And Now, Unfortunately, We Have a Pattern

Not good:

Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week. Leeann Tweeden, a radio host, wrote last week that Franken had kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. On Monday, Lindsay Menz accused Franken of groping her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years.

In a statement to HuffPost, Franken said, “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”

He’s done. Put a fork in him.

And Lydia Polgreen is solid and doesn’t run with shit sources.






360 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    EriktheRed says:

    Fuck.

    Fuck.

    Motherfucking fuck!

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    I remain suspicious that these allegations against the ranking member of the Senate subcommittee on Internet privacy just happen to come out right when the FCC is about to gut net neutrality.

    YMMV.

  4. 4
    Shalimar says:

    Grabbing butts is still not pressuring teenagers into dates. So our plan is to force everyone who has ever done anything remotely wrong from office while they continue electing child molesters?

  5. 5
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    In sticking with Franken, and have stopped caring about the precious fee fees of right wing women.

  6. 6
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Shalimar:

    Exactly.

  7. 7
    jk says:

    If Franken doesn’t resign right now, he’s a selfish prick. At this point, he’s lost all credibility. If he truly cares about anything beyond himself, he’ll realize that he can no longer be the standard bearer on any public policy issue. Al needs to pull the plug on the Al Franken decade.

  8. 8
    Calouste says:

    Keep in mind that this is the John Cole who right up until the point when Mark Sanford gave a press conference admitting that he had a mistress in Argentina, right until that point he still believed that there was nothing wrong with Sanford.

    Kind of sad to see that someone who obviously knows right from wrong is still so conditioned to believe right wingers until the opposite is proven.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Do we know that the two new accusers are right wing? That would give me some comfort.

    I still say complete the investigation. It’s the right process.

  10. 10
    Bostonian says:

    So who goes in the barrel next?

  11. 11
    mouse tolliver says:

    So Al Franken should resign over butt grabbing? What about his first accuser?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJidGI-NMd0

    This is one of those instances where whataboutism is a legit defense.

  12. 12

    I’d been thinking about this Franken mess for the past week. While I always thought he should resign I was arguing over whether to do so ASAP or just not run for re-election, based on whether or not Moore gets elected.

    This settles it. He should resign immediately, and someone our side needs to leak everything there is on sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill.

    In “lighter” news, of a sort, Ratko Mladić has been sentenced to life in prison.

  13. 13
    rationalperson says:

    We are at war. Franken should not resign until Trump does or he loses the next election.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    Has the Ethics Committee even met yet?

  15. 15
    jk says:

    Grabbing butts is still not pressuring teenagers into dates.

    @Shalimar:

    Grabbing a woman’s backside may not be the most vile, reprehensible act in your mind, but how about having one political party that has some goddamn fucking standards for how politicians should conduct themselves when interacting with other human beings?

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne: Don’t know.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jk:

    How about having one political party that doesn’t demand that people resign based on anonymous accusations?

  18. 18
    hellslittlestangel says:

    I got burned defending Anthony Weiner, but still — the claim that Franken grabbed a woman’s ass during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair strained my credulity — pix or GTFO. This is beginning to remind me of the McMartin Preschool madness.

  19. 19
    hueyplong says:

    Is Balloon Juice old enough to have been around during the Acorn debacle?

    Asking for a friend.

  20. 20
    mouse tolliver says:

    This all started with a right-wing Trump supporter who is herself a serial groper. Here she is again…

    https://youtu.be/OeTItrsqdJ8

    Democrats will be held accountable. Republicans won’t. Then people who’ve done worse will be calling the shots.

  21. 21

    Franken is my senator, and I am so heartbroken. I’ve been a big fan of his since his first books (Big Fat Idiot and Lies & Lying Liars). So disappointed.

    I wrote this on Monday after the second accuser stepped forward. I had a very bad feeling that there would be more, and I wanted him to get in front of it ASAP.

    http://knightofnothing.blogspo.....anken.html

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @hueyplong: Agree. That’s why process is important. ACORN got none.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    @Calouste: I will note I did not say he has to resign, I merely said he is done. And he is. Just like I said Weiner was done when the news came out, and everyone told me he was not and that I was an asshole, and then a few days later he resigned.

    It doesn’t matter that he isn’t as bad as Moore, in this political climate, he is done. That’s just an objective fact. I love Al Franken and think he has been an amazing advocate, but no one is going to stick with him now that we are up to four allegations.

  24. 24
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Shirley Sherrod sends her regards.

  25. 25
    Balconesfault says:

    No resignation. Let’s have an ethics investigation. If ass grabbing is going to be the standard for eviction from the Senate, let’s make sure Republicans get hoist on that particular petard as well.

    Because everyone should understand that no GOP voter will ever change their vote in the future based on Frankens resignation.

  26. 26
    Mary G says:

    I will never agree that Al should resign until Trump does. Or at least until there is the ethics committee investigation.

  27. 27

    @Shalimar: Franken’s conduct is definitely lower on the hierarchy of sex offenses than CSA/rape, but it’s still a sexual offense. (And we’re not talking about affairs, dick pics, visiting prostitutes etc., i.e. anything with two consenting adults).

    Also, Franken’s career is irrevocably fucked anyway.

  28. 28
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Franken should resign because of these anonymous, undocumented allegations of ass-grabbing ten minutes after The Orange Better One resigns for grabbing his own daughter’s ass on live television at the Republican National Convention.

  29. 29
    Spanky says:

    He’s done. Put a fork in him.

    Fuck that shit! When Republicans get held to the same standard, then we’ll talk about it.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John Cole:

    Roy Moore had four accusers who were willing to be named and quoted, and after they came forward, additional women who were willing to be named and quoted came forward with their stories.

    So far with Franken, we have one person who says she accepts his apology, one named person, and two anonymous accusers who refuse to be named or quoted.

    Do you see why I continue to be a little suspicious here?

  31. 31
    JR says:

    @Shalimar: no, our plan is to hold our elected officials to a certain ethical standard. Just ’cause one of the other guys breaches that conduct even more egregiously doesn’t justify comparatively less severe infractions. That way leads to madness.

  32. 32

    @John Cole: co-signed, though as he is my senator, I would like him to make arrangements to end his senate career.

  33. 33
    Barbara says:

    Sorry, anonymous accusations cannot be tested. Seriously, my view all along was to not run again if allegations became a pattern. It’s not that I don’t believe accusers as a general proposition, although to be honest I am having some difficulty with the first two. It’s that unless actions rise to the level of criminality, this is an issue for voters. I am convinced that this constant campaigning and special elections in general are exhausting people’s attention and resulting in low turnout, unrepresentative elections. The idea that we have to see an immediate set of repercussions consistent with our general shortened attention span is killing democracy. And yes, I feel this way about everyone, including Trent Lott. When Donald Trump resigns, that’s when Al Franken should resign. Otherwise, not running again would be the right outcome.

  34. 34
    ThresherK says:

    @Balconesfault: Yep. There’s a loooong line, and Franken has a place in it.

    But not at the head of it.

