« AI and the killer joke | Main | Wherein I reveal too much about myself »

November 13, 2017

Comments

It would be utterly inconceivable for a candidate still to be running in these circumstances over here.

it's baffling that he's still on his feet over here, too.

or, it would have been, had the GOP not fully embraced the equally-scummy Donald Trump last year.

Moore is following Trump's M.O. exactly be a scumbag, but be their scumbag. deny, deny, deny, discredit, distract, deflect, deny. Trump proved that the media is powerless no matter what they report, and fighting the media makes your base like you even more. it's perverse and nihilist and destructive, but it's what the GOP has embraced.

I suspect the news that rump and his Russian prostitutes pissed the bed the uppity niggers slept in provided the margin of victory for the Republican Party last November.

Nigel, I was less boggled by the paragraphs that you quoted than by the fact that the Republicans in the Senate are actually considering the idea of having Strange resign in order to trigger a new special election. (Which I'm less than convinced that it would.) That would pretty much guarantee that Moore would win their nomination again, and arrive (if he did) even more of a loose cannon than they are already looking at.

It really says something about how horrible they find all of their available options at this point. I'm betting that secretly, or even not so secretly, they are praying hard for Jones to win. Yes, it makes getting anything passed on a straight partisan basis even more difficult. Not to mention the increased threat of losing their majority altogether next year. But the alternatives they are seeing look to be much worse for them -- and clearly they know it.

McConnell and associated ratfuckers, with the exception of ratfuckers Bannon, Hannity and their ratfucking mothers, trying to convince sessions to run for Alabama senate seat.

If successful, expect rump to nominate Moore for attorney general. Jeff flake, whose votIng record is pretty much Moore incarnate, despite his fake piety, will be on board.

Then expect the arrest, indictment and the imprisonment of Hillary Clinton for not selling enough uranium to the Russians.

Or maybe Moore stays in, wins the seat, and in a middle of the night election next year, he'd deposes McConnell as majority leader.

School prayer then mandated as national policy so that kids across the nation can send their thoughts and prayers while in school to the kids down the hall being mass murdered by gunmen carrying NRA approved weaponry.

Senate leader Moore will visit the shot up school and have private lap prayer sessions with the traumatized cheerleader squads.

He will suffer the little children to come unto him.

But the first scandal Moore will survive as senate leader will be when he is accused of killing a guy dressed in ladies evening wear in the ladies bathroom at a local Washington, D.C. Park and will be exonerated by a rump Judge because Moore claims his motive in the killing was to preserve his stalking turf from liberal predators.

In Alabama, real men dress like real men when accosting women in the ladies' loo.

Here is my question: what are they willing to break to avoid the embarrassment of Senator Moore?

If Moore broke the law, and the statute of limitations has not passed, it's appropriate for charges to be brought against him and for the process of justice to proceed from there.

That said, (R) voters in AL picked him. If there is no actual legal impediment to somebody running for US Senate while actual or potential criminal charges are pending, then it looks like they have to let him run. All of the alternatives basically amount to disenfranchising the folks who voted in the (R) primary.

If he wins, he wins. The Senate may then decide to chuck him out, but I think that's only ever been done for actual acts of treason. Folks have resigned from the Senate under pressure when they've been caught out in bad behavior, but I don't see Moore going that way.

What precedents are set if the (R)'s - national or state level - horse around with the process enough to bar him from running or taking office if elected?

Are they worse than just living with Senator Moore?

If you are a (R) in AL, and have cast / do cast your vote for Moore, what do you make of all of this?

It's a freaking mess, but in general I suspect AL (R)'s are more than fine with it. It's a poke in the eye to that damned elitist establishment, what could be better.

the affair with Lewinsky was consensual if inappropriate, other situations were apparently less so.

There's an interesting comment thread on LGM that, in part, is relitigating the Clinton allegations. I'm remembering a lot of stuff that I'd forgotten. Highly recommmended.

oh crap... Franken, too?.

wtf

It's a freaking mess, but in general I suspect AL (R)'s are more than fine with it. It's a poke in the eye to that damned elitist establishment, what could be better.

Like I say, the Republican establishment is praying hard for Jones to win. If nothing else, at least it is a return poke in the eye for Bannon -- which McConnell has to think of as a big plus. Maybe even big enough to be worth losing his majority.

"The republican establishment is praying hard for Jones to win."

How confusing that must be for God, that his pets are so wily.

Then again, the Holy Spirit had its way with the Virgin Mary in such a way that Mary Magdalene had to find new work.

If Jones wins, the republican establishment's plan on is to force the resignation of Al Franken.

oh crap... Franken, too?.

wtf

This, to me, is the whole point of Doc's post. If all the stories were to come out, we'd find that a dismaying percentage of powerful men [sic, for now] have done something like this at one time or another.

It's a mess.

If all the stories were to come out, we'd find that a dismaying percentage of powerful men [sic, for now] have done something like this at one time or another.

OK, but we have to start sooner or later. So why not make a beginning? It's not like it's a better option to wait until a couple of generations die off, in the hopes that the next generation is better behaved.

Will it be a mess? No question. But either we start now, and clean up the mess as we go, or we decide we are OK with selective enforcement for political (or economic) advantage. I, for one, am not comfortable with the latter . . . no matter who ends up with the (temporary) political advantage from the former.

or we decide we are OK with selective enforcement for political (or economic) advantage

i think this is where we are.

so now the question is: will the Dems volunteer to start cleaning up first? the GOP will be more than happy to let them.

wj, I agree with you, I didn't at all mean to imply that we shouldn't start.

I was more just surprised that cleek seemed to be surprised. We are just a few baby steps into the list that we're going to have eventually, was my point, and the list is going not just going to consist of sanctimonious bible-thumping right-wing criminal hypocritics like Moore.

However: start on exactly what is the messy question, about which I've been finding it hard to frame thoughts suitable for a blog comment.

