Missing From This Politico Piece- Any Explanations

So Manu Raju has a multiple page piece in the Politico explaining that Republican Senators are mad, very mad, that the Franken amendment a few months ago to stop contractors from contractually mandating employees from going through arbitration when they are raped or sexually assaulted. There is all sorts of inside-the-beltway good ol’ boy stuff like this:

The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.

“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

“I think it’s going to make a lot of senators leery and start looking at things he’s doing earlier on, because I don’t think it got appropriate attention ahead of time.”

In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle. Soon after Tennessee GOP Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander co-wrote an op-ed in a local newspaper defending their votes against the Franken measure, the Minnesota Democrat confronted each senator separately to dispute their column — and grew particularly angry in a tense exchange with Corker.

People familiar with the Corker exchange say it was heated and ended abruptly — a sharp departure from the norm on the usually clubby Senate floor.

And it goes on and on in that vein.

You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.






101 replies
  1. 1
    Martin says:

    You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    Nor was there a bill offered by the GOP designed to address the problem in a more satisfactory route. They are perfectly content to allow the problem to go on.

  2. 2
    bago says:

    It’s like these senators take pride in being ignorant. I mean, seriously, how many times was the word “rape” used in debate? Did they not hear a single one?

  3. 3
    robertdsc says:

    Because they’re goddamned animals, that’s why. Take em out and shoot them for all the good they do for the country.

  4. 4

    Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape

    Well then, Senator, why did you not vote to prevent similar cases from occurring again at the hands of other contractors? Or, why did you vote in favor of allowing similar cases to occur?

  5. 5
    rob! says:

    They CAN’T STAND the idea that that “clown” Franken just might be better at this than the rest of them.

  6. 6
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Wonderful. Wingnuts forced into defending themselves against being rapist sympathizers. Molly Ivins is chuckling loudly, up there in Heaven.

  7. 7
    Max says:

    @ John Cole – didn’t you say a couple posts ago that you were “moving on” and not going to deal with this stuff?

  8. 8
    Balconesfault says:

    Anyone read the Coker-Alexander op ed? Did it say anything more than “big corporations have to be protected from lawsuits”?

  9. 9
    D-Chance. says:

    “I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”

    Evidently, going after rapists is not serious work…

  10. 10
    Ed Drone says:

    So Senatorn Franken won’t get Republicans’ cooperation?

    What?

    Are you kidding me?

    No Democrat should count on Republicans’ cooperation. Because the Party of No will not cooperate on anything anyway, so what has Franken lost?

    Nothing I can see.

    Ed

  11. 11
    Jay B. says:

    In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle.

    You know, I think it was Bill Lambeer who, while an All-Star teammate, once wished Larry Bird a good game. Legend has it that Bird replied: “Fuck you.”

  12. 12
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Max:

    He always says that just before going Mach 2/

  13. 13
    Chad S says:

    Where to begin with the times the Senate GOP pulled this trick on dems and their votes….

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    What are you talking about? Quote right there from Big John Cornyn himself.

    “– Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing –”

    They’re not going to vote for the bill because it’s a misrepresentation and an embarrassment aimed at Franken’s right wing colleagues.

    It’s all about them, after all.

  15. 15

    Boo fucking hoo. Life’s a bitch, and then you become one. How does it feel to be Al Franken’s bitch, Johnny?

    Toward the end of page 1 I found this:

    “I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”

    Evidently making sure rape victim’s are protected isn’t important in South Dakota? I wonder what the good people of South Dakota have to say about that you condescending, out-of-touch prick. Jesus! This could have been a skit on Colbert.

  16. 16
    demkat620 says:

    I say lets keep the GOP senators in a shipping container until they change their minds.

    Then we can give them arbitration.
    No sympathy whatsoever.

  17. 17
    Ed Drone says:

    Dammit! That was SENATOR Franken. Why-come I have the edit function at work but not at home? Work: Windows Vista & Firefox latest version; Home: Windows XP & Firefox latest version. Is there that much difference?

    Should I clear my cookie for Balloon-Juice? What can I do?

    DAMMIT!