    And no, NPR, let’s not invite Uncle Newtie on to about this, or Bill Clinton.

    I’m not putting up with chasing Franken, while that child molester can get in.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Why not let the Ethics Committee investigate and get people under oath?

  36. 36
    germy says:

    @Mnemosyne: And that ridiculous attempt to smear him with those comedic photos with Adriana Huffington.

  37. 37
    Emma says:

    In these cases, either full disclosure or it does not count. A person’s good name, Democrat or Republican, should not hinge on anonymous accusers.

  38. 38
    mike in dc says:

    Let the Ethics Committee investigation play out. If something more serious and supported by circumstantial evidence comes out, he should resign. Trump’s conduct with women should be the subject of congressional inquiry starting in 2019.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @germy: That was pathetic. Our liberal media.

  40. 40
    mouse tolliver says:

    I’m going to remain skeptical until we have accusers on record like we do in all the other #metoo cases. Leeann Tweeden’s story fell apart.

  41. 41
    p.a. says:

    I hope this isn’t blame the victim-ism, but doesn’t anyone just haul off and slap the groper? Negative reinforcement, esp in public, can be a valuable educational tool.

  42. 42
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Franken should be tried by a jury of his Congressional peers. My nominee for jury foreman: Joe Barton (R – Texas 6th District).

  43. 43
    Karen Potter says:

    @Shalimar: he didn’t rape anyone so he doesn’t get a pass

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JR:

    What exactly is “ethical” about demanding that someone resign over anonymous accusations?

  45. 45
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m suspicious too. Something about these accusations makes it seem less like a damn bursting and more like a coordinated hit job. The question is, who is behind it?

  46. 46
    Karen Potter says:

    @Balconesfault: So butt grabbing is wrong if you aren’t GOP, but if GOP rape of teens is acceptable (idiot in oval office, admitted and blamed the guy who supplied the teen)

  47. 47
    matt says:

    hey Al, great work and thanks for your service. Bye.

  48. 48
    david says:

    “My internet trumps those women getting sexually assaulted!” isn’t a very good look, boys and girls.

    Franken needs to go. The state is blue. The governor is democrat. You won’t lose a vote in the Senate by replacing him.

  49. 49
    Karen Potter says:

    @hellslittlestangel: I don’t think anything made me sicker than watching that, after that was the stalking of Hillary around stage on nation wide viewing

  50. 50
    matt says:

    @LurkerNoLonger: now I’m not trying to be a dick, but you are aware this is what defenders of people like Trump and Roy Moore say, yes?

  51. 51
    germy says:

    @LurkerNoLonger: Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan?

    Who in congress leaked the story about Conyers to ratfucker Cernovich?

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LurkerNoLonger:

    Something about these accusations makes it seem less like a damn bursting and more like a coordinated hit job. The question is, who is behind it?

    Since Roger Stone was tweeting about the Leeann Tweeden accusations right before the story broke, I’m pretty sure we know who’s behind it.

  53. 53
    clay says:

    @Baud: The New York Post is in no way “liberal media”.

  54. 54
    dr. bloor says:

    @p.a.: I wouldn’t calling it “blaming,” although it lacks an appreciation of the enormous power asymmetry in these kinds of encounters.

  55. 55
    Karen Potter says:

    @p.a.: I always slapped or had nasty comment; but then I didn’t work as waitress in bar where it was expected that they would put up with hands

  56. 56
    Mary G says:

    I’ve thought he was done since the boob honking picture came out, and I’ve read the article and I believe these two women. But, I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament. The GOP is in power because they have no scruples and a long history of ratfucking. The Democrats are out because they want to seen as better, but at times you have to fight fire with fire. You don’t bring as knife to a gunfight.

    ETA to add that TMZ published Joe Barton’s dick picture with the groin area blanked out. It looks as awful as you might imagine a 68-year-old pudgy white man would produce, I wish I could unsee it.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @david:

    “My internet trumps those women getting sexually assaulted!” isn’t a very good look, boys and girls.

    So, again, you are perfectly fine with forcing the ranking member of the Senate subcommittee on Internet privacy to resign based on anonymous accusations just as the FCC is ending net neutrality?

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @clay: Was it only them? Problem with the internet is that it’s harder to remember the source of the info.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    This is good news for Joe Barton.

  60. 60
    Emma says:

    @david: And if it turns out it was all lies, who reimburses Franken for his good name? How do we make it right? “Oops” doesn’t quite do it, does it?

  61. 61
    MP says:

    @ThresherK: A guy I work with was once engaged to a young woman who worked in Republican politics. They were both at an event where Newt showed up. My co-worker went to get a drink and as he did, he saw Newt approach his fiancée and grab her on the ass as he passed by. He was livid and came storming up to his fiancée who calmly told him not to say a thing, it happened all the time, and if he made a scene her career in politics would be over. I believe this happened a dozen or so years ago.

  62. 62
    Balconesfault says:

    @dr. bloor: what kind of asymmetry? When people come up to ask to pose with the senator and he clowns, that’s forcing himself on them?

  63. 63
    JR says:

    @Mnemosyne: did you see me asking for a resignation? if an (the) investigation substantiates these claims, Franken needs to resign.

  64. 64
    dr. bloor says:

    @Mary G: Minnesota has a Democratic governor who can appoint a Democratic replacement. If the appointee is competent, there needn’t be any Franken hangover into a general election campaign.

    I appreciate Franken’s efforts, and he’s a very smart guy. But ultimately he’s a replaceable Democratic vote, nothing more or nothing less. He’s nothing special.

  65. 65
    Barbara says:

    @david: Sexually assaulted? Seriously? Even most of the sleazy conduct by Roy Moore doesn’t constitute sexual assault. Some of it might, but mostly it’s creepy and weird and possibly threatening. The expression is unwanted touching, and it is a kind of assault, but to call it sexual assault is a bridge too far.

  66. 66
    dr. bloor says:

    @Balconesfault: No, if these allegations are founded, I was referring to the point when he puts his hands on their asses, uninvited. This might have been clearer to you had you bothered reading the comment I was responding to.

    I don’t think “getting felt up” is an integral part of or automatically implied as acceptable when you ask for a photo op.

  67. 67
    GregB says:

    I am with the Al Franked is getting Shirley Sherroded theory.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    ms_canadada says:

    Get lost! No way should Al Franken resign when the Predator-in-Chief is till in office. Al was in Show Business, remember???
    Also, too, but most importantly, Hair Drumpf is going to take down America. Please, don’t let that happen.
    Signed,
    Freaking out in Canada

  70. 70
    Ohio Mom says:

    Who are these people who must have their photo taken with Franken and then many years later, jump on the bandwagon of accusing him?

    I wouldn’t want my photo taken with Rob Portman — if we saw him at the state fair, my husband would drag me away before I could start screaming at him.

    And if it was Sherrod Brown and he patted my butt, I’d slap his hand and do my best stern school teacher face and say “Shame on you!” But I wouldn’t ever badmouth him to the press because my feelings aren’t as important as having a good senator.