I don't think what Franken is accused of doing is in the same ball park as what Moore is accused of, so I guess that's a hint about where I'd start. Predation on children is pretty far toward one end of a spectrum.

Janie, I'd say start with those who have engage in activities which are clearly criminal. Whether or not the statue of limitations has elapsed; if it hasn't, file charges as well. That means those preying on children or engaging in felony sexual assault (i.e. rape).

We can (and should) get to sexual harassment later, once the worst offenders have been eliminated.

That said, (R) voters in AL picked him. If there is no actual legal impediment to somebody running for US Senate while actual or potential criminal charges are pending, then it looks like they have to let him run. All of the alternatives basically amount to disenfranchising the folks who voted in the (R) primary.

Sorry about bringing up prior history, but if I'm not mistaken, didn't the Dems in NJ pull a US Senate candidate (who had won the primary) off the ballot when something came up post-primary that seemed certain to cause him to lose? The Repubs, IIRC, had a lock on that senate seat until the Dems did the switch.

yes.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2002/10/03/new-jersey-supreme-court-rules-in-favor-dems-replacing-torch-on-ballot.html

More trolling:

But either we start now, and clean up the mess as we go, or we decide we are OK with selective enforcement for political (or economic) advantage.

JFK, then Teddy, then William Jefferson Clinton, than all the rest. When it comes to selectivity in modern times, it's not hard to know where to start.

What remains interesting, in light of the *very* recent calls for reassessing HRC's husband--but not HRC--is the very delicate, 'well, he was awesome at everything else, but yes, maybe it was disturbing' spin we are seeing 25 years after the fact. This is a man with 25 plus rides on Jeffrey Eppstein's "Lolita Express" jet. Cattle futures, the Marc Rich pardon, Jeffrey Eppstein--do you really think *everything* is out, that this is all there is?

Your moral high horses know no bounds when it comes to the other side, when all the while the biggest offenders have been right there at the top of your party--although in the last year, between Trump and Moore, the scum level is starting to even out. Seriously Cleek, can you possibly be more of a hypocrite? Just because your idols are smarter and better at lying, denying and delaying, doesn't make them better people.

They are all human filth. Quit the moral preening. Your own house is covered in dirt. Own it and quit throwing stones at your neighbor's glass house.

The poor ObWi shark has been jumped so many times since Trump took office, it has to have drowned by now. Jesus.

So, my question again:

What do we expect of political representatives by way of squeaky clean personal lives?

Lots of (D) creeps, lots of (R) creeps.

It all goes back to (at least) Hamilton and Jefferson.

Is being a creep disqualifying for national office? If so, where do we start applying that rule?

Expand it beyond politics and even more entertainment will ensue.

See also - Doc S's original post.

Your moral high horses know no bounds

You got one of your own, dude.

McKTX-

If you are referring to the NJ switch from Torricelli to Lautenberg, there are some important differences. First, Torricelli withdrew from the ballot (Moore won't do that). Second, the NJSC specifically found that the withdrawal occurred soon enough for the ballots to be reprinted:

http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs/torricelli/njdpsmsn100202scord.pdf

whereas AL has a specific statute precluding reprinting ballots at this late date:

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/17-6-21.htm

The NJ court's analysis is interesting re: the disenfranchising issue:

And the Court being of the view that

[it] is in the public interest and the general intent of the election laws to preserve the two-party system and to submit to the electorate a ballot bearing the names of candidates of both major political parties as well as of all other qualifying parties and groups.

Kilmurray v. Gilfert, 10 N.J. 435, 441 (1952);

And the Court remaining of the view that the election
statutes should be liberally construed

to allow the greatest scope for public participation in the electoral process, to allow candidates to get on the ballot, to allow parties to put their candidates on the ballot, and most importantly, to allow the voters a choice on Election Day.

Catania v. Haberle, 123 N.J. 438, 448;

And the Court having determined that N.J.S.A. 19:13-20 does
not preclude the possibility of a vacancy occurring within fifty-one days of the general election;

So you see, not allowing folks to choose a Dem = disenfranchisement.

The more you know .... /rainbow

Strange, it would seem to me that pulling someone off the ballot would be considered a return to sanity, but McT feels it is evidence that everyone has done it. Like a Sisyphus Fonzie, McT is destined to jump that shark again and again.. At least he is acknowledging it is trolling.

McTX: The Repubs, IIRC, had a lock on that senate seat until the Dems did the switch.

Do you mean they "had a lock on" it based on Torricelli staying on the ballot?

IIRC, the Dems replaced Torricelli with Frank Lautenberg and the voters of New Jersey turned out to prefer Lautenberg over the Republican Forrester. I remember the GOP arguments at the time: that democracy is less about what the voters want than about a strict observance of "the rules", a la hopscotch. The voters of NJ, the GOP argued, should be forced to choose between a Democrat who nobody wanted and a Republican who less-than-a-majority did.

The difference between NJ then and AL now is that back then the D's were afraid their ill-advisedly-chosen nominee would lose, and the R's now are afraid their nominee will win. I think this says something about which side respects voters more.

--TP

The poor ObWi shark has been jumped so many times since Trump took office...

If it's only been since Trump took office, is it really jumping the shark?

As far as the outrage about the Clintons - either one - I can't think of a single thing anyone can pin on them that isn't dead normal for American political life at the national level.

Rides on Eppstein's jet? As far as I can tell, getting laid is seen as one of the perks of holding positions of national responsibility. I'm sure it's not universal, I'm also sure it's widespread. DC is, famously, called Hollywood for ugly people. It ain't because of the movies.

Cattle futures? HRC did some day trading and made a lot of money. $100K over several months.
She lost some, she won more. A lot of folks day trade, but she did it with the assistance of the outside counsel at Tyson Foods, at that time the largest employer in AR. So, ethically smelly. That puts her in good company with a fairly large number of folks in Congress, who quite often trade based on privileged information. They tried to put a stop to it back in 2012, then basically gutted that law a year later. Check out what Congresspeople were worth upon taking office, compared to either now or upon leaving office.

