Quote Originally Posted by Introversion View Post
I want both Democrats and Republicans to be consistent, and condemn sexual harassment. Let the crime dictate the punishment, whether it be censure, calling for voluntary resignation, or expelling. If Al Franken has been an abuser and should go? Then so should Trump, and Moore shouldn't be elected.

But, I won't bet a thin dime on it working that way. Instead, what's going to happen is that Democrats will resign, Trump will stay in office, and Moore will be elected. What will people say about this? Trump & Moore supporters will point to it as proof that their guys are innocent, because they maintained their innocence, whereas clearly the Democrats were guilty, because they resigned (or were forced out). Trump supporters will say that Democrats are obviously the party of abusers.

Meanwhile, if Democrats don't regain a majority in the House or Senate, all the horrible shit that the GOP and Trump together are gleefully enacting will continue. More rightwing religious zealots appointed to the courts, more social progress and safety nets undone, more regression. The purely Machiavellian behavior of the GOP is not going to be moved a whit by Democrats policing their own.

And I hate to say it, but I'm starting to think that in this environment, it's playing a sucker's game to try to do the right thing here if it means not regaining power. Not regaining the ability to build a dike across the river of shit flowing from the GOP is going to set all of us back generations. It's not my preferred choice. I'd rather people like Moore, Trump, Conyers, Weinstein, etc pay a stiff price for what they've done. But dammit, our democracy is being burned down around our ears. Maybe we need to triage that first??

I really hate this.
Don't we all?

The only ones happy Al Franken is bailing are the enemies of everything good and right and decent Al Franken stood for and championed. And yeah, right about now playing by the rules, trying to be a decent human being and not stooping to conquer does seem like a sucker's game.

How many times do you have to get kicked in the nuts before it becomes obvious the only one playing the game fair is you and you keep losing the game and they keep cheating and playing unfair and all you get is the warm tingly sensation of sore nuts?

Even if you don't have nuts, nobody likes a kick in the privates. Right, Dalia Lithwick?

Remember “when they go low, we go high?” Yep. So do I.

I remembered it in the fall of 2016, when Senate Republicans and then-candidate Donald Trump first made it irrevocably clear there would be no hearing for anyone Barack Obama nominated to the Supreme Court, ever, even though Obama had put up a moderate, centrist nominee who was once acceptable to Senate Republicans. I remembered it when Trump won, and we realized that that seat would stay stolen.

I remembered it this week when the Senate passed a tax bill at 2 a.m. that apparently contains a $289 billion error, thanks to the fact that it was drafted in the margins rather than adjudicated through normal congressional standards, as, say, Obamacare was.

And I remember it almost daily now, as John Conyers steps down after 52 years in Congress, amid credible allegations of sexual harassment, and Al Franken is called upon to step down, amid credible allegations of sexual harassment, while Roy Moore continues—with the president’s and the GOP’s overt endorsement—his run for Senate amid credible allegations of sexual abuse of children.

Al Franken, many argue, should now resign. He should resign immediately because there are credible accusers (another emerged Wednesday), and because the behavior alleged is sufficiently abhorrent that there is simply no basis to defend him. In this parade of unilateral disarmament, Trump stays, Conyers goes, Moore stays, Franken goes.



Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve.



To see the double standard in action, watch Mike Huckabee making the case that Roy Moore should be welcomed into the Senate because Franken has stayed. Then keep watching and realize that in the next breath, he adds that Moore has “denied the charges against him vehemently and categorically” so they must be false. Franken and Conyers are deployed by the right to say Moore should stay, and then they are dismissed as suckers for crediting their accusers.

Sexual predation is bad and grotesque and disqualifying for national office and positions of power. Stipulated. Victim-shaming and claiming that “the people should decide” is contemptible avoidance of responsibility. But the question that remains is whether the analysis stops right there. I, too, would like to live in a world where the debate begins and ends with that proposition. But I don’t think any of us live in that world anymore. And this may not be the moment in which to try to resurrect it.
I don't feel sorry for Al Franken. I feel sorry for the people Al Franken could have and would have helped had he been able to keep his fucking hands and tongue to himself. He couldn't and he didn't and he's gone and yeah, that sucks but actions have consequences. He was stupid and he was selfish and now he's gone.

But Franken isn't the only loser here. Progressive politics took a big hit and as Lithwick notes with bitterness the Democrats have staked out a zero tolerance position. It's high-minded. It stakes out the moral high ground. Does it win elections? Maybe not. How many voters list being a notorious, predatory sexual beast as a deal breaker when choosing a candidate? Go down to Alabama and ask those folks.

I'm not mad at Kristen Gillebrand or Kamala Harris or Patty Murray or Claire McCaskill or Maggie Hassan or Maize Hirono for calling on Franken to step aside. I'm not mad at the other Democratic senators that joined in and echoed their sentiment.

What I'm mad about is I didn't think I'm more moral or ethical or decent or responsible than your typical Republican, but apparently I am because the shit that bothers me doesn't bother them at all, and I am more moral, ethical, decent and responsible than your typical Republican who supports pigs who grab women by their private parts and screws teenage girls.

I should have known it all along, but I didn't and boy, does that annoy the shit out of me. Mostly because it buys me absolutely nothing.