    I could list a bunch of Me toos or whatever that meme is. I am just wondering why all of a sudden it’s pile on Franken week.

    There are plenty of reasons to oppose Moore besides his chasing underage girls — he doesn’t understand the separation of church and state for one thing.

    Put me in the Something-doesn’t-smell-right column.

  71. 71
    sharl says:

    @hueyplong: Is Balloon Juice old enough to have been around during the Acorn debacle?

    Yeah, I’ve been getting a similar vibe, especially given that it came out – months after the videos went public and were subsequently proven to be bogus – that James O’Keefe had been paid. He was either paid directly or via Breitbart (can’t remember) to set up ACORN via those highly edited bogus videos of his.

    That memory was awakened by this bit of additional news – the payment information – with regard to the recent Conyers business:

    More on BuzzFeed and @Cernovich: Cernovich acquired the Conyers documents after offering $10,000 for them. https://t.co/SNVWz0oL1o— Paul Farhi (@farhip) November 21, 2017

    There’s no way that nazi delivery boy paid $10,000 out of his own pocket; who bankrolled the document acquisition? Peter Thiel was suspected as at least one possible money source for the ACORN setup; I for one wouldn’t be surprised if that billionaire sociopath wasn’t involved here as well, although the Mercers and/or Koch Brother operatives are certainly capable as well.

    But politically, Democrats are in a bind here – they need to remain steadfast in their support of women’s rights, and not appear to be caving on this principle in order to protect those who are liked and respected.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JR:

    did you see me asking for a resignation?

    I sure didn’t see you saying we should wait for the pending investigation to begin.

    Maybe Franken is guilty. Maybe he’s been playing grab-ass at the Minnesota State Fair for years. But I sure would prefer an actual investigation to having him resign based on anonymous accusations.

  73. 73
    Barbara says:

    @dr. bloor: I agree with you, mostly. It’s not that I am loyal to Franken, it’s that I hate the constant, seemingly relentless series of elections. If someone can be appointed to serve, and then run in due course, I suppose that would not be too disruptive. If I were Franken, I would still wait for the outcome of an ethics investigation, or at least the Moore election. And I stand by my view that no one should do anything based on anonymous accusations. We just can’t go down that road.

  74. 74
    Mary G says:

    @dr. bloor: It’s not about that to me, although the MidWest is trending red. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  75. 75
    Balconesfault says:

    @dr. bloor: That’s stupid. Replacing Frankens talent for aggressive interrogation during Senate hearings is not as simple as just plugging in another Dem.

    If we demonstrate to our pols that we won’t fight for them until there is truly damning evidence, why should they fight for us?

    Not like healthcare bills, tax cuts for the wealthy,
    Gutting Medicare and the like will actually hurt Al personally.

  76. 76
    dr. bloor says:

    @Barbara: If any clothes actually came off that 14 year old, that’s well over any legal bridge I can think of.

  77. 77
    GregB says:

    The wingnut wurlitzer is already getting fired up because ‘Hamas/Al Qaeda sympathizer’ Keith Ellison is likely to be a candidate to replace Franken.

    Bannon is still weaponizing race baiting tactics.

    They want this country to fucking burn.

  78. 78
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Mary G: I thought Barton’s picture, out of focus and with washed out color, had a certain folksy quaintness to it. Do iPhones now have a 1970s home-made porn filter?

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dr. bloor:

    You don’t find the timing of this suspicious in any way?

    I think they’re trying to force Franken out before the charges can be publicly investigated. Don’t his constituents deserve an investigation?

  80. 80
    Mary G says:

    @sharl: I’m voting for Roger Stone. He learned at Nixon’s knee and couldn’t keep his trap shut about Tweeden. Plus Twitter shut down one of his accounts, so he’s pissed.

  81. 81
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yes she does. Process is important, and she got none, just like ACORN.

    My default remains to insist on legal innocence, while recognizing both that victims – outside those in social/personal relationships with the accused – rarely have motivation to fabricate, and that political motivations to add to a chorus are also not unheard of.

    Let’s have a process. And in my experience, multiples of very similar stories especially those that have been long whispered, tend to be, um, honest renditions of what happened.

    None of which is to say that there isn’t a lot of whataboutism, going on, and it is damned coincidental that it’s when net neutrality is on the chopping block.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    Stop falling for the banana in the tail pipe .
    Reveal who got the money from the secret slush fund for Congressional settlements first.
    Have a phucking spine 😠😠😠

  83. 83

    @John Cole: Since your judgment is infallible what is the latest on your idol Snowden and his mentor, Greenwald?

  84. 84
    James E. Powell says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Is it just that simple? I honestly don’t know. If Franken resigns, do the Republicans have any control at all about the replacement?

  85. 85
    Spanky says:

    @JR:

    if an (the) investigation substantiates these claims

    How do you substantiate anonymous claims? Are there pics? This is going to wind up being he said/she said, and I fully believe the Republicans can get a lot of women to LIE about being harassed, because sadly, they’ve shown themselves for who they are over the last 20 years.

    Without ironclad photographic proof, a Republican couldn’t convince me that the sun rises in the East. And here we are.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Let’s see what happens with the Ethics Committee.

  87. 87
    Barbara says:

    @dr. bloor: Yes, that’s the one that is impossible to explain away. But several other women have testified to being grabbed and held. I suspect that this is where the age difference matters most. If a teenage boy asked them out on a date and tried to kiss them it probably would not have struck them as being quite so threatening.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sharl:

    But politically, Democrats are in a bind here – they need to remain steadfast in their support of women’s rights, and not appear to be caving on this principle in order to protect those who are liked and respected.

    I think we should stand for the principle of a fair and open process of investigating serious charges like these. In this case, the Senate Ethics Committee should do a full investigation.

  89. 89
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    Exactly. When we are sending comedians and strippers overseas to entertain our troops who are taking a well-deserved break from killing brown people it is important, very important, that there be no INAPPROPRIATE behavior.

  90. 90
    MazeDancer says:

    Still can’t get past Roger Stone tweeting about Franken’s” time in the barrel” before Tweeden accusations.

    Or pictures of Tweeden grabbing the guitarist’s butt or sexual jokes with soldiers. Or so many SNL women saying Franken is a good guy. If Franken was an abuser, the SNL women would know.

    Al Franken disciplined himself for six years to not make jokes or even amusing remarks in public. Ever. He wanted to make sure that people took him seriously and stopped seeing him as a comedian. He couldn’t serve his state well as a comedian.

    For a comedian to make sure they never cracked a joke and then grab women by the butt in public makes no sense.

    National Book Award winner Masha Gessen said this AM on Morning Joe she didn’t see a pattern of power abuse with Franken. And reality is, the GOP are going to bring down as many Dems as they can with anonymous accusations.

    My flaming feminist self is warring with my strategist self who knows opportunists will exploit this moment of women being believed. Possibly just to crash it and overwhelm the public so nothing shifts. And we are going to have to focus on the well-documented child abusers and power-crazed sexual harassers and not the possible butt grabbers.