Denise Rich gave a crapload of money to the (D)'s, her ex got a pardon. Wealthy and powerful people get favors.

I think all of that sucks. And, I think Bill Clinton is no better or worse a human being than quite a number of folks holding public office, and as an effective public servant he was much much better than most. My opinion about Hillary is basically the same, except I think she's actually a better person than the run of the mill public office holder, including her husband.

For every (D) you want to name, past present or future, with a shady if not criminal personal life, I can name you a (R). It doesn't freaking matter what letter follows these people's names.

If you actually do want to improve the moral and ethical quality of folks holding public office, you will need to make crimes of a lot of what is currently normal operating procedure.

You will have to get the fucking boatloads of private money out of governance. Lobbyists, PACs, insider deals, sweetheart private gigs in industries they have spent years overseeing. All of it.

Stop rewarding politicians for being crooks, and fewer crooks will look at politics as an attractive path.

I'm all for it. Not many folks are, so it ain't gonna happen.

Not many folks are, so it ain't gonna happen.

Maybe it will under the strong ethical leadership of our current president.

McTX: JFK, then Teddy, then William Jefferson Clinton ...

You forgot FDR. But maybe FDR gets cancelled out by Ike.

There's one Republican who I never heard accused of infidelity or sexual harassment: Richard M. Nixon. He was too moral for that sort of thing.

As far as Roy Moore goes, I'm with Josh Marshall. I have long held that a government of The People, by The People, and for The People can't be any better than The People are.

--TP

Denise Rich gave a crapload of money to the (D)'s, her ex got a pardon.

Robert Mercer's hedge fund apparently owes something like $7 billion-with-a-b in back taxes. We'll see what he gets for his money.

Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson. Hey, let's be even-handed - George Soros, too.

Everybody with a big checkbook has their calls returned, gets the ear of the big shots, gets favors.

To be completely honest, I'm just not that freaking worked up about Mark Rich.

As far as Roy Moore goes, I'm with Josh Marshall.

Same here.

If the people of AL want Moore, let them have Moore. And best of luck to them.

If he ends up in jail, they'll have a Senator in jail. Don't know what precedent there is for that, maybe we'll get to make one.

Prior history is the only kind we have.

Are you referencing Torricelli in New Jersey? I can't link on my IPad. In fact, I can hardly post on my IPad.

Aside from that, I do believe we need to upgrade from "it's a mess" to a "fucking partisan free-for-all".

I'm all for airing this stuff out. Let the chips fall where they may.

But, some predictions, given the current state of things in America. This could be a witch hunt in which the witches outnumber the non-witches by some very spooky margin.

I predict that once this thing really breaks loose, any attempt to develop a heirarchy of "crimes" to face up to and rectify will crash and burn and the individual who uttered an off-color joke to a woman years ago will be facing public shame and all that comes with along the same lines as Weinstein and Moore should and will face.

Further, do we really think that with crypto-religious nutcakes and their enablers populating legislatures and courthouses across the country at every level of government, that any legislative action to address this issue will not include efforts to sharply curtail the freedoms women have gained in recent years in the areas of birth control, controlling their own bodies, and having the open agency to engage in sexual relations without shame and the benefit of marriage, because after all, to uptight conservatives, come hither makes we men do the dastardly stuff.

We could end up with Roy Moore's biblical view of these matters prevailing and hurting us more than Roy Moore's personal view (basically dropping his pencil at the mall food court and peeking up the teenaged girls' skirts) and behavior prevailing, though some men have the will to find the way.

I would add that none of this is going to further the cause of LGBT rights either. What, you think heterosexual crypto religious men in this country are going to give up their presumed sexual privileges and let gays and lesbians continue to make progress unmolested.

We live in a country (and who doesn't) wherein it is politically correct to mention in school that the first acts, besides building a fire, by Columbus and John Smith were rape.

We live in a country where John Smith rapes Pocahontas and where in 2017 rump and Hensarling rape the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to punish the woman they call Pocahontas.

We live in a country where settlement occurred in much of the western states in this order: explorers, killing the native inhabitants, miners and trappers, the prostitutes to follow, and the preachers in hot pursuit.

I forgot the surveyors. They probably had the most fun.

The preachers converted some of the prostitutes to the former's God and the prostitutes converted some of the preachers to gonnorhea and syphillis while the rest of the men managed to partake of both without batting an eye because both were lubricants to the money shot called called commerce at any cost.

American history in basically a long-running porn movie with the Bill of Rights, the Civil War, Hiroshima, and vanguishing polio as connective foreplay plot developments for which the fast forward button was invented.

At any rate, conservatives will figure out a way to turn this whole deal against women, the LGBT community and innocent guys who ask politely to get laid.

I mean, when this is all said and done, am I going have to apologize the next time I'm guffawing when Groucho is interrupted batting his eyes at Margaret Dumont to get at her money and influence by Harpo chasing a pretty girl across the set, honking all the way, with Chico in hot pursuit?


Rump jumped the shark.

All else is the wading pool at Seaworld..

We can (and should) get to sexual harassment later, once the worst offenders have been eliminated..

I profoundly disagree with this. It's not one thing or the other - it is about changing the attitudes of men towards women, and saying let's just worry about the actual criminals isn't going to do anything about that.

I appreciate that this is at odds with pretty well,all,of history up until now, but that does not make it wrong.

Conclusive evidence of sexual harassment ought to be diqualificatory for public office. Period. Whichever side of the aisle.

A few rules going forward:

Ask. Enjoy the yes with respect and doubly respect the no from a human being with agency.

Cut the crap at work. Plain abusive if not consensual and too complicated for everyone if consensual, though I'm a realist in the latter case.