    Ed

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    @Ed Drone:

    No Democrat should count on Republicans’ cooperation. Because the Party of No will not cooperate on anything anyway, so what has Franken lost?

    Bill Nelson is getting a whole bunch of Republican votes for his pro-coat hanger amendment. Max Baucus got all sorts of support trying to strip the public option out of the Senate Health Care Bill. Dianne Fienstein and Evan Bayh will have the full backing of the Republican Party should they vote to block raising the debt ceiling.

    Bipartisan Democrats benefit from working across the aisle all the time. What are you talking about?

  19. 19
    Something Fabulous says:

    I’ve been thinking about this because of a comment in the previous post, about how many more contractors are going to be added to the Afghan situation. If in this congress and DOJ there continues to be challenges to the no-bidding, corrupt, and nepotistic Xe relationship, isn’t that in itself a profound change from war as Bushco ran it? Or am I grasping at straws?

  20. 20
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    It’s how they roll in South Dakota.

    “I think ‘rape and incest’ is a buzzword. It’s a bit of a throwaway line and not everybody who says that really understands what that means. How are you going to define that?â€? –South Dakota state Rep. Joel Dykstra (R-Lincoln County) on why the state legislature didn’t include those exceptions in its abortion ban, April 20, 2006.


    South Dakota state Rep. Joel Dykstra-

  21. 21
    D-Chance. says:

    The Defense Department raised concerns about the enforceability of the Franken amendment, as well as its potential to unravel contracts — and urged senators to vote against it.

    Well, there’s your 30 ‘no’ votes… can’t go against the military-industrial complex. There’s still hundreds of billions of dollars to weasel away from the Treasury, after all.

    Given the nuance of the debate, Republicans argue that Franken should make it clear that GOP senators don’t support assault or rape…

    Uh, isn’t that the Republicans job? Of course, they don’t support assault or rape… but they don’t support going against those campaign contribution-rich defense lobbyists even more.

  22. 22
    Paulie Chestnuts says:

    See, it’s shit like this — and countless similar examples spanning all sorts of issues on the left-right divide — that makes me view ANYONE who has EVER voted for a Republican with a jaundiced eye.

    There’s Democratic scumbags out there too, for sure, but for reliable consensus misanthropy you can’t beat the goopers.

  23. 23
    dlw says:

    We need more senators that aren’t interested in the usual across the aisle handjobs that seem so popular in politics these days. Fuck John Cornyn and the horse he rode in on.

  24. 24
    Ed Drone says:

    @Zifnab:

    Bipartisan Democrats benefit from working across the aisle all the time. What are you talking about?

    If Democrats do the Republicans’ work, then “cooperation” they will get. It’s when a Democrat does the people’s work the Republicans pull back and obstruct, delay, and confuse.

    Ed

  25. 25
    Xanthippas says:

    In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle. Soon after Tennessee GOP Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander co-wrote an op-ed in a local newspaper defending their votes against the Franken measure, the Minnesota Democrat confronted each senator separately to dispute their column — and grew particularly angry in a tense exchange with Corker. People familiar with the Corker exchange say it was heated and ended abruptly — a sharp departure from the norm on the usually clubby Senate floor.

    So they don’t like it because the whole issue makes people angry. Uh, okay…and, so?

  26. 26
    Mark S. says:

    That’s a lot of pearl clutching from the guys who accused Obama of voting for anal play instruction for kindergartners.

  27. 27
    Comrade Jake says:

    Apparently the Senate floor is a place where, even if you think your colleague is full of shit, you’re supposed to give him the time of day.

    Rock on Al Franken. I know some who thought he was going to be some sort of albatross for the Dems, but he’s looking more and more like the kind of progressive they desperately need.

  28. 28
    Zifnab says:

    @Ed Drone:

    It’s when a Democrat does the people’s work the Republicans pull back and obstruct, delay, and confuse.

    There are only two political parties, Ed. Siding with “the people” is just a bunch of demagogery and hate mongering and makes you no better than the world’s worst communist, Joseph Stalin Hitler.

    You either side with the Republicans, in which case you are bipartisan. Or you side with the Democrats, in which case you are running counter to the strong center-right atmosphere of the nation by embracing destructive far left partisanship.

