This is my olive branch to the other site. Markos Moulitsas is something of a godfather to the blogging community on the liberal side, and I know he inspired both me and Jason330. And as he describes below, Markos had the immediate reaction that Jason330 had to the Franken sexual harassment news (defend first!) and then came around to my opinion (it’s politically and morally better to cut all ties immediately). You can read that all for yourself below. And then stay tuned to the olive branch.
Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos: “I’m not going to lie, this has been a difficult situation for me, and I waged a fierce weeks-long internal debate with myself. But in the end, once I got past my moral disgust (which leads to an easy “resign!”), a deep exploration of the practical politics of the matter inevitably led to a similar conclusion. Franken has to go.
- The Democratic Party is overwhelmingly female. According to Gallup polling, 41 percent of women identify as Democrats, while just 32 percent of men do. According to Pew, 54 percent of women identify as Democrats, while just 41 percent of men do. In 2016, 54 percent of women voted for Hillary Clinton, while just 41 percent of men did. In Virginia’s Democratic wave this year, 61 percent of women voted for the Democratic gubernatorial victor, while just 48 percent of men did.
- There is a big voter gap between married and unmarried women. In 2016, Clinton won married women 49-47. She won unmarried women 63-32.
- Single women are one of the worst-performing voting demographics. In the 2014 mid-term elections, out of nearly 57 million unmarried women eligible to vote, just 20 million did.
You don’t have to be a math wiz to understand that activating even a slice of those non-voting unmarried women could dramatically reshape our political landscape. And that’s not even considering gains Democrats could potentially make among Republicanmarried (and unmarried women) in the age of Trump.
But here’s the thing: Democrats can’t cleanly make the case that they’re better for women, legislatively, if every Donald Trump and Roy Moore is offset by an Al Franken and John Conyers. By keeping Franken around, it creates that noxious “both sides do it” atmosphere that both demoralizes and demobilizes. It erases what should be a clear, bright line between our party and theirs. You can argue all day about how “different” Franken’s harassment was compared to Donald Trump’s or Roy Moore’s pedophilia. In the end, those distinctions get lost in the noise. They have sexual predators. So do the Democrats. Ergo, there is no difference.
We need a bright line between our parties.”
Alby, who, by the way, has become a good and prolific writer at the other site, countered that if I really mean to call on Franken and Conyers to resign then I should want Delaware Senator Tom Carper to resign too. I think Alby thinks that this would really stump me, as if I am some sort of ultimate defender of Tom Carper rather than someone who has called on him to retire ahead of the 2018 election for the past five years. Why should Carper resign? Because of that story from the late 1970’s that resurfaced in 1996 that Carper had a domestic violence incident with this ex-wife. I have no idea if the story is true or not, or if Carper admitted to it or not, but in this cultural moment, it will resurface again in the 2018 election and Carper will be forced to explain and defend his assault (actual v. sexual) on his wife. So Alby is right.
Tom Carper should resign as well. Today.
The fig leaf metaphor denotes covering up. As in a fig leaf over the genitals of Adam & Eve in Medieval art.
I think what you’re going for is an olive branch. But I can’t tell because this post is borderline incoherent.
All this while complimenting yourself as Alby’s predecessor in “good writing”.
You should just drop the facade & admit yours is satirical website. Embarrassing.
You’re right on the olive branch and my self complimentary note. Edited. Go fuck yourself on all the rest you principle-less non purist misogynist.
There you go, bud. Good job.
I take your insults as compliments because you’re an idiot for whom I have zero respect.
Feeling’s mutual. You’re a piece of shit.
You seem mad or irritated, like a pudgy baby with a dirty diaper.
I think Jon Chait just posted a tweet storm and you’re missing it.
Not mad at all. I hate all misogynists and purists and I don’t hide it. I get two for the price of one with you.
I’m neither, but it’s complicated & beyond you.
Well take your brilliant mind elsewhere since we are so beneath you. It seems highly illogical for you to be wasting your time with such satirical and trivial issues such as sexual harassment.
Oh my, kiss up to Alby. Hey, the Dems elected Carper and now you think he should resign to something, that he answered to, it was not hidden.
And, could see by your post, you’re worried, about what effect this might have on the women voters, so your just all about votes.
Yes, Tom Carper should resign. Now tell me what you’re going to do to bring it about. Or is just saying it enough?
What power do you think I have? What are you going to do to make it happen? Or is just saying it enough? Because that is all you have done. What a fucking hypocrite.
I’m not the one calling for him to resign, you are. How passionate are you about getting rid of these men? You are a member of the Delaware Democratic Party, are you not? Have you broached this with them, about how we’re going to get this disgrace of a man off the ticket? Have you contacted the media to demand his resignation? You talk a wonderful game until a little courage is required. You should walk around with a tin man and a scarecrow to underline the point.
What have I done? I’ve brought it to your attention. You apparently never even know about it. Now I’ve handed the ball off to you. Let’s see how far you carry it.