But so is a younger female friend, who had this to say, if unfelicitously, about a past consensual sexual escapade she was involved in at work. "Tried that. No more. I don't shit and eat in the same place."

Try to life backwards. You'll get in less trouble. Though I'm not sure Merlin saw Mordred coming.

Nigel: Conclusive evidence of sexual harassment ought to be diqualificatory for public office. Period. Whichever side of the aisle.

I don't disagree with you. But I have what I fondly believe is a realistic view that we can't solve the entire problem all at once -- maybe we should, but it ain't going to happen. Which, I think, means we have to prioritize.

Yes, we should get there. Yes, the sooner the better. But I don't want to try to do everything at once, and so end up doing nothing. Or, to put it another way, I don't want the perfect to become the enemy of the good.

wj, I appreciate what you're trying to say, but I think you're simply wrong.
Not accepting harassment means not accepting harassment - of course it's not 'going to solve the entire problem at once'.
A change of attitude is just that; it's not going to change society overnight but without it nothing changes.

This short piece puts it quite well:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2017/11/16/no-man-accused-of-sexually-harassing-a-woman-is-irreplaceable-not-even-al-franken/

Seriously Cleek, can you possibly be more of a hypocrite?

until you spend half as much time bitching about the plague that's eating your party, you can take your phony outrage and shove it right up your ass.

sigh

.... that's eating your party... as you do complaining about the fucking Dems...


no-man-accused-of-sexually-harassing-a-woman-is-irreplaceable-not-even-al-franken

Whatever the body of the piece says, the headline is absurd. I once had a front row seat to an incident of false accusation (of physical violence, not sexual harassment), and to base anything at all on one accusation is over any line I would be willing to cross.

I'd love to see a change in attitudes, and I'm not defending Franken. (Though he has at least had the decency to admit what he did, unlike Moore, and not to glorify it, unlike President Clickbait.)

But I'm curious to know what we're going to do in the meantime (while we wait generations for a change in attitudes, in the way we teach young people to treat each other, etc. etc.) when we get to the point where twenty-five or thirty percent of the people in Congress have been accused of harassment a la Franken. Throw them all out and start over? (I'm not sure that's a bad idea, except for the bloodshed. I'm not The Count, for better and worse.)

Throw them all out and start over?

ain't gonna happen. not in one shot, anyway.

half the country doesn't care about sexual harassment. they won't even admit it's a crime, or that it can be proved or that it's worth caring about (locker room talk, boys being boys).

it's going to take generations to change attitudes.

and, people like McTrollX here, who see every new accusation against someone his team as a reason to talk about Bill Clinton instead of addressing the actual problem just make things worse. they don't actually care about the problem. they just want to defend their team.

half the country doesn't care about sexual harassment. they won't even admit it's a crime, or that it can be proved or that it's worth caring about (locker room talk, boys being boys).

I'm not sure I'm buying "half the country." A quarter, maybe -- say, to be generous, something like half the men. But definitely not all of us.

Nigel:

"It's about changing the attitudes of men towards women."

Absolutely.

It needs to start early and good luck with porn available willy nilly to both the boys and the girls.

As with national security and gun control, the Bill of Rights will need to be abridged.

If Jonas Salk had sexually harassed or even raped his secretary, was he a dispensable man?

Well, The best thing is bob does bitch about both parties almost equally. So we really are fully diverse across the political spectrum. Does that make bob the center of political thought?

We need to figure out a meaningful remedy for something as pervasive as this. And, although Franken was 55 when it occurred, and his behavior was deplorable, I think his record in the Senate has earned him some redemption points.

Men were persuaded that they were okay people even though they did things like this. I'm glad that they are being disabused of that notion, but the Chinese Cultural Revolution isn't a good model for how we should proceed to right these wrongs.

Oh yeah. Note: the woman who accused Franken is a regular on Sean Hannity. Is she a Republican? Course she had some evidence.

So we always believe women? Republicans will definitely be able to use that, and will be able to find corroborating witnesses if needed.

I'm popping popcorn. Democratic Party committed suicide in 2016, if not 2010. Just zombies eating each other's brains.

" And, although Franken was 55 when it occurred, and his behavior was deplorable, I think his record in the Senate has earned him some redemption points."

What is the statute of limitations? How are these redemption points earned? No one has accused Roy Moore of doing anything in the last 30 years, does that mean he's ok now? So should people who support his works as a conservative grant him redemption points?

Winning isn't everything.

Winning is the only thing.

Does that make bob the center of political thought?

It's a quantum entanglement thing. Even I don't understand it.

Started one of my kind of books, Georg Lukacs The Destruction of Reason 1952. Lukacs was politically complicated, but Stalinist when it was necessary, on the good side in 1956.

Only thing I might mention for now.

Lukacs says the irrationalism unique to capitalism always takes the form of evasion, of seeing the right questions but avoiding the necessary answers. Because the bourgeois don't want to give up private property for instance.

Evasion, distraction, dissemblance, obfuscation. Useful in thinking about Trump, global warming, inequality, many things.

So should people who support his works as a conservative grant him redemption points?

Sure.

Equating the two behaviors really says something about you, Marty, but, sure - people who are judging (me, you, Alabama voters, Minnesota voters, everyone else) can award whatever redemption points they want. I'm letting you know where my redemption points will be awarded.

She was a regular on Hannity?

Was the woman who led the charge against Moore a part of the echo chamber here?

See, we're outgunned and outnumbered. It's war.

"Equating the two behaviors really says something about you, Marty, but, sure "

I didn't equate anything. I was asking how it worked. You didn't specify the full range of "unacceptable" behavior that could achieve redemption points, or how they were earned, or if there should be some standard for them.

So I was just asking, thanks.

Does that make bob the center of political thought?

Works for me. At least as an Overton Window kind of thing.