    This does create an interesting dynamic, because it allows Republicans to side exclusively with other Republicans and still retain the title of “bipartisan”. But that’s neither here nor there GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!

  29. 29
    Chris G says:

    Note, also, the piece’s implicit assumption that the Franken amendment was some sort of a trap for Republicans, and not a common-sense piece of legislation that any sensible person would be expected to support.

  30. 30
    ellaesther says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Wow, that quote. Wow! Holy fuck! The condescension, and the sheer, blinding ignorance. Holy fuck!

  31. 31
    Morbo says:

    OT: Inhofe on BBC America to talk about Climategate? Are you fucking kidding me?

  32. 32
    charles johnson says:

    “So Manu Raju has a multiple page piece in the Politico explaining that Republican Senators are mad, very mad, that the Franken amendment a few months ago to stop contractors from contractually mandating employees from going through arbitration when they are raped or sexually assaulted.”

    Sentence fail.

  33. 33
    khead says:

    You know, I think it was Bill Lambeer who, while an All-Star teammate, once wished Larry Bird a good game. Legend has it that Bird replied: “Fuck you.”

    Legend got it wrong.

  34. 34
    ellaesther says:

    I spent five years as a rape crisis counselor, and I want to preface what I’m about to say with a very important caveat:

    I do not intend the following to suggest even a modicum of pressure on anyone, I merely say it as an intellectual exercise:

    Do you know what might maybe change some of the stupid minds in Congress?

    If every woman serving in Congress or working for Congress who has ever been sexually assaulted were to stand up and say it out loud.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that among the many reasons they don’t fucking care are the following assumptions: 1) “rape” is only real if it includes a stranger, a knife, and a screamed “no”; 2) that kind of “real” rape surely doesn’t happen very much; and 3) when it does happen, 9 times out of 10 the “girl”/victim did something like walk alone at night or put on a short skirt, so while maybe she didn’t deserve it deserve it, she sure as hell should have known better, and why they hell should we work to protect a handful of stupid girls who should have known better and/or actually asked for it?

    Fucking hell. They should ask their own daughters and their daughters’ friends! This makes me so mad I want to bust heads.

  35. 35
    Comrade Dread says:

    The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.

    Then don’t try and stymie a rape victim in her pursuit of justice just to protect your corporate friends, you ****ing douchebags.

    In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle.

    Yeah, poor Franken didn’t realize that his job wasn’t to represent and protect his constituents and the citizens of the United States, but to make friends in Congress.

    Seriously, f*** you, you f***ing pretentious dickwads.

    You don’t want to get criticized, get some balls, stand up and do the right thing, even if it pisses off your friends who are whoring themselves out to every two-bit interest group with a $20 dollar bill.

  36. 36
    gil mann says:

    some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle.

    There’s a certain kind of comedian who desperately wants to be liked above all else. Al ain’t that kinda comedian.

    There’s a certain kind of democrat who… well, you can pretty much see where I’m going with this.

  37. 37
    Ming says:

    the fucks. i don’t know who is running against these supreme douchebags, but i’d sure appreciate an opportunity to donate to their Dem opponents.

  38. 38
    kay says:

    I thought it was a really aggressive tactic by Franken. As a practical matter, he’s right, too.
    This is how this arbitration policy worked, real-world.
    If he’s misrepresenting the “nuance”, I don’t know that it matters much to the person raped.
    The Republican Senators have to explain what they’re putting ahead of redress for rape victims and punishment for the offender, because it must be important.
    The right to a jury is in the Constitution. If Republicans feel that arbitration is vastly preferable to the founder’s mechanism, so preferable that they’d end up defending how arbitration played out here, I think they need to come clean on priorities, and let us know what they actually believe in.

  39. 39

    I try to stay out of the rape-related threads, but this really fucking took the cake. That’s MY senator, Al Franken, and I am goddamn fucking proud of him for having the balls to stand up and say, “This shit stops here.”

    Fuck you Cornyn and the rest of you goddamn motherfucking privileged Beltway types who only give a shit about coddling the war corporations. Do you not notice that not one goddamn Republican senator voted against the amendment? Do you have any fucking idea why that might be given how solidly y’all vote in general?