I’m not sure what you expect someone to do, Alby? Actually, I don’t think you expect anyone to do anything. You’re trying to make some sort of point by saying if a person says one person should resign then they must apply that standard to everyone accused. To me that lumps everyone in Roy Moore’s basket – it dilutes what Moore has done. That’s Trump’s plan – and it’s working.
I wish we’d spend more time addressing sexual harassment/assault rather than keeping a who should/should not resign scorecard. It doesn’t address the real problem, but I’m beginning to think that’s the point.
What you think I think isn’t worth much. What are you doing about Carper, pandora? You’re pretty insistent that these people all should resign.
It’s not “Trump’s plan,” by the way. It’s the GOP’s. Trump has no such plans; at this point they’re feeding him strained foods.
Y’all called for Franken to resign with basically no information beyond the photo and the testimony of a right-winger in possession of it. Yet here’s a guy who admitted hitting his wife, right here in a political entity in which you reside, and crickets.
My point, and you’re included in it, is that calling on Franken to resign required no effort whatsoever, but anyone who disagreed with the call for resignation was a BAD PERSON.
I sense in all this a pathetic need to somehow prove that you are BETTER PEOPLE than Republicans. You are not. We are all people, and people all are a mix of good and bad. All of them. Not just Democrats, not just Republicans, all of them. And forcing the Democrats to resign while the Republicans stay put is dumb politics. Proving you are better than them gains you no votes. I can’t prove it, but neither can you prove that it gains votes.
The challenge is simple: Get rid of Carper. Show how committed you are to this cause by doing the difficult work of challenging Tom Carper for hitting his wife, or stand revealed as a bunch of blowhards.
Show me where I called on Franken to resign. Go on. I’ll wait. (It’s going to be a long wait, btw.)
Remember, Pandora, you’re a woman. So in Alby’s mind you are not entitled to your own opinions. I called on Franken to resign, so in Alby’s mind, you agree with me because you write here with me.
Right. Because unlike some people I don’t sit around marking who did and did not react this way or that way.
Fine. It’s just Delaware Democrat. You’re a profile in courage.
Wow, are you stupid. Look up who I”m married to, dipshit. See if it withstands your mind-reading ability.
@pandora: The fact that you did not call for his resignation does not change the fact that Delaware Democrat did. But looking out for your own interests is what you’re best at. Remind me not to let you into my foxhole.
Okay, so you accuse me of calling for Franken’s resignation and now that you’ve been proven wrong you switch the point to, “The fact that you did not call for his resignation does not change the fact that Delaware Democrat did.” What does this even mean in regards to your claim about what I said? Talk about deflection.
The fact is that you lied about what I said. You wrote 6 paragraphs lying about what I said. And it sure as hell is about sitting “around marking who did and did not react this way or that way” when you lie about someone.
No, it isn’t. You’re obsessed with this — what you’ve said, what you’ve been “accused” of. Most people aren’t. This is about the issue, not you.
Fine, you didn’t call for his immediate dismissal. If I’m not talking about you, just for once, STFU when you don’t know anything.
In short, I don’t care about you. I care about the issue. You are the one who is deflecting.
LOL! You directed your comment to me (Reread your opening paragraph) so you were talking about me. Just own it.
Also, on the “Trump’s plan” issue: No, this was the old-guard wing’s plan. They couldn’t beat Moore on the issues, so they used the WaPo story to try to force him off the ticket.
That’s the really sad part of this whole episode. The water you’re carrying is actually Mitch McConnell’s.
I don’t think it’s going to stump you. I think it’s going to show you’re full of shit. You didn’t even put your demand in a headline.
I posted two comments at DK last night with the Carper information. It got no response. You know why? Because it happened too long ago for anyone to score any moral points on it. This isn’t about men who abuse women, or Carper wouldn’t have been elected umpteen times. It’s about people who want to believe that they are “better people” than those they disagree with. It might be true, but it wins no votes. In fact, it loses them, because most people can’t stand sanctimonious bullshit, which is all this is.
By the way, Markos is full of shit, too, and has proved it many, many times over the years. His problems with trying to herd cats, er, SJWs have nothing to do with what the smart thing for national Democrats to do might be. He has his own interests in this, and having a bunch of women (and a few preening men) ditch his dwindling site doesn’t serve them.
The fact is that you have no proof at all that doing this will lead to a single extra vote in any election. None. There is no research on this. But I can point you to the immediate past, where a moral outcry against a sexual deviant far worse than Franken or even Moore was called out on it ad infinitum and won anyway.
PS: I’ve “become” a good writer? You smacked ass. I was winning awards while you were still in diapers.
LOL. Hilarious. So we should just embrace Franken as our own Moore because hey, people can’t stand santiminous bullshit. Yeah. This was a bad idea. It’s obvious that everyone over at DL are just horrible self righteous people. Time to cut all ties.
You could always not have an opinion on something until the facts are in, but that would be so unlike you.
Also, are you asking for a mirror for Christmas? Because all the horrible, self-righteous people you’ll ever need to see are right there in it.
