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Back to the Future?

It feels like the #MeToo grenades are exploding left and right. Yesterday was especially active. Additional Roy Moore accusers stepped forward, and then came an accusation – with some photographic evidence – against Senator Al Franken who is trending on Twitter as I type.

The incident occurred in 2006 before he was a senator. He issued two apologies yesterday and said that he would cooperate with an ethics committee investigation. Nevertheless, there is a hue and cry for him to resign. It must be noted that many of the #FrankenShouldGo tweets are saying that if Franken should go Trump also should go.

With sexual misconduct, harassment, abuse, and assault being the hot topic everywhere this week, women in government have stepped forward. Jackie Speier is especially active on this front having shared her own story of an assault when she was a congressional aide.


WASHINGTON — Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said she knows of two current members of Congress who “have engaged in sexual harassment,” while another congresswoman, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) recounted a member who exposed himself to a female staffer.The members were not named.The lawmakers spoke at a House Administration Committee hearing on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, and about pending legislation to require training for all members and their staffs, and whether further actions are necessary to establish uniform policies.Read more >>>>


Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., is hoping the increased national attention on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace will help her push through legislation to strengthen the rules in Congress by the end of 2017.Speier’s spokesperson said that she and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are recruiting cosponsors for the Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Congress Act, or the Me Too Congress Act. They’re signing up lawmakers in pairs, adding one Republican and one Democrat at a time.Read more >>>>

But this is a minefield and not easily negotiated as Kirsten Gillibrand discovered yesterday. She should have been prepared for this.


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Nov. 15 said “there is a serious sexual harassment problem in Congress.” Gillibrand is among several lawmakers introducing a bill to revise procedures for reporting harassment in Congress. (Reuters)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after having a relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the most prominent liberal to weigh in as the issue has moved from conservative media to a wider chorus of voices in recent days.

Gillibrand said she thought it would have been “the appropriate response,” when asked if Clinton should have stepped down by a reporter. The comments were published Thursday by the New York Times.

Read more and see video >>>>

I don’t know about you, but I found her response confusing, incoherent. I really don’t know what she was trying to say and cannot make sense of her statement.

Franken’s accuser, Leeann Tweeden said she could not have made her story public 11 years ago. We are in a different time. She noted that Jackie Speier telling her own story is what gave her the courage to speak up.

Gillibrand also alluded to times being different. But what is she saying?

Bill Clinton, we should remember, was impeached but not convicted. He went through a process. Now she (and others) are saying he should have resigned?

I always find these attacks on WJC obliquely aimed at Hillary. That’s just me. The Clintons are out of politics now. They really cannot be hurt. But Gillibrand has been seen as a rising star. With this response she disappointed me and probably shot herself in the foot. Or maybe in both feet.

Here is what Philippe Reines had to say.

Philippe is not known for holding back. He makes an interesting point.

Yesterday Gillibrand said she will give the money Franken contributed to her to charity. Hmmmm… what will she do with the money the Clintons contributed over those 20 years?

(Cross-posted at the Department of Homegirl Security)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Responses

  1. It is definitely a difficult time in American history. But Democrats and the left generally always end up doing the right’s dirty work. With Trump in the White House and Clarence Thomas on SCOTUS, the hot takes saying WJC should have resigned are particularly ill-timed, to say the least. As you point out, there was a process to evaluate his behavior back in the nineties. And it was seriously biased against him. I don’t know if people claiming he got away without accountability are ignorant, forgetful, or just interested in destroying Clinton’s legacy. But Joe Conason says these folks really need to educate themselves. They have a lot of reading to do.

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  2. Of course, Franken should not resign while Republican miscreants remain in office or on the ballot. The left needs to get this straight too. At the same time, those conferring heroic status on Franken for “requesting” an Ethics Comm. probe should realize that his colleagues were already calling for this when he issued his second statement. He knew it was going to happen whether he wanted it or not. And why wouldn’t he want it? This Committee is opaque to the point of secrecy, and it buys him time. Lots of time, given how allegations often go there to die. No one should be under any illusions that the Ethics Comm. will necessarily keep us informed. It’s possible that others will come forward to the Committee but not publicly, and we won’t even hear about it. The Senate has a way of protecting it’s own, especially in matters of sexual misconduct where other Senators have reason not to get tough on a fellow Senator–even from the other party.

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  3. I keep seeing on Twitter that Franken’s accuser is somehow connected to Sean Hannity. No sources listed. I also see claims that the photo was part of a joke which she was in on according to the photographer. Again no sources. Moreover, if true, wouldn’t Al Franken have mentioned it in his statement? It seems like kind of an important, even exculpatory, point. And I don’t know if he’s spoken to media yet, but after yesterday’s statements, he went missing. We Minnesotans would love to hear from him soon.

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    • I have seen many comments claiming that photo was staged and that Tweeden was in on it. The comments are quoting the photographer.

      As for the throwback on WJC, it is the source that shocked and angered me. Gillibrand showed that she does not have the skills to negotiate this tricky terrain or to assume any kind of leadership role. When you stand on someone’s shoulders, it is wise not to jam your spike heel in.

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      • I began writing her off when she started dropping f-bombs in public. I think she thinks this will make her appealing to millennials. Maybe it will. It doesn’t make her appealing to me. I use that word–sparingly. If I were a political figure with ambition, I certainly would not use it in speeches. Our current culture is coarse enough.

        As for her comments on resignation, it not only makes her a hypocrite. It shows her to be a craven opportunist.

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