, if were some other theft or bribery, we would be having a much different discussion about Franken.
As a culture, we have made being a sexual assault or sexual crime victim so shameful for the victim that it is easier for them to just keep it to themselves. The "rule of law" allows the scales to be tipped, and powerful individuals know it, and it is clear they have used this to their advantage.

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7 users have voted.

before the law. So victims of this kind of opportunistic abuse of power are somehow supposed to find and fund legal representation against someone with massive corporate backing and myriad tentacles, while holding down jobs that are far more time intensive, with fewer delegates for all of the details, and take on power.

What are you smoking? Most victims know, without EVER being told, that without support for the outcry, they will be abused further and in worse ways. The power imbalance in this is overwhelming and it exists. That is the part that most people miss: it is the male assertion that "equal justice before the law" is well established: and it is not: the powerful operate under a VERY different set of conditions. The court of public opinion is the one Al was operating in. He is a public figure. His behavior as a public person, representing our nation, half of which is female, is part of his job. P.S. The picture was evidence enough for me. He didn't deny these things: his judgement and regard for other folks dignity, privacy of person, and some degree of mutuality are clearly lousy. P.S. so was his behavior when a 22% victory in a primary by his constituents, was over-ridden in his "superdelegate" arrogance. See a pattern here?

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9 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@sorrowforhumans My essay and a comment by me below should clarify my stance. Nowhere here is it said that women are not still shamed and publically disbelieved. The opposite is in fact overwhelmingly true.

Also mentioned by me is the two-tiered justice system.

As far as trial by jury, an upcoming essay will explain my views.

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3 users have voted.

I had read the comments, but failed to indicate that I was responding, not to the author, but to some who seemed to suggest that there is equal representation under the law for such allegations: there is not. This abuse, and Roy Moore's even in power structures within families, are the most un-prosecuted crimes in this nation: and victims have been silenced by religion and still are.

So the idea that accusers should "take this to courts" remains ludicrous. They are the targets of criminal abuse, who are then further victimized by being outgunned with both legal resources and the weaponized media: far more than perpetrators. Franken's actions are on a continuum of what Trump expressed: and it seems that if you seek out celebrity contact, you are somehow consenting to this treatment: why we shouldn't fawn over celebrities.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@sorrowforhumans

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