    You don’t like the flack you’re getting for the vote? Then take a good fucking hard look in the mirror because that’s where the blame should be placed. If I didn’t think it would traumatize the women involved, I would order every single goddamn one of you to observe rape crisis counseling for eight hours a day, one month solid.

  40. 40
    BR says:

    I thought there was a plan to stop linking to politico…

  41. 41
    Raenelle says:

    God bless them. This pretty much is evidence on the side that they’re stupid rather than evil. I mean, they seem to have actually believed the campaign stuff about Franken being a mere comedian. They expected him, I guess, to be a friendly, smiling clown, with no political instincts and no notion of serving a constituency. It’s almost sweet, the innocence–the numbing stupid naivete.

    They’re so predictable. They draw some childish stereotype; then they’re really, really outraged when they can’t explain everything off that stereotype. The world never conforms; they’re always seriously outraged; and the rest of the sane world thinks that level of stupidity just has to be some kind of con. More and more, I think the evidence is coming in that they really are just that stupid.

  42. 42
    Blahblah says:

    You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    Statements like these are why I read your blog Cole. That’s the heart of the matter. While the GOP senators whine about image and public relations they ignore outright criminal sex abuse to further their narrow partisan agenda. Burn in hell, assholes.

  43. 43
    ellaesther says:

    Oh, and this liberal doesn’t think that they’re “rape sympathizers” — I think they’re “rape don’t-carers,” which is more insidious because it’s harder to point a finger at.

    Thank you Al Franken for pointing a finger at it.

    I hope to God that some national organization like RAINN or NOW takes this attempted pissing contest and fucking runs with it. You don’t have to be a Democrat to be raped, and you don’t have to be a Democrat to know that your asshole Senator doesn’t give a shit if you are.

  44. 44
    JK says:

    A Politico article with something missing is par for the course because Politico is an epic fail.

  45. 45
    scav says:

    never let it be said that doing anything that actually helps people gets in the way of the primary purpose of the senate: the nice cosy old boys club.

  46. 46
    Little Dreamer says:

    “Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

    Isn’t this the same thing they do every time they bring up the abortion issue, or defense of marriage or… ?

  47. 47
    Little Dreamer says:

    Why does Politico only garner a “Media” tag and nothing like say “I read these idiots so you don’t have to” or something inane like that?

    You DO realize Politico is a propaganda machine?

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @ellaesther:

    I think it’s ideological. I suspect.

    I think it has to do with Republican’s promoting alternative dispute resolution, (arbitration is part of that set of processes), because ADR is (ridiculously) business-friendly when it’s employer versus individual employee, and because they’re chipping away at the individual’s right to a jury, on nearly every front.

  49. 49
    gypsy howell says:

    Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    Obviously because none of them see anything wrong with rape. Why should a patriotic, red-blooded American male, especially a military or paramilitary type, be persecuted for doing something that’s just good ol’ boy American fun?

    I’m surprised anyone is even surprised by this.

  50. 50
    Nate Dawg says:

    For the first time, but probably not the last, I typed “ball-juice.com” trying to get here.

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    and because they’re chipping away at the individual’s right to a jury, on nearly every front.

    Exactly. It’s not just “tort reform”. It’s trials for terror suspects. They don’t want anyone to have access to the courts.

    The US has the best court system in the world.[1] Why do the Republicans think Americans are incapable of conducting a fair trial? Why do the Republicans hate America?

    [1] While the absolute truth value of this statement may be debatable, we probably are somewhere in the top 20, and when making statements for public consumption in the US there is never any penalty for falsely claim we’re the best at something.

  52. 52
    ellaesther says:

    @kay: I suspect you’re right, but/and that at the root of that ideology is a glaring lack of consideration for the actual needs of actual people.

    But, I will submit that as this topic makes me so mad (clearly!) that I could spit, I may be overstating my case!

  53. 53
    Jager says:

    I don’t think Al gives a shit if Republicans are “steamed” at him.