WTF, we've lived in Nixonland, lived through Morning In America, tried the Kinder Gentler Thousand Points of Light, sampled the Bush Doctrine and the Ownership Society (featuring widespread bankruptcies and destruction of lifetimes of carefully accumulated wealth).

I'm up for giving President Lacan a spin.

Note: the woman who accused Franken is a regular on Sean Hannity

LOL. Woodwork squeaks, out come the freaks.

How are these redemption points earned?

Don't disrobe and grope 14 year olds. Don't cruise the mall for high school kids. Don't call kids at school and hit on them.

Do apologize and invite an investigation into the incident, and your own behavior in general.

So should people who support his works as a conservative grant him redemption points?

LOL, literally.

Have you been watching the election in AL?

I'm letting you know where my redemption points will be awarded.

Also works for me.

See, we're outgunned and outnumbered.

Personally, I count myself, and pretty much anybody who hangs out here, as worth at least 10 of anybody who shows up on Hannity.

I'm not afraid of these folks, and I don't need a gun to feel that way.

Well, I'll answer from my place in the cheap seats. I think that redemption is available for all human beings.

Roy Moore is a shameful p.o.s. without even considering recent accusations of child molestation and stalking.

Al Franken is a national treasure, a Senator seriously committed to human welfare, and did something that was deeply disrespectful and wrong (if we believe the account of someone who has a partisan ax to grind)), for which he immediately apologized.

That's me playing God. You can make up your own rules.

"Don't call kids at school and hit on them."

The weirdest thing I heard today? She then actually went out with him. Really?

Oh, I see, the victim on Fox is lying as opposed to the victim on CNN? Although the victim on Fox had a F%^&ing picture?

I accused no one of lying.

Was it today I saw Caribou Barbie being asked if she ever experienced sexual harassment? I think it was. It's possible I only dreamed it, because her answer was so surreal: not really, she replied with a giggle, because most men know I'm likely to be packing.

--TP

Does that make bob the center of political thought?

As a bob, i would say, "Whoa, not so much!"

But there is something to be said about swinging them all from lamp-posts and starting over. But the Left wants to save theirs, and the right likewise.

Leaving most of them unscathed.

The parallels of this discussion to discussions about racism are haunting. Can we shoot all the racists, too?

Let me know. Thanks.

Franken screwed up.

i can think of charitable interpretations of the kiss (misinterpretation of signals, he took a chance that didn't pan out, etc.). or maybe he's a lech - need more info. the picture is weird and gross; but it was also done in public and it kindof looks like an attempt at some kind of joke or prank or whatever. so, definitely unacceptable, line crossed.

i did like his statement. i'm glad she accepted his apology. it sounds like she's not losing any sleep over it.

what Franken did isn't even close to the same category as Moore.

Franken deserves some kind of reprimand - i don't know what. Moore needs to be in court.

if Franken has to leave the Senate, Moore shouldn't ever be allowed on Senate property.

if you want a Democratic analogue of Moore, maybe Anthony Weiner would do. he didn't get much support from anyone once the details came out.

"Does that make Bob the center of political thought?"

I'd say it's more like he has all of us surrounded.

She then actually went out with him. Really?

I have no idea if she went out with him. I don't care if she went out with him. Maybe he had a nice car and took her to nice restaurants. Teenagers can be impressionable. Whether she went out with him has no bearing whatsoever on anything we are talking about.

It could very well be that both the woman accusing Moore is lying, and the woman accusing Franken is lying. Much more likely, both are telling the truth.

Maybe Franken was a total asshole. It makes no difference to me either way.

I don't expect people holding political office to be paragons of virtue. It doesn't freak me out if Franken laid an unwelcome kiss on a fellow comedian and took a snap of himself pretending to grab her boobs a couple of decades ago. I'd say it was bad form in hindsight. People do stupid stuff. It doesn't appear that he tried it on again, and it doesn't appear at this point to be part of a pattern of abusive behavior.

If it turns out that it is, different story.

What would bug me is if he was hitting on his interns. It would bug me if he was sleeping with people working in industries he has some oversight over. It would bug me if he was sleeping with reporters and using that relationship to get information advantageous to him, personally, in print.

I frankly don't really care all that much if Roy Moore has a thing for young girls, as long as he leaves them the hell alone. If he assaulted a 14 year old and the statute of limitations hasn't expired, he is and damn well ought to be liable for prosecution. If he was a sufficiently obvious creep to get banned from a mall, I'd say he was probably not a good candidate for the various positions of public responsibility that he's held. But I don't live in AL, so that specific thing is not my hash to settle.

Personally, I wouldn't let the guy walk my dog. But that's just me.

And hell yeah, however you want to slice it, Franken is not comparable to Moore. As cleek notes, Weiner is a better comparison, and Weiner is all done. He's been cut loose. Not that anybody needs to keep score, but if you insist, advantage (D)'s.

What strikes me in all of this is that Doc S is 100% on the money. Not only is this crap too common to be a crime, you can pull this stuff and find yourself in the US Senate. It might even provide you with expanded opportunities.

I think that redemption is available for all human beings.

I'll chime in from the cheap seats as well.

Redemption begins with acknowledging your own wrong-doing.

Incidentally:

We hear a nearly-unanimous, bipartisan call for the Senate Ethics Committee to "investigate" Al Franken -- so unanimous that Franken himself agrees. But what's to "investigate"?

I can think of two main questions for "investigation":
1) Is Al Franken an unreconstructed lecher?
2) Are the accusations against him true?
Those are two very different subjects. And both are distinct from the question of what to do about or to him.

Now, anybody born before last Tuesday must agree that any serious investigation of the 2nd question would be politically incorrect as far as Democrats are concerned and politically inconvenient as far as Republicans go.

So the Ethics Committee can only investigate (fish for?) other accusers in order to answer the 1st question. I for one will be interested to know what will turn up on that score.

Assume for the sake of argument that the "investigation" finds Franken grabbed a pussy or two in his pre-Senator days. What exactly should the Senate do about it?