    Because the GOP need to take out Franken, and are succeeding in equating him with Moore, waiting for the Ethics Committee probably won’t happen. But if an obvious pedophile like Moore, that a retired police officer said, today, was known in Alabama to be dangerous for young girls, gets seated in the Senate and an unproven butt grabber is destroyed without an investigation, that is not helping change the world.

  91. 91
    piratedan says:

    it’s a case where we have standards and ethics and morals that we believe should apply to all of our elected officials.

    In reality, while it’s great that we believe that these standards and laws should be in force and in effect, we also understand that if you’re a woman, the same rules about who will be believed and what constitutes an affront, an offence and what is assault wasn’t applicable twenty years ago. While we like to think that everyone operates under the same standards and guidelines, what we’re watching today makes some of these conversations seem strained as we have one group that still wants to adhere the the standards and guidelines for behavior and the other side who will gleefully use any weapon that is handy and dance off the stage leaving carnage in their wake with nary a pang of reflection for any and all of their own actions.

    I can understand the idea that we have to uphold our principals and standards, but when exactly do we stand on principal and the high ethical ground when many of us point out the very real danger of turning into Colonel Nicholson from Bridge over the River Kwai?

    I hate how the GOP fucks over ANY narrative that begins to show any light on any social ill, we’ve seen it with gun control, minority relations, black lives matter, immigration, income inequality, climate change… every single fucking time. How can we shelve finally allowing this conversation from being had and in the end, we’re only having it with ourselves while the other guys are busy dividing us at each and every opportunity while gleefully running headlong into wrecking still further foundations that we treasure?

    While this conversation has been going on, guess what, they’re getting ready to fuck us over on tax reform, health care and net neutrality… its like they have a never ending supply of shit to raid and destroy in their wake and we’re still back here trying to unfuck the narrative that they’ve set up.

  92. 92

    @Mnemosyne: Ds have to be like Caesar’s wife, while Rs adhere to no morality at all.

  93. 93
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Mnemosyne: Maybe he’s been playing grab-ass at the Minnesota State Fair for years.

    And the thousands of people around him were too busy eating lutefisk on a stick to notice.

  94. 94
    Karen Potter says:

    A few weeks ago someone commented that Franken was being looked at as running for president, the person then went on to say that there would be accusations coming out against him

  95. 95
    debbie says:

    That’s it. Men are dogs.

  96. 96
    sharl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep, that seems to be the best/only way to go, based on what is actually known and verified at this point.

  97. 97
    rk says:

    @Shalimar:

    Grabbing butts is still not pressuring teenagers into dates. So our plan is to force everyone who has ever done anything remotely wrong from office while they continue electing child molesters?

    The two are not the same, but it’s unacceptable to grab butts or any other part of the body. I was supportive of him and did not believe the first woman because of her Sean Hannity antics and the second one proved nothing. But as a woman it’s hard to watch a guy who I’ve admired for a long time be accused of something like this by 4 women. I’ve been groped and have not spoken out. It’s not easy(especially when you’re a shy girl as I was). But it is not acceptable behavior. It’s far from rape, but it’s awful nonetheless. He should acknowledge it and apologize. Of course the others are worse, but WTF! Where is the self control with these guys? How hard is it to behave like a normal human? Are women just here for any guy to paw whenever he wants? That’s what it seems to be with so many men. He has to go because he is supposed to be a champion of women’s rights and yet he seems to go around groping women. That makes him a hypocrite and he’s lost all credibility. If we can accept butt groping as acceptable, then they can accept forced kissing and crotch grabbing as acceptable. How many will be too many? If 50 women come forward and say he did this, then do we get rid of him? The plan should be to send these types of men a message, that your time is up. I’m sure Minnesota is capable of electing another progressive senator. If not then, so be it.

  98. 98
    Ohio Mom says:

    I will also add that kicking Franken out of the Senate is symbolism without substance. At best, one alleged groping geezer is out of a job.

    It’s not going to scare any other guy out of obnoxious behavior, and meanwhile, Congress is still doing lots of stuff that directly and significantly hurts women. They’re about to pass tax reform that is going to screw me royally.

  99. 99

    @piratedan: DHS just revoked TPS for thousands of Haitians but Franken may have grabbed someone’s butt. Priorities we has them.

  100. 100
    tobie says:

    @sharl:

    There’s no way that nazi delivery boy paid $10,000 out of his own pocket; who bankrolled the document acquisition?

    I didn’t realize there was a cash reward for dirt on Conyers. This is interesting. My sense is that the GOP was freaked out by the VA election, followed by the accusations of child molestation against Roy Moore, and they’re now throwing anything they can at effective Democratic legislators. I don’t know what to make of the allegations against Conyers but I don’t like that sealed documents were leaked. This is as bad as the media reporting breathlessly on DNC emails without revealing how they became available in the first place.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @tobie: Yep. That need to be investigated too. Notice the GOP suddenly is silent about leakers.

  102. 102
    Immanentize says:

    @John Cole: Your willingness to condemn, judge and push out from the very first moment etc does not strike me as righteousness. But as something else.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Yes, if only there was some way to determine whether or not these charges are true, some kind of Senate committee that looks into these things …

    Nah, fuckit, let’s just demand his resignation based on anonymous charges. There’s no way that could backfire.

  104. 104
    Mary G says:

    @Mnemosyne: McConnell’s never going to open an Ethics Committee investigation, because if he does it for Al, he has to do it for Roy Moore if he gets elected.

  105. 105
    clay says:

    I just find this a bit hard to swallow. Franken a) wanted to be a Senator in a very tight race, and b) is not stupid. It seems unlikely that he would go around playing grab-ass with people whose votes he needed. It defies common sense.

    All of these other people — Weinstein, Rose, Moore, Conyers — they were in positions of power, and were using that power to abuse the people under them. But it’s the opposite for Franken. As voters, these people had power over him. It’d be like me going up to my boss and grabbing her ass. She would not be my boss for much longer.

    Furthermore, the women that Franken DID have power over — i.e., those who worked for/with him on SNL and other places — have all seemed to vouch for him. (Tweeden being an exception, obviously, but her story has at least some inconsistencies.)

    This whole thing is so unlike what Moore and Trump and the others have done that it just doesn’t make much sense. And even if partially or all true, doesn’t seem like it should be judged on the same level.

  106. 106
    Trentrunner says:

    Calibrating how much abuse/assault we can take to how much “good” a Dem does for us is pretty fucking appalling:

    – Voted for cloture on debt ceiling: butt grope
    – Voted winning vote for Obama care: fingerbang, front or back (Senator’s choice)
    – Voted for single payer: fist me, baby!

    What in the actual fuck is wrong with you people?

    Franken needs to go, NOW. Anything less is disgusting appeasement and mansplaining, abject failure to defend women.

  107. 107
    MomSense says:

    When Trump resigns, then we can talk about Franken.

  108. 108
    Spanky says:

    Jesus HMS Christ, if this drives Franken out of the Senate, I’m going to anonymously accuse McConnell of grabbing my 16yo (false) boy’s (true) ass two years ago (also false). Anyone wanna bet whether any Republican or media person (but I repeat myself) will bat an eye?