  54. 54
    KCinDC says:

    Franken should clearly try to be more bipartisan, as Sensenbrenner and other Republicans were when he rewrote descriptions of Democratic amendments to claim that they were special provisions to protect sexual predators. The difference of course is that Franken’s description of the situation resembles reality, and he didn’t attach any official text to the Republicans’ legislation saying it was for the purpose of protecting rapists.

  55. 55
    kay says:

    @MikeJ:

    It’s interesting. There’s a new field in the battle. They’re passing state legislation that caps damage awards against more than just doctors.

    I read a dissent on a case where 4 people were really roughed up in the course of a wrongful arrest at a professional baseball stadium. The legislature had capped damages, so essentially overturned the jury award. The four lost on appeal.

    One of my state supreme court judges, in dissent, wrote the first real rant I’ve read on how capping damage awards is an calculated, deliberate assault on the right to a jury, coming from business interests.

    It’s the first time I’ve read anyone just lay it out. I was really thrilled.

    It needs to come out in the open. We can have a debate about whether we still believe in the right to a jury, but we won’t as long as Republicans are hiding the ball.

    This is about protecting business interests from a jury.

  56. 56
    kay says:

    @ellaesther:

    Oh, no, ella. I’m all about practical effect. The ideology is just important because they have bigger ambitions than just this case.

    The practical effect here is this woman got raped twice.

  57. 57
    scav says:

    @Jager: isn’t there something about judging a person by their enemies? I think he’s picking up some serious style points here.

  58. 58
    Quicksand says:

    This is great! Cast an unconscionable vote, get your ear chewed off by constituents and contributors, then point at the Democrats! MOMMY!

    More like this, please! (And pass the popcorn.)

  59. 59
    MikeJ says:

    It needs to come out in the open. We can have a debate about whether we still believe in the right to a jury, but we won’t as long as Republicans are hiding the ball.

    Sadly the supremes have already said they don’t believe in jury trials. In Exxon and many others they’ve said punitive damages shouldn’t be over 10x compensatory, rather than what the constitution says, ie, “whatever the fuck the jury says.”

  60. 60
    kay says:

    @MikeJ:

    It scares me, because there’s this concerted meme on the Right that jurors are idiots. They’re always ranting that the jurors didn’t convict.

    I think they’re gunning for that next. Why risk a jury? Appoint a good, solid conservative and convict everyone.

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @MikeJ:

    All bench trials, all wacko right wing judges. It’s my personal nightmare.

  62. 62
    gex says:

    @ellaesther: Actually, the way I prefer to put it is that they want to pay their corporate buddies to rape peoples wives, sisters, and daughters. Because all this bill does is threaten to not give money to these companies.

  63. 63
    Will says:

    I gave up pro-actively reading Politico a long time ago. The only reason myself (and most of the people on this blog) are reading this right now is because John linked to it. John, we should follow through on your earlier exhortation and stop even linking to these clowns.

    Their site is wholly dependent on political junkies like us for survival. If we truly boycott them, they will either change their coverage, or at least move completely to the right, marginalize themselves appropriately, and quit kidding everyone.

  64. 64
    Jager says:

    I love Franken from personal experience, I was eating breakfast one morning in the MSP airport. Everything was jammed because of flight delays, I’m reading and waiting for my food when a guy says ‘mind if I sit down?” I don’t even look up and say “go ahead”, I finished my story and there was Al Franken! We had a 45 minute conversation over breakfast about our daughters who are both school teachers! He is a great guy and he is going to be great senator for many years!

  65. 65
    Ailuridae says:

    The last time this came up I strongly suggested that everyone google on Manu Raju and Al Franken and come to understand that Raju is nothing less than Franken’s professional concern troll. His opinions on these matters mean next to nothing to the voters of MN or anyone else outside of right-wing blogs and politics gossips.

    As for the merit of the issue at hand, I think a lot of BJers don’t have a good base of conservative opinion regarding gender issues so they are getting overly caught up in the defense contractor aspect of it. What’s really going on here is that the Republican party is pretty openly and unapologetically misogynistic. The reason they voted against Franken’s amendment is the same reason they voted against the Violence against Women act. In short, their base thinks rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse are over reported, women are overly sensitive and, yes, are often times asking for it. These legislators may or may not agree but voting for that amendment is precisely the type of issue that would gain traction in a primary.