I would not object, myself, to a Constitutional amendment changing the qualifications for Senator: citizen, at least 35, and female. It might be the only way to rid the Senate of men who have treated women badly.

Short of that, though, all I have to say is that if I lived in some preposterous State where Roy Moore and Al Franken were running against each other for a Senate seat, I would not hesitate to vote for Franken. Knee-jerk tribalism? Maybe. But I have nieces who are both bright, attractive young women. It may be that both Moore in his dotage and Franken in his contrition would behave impeccably towards either of them in any private setting. OTOH, Franken would neither forbid them an abortion if they needed one nor disparage them for failing to attend church on Sunday; Franken would not vote to pollute their air or raise their taxes in order to preserve loopholes for billionaires; and Franken would most likely not brandish his tiny little lady-like pistol at a campaign rally. That last part is important, because I would not want my nieces to get the idea that "packing" is the best way to ward off sexual harassment.

--TP

We hear a nearly-unanimous, bipartisan call for the Senate Ethics Committee to "investigate" Al Franken -- so unanimous that Franken himself agrees. But what's to "investigate"?

I'd say the obvious thing to investigate is whether his misbehavior has continued. And whether it has involved people who work for him in the Senate, people in industries which his committees have oversight of, etc.

If so, he should go. If not, he's a guy who misbehaved, and apparently stopped doing so. Reprehensible, but not disqualifying, absent criminal behavior -- which, so far, has not come to light.

the flying monkeys have been released: apparently roger stone is on it now.

look for a couple of weeks of illustrated tales of lurid decadence among the Franken era SNL cast.

wj: If so, he should go.

What if the voters of MN then re-elect him?

--TP

He should. Which is not to say that he will. But that's go, not necessarily be booted out if the people of his state are daft enough to reelect him. (Remember, this is assuming more damning revelations come out.)

Similarly with Moore. I definitely hope he loses. But if the (sorry, I just can't say "good", considering) people of Alabama elect him, I think the Senate should endure him . . . until and unless he abuses his new position. He'll be an embarrassment, to the Senate, to Alabama, and to his party for as long as he remains. C'est la guerre.

Second in every respect what TonyP said in the last paragraph of his 11.22.

Sorry, have no idea where the italics came from! And have tried, and can't seem to get rid of them...

wj: That was my screw-up in my previous post. Sorry Fixed now.

Further on the painting:

1) Have to disagree with lj. We, outside the painting, are not supposed to identify with the cad leaning over the seat. He is decidedly and deliberately made unattractive in every way. One could imagine a more challenging interrogation of "white knightism" if the male "rescuer" in the painting was handsome, younger, well-dressed, kind and gentle in approach, seated across and diagonally from the woman, etc.

The young lady is looking outside the painting. The "rescuer" is not in the painting.

2) If I could sum up one feminist response to the painting it might be "Why Can't I Be Left Alone." Why isn't the world a place wherein I am safe by myself? This should be taken very seriously in our current discussion of harassment and abuse. We hear this about catcalls, workplace harassment, walking home from school and work etc. I suppose I mostly support this demand.

But to analogize, it also has a form similar to the older demand "why can't I have rights and protection at work" and the answer to that was "unions"

The answer to the oppression and exploitation by bosses, owners, and capital was unions. (Not sure such a solution to patriarchy, racism and workplaces is available anymore, but leave that aside.

But the protections of collectivism and solidarity always had its costs as much as its advantages. The worker was not free to go to Weinstein's suite and negotiate a separate contract. Rowling would have made much much less money in a writer's union. Basketball players face severe restrictions on movement and salary cap.

No, unions and collectives, in return for protection, demand that you not be left alone. They get to sometimes tell you what to do, tell you where you can go.

In the context of the paiting, I can imagine other women on the train surrounding her with protection. I can imagine the young lady moving down the aisle to sit with unfamiliar women. In her state of grief, this will perhaps not be ideal. She wants to be alone. But this is not an option.

TP:"I would not object, myself, to a Constitutional amendment changing the qualifications for Senator: citizen, at least 35, and female. It might be the only way to rid the Senate of men who have treated women badly."

And immediately put the GOP in the "okay with Trans people" bandwagon also, too.

It seems not to be hard to agree on how we want people to behave in sexual matters:
- all activity must be fully consensual
- children are off limits
- anyone beholden to you at work or study is off limits
- no flirting unless it's welcome (I assume we can all tell if we try). Because that's harassment.
- respect privacy.
- no joking about anything rapey.

But what are we to do about politicians who fall short of those standards? I say prosecute them if we legally can, but otherwise it's up to the electorate. If Moore gets elected, then he should be seated in the senate. That's democracy.

And now for the difficult part. I think we should be wary of allegations over things which may have happened 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Very few of the alleged victims will be lying, but the truth they tell will be what they remember, not what actually happened. We don't remember actual events from long ago, we remember our memory of them, edited in the telling and retelling to ourselves and others.

According to Leeann Tweeden, Al Franken stuck his tongue in her mouth eleven years ago, without her consent and against his wishes. According to him, he remembers it differently: who's right we have no way of knowing. She also says he grabbed her breasts while he was sleeping, but that's based on a photograph of him not actually grabbing her breasts. He's right to apologise for the photograph, because it's a flagrant breach of my "no joking about..." rule, but it's not evidence of the assault she alleges.

The allegations against Roy Moore concern events nearly 40 years ago. Leigh Corfman says he touched her sexually when she was 14, he says he never met her. If neither of them is intentionally lying, he's forgotten because he dated a lot of young girls. But it can't be beyond reasonable doubt that she's remembered accurately how far things went with him. Based on the known facts, it's up to the electorate whether they'll vote for a creep who in his thirties dated young girls.

Finally, whereas almost all allegations now are likely to be honest, there are a lot of very wealthy sponsors in politics, and no obvious limits to how far some people will go to win. If it becomes the case that unverifiable allegations of long-ago misconduct become disqualifying, allegations will appear even if they have to be wholly fabricated.