  109. 109
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nah, fuckit, let’s just demand his resignation based on anonymous charges.

    Or at least more serious unproven charges. If a woman comes forward claiming he turned her ass into a newt, then I’d say he has to go.

  110. 110

    Here are the basic facts..

    1. Franken was the headline act on a USO tour in 2006 with a woman who was 22 years his junior. He was strongly considering a senate run at the time, and in fact has publicly stated that it was on this tour that he decided to run. In spite of this, he consciously decided to pose for a picture in which he is groping or pretending to grope the aforementioned woman *while she was asleep*. Terrible optics, regardless of Tweeden’s claims about what happened.

    2. Senator Franken was at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. The Fair is the single biggest event of the year in which politicians and the public interact. A woman who is younger than his daughter reports being groped by him *at the time of the event.* Even worse optics. Franken has made a statement about it, but has not contradicted her account.

    3. Two more anonymous accusers have come forward, who say that candidate Franken groped them while at campaign events. According to the report, these are liberal, activist-type women. Again, terrible optics.

    As one family member of mine put it, it’s hard to overstate how transgressive that second accusation is to the folks here in Minnesota. It is a really bad look.

    On balance, I believe his accusers, and it makes me very upset to say it.

  111. 111
    Trollhattan says:

    @MazeDancer:
    Noted the other day the Republicans doubtless have flooded Minnesota with resources to get dirt on Sen Al and anything that turns up requires a rigorous smell test. They want this scalp and the distraction. Don’t settle for anything not verifiable.

  112. 112

    I suppose I’m confused. Why is he “done”?

    I’m not saying he hasn’t acted like a total asshole, okay? I’m not saying that what he did wasn’t wrong; I’m not saying that it wasn’t *extremely* wrong.

    What I’m asking is, “where is it written that a man who has grabbed a few asses, and who is a US Senator, must see his political career end?”

    Do you think he’s going to jail, and will have to resign to serve the jail term? I doubt it.
    Do you think Minnesota voters will overwhelmingly vote for some boring D in a primary, or some horrible R (they’re all horrible, these days – if they won’t repudiate, they’re horrible)? I doubt that, too.

    Or are you saying “wow, we Ds absolutely have to unconditionally surrender; if any of ours are tainted, we’ll make them resign, while the GOPerverts can run any old person, and say, literally, “hey, he likes underage girls, but he’s not a DEMOCRAT!”

    I think we’ve learned that Franken has been an asshole. He owes many women apologies, and they may well have demands on his actions. If any one of them had broken his nose, I’d say they used reasonable force to end *his* assault. If they forced him to listen to their stories, one after the other, making damn sure he acknowledged that he’d been an asshole, and making damn sure they saw actual remorse, hey, fine. There may be lawsuits – or, hopefully, settlements. That’s fine too.

    But without downplaying the nastiness of sexual harassment one jot, why are we saying “he is done, he is gone” rather than “he’s been an asshole and I, for one, am disgusted by his behavior”? If we lived in a world where tainted politicians on either side of the aisle resigned, okay – but we don’t. We live in a world where IOKIYAR. It’s not *okay* – but maybe we should let him do his job, while complaining that his behavior is unacceptable.

  113. 113
    sharl says:

    @tobie: I actually tend to believe that the accusations against Conyers are true. It’s the manner by which the internal Congressional documents related to the original intern/staffer complaints against Conyers were acquired prior to their being turned over to Buzzfeed.
    I think I smell a rat.

    By the way, the nazi delivery boy actually responded to that WaPo reporter’s tweet:

    Mike Cernovich @Cernovich

    WaPo never runs stories dug up by paid oppo researchers?

    Interesting sensationalism here.

    I see whining, but no denial.

  114. 114
    debbie says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    As in Gringrich?

  115. 115
    magurakurin says:

    @rationalperson: If you are thinking of it in pure tactical terms, he should have resigned last week. At this point there is a good chance he loses his election. If he resigns a Dem is appointed to take his place. Resigning last week would have put pressure on Moore, but now much of that is lost.

  116. 116
    Cacti says:

    So have we now lowered the bar to “all anonymous accusers should be believed”?

  117. 117
    Spanky says:

    @Trentrunner:

    What in the actual fuck is wrong with you people?

    Amen! Although I’m thinking half are trolls. Dunno what the other half are thinking, though.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rk:

    Here’s the thing: it’s certainly possible that Franken made a habit of playing grab-ass with his female constituents while taking photos with them. It’s also possible that the Republicans are using our natural feelings of revulsion towards someone who would do that to smear an innocent man. God knows it wouldn’t be the first time.

    That’s why I’m much more comfortable saying that these charges should be investigated rather than demanding he resign over anonymous complaints.

  119. 119
    PIGL says:

    @jk: Fuck standards. Win the next elections, fix the gerrymandering, impeach the Supreme Court, line certain families of Billionaires up against the wall. Then worry about the purity of your elected officials.

    Or, you know, surrender to the Republicans forever. The Democratic Party may well already be out of time to fuck around, but if they are not now, the soon will be. This is a war, as someone accurately pointed out upthread. Fight or surrender.

  120. 120
    Ohio Mom says:

    @magurakurin: I find it hard to believe that Franken resigning would have put any pressure on Moore. I am not seeing how one leads to the other.

  121. 121
    Spanky says:

    @Trentrunner: @Trentrunner: Well, you added

    Franken needs to go, NOW. Anything less is disgusting appeasement and mansplaining, abject failure to defend women

    after my post and FYWP won’t let me edit it, so …

    You’re wrong, and being manipulated.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Calibrating how much abuse/assault we can take to how much “good” a Dem does for us is pretty fucking appalling

    Yeah, who needs “proof” or “sworn statements” or “investigations” when we have anonymous accusations? Guilty until proven innocent! Burn him! BURN HIM!!!

  123. 123
    mike in dc says:

    @sharl: Perhaps, but a 27k settlement is a nuisance-suit type settlement. Some attorneys’ retainers exceed 27 grand.

  124. 124
    Emma says:

    @Trentrunner: Since it is mostly women who are defending him, maybe you should shut up and listen.

  125. 125
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @magurakurin: What is the tactical advantage of putting pressure on Moore? Right now he is the shining symbol of the GOP, and he’s the only Republican Doug Jones has a good chance to beat on 12/12.

  126. 126
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    And did anyone see the news out of Disney – apparently Lasseter was kissing underlings and employees for years and attempting to put his hands between their legs. So well know that people warned newcomers and “joked” about it?

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-lasseters-pattern-alleged-misconduct-detailed-by-disney-pixar-insiders-1059594

    What happens – is he terminated and kicked to the curb like Kevin Spacey/Louis CK/Charlie Rose?

    Nope. He’s going on “leave” for 6 months after a mealy mouthed statement about “misseteps.”

    There’s some corporate morality for you.

  127. 127

    @Mnemosyne: Re: the anonymity, let’s not forget that a few days ago there was an accusation against Sen. Blumenthal that was quickly proven to be completely fabricated – the person under whose name it was made quickly debunked it.