  66. 66
    Nutella says:

    @kay:

    Do you have a link about that dissent or any other details so we can track it down? Thanks.

    One thing that particularly bothers me about this issue is that not only are we talking about rape, we are talking about government-sponsored rape. That is, we are both paying the rapists and protecting them from punishment, so the US government was directly sponsoring rape.

    And every time these R senators whine about being misunderstood, we should all send comments/letters to the editor to whatever paper/page quotes them requesting the details of their proposed solution to the problem. The fact that they proposed none needs to be repeated as often as possible.

  67. 67
    Jay B. says:

    @khead:

    Actually, Legend was damn close. The pertinent part of that selection was about one year when Laimbeer wasn’t chosen to the All-Star team and Bird was psyched because that year he wouldn’t have to say “Fuck you, Bill” when Laimbeer wished him a good morning on the bus (implied: the way he normally would on All-Star weekends). That’s what memory gets you.

    Either way, the point stands. If Larry Bird didn’t have to stand or even be civil to the fuck Bill Laimbeer despite being in the same “club”, there’s no Earthly reason Senators, who have to vote on matters that sometimes literally amount to life and death for those affected by their votes, have to worship clubby bipartisanship above a popular anti-rape measure.

  68. 68
    calipygian says:

    You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    They opposed it for one of two reasons:

    a) None of them believe that rape is an actual crime, or

    b) John Cornyn, John Thune, et al are all objectively pro-rape.

    SATSQ

    For now on, all of them should have the phrase “rape loving Senator” in front of their name.

  69. 69
    Amy says:

    Worse yet, this is the second time Politico has railed on Franken about him, oh dear, politicizing rape.

    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....29439.html

    Vitter, a top DSCC target, was confronted last month at a town hall meeting by a woman who identified herself as a rape victim. He had a terse argument with her about his vote, then cut the conversation short as he exited the facility. A couple of days later, the Louisiana Democratic Party put the woman on the phone with reporters, feeding the story for days as the DSCC continued to circulate the video, which now has more than 165,000 views on YouTube.

    Vitter later said that it was “obvious” that Democrats were using the flap to score political points.

  70. 70
    Amy says:

    oops, that last bit should have been in block quote, too.

  71. 71
    EJ says:

    You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    Yes they did, at least Cornyn and Alexander did, when they published an editorial explaining their vote. The Politico article vaguely alludes it but doesn’t bother to provide any details or links.

    Now, granted, their argument is shitty and vague, but they did go on record with it.

  72. 72
    MikeJ says:

    If Franken “politicized” rape, why did every woman in the GOP vote for it?

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    These guys are just fine with rape. This is self-evident, as is their complete fear and loathing of women and anything having to do with their sexuality and their unwillingness to be controlled by men. Even the female wingnuts hate and loathe themselves. If it wasn’t so evil and destructive, I’d find them sad. But as it is, I am proud beyond belief of Senator Franken and hope he continues his good work and showing how a senator really should fulfill the requirements of his office. Keep on serving the people, Al, and remember that the vaunted senate “fraternity” includes men of similar character to that of the man who didn’t like Charles Sumner, another senator brave enough to state what is right regardless of the consequences to his “relationships” with those across the aisle. Just keep an eye out for walking sticks.

  74. 74
    kay says:

    @EJ:

    Lordy. They opposed it to avoid “expensive, drawn out lawsuits”?

    In other words, they opposed it to avoid hauling business interests in front of a jury of regular ‘mericans, who would hammer that company if this went to court.

    Well. That’s a cause worthy of rallying around.

    God knows we can’t have damaged employees getting to a jury. Better to force them into arbitration, where they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of prevailing.

    It is ideological. I’m flabbergasted they admitted it.

  75. 75
    Alan in SF says:

    Franken could get all kinds of awesome Republican cooperation if only he weren’t so mean. They’re trying so hard to work across the aisles, then he goes and does this. It’ll be his fault if the Republicans vote 40-0 against everything from now on.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @EJ:

    I just think that editorial Cornyn wrote is going to do a hell of a lot more harm than good.