Wow, if there were more women involved I’d have yelled “Cat Fight!” by this point. Instead it’s a third rate pissing contest. Note that the standard for resignation has been moved up to any will do at this point: Stole a kiss at the Junior Prom? Resign You Pig!!! Let this old Atheist quote the bible: “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Suspect in Washington and Hollywood that would consist of none, but precious few outside those two dens of inequity as well. In the end the electorate will be the judge, even if said electorate is brain dead as is the case in Alabama.
Tom cats fight, too.
So wants the opinion on this, Sexual Harassment? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy_f1KOUlpA
I’m not a fan of knee jerk zero tolerance. In this instance, knee jerk zero tolerance makes Al Franken’s overly entitled groping the same as Roy Moore’s pedophilia. And that is just not right.
While kos is busily couching his argument in statistics in how Female the D party is, I don’t see him speaking to any women about *their* thoughts about how to address all of these specific situations. Because I suspect that if you speak to enough women, you will hear the need to stamp out rape culture and everything that comes along with it (they may call it something else). Stamping it out will need multiple ways of addressing the men who perpetuate that.
This entire topic is becoming much like the topic of race when speaking to white people. White people want to engage with the injustice of someone having to live with the term “racist” and black people want to talk about having to live with injustice at the hands of white people. The should he or shouldn’t he resign conversations that I have seen are overwhelmingly male. And again dealing with consequences but not necessarily accountability. There’s not going to be a reasonable solution to this until men and women start addressing a way to dismantle rape culture, get men to take responsibility for doing that with themselves and other men and set up some accountability that is commensurate with the problem.
Knee jerk zero tolerance will not avoid the “both sides do it” argument. Your media badly needs that framework and will do anything to keep it. Which means that whatever virtue signalling you are doing has no audience. What I want is a media that will remind people that the GOP runs and governs on what they define as Family Values that they violate on the regular. Who holds them accountable? No one because Both Sides Do It. So the GOP had prostitute patronizing David Vitter in office for years after that. Democrats could not weaponize that information because GOP voters do not care about Family Values unless they can make Democrats live with them.
You can do it because it is always good to take the high road. But in this instance it means treating pedophilia in the same way as groping. It means treating a very old instance of abuse (that has been acknowledged and dealt with) in the same way as pedophilia. None of these is acceptable. NONE OF THESE IS ACCEPTABLE. But I certainly do want the pedophile to be a pariah. I want them to get the highest possible shunning available and jail time. I want the men who manipulate women to get sexual favors to be persona non grata. I want the men who would rape women to find themselves being dealt with by the justice system. I want men who may have hit a woman and who have atoned for that to not have to pay for that forever. And I want institutions to conduct themselves in a way that disincentivizes every bit of rape culture. I especially want women to be the leading voices in how to get all of this done.
I am not going to be upset if Conyers or Franken resign. (Well, maybe Franken some.) But this can’t be because it makes Democrats feel virtuous. It has to be because this is a part of how a culture changes.
Thank you, Cassandra. You have identified the problems here very well. The knee-jerk reaction is as much a political one as a moral one, IMHO. I have seen lots of people who cite the fact that Minnesota’s governor is a Democrat as the reason it’s OK to demand Franken’s resignation. The obvious implication there is that it would be a different story if Minnesota still had a Republican governor, which makes it a political calculation as much or more than a moral one.
The social changes are coming whether Al Franken resigns from the Senate or not. They will not come faster or slower either way, because the vast majority of people have no strong opinion on it. My gripe is that this totally muddies the political waters. Instead of highlighting Democratic ideas, which (should) offer an alternative to Republican schemes, we have highlighted morality, claiming superiority in an area in which we stand revealed as no better than them. Demanding Franken go immediately is a reaction taken to preserve the fiction that we really are better than them, precisely the calculation that led to the destruction of ACORN.
The expectation that the US Congress would get out ahead of social change is laughable on its face. The only time it ever tried was after the Civil War, and the backlash lasted until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The US government trails public opinion, usually by quite a lot.
Turman’s effort to integrate the Army is still widely seen as a great success. Human institutions suffer from their humans, but the US government was a leader in including African Americans for quite some time after WWII. But that is no reason for the US Congress not to start changing its culture. Processes that don’t encumber the victims and some transparency of process would be a good start. I would add in that if you need taxpayers to payout a settlement for you, that happens in trade for your resignation.
The government is as much a part of society as these other companies that are canning offenders pretty quickly. They certainly should not be an accountability-free zone. It is a good ambition for a government and its employees to be of high moral fiber, but that is a fantasy. Like NBC or the Weinstein Company the US government is a brand that needs to be cared for. We do the right thing because this is how grown ups act. A contest in better morality might be one we win, but it will be a pyrrhic one. Because no one other than us will give us credit for it.
“conversations that I have seen are overwhelmingly male.” It’s an open forum here, so women are free to speak up, as you and Pandora have done. Really, don’t know if Alby is male or female.
“because GOP voters do not care about Family Values unless they can make Democrats live with them.”
And that is total BS Cassy!!
@Anono: Oh, come on. From what I’ve written I’m obviously male.