    I hate that my mind is going here, but I’m cycling back to “every accusation is a confession”. The robocalls in Alabama the other week, trying to make it seem like the WaPo was paying people for bullshit allegations against Moore – what if they’re doing that with Franken? The fact that that Nazi Cernovich apparently paid $10k for dirt on Conyers makes me even more suspicious. There’s obviously a well-funded ratfucking campaign going on right now.

    I also completely agree that the timing here smells horrible. And Roger Stone’s involvement in this story justifies more scepticism than normal.

    My stance remains “trust but verify”. There’s no way to verify an anonymous accusation, so I can’t say it holds much weight for me.

  128. 128

    And Now, Unfortunately, We Have a Pattern

    We do, but maybe not like you’re thinking. What’s the old quote—three times, that’s enemy action?

  129. 129

    @PIGL: Word. These purity police are probably insulated from the worst that Rs can do.

  130. 130
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mnemosyne: “Playing grab-ass”

    Fuck you and your horrific minimizing and euphemizing.

    So now we know: It’s OK if you’re a Dem.

  131. 131
    ruemara says:

    You’re right, it doesn’t look good. Which is why I’d prefer to wait for a full investigation. I’m sorry, but there’s a concerted effort here. I don’t like that they’re anon. I don’t like the fact that photo ops are being equated with assault. I don’t like a photo of pretend boob grabbing is being equated with assault. I don’t like that he’s been accused of writing a skit with kissing just to snog Tweeden, but it comes out that the skit was performed 3 years earlier with the same kissing part. He may have touched some women’s asses during photo ops, that I can’t say and needs to be investigated, but he should have the right to a fair investigation. To my mind, what he’s failed is the Bill Clinton is an idiot test, which requires Democratic lawmakers to understand that there is no more loyal opposition and everything you do will come under scrutiny.

  132. 132
    Cacti says:

    Which Republican is being asked to resign based on the word of anonymous accusers?

    Liberals are falling for the banana in the tailpipe again.

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    I would feel much better if at least one of his accusers was willing to testify under oath about his behavior. Since there are four of them, at least one should be willing to do it, right?

  134. 134
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Emma: I also noticed that it is mostly women who are defending Franken — and men who are demanding he step down now.

    What to make of this, I do not know.

  135. 135
    Duane says:

    @mouse tolliver: These are USO shows. They’re playing to the audience, mostly sex obsessed youth. Old enough to remember Bob Hope’s USO shows with Ann Margaret, Raquel Welch, Charro. Those soldiers weren’t there to see Hope. And Wheedon isn’t above a little groping, or being groped, for that matter.

  136. 136
    tobie says:

    @Knight of Nothing: I do have questions about Tweeden’s and Menz’s accusations. If I’m wrong, I will eat crow. But I also see the allegations against Franken in a broader context. The GOP wants to reclaim the entire midwest. They’ve done so in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan with gerrymandering, voter suppression, and targeted Facebook campaigns. They’re coming close in Minnesota and may well see an opportunity to destroy the Democratic party in this state. Never underestimate the mendaciousness of today’s GOP.

  137. 137

    @Emma: Menfolk just trying to protect us from Franken, so we shouldn’t bother our pretty little heads about it.
    /headdesk.

  138. 138
    Spanky says:

    @Emma: I for one am not defending him so much as pointing out how strong the stench of Republican ratfucking is in this whole thing. (Also not a woman, fwtw.)

  139. 139
    justawriter says:

    My fearless prediction is whichever of Harris, Gillebrand or Warren look best poised to send trump packing going into Iowa and New Hampshire will suddenly be confronted by accusations from other women – from a late night law school study session would be best, but if needed the r@tf***ers would go with “practice kissing” at a sleepover or summer camp. Then there are thousands of photo ops many of which you can’t see their hands so all that is needed is a sympathetic face with a story. The precedent is set to try and make all Democrats unelectable. That it would play into the right wing stereotype of powerful and competent women would just be bonus.

  140. 140
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mnemosyne: Franken has admitted assaulting the woman with his unwanted kiss. We have the picture of him “jokingly” groping a sleeping woman on her breasts. He hasn’t denied the buttgroping.

    He did these things. He must go. NOW.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    So now we know: It’s OK if you’re a Dem anonymously accused of wrongdoing.

    Shall we ask Shirley Sherrod how that whole “fire people before an investigation” thing worked out? Or the founders of ACORN?

    You’re getting punked, and you don’t care because it gives you that sweet rush of self-righteousness.

  142. 142
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Shalimar: They shouldn’t be electing child molesters and we shouldn’t elect serial sexual harassers.

  143. 143
    James E. Powell says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    I think you mean hot dishes.

  144. 144
    Emma says:

    @Ohio Mom: Women understand nuance? Or maybe we’re just naturally more suspicious? Or just maybe we’re the experts on the problem? Or maybe, just maybe, we are tired of how we are being used to play dirty politics one more time?

  145. 145
    Mary G says:

    @Ohio Mom: Women are property, or women have much more knowledge of what the spectrum of abuse is.

  146. 146

    @Trentrunner: You wanted Northam to lose. Nothing you say can be taken seriously.

  147. 147
    Baud says:

    @Trentrunner: He hasn’t admitted or denied anything. Nor should he be denying stuff at this time. That’s the Trump defense.

  148. 148
    VincentN says:

    I’m getting a little disturbed at how quickly some people are to dismiss these women’s claims either by calling them opportunistic liars or by deciding they’re not as important as (insert political issue here).

    Look, I’m all for letting the investigation play out but how many accusations does it take and how much evidence is required to be deemed credible?

    Also, it’s possible to decide Franken is a sleazy creep who nevertheless shouldn’t have to resign. It doesn’t have to be either-or.

    If we want to say politicians should be able to get away with stuff that celebrities are currently being fired for because of the greater good then fine. Make that argument. Don’t fall into “women are lying liars who lie” nonsense.

  149. 149
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mnemosyne: You’re a liar telling lying lies, liar.

    Franken’s first two accusers have gone public–with photos, no less!– risking themselves, especially when people like YOU are still denying their stories.

    I’ve been here for more than 10 years, and this is the most appalled and disgusted I’ve been by people I thought were allies.

    This is some sick appeaser shit happening in this thread. Fucking sick.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Trentrunner: You seem to be a real hair-on-fire sort of guy. And, no, he admitted to and apologized about the photo. He said that his memory of the kiss differed from hers.

  151. 151
    Cacti says:

    The GOP ratfuckers can always count on the virtue signaling of the left.

  152. 152
    Emma says:

    @Spanky: sit over here by me. I truly do not care whether he is found guilty. I just want it substantiated by properly identified witnesses during a proper legal process.

  153. 153

    @Mnemosyne: a young MN woman named Abby Honold was raped by a former intern of Franken’s. In response, she worked with Franken to write a bill to establish federal grants for trauma-informed training for law enforcement to help guide how investigators and first responders on how to interview victims. When Tweeden’s story came out, she felt sick and asked that Franken’s name be removed from the bill and that someone else sponsor the bill. For that, she’s receiving rape threats.