    He’s telling women they can’t sue for damages after a brutal rape, because it takes too long and costs too much?

    Really. It might be better if he just shut the hell up.

  77. 77
    jl says:

    I have no insight to add. Other than the observation that this Politico piece is the most worthless piece of political garbage reporting, and thoughtless rotten piffle full of inane special pleading fand malicious bad-faith whining for an atrocious indefensible position, that I remember ever reading.

    Uh, thanks, I guess. It was special, in its own special way.

  78. 78
    mandarama says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    That’s MY senator, Al Franken, and I am goddamn fucking proud of him for having the balls to stand up and say, “This shit stops here.”

    I envy you. My senators? Alexander and Corker. I would give my entire Christmas, and maybe my kids’ too, if I could have seen Franken taking Corker to the woodshed.

    My legislators are such weasels. I hate them all. Even Jim Cooper.

  79. 79
    alicia-logic says:

    This Minnesotan is so proud or her Senator.

  80. 80
    Martin says:

    @Jager:

    Did he touch you? We’ve got reports here that Franken likes to, you know, touch people.

  81. 81
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Martin:

    Reports that only come from the deep dark recesses of BOB’s demented imagination.

    I’d ignore those if I were you.

  82. 82
    hypusine says:

    some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle.

    Because, given the pleasant and agreeable state of the GOP, such cooperation is extremely common.

  83. 83
    tenkindsagrumpy says:

    I stole this from deep in the politico comments thread; ” from now on they shall be known as the rapeublicans”

  84. 84
    Johnny Pez says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    That’s MY senator, Al Franken, and I am goddamn fucking proud of him

    I have this reaction whenever Sheldon Whitehouse does something good, which he does on a regular basis.

  85. 85
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    I think I detect a butt-hurt pain in the tone of the Republican senators who are whining about their being tarred as pro-rape by that upstart comedian. Al is the new kid on the block, he is supposed to be seen and not heard from. The Big Boys run the show, he is supposed to learn the rules and play by them. How dare he blindside them with something like this, forcing them to admit that they may need to look more closely at future bills he writes (with the help of the GOS!) since this one got past them due to his not reaching across the aisle.

    The are probably pissed that one of their favorite tactics, in their case using bullshit legislation (think flag burning ban) to force the Democrats to ‘expose’ their real hate of Amerika in a vote, was used against them but this time with good legislation. He forced them to vote either for the rights of the people or the corporations, no mincing around it. Now we all know where these senators stand, with the corporations.

    It may hurt them to see it said but they are pro-rape and they made that loud and clear. Al used their own methods against them to good effect on worthwhile legislation. Good for him.

    Fuck bipartisanship. You can negotiate with kids running around with their eyes closed, fingers in ears and endlessly screaming lalalalalalalalalalala.

  86. 86
    dSquib says:

    It’s difficult to read anything other out of the Republicans indignation here than that they believe Franken expected a significant number of them to vote against the amendment, thereby arming “partisans on the left” with the ability to accuse the Republican senators of being unsympathetic towards rape victims.

    Could Franken have predicted this? If so, why? Because he understands the depths of their rottenness better than most? I wouldn’t have predicted a single Republican vote against this amendment, though I knew they would be grudging “Yeas”, and I certainly realise these are not the most morally upstanding people in the world. Or was it because he knew they couldn’t go against these business interests?

    The only stated Republican objection to the amendment I’ve heard is that the government has no right stipulating how contractors deal with these “internal matters”. Now given that these are government contractors doing government work, it’s really saying that the government has no right to regulate itself.

    It’s just funny to see the Republicans talk about their nay votes with such fatalism, “we just had to vote against the amendment, and we just had to offer patently absurd justifications in opposing what should be a straight forward bi-partisan issue protecting rape victims, so Al really put is in a pickle on this one.”

  87. 87
    Wilson Heath says:

    That must be it. That must be why the Party of No has become so uncooperative and refuses to engage in legislation other than to insert poison pills. Poor little babies got their feelings heart by the big, bad freshman Senator. Poor widdle tings.