We want this sort of wrongdoing to stop now, so we should concentrate on fixing the present not the past. Potential perpetrators should be well aware of what's unacceptable. Their colleagues should hold them to account. And their victims should be able to report them without fear. I hope that in the current climate these things are getting better.

I'm with Pro-Bono. It seems to me that there is a continuum of behavior, from the mildly not good to the horrifically bad and in the explosion of accusations it seems like every kind of inappropriate behavior is being treated as if it was of the same seriousness as every other And now apparenlty there are some House Republicans who ant to investigate Bill Clinton's affairs with adult women (but not Bush's affairs, or Kennedy's or Eisenhower's) and certainly do not want to investigate trump's behavior which includes rape. So the whole discussion has gotten political, too.

I agree with Trump tha tnow that there is an election underway in Alabama,everyone needs to butt out and let the voters choose. In Third WOrld psuedo democracies, central authorities intervene to ge the elction resuclts they want or to avoid the ones they dont want.

Meanwhile in COngress I thin there should bea proces for people of any gender who feel that their careers or jobs are being threatened for any reason excpet failure to perform the job adequately. And if one party makes unwanted advances to another, I think it shoule be understaoond tha the victim can hit the aggressor over the head with whatever heavy object is handy with no fall out afterwards.

ANd let the voters decide how much they care about accusations and behavior.

If this barrage of accusations continues everyone is going to get burnt out and indifference will set in.

Here's an interesting take:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-missed-a-chance-to-draw-a-line-in-the-sand-on-sexual-misconduct/

Meanwhile in COngress I thin there should bea proces for people of any gender who feel that their careers or jobs are being threatened

There is such a process, an office. It consistently fails. In the cases of Senators and Congresspersons, some are around for 30-40 years, and are very powerful.

If this barrage of accusations continues everyone is going to get burnt out and indifference will set in.

Or we could sharpen the contradictions until the system breaks. I recommend women go all-in on this stuff, until for a while higher office is not available to men.

I have no justice objections to a 100% Black Lesbian Senate, and in fact it would make my class criticisms considerably easier as it becomes obvious that economic corruption is intersectional as hell.

Can they be Muslim black lesbians?

whereas almost all allegations now are likely to be honest, there are a lot of very wealthy sponsors in politics, and no obvious limits to how far some people will go to win. If it becomes the case that unverifiable allegations of long-ago misconduct become disqualifying, allegations will appear even if they have to be wholly fabricated.

Indeed, it is rather a wonder that it hasn't (IF it hasn't) been tried already. After all, we have fabricated allegations on all sorts of other things in politics these days.

Or we could sharpen the contradictions until the system breaks. I recommend women go all-in on this stuff, until for a while higher office is not available to men.

Bob, do you realize that this would be more persuasive if "smash the system" wasn't your first choice reaction to everything?

Which has the same problem as wonkie is talking about when she says "every kind of inappropriate behavior is being treated as if it was of the same seriousness as every other." That is, if you want to get something smashed, you would have a better shot at persuasion if you had a fix-not-smash approach a significant portion of the time. Even if you think that smash is always the right answer, calling for it every time is counterproductive. Just sayin'....

Indeed, it is rather a wonder that it hasn't (IF it hasn't) been tried already.

reminds me of this classic from Fear and Loathing...

This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas. The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.

“Christ, we can’t get a way calling him a pig-fucker,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”

I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”

"I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”"

Then they swapped out the ballot boxes and the election wasn't close. No Russians involved.

No Russians involved.

it was a simpler time

If this barrage of accusations continues everyone is going to get burnt out and indifference will set in.

14x the number of women have accused Trump of sexual assault / harassment as have accused Franken. Trump even has one (admittedly very sketchy) rape accusation against him. Trump has been known to make lewd comments about his daughter. he's known to have walked into the dressing room where teenage women where changing. he's explicitly bragged about sexual assault.

the indifference is already very very strong.

Then they swapped out the ballot boxes and the election wasn't close.
This was the 1948 primary run-off against Coke Stevenson. LBJ won the count by 87 votes.

So I've read three articles in the last hour or so, to add to the rancid sexual assault news of these last days .... regarding the brutal gang rape of a female sex robot at an electronics show (look up Samantha, I believe it was a Guardian article), the renewed importation of slaughtered lion and elephant body parts into the country at the behest of the bed pissing serial sex assault anti science pigfucker in the White House, and the latest on our genocide in Yemen.

I'm in a generalizing mood so I want to cut my dick off and blow up all things human and especially American.

I don't like us anymore so I'll be taking a few days off. We're just fucking predators.

Maybe over the weekend we'll learn that the NRA has influenced rump to permit the duty-free, tax deductible export of human remains parts from mass shootings like Las Vegas to lighten the regulatory burden on gun owners and funeral homes.


if "smash the system" wasn't your first choice reaction to everything?

Perhaps it is only my rhetoric?

I certainly would be very pleased, actually am pleased if there were ten more women Senators, but i feel that claiming as a goal "Ten more Women Senators" while practically on the political ground an admirable project, is, as programmatic rhetoric, along with other such meliorist, incrementalist, gradualist and moderate proposals, so banal, trite and obvious that it serves as political kitsch; the liberal equivalent of Soviet Realist portrayals of Stalin and workers. Or Thomas Kincaid landscapes: sentimental, soporific, the opiate of activists.

Rhetoric should be utopian, revolutionary and catastrophic so that we do not negotiate with ourselves or preemptively cede ground to the inevitable reaction. I don't want 7% less racism over the next 11 years. I want to end racism now.

Have to disagree with lj. We, outside the painting, are not supposed to identify with the cad leaning over the seat.

I didn't mean that the viewer was supposed to identify with the cad, I suggested that the viewer was supposed to see the title of the painting ironically. That means that we are supposed to see the behavior for what it is, predation which is masked by chivalry.