    This is the climate that we are in: it’s not friendly to women. So can you blame the women who wish to remain anonymous? I don’t know Lydia Polgreen’s work, but Cole does and seems to think she’s pretty solid. Barring some evidence that Polgreen was bamboozled, I’m going to trust her story.

  154. 154
    Spanky says:

    This also looks like a good place to point out a certain MO:

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) is investigating what he calls a massive scheme to corrupt the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with fake public comments on net neutrality.
    In an open letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, the Schneiderman said the agency hasn’t provided him with information “critical” to an investigation his office is conducting.

    Schneiderman said in a tweet his office has been investigating a “massive scheme” over the last six months to “corrupt the FCC’s comment process on net neutrality by impersonating 100,000s of real Americans.”

    Clearly, a top-10,000 blog doesn’t deserve 100K comments, but … maybe a dozen or so?

  155. 155
    TenguPhule says:

    And Lydia Polgreen is solid and doesn’t run with shit sources.

    There’s always a first time.

    We’re going to burn Franken at the stake for Anonymous accusations now?

    Why not just strip naked, lie down and hang a sign over your head saying “If you need me to march into the oven, just ask”?

  156. 156
  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Franken has admitted assaulting the woman with his unwanted kiss.

    Er, no. He has admitted to kissing her during a rehearsal for a comedy sketch where they kissed onstage, and there are photos of the sketch in performance that show that it did, indeed, include a kiss in performance. So now her story seems a little, well, sketchy. She seems to have conflated the script with the sketch with what she claims happened.

    We have the picture of him “jokingly” groping a sleeping woman on her breast.

    You mean the staged photo of her in body armor and a helmet where he’s leering at the camera with his hands not actually touching her?

    Jesus fuck, it’s like trying to explain fiction to the aliens in Galaxy Quest.

    He hasn’t denied the buttgroping.

    He says he doesn’t remember doing it, but he’s unwilling to call the women liars. But, hey, if two anonymous women accuse you of groping them at work, I’m sure you’ll resign immediately rather than ask some basic questions like, Who exactly is accusing me?

  158. 158
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JR: Your way leads to madness. In fact, you’re already there.

  159. 159
    Spanky says:

    @Spanky: Count up the first-time commenters in this thread and which side of the argument they come down on.

  160. 160
    magurakurin says:

    @hellslittlestangel: the election will be decided by very few votes. It will probably only be the difference of a handful of women who decide that what Moore did brothers them, but both sides do it. whatever I am with John Cole, he is done. And so is the chance to make. cynical political hay from it. None of it’s good. Men have a real problem here. I am a man and I have always been bothered about the ass grabs, neckrubs, long hugs and such I have witnessed all my life. I feel shitty that I never said anything to anyone, but it is behavior that is acceptable and encouraged among many men.

    I hate everything.

  161. 161
    Raven says:

    @Duane: We couldn’t see shit at Long Binh at Xmas 68 because the great fucking patriot put up a gigantic scaffold in fron of the stage so they could tape the show for TV!

  162. 162
    TenguPhule says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    This settles it. He should resign immediately, and someone our side needs to leak everything there is on sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill.

    Fuck no.

    This just shows Democrats are idiots who will turn on their own at the drop of a Republican ratfuckers hat.

  163. 163
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: This, this, THIS.

  164. 164
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Trentrunner: You can tell he’s patting their asses from the photographs of their fronts?

    What @Emma: and@Mary G: said.

  165. 165
    Trentrunner says:

    @Baud: LOLwut. You can easily deny wholeheartedly what you know you did not do.

    Franken can’t deny because he doesn’t know whether he did these things.

    He should know better.

  166. 166

    @tobie: sure, Republicans want to win, and are pretty ruthless in known ways – voter suppression, ratfucking, etc. But the idea that this is a coordinated conspiracy is an an extraordinary claim. Where is the evidence for it? And how does it bear on the veracity of these women’s stories?

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Franken’s first two accusers have gone public–with photos, no less!–

    Both of which DO NOT BACK UP THEIR STORIES.

  168. 168
    Chip Daniels says:

    Witchhunts aren’t just about accusing innocent people wrongly.
    They are about viewing everyone as a single binary of either good or evil.
    It isn’t that Franken (or Moore for that matter) did wrong.

    Its whether we believe that they are remorseful and understand their behavior.

    Its whether they have evidenced growth and a desire for redemption.

    A culture that can’t do that isn’t a culture on its way to social justice.

  169. 169
    Emma says:

    @Knight of Nothing: Good. Let’s skip the legal process. And if two years from now it turns out to be a ratfuck, then we will reimburse Franken for his lost reputation. Oh, wait. You can’t do that.

  170. 170
    Barbara says:

    @VincentN: Another unfamiliar nym begins commenting . . . Anonymous accusations cannot be tested. That’s not the same thing as calling someone a liar.

  171. 171
    Baud says:

    @Trentrunner: No, he shouldn’t have denied because he would be calling them liars, which is politically not what he should be doing right now.

    But maybe that calculus will change now that there are more accusers.

  172. 172
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mnemosyne: WRONG. I can deny categorically UNDER FUCKING OATH that I have never done any of those things.

    Why?

    BECAUSE I’VE NEVER DONE ANY OF THOSE THINGS, EVER.

    And if anyone accused me of anything, I can say, CATEGORICALLY: “That is a lie. That never happened.”

    Obviously, Franken can’t say that.

    Why is that?

    And why are people here defending that?

  173. 173

    Said it before, I’ll say it now – the GOP has us pegged for a bunch of DOPES. An investigation has been called for – by the target of of the accusations, no less. Maybe do that first? At least pretend we’re interested in due process?

  174. 174
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Trentrunner:
    You fucking idiot, you’re being manipulated. Doesn’t any of this seem odd to you? Cernovich paying ten grand for dirt on Conyers? All of this happening when important decisions are coming up re: tax bill and net neutrality. Key people are being taken out. It’s only Dems so far. Who leaked the information to Cernovich?

    The GOP, specifically their rich masters, wish to create a one-party police state; a democracy in name only that is in reality a right wing dictatorship. This a concerted effort.

    I’m not saying women should never be believed. Why not wait for the ethics investigation? Why now?

  175. 175
  176. 176
    Baud says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):

    Said it before, I’ll say it now – the GOP has us pegged for a bunch of DOPES.

    Worked for them last year.

  177. 177
    Cacti says:

    It’s literally impossible to defend yourself against an anonymous accusation of an event alleged to have occurred at an unspecified place and time.

  178. 178
    Immanentize says:

    @Trentrunner: Nothing in this comment is true. You are either a purposeful liar, or you have not paid attention to anything g at all.

    In either case, get help. Professional help. Maybe medication. Do it soon and save your life and those of the people who love you. I know how tough holidays can be. Put please get help.

  179. 179
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Trentrunner:
    J’accuse you Trentrunner of groping my ass! I must be believed! You must be fired! Fuck due process or evidence. “Me too” isn’t just about taking women’s accusations seriously, it’s about instant gratification for a lefty’s moral purity.