  88. 88
    Sly says:

    The problem Republicans have is that they can’t look at a contractor with his hand out and say “No.” Money for soldiers, especially those with physical and psychological trauma, has no purpose for them. But contracts for a company that gives them lots of money does.

    That’s the ultimate justification for their vote. Too much red tape for people on the Federal teat. At least, the people they like. It’s red tape that might protect women from being raped on the job, or at least give them recourse outside of secret, binding arbitration if it does happen, but so what?

    It’s why Inouye’s office was inundated with demands from defense lobbyists to strip the amendment from the final appropriation. Arbitration gives them control over the process and lets them keep it secret, both of which are extremely important. It’s not just the promise of haggling Ms. Jones into obscurity that makes KBRs heart warm, it’s the promise that no other woman will ever know what kind of operation KBR, or any other contractor, is allowed to run outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law.

    Having due process thrown out the window is important, but more important is that they lose any practical reason to create safe working environments. No legal liabilities, no problems.

  89. 89
    noncarborundum says:

    @Nate Dawg: Dude. You typed?

  90. 90
    Gus says:

    My senator too. He’s pretty polarizing for some reason, but I’ll vote for him for as long as he wants to stay in the Senate.

  91. 91
    NorthernMNer says:

    He’s my senator too! And I would really appreciate it if those Republican gas-bags would stop trying to tell Senator Franken what he needs to do for Minnesotans, especially given that we have sent two Democrats to the Senate. For a reason.

  92. 92
    recusancy says:

    I thought you weren’t going to link to Politico any more???

  93. 93
    CalD says:

    Know what else is missing? THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO SANE REASON FOR OPPOSING THIS.

    But I note that this didn’t stop Jeff Sessions at least from going on record with his.

  94. 94
    roseyv says:

    “a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues”

    So, Franken is claiming they voted against the amendment when they actually voted for it? Oh. So, he’s saying they voted against it and they did vote against it. So how is that misrepresenting them?

    And if they’re embarrassed by nothing more than a simple statement of fact about what they in fact actually did (voting against the amendment), how is that Franken’s fault? If they’re that embarrassed by their own actions, they should apologize and try to correct them, not complain that someone else is embarrassing them.

    No?

    Ohhh … I see. So, it’s not that they’re embarrassed for having voted against the amendment, it’s that they’re embarrassed that, because they voted against it, people are accusing them of wanting to see certain rapists (not all, just some) rapists get away without being charged and tried for it. Which is totally not being pro-rape at all. It’s just being not anti-certain types of rape. Which is totally different.

    Yeah. I can see why they’re pissed.

  95. 95
    Lex says:

    @Raenelle:

    God bless them. This pretty much is evidence on the side that they’re stupid rather than evil.

    No, it’s evidence that they’re both.

  96. 96
    Lex says:

    Memo to Senate Republicans from a former New York PR professional: If you don’t want douchey publicity, don’t be a douche.

    And please refrain from blaming someone else for the consequences of your own behavior. My 8-year-old knows better than that, and he’s not even a U.S. senator.

  97. 97
    Waynski says:

    As has been pointed out in other posts, there is simply no reason to be chummy with the Republicans (unless you’re Joe Lieberman). Every attempt to offer a hand of friendship has been slapped away. At some point the Democrats in the Senate need to realize that the only time the right is interested in bi-partisanship is when they’re in power and the need Dem votes. But it’s a one way street. They never, ever reciprocate and should be dealt with accordingly, with the back of Franken’s hand. I hope he’s teaching the older Senators how to deal with these mindless idiots going forward.

  98. 98
    Lex says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    That’s MY senator, Al Franken, and I am goddamn fucking proud of him

    I haven’t had that feeling since Sam Ervin retired, a mere 35 years ago. Sigh.

  99. 99
    Steeplejack says:

    @Sly:

    Very well put.

  100. 100
    brantl says:

    You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.

    I’ve seen it hinted at above, John but I’ll just come out and say it, it’s because each Republican representative, individually is a bag of dicks. One wouldn’t be enough.

  101. 101
    Paul in KY says:

    My ‘Senators’ are McConnell & Bunning. If there’s two worse than that, well…I pity those of you who have to live under the 2 who are worse.

    Go Al Franken!!!!

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