I believe your interpretation is absolutely correct, lj.

I believe your interpretation is absolutely correct, lj.

Again!

The photo is DAMNING evidence!!!
... of a juvenile sense of humor.

It is deplorable if it was done to humiliate a woman.
If it is a pattern of behavior it merits government sanction.
IMHO
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/17/us/politics/franken-sexual-abuse-mistake-apology.html?_r=0

Boys will be boys.....

I don't want 7% less racism over the next 11 years.

Actuarial civil-rights activism.

Is that 7% fewer racist people or all people to be 7% less racist?

if we could actually reduce racism by 7% every 11 years, in 100 years we would reduce it by about half.

i'd take that in a heartbeat.

Boys will be boys.....

The trouble with that position is that it locks in the assumption that change is impossible.

What constitutes "boys being boys" is cultural, not biological. That is, the culture determines what kinds of behavior will be sanctioned (and therefore mostly gets avoided) and what will be shrugged off.

Part of what we are seeing this past week is our culture adjusting where the boundaries of acceptable behavior are. As we have seen, a lot of stuff we individually found beyond the pale was accepted by our culture. Which is, I suspect, a significant part of the reason more women have not come forward sooner.

The good news is, a very real problem is starting to be addressed. The bad news is, there is a tendency to come down on people who were not doing anything particularly exceptional in the culture they were raised in. In short, they (the guys telling crude jokes or patting a woman on the butt, not the rapists!) see themselves on the receiving end of what amounts to an ex post facto standard.

MMoore is a theocrat and the reason his supporters continue to support him is they see him as a vehicle for imposing their theology on the rest of hte nation via the Supreme Court. They are probably confused and concerned about why God gave them such a defective vehicle--perhaps to test their faith? but, he is the vehicle, so as God's soldiers they have to keep marching along with him

what wj said

Pro Bono:
- no flirting unless it's welcome (I assume we can all tell if we try). Because that's harassment.

I completely agree with your whole comment, even as I'm still mulling over the above bit.

First, I have to confess that I've never been any good at flirting, being something of a pompous bore. Also kind of a wimp: even in my hormone-addled youth, I tended to be a bit timid about flirting with girls for the same reason sane Republicans are currently worried about flirting with bible-thumping right-wing "populists", namely fear of what relationship I might be jumping into. And, since flirting goes both ways, I confess to having felt uncomfortable once or twice about being flirted with.

All that said, I tend to agree that normal, sentient people can generally tell when they're crossing the line from flirtation to harassment. By "normal, sentient people" I mean "a little brighter than Barney Fife, a lot brighter than He, Trump", and by "flirtation" I specifically mean the sort of sexual sighting shot that must be the ultimate cause of your existence and mine. Short of arranged marriages, I have to believe the human species would soon die off if flirtation (by either sex) were to become taboo.

Given minimal self-awareness, the flirter knows whether he (or she, for that matter) is courting or bullying the flirtee. And I do mean self-awareness. Courtship -- even at its most sincere -- can be "unwelcome". Bullying -- sexual or not -- is ugly even if the target laughs it off. My distinction is based on the perpetrator's state of mind, and prior to (even independent of) the victim's reaction.

Practically nothing is binary, of course. And yet general labels like "flirtation" and "harassment" are fairly useless unless we can confidently apply them to specific acts. The sentient among us can do our best to classify our own acts; only the omniscient among us can be sure of their effects.

--TP

Given minimal self-awareness, the flirter knows whether he (or she, for that matter) is courting or bullying the flirtee.

Actually, I wouldn't be so sure. In extreme cases, sure. But what we are seeing today is the boundary between the two, as it is generally understood (at least by men) is moving.

Agreed, it needs to move -- we need a different understanding. But that doesn't change the fact that the understanding we had as a culture was different. Specifically, it was both different between men and women, and different across different parts of our culture. You can see that, to some extent, in these graphs
https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/11/daily-chart-14
by age of what behavior is considered acceptable/unacceptable.

The goal posts are moving. That's a good thing. But it doesn't change the fact that it is what is happening.

"The bad news is, there is a tendency to come down on people who were not doing anything particularly exceptional in the culture they were raised in."

Oh, certainly, which is one (of many) reasons that the bitching* from the right about "absolute morality" is so very very stupid.

Slavery was kinda okay in 1860, certainly okay in 860, definitely NOT in 2017.

Things change, hopefully for the better; admit mistakes, learn and grow.

(*this particularly sexist word is NOT okay to use as a noun or adjective, NOT okay to DO as a verb, but if you do, I don't see why you shouldn't be called on it, and no gender has a monopoly on bitching about sh!t)

The goal posts are moving.

People are moving the goalposts.

I don't know how much values and standards are changing. I think in a sense it has always been "wrong" to touch someone's ass without permission. I think the football coach with his players and the parent with his child on some level recognize that.

Do they have social "permission" or can they get away with it? I don't think permission works very well, lj can give me permission to fannypat a stranger...won't work, either internally or externally.

So it's getting away with it, permission only works, not merely with authority (see war crimes trials or community censure) but with actual on the ground power and privilege.

The structures of social power are changing, as we should expect. And in my Marxian way, it isn't that women are changing them so much as finding that they fit in a different way now and the social economic political forms find granting them power more useful and efficient than in the past.

This is awkwardly phrased, agency is hard here and abstractions don't have agency, let us say that the new social forms get internalized and are felt as agency.

"And what is the name of your act?"
"The aristocrats dialectic"

There was something I read, now close to 20 years ago; a result from a survey that something like 70%? 80%? of men would rape an attractive woman if it was sure that there would be "absolutely zero consequences".

That bothered me a LOT. Not sure if it was some sort of fake-survey result, but it would be bothersome even if someone thought that it would be a result worth faking.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blog powered by Typepad