  180. 180
    Trentrunner says:

    @Baud: This is such bullshit. I’m sorry to say this.

    If someone came out tomorrow saying “Al Franken anally raped me when I was a 6-year-old,” I’m pretty sure Franken would be able to deny that, categorically, “politics” (?) be damned.

    Why can’t he categorically deny all this? BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE’S DONE IT.

  181. 181
    Baud says:

    @Trentrunner: Your mind is closed. I’m done talking to you.

  182. 182
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @John Cole: Hell, Cole, half the people on at this site are sticking up for him.

  183. 183
    Cacti says:

    @Trentrunner:

    WRONG. I can deny categorically UNDER FUCKING OATH that I have never done any of those things.

    Why?

    BECAUSE I’VE NEVER DONE ANY OF THOSE THINGS, EVER.

    We get it.

    You’re pure and a better person that the rest of us.

    But an anonymous source told me that on an unspecified date and time, at an unspecified place, you buggered farm animals.

    Please prove your innocence.

  184. 184
    Mary G says:

    Conyers isn’t going anywhere:

    NEW: Attorney for Rep. John Conyers releases statement outlining why Conyers will not resign. pic.twitter.com/dJjHHBs7kW— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 23, 2017

  185. 185
    Groucho48 says:

    No Dem should resign for any reason until and unless Trump does.

    Let the voters decide on Franken. He wasn’t pressuring anyone to have sex. He wasn’t masturbating, in a private setting, in front of a woman. He wasn’t making the workplace a horrible place to be for women. He wasn’t a predator with minors. If an investigation shows the accusations are credible, he would lose my vote, if I was in his state, but, I wouldn’t want him to resign.

    And, for folks that this alleged groping is a step too far, which is understandable, then, okay, call for Franken to step down, but, only if you also demand the same of Trump, Moore, etc..

  186. 186

    @Baud: Always stick with the classics when you play arenas. No shit off the new album. That’s how they roll.

  187. 187
    Trentrunner says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: “I am 100% sure that you are lying.”

    Now, why can’t Franken simply say that?

  188. 188
    Trentrunner says:

    @Cacti: They would be lying. (Can’t speak to what your mother was doing, though.)

    Why can’t Franken say that?

  189. 189
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @Mnemosyne: But that takes so LONG. We want to eat our own NOW!

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    When Tweeden’s story came out, she felt sick and asked that Franken’s name be removed from the bill and that someone else sponsor the bill. For that, she’s receiving rape threats.

    And the assholes threatening her are completely, 100 percent wrong to be doing that, and they should be prosecuted for it. Honold is allowed to have her own personal feelings about Franken and to ask for his name to be taken off the bill. I do think that she has been misled by selective information designed to damage Franken, but it’s not my place to tell her that. Her feelings are her feelings, and she should not be attacked for having them.

    I will repeat something I said above: I think the Republicans know that we will naturally feel revolted by charges like these, and they are deliberately using those feelings against us. That’s why I say we need to have an investigation rather than force Franken to resign based on anonymous charges.

    We’ve been burned by Republican ratfucking multiple times before. I don’t want to get burned again just because the charges this time are hitting a really sore spot.

  191. 191
    eemom says:

    I see our esteemed BlogLord has learned nothing since the Rolling Stone-enabled pack of lies about an alleged rape at a UVA frat made the headlines, and was the subject of some heated discussion here.

    As the article I linked above points out, an attitude of “I believe the accuser no matter what” is JUST as fucked as “I’ll discredit the accuser no matter what.”

  192. 192
    tobie says:

    @Knight of Nothing: Well, the Roger Stone/Hannity connection to the first two accusers is deeply troubling. Both were tipped off in advance. The fact that payment was offered to whomever leaked the sealed Conyers documents is suspicious. The fact that the targets are very effective legislators, one a black man and one a Jew, both of whom endorsed HRC, at a time of extraordinary racial and religious animus and division in the party raises questions. Given these circumstances why is it wrong to ask for an investigation before rushing to judgment?

  193. 193
    Cacti says:

    @Trentrunner:

    They would be lying. (Can’t speak to what your mother was doing, though.)

    Not good enough. All anonymous accusations should be believed.

    You have failed to rebut the presumption of guilt.

    Please report for summary sentencing.

  194. 194
    sharl says:

    @VincentN: If, despite the new accusations, Franken continues to stick to his request for an ethics investigation of himself, from a Senate where he is in the minority party and not particularly loved by the majority party – especially friends of the Racist Elf – I’m going to assume that he thinks he did nothing wrong. Maybe he’s insane or stupid (contrary to all evidence we’ve seen to date), but unless and until he’s shown to be either or both, I’m going to assume he is sufficiently confident that the evidence (or lack thereof) will be in his favor during the investigation.

    The one exception I can think of is that he could be trying to spare his family from learning some awful truth. If that’s the case, the resulting desperation could have made him so stupid that his panicked response is to stay put, rather than resigning immediately. Seems highly unlikely to me, but I don’t know him personally; only via the nice family Hanukkah/Christmas cards he has sent me (I’m on the mailing list, or at least I have been).

    If he thinks – being of (presumably) sound mind – that he is innocent and can weather all this, he probably should occasionally issue a short/terse announcement confirming that he does not remember the incidents his accusers charge him with, and that he continues to support an Ethics Committee investigation. That’s all he should give the non-Minnesotan media, despite all their baying for flesh and blood.

    FYI, among the young lefties I follow, there is a VERY different opinion about all this, which I doubt any of you will find surprising.

  195. 195
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    WRONG. I can deny categorically UNDER FUCKING OATH that I have never done any of those things.

    Sorry, we have two anonymous accusers here who say differently. Security will help you pack up your desk. No need for an investigation — after all, we have anonymous accusers.

  196. 196
    smintheus says:

    This is a political problem because Franken was elected to hold office, so there should be a political solution. I think the best solution is for Franken to announce immediately:

    I will resign along with Donald Trump. And we will urge Congress to make the day a national civil rights holiday to honor the victims of grabby politicians.

  197. 197
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is smart, nuanced, and empathetic.

    And wrong.

    Franken did this shit. It’s over. He needs to be gone.

    Either this shit matters to our side, or we are only slightly less cravenly, politically abject than the IOKIYAAR GOPers.

  198. 198
    ruemara says:

    @Trentrunner: Dude, I got mauled by my friend’s husband earlier this month because he kept hugging me. I didn’t consent to being hugged. He would swear he did nothing wrong and doesn’t recall groping me. I recall that I was bear hugged, squeezed and hugged again despite moving away. Who’s right?

    Newsflash – we both are.
    They say he inappropriately touched them. He doesn’t think he did. Why? Because the boundaries of consent to touch are very different. You need to find whatever evidence is possible that he definitely touched them with an intent to touch parts of their body, salaciously.

    This isn’t hard. That’s why no one is saying not to investigate, we’re saying investigate before you pillory him.

  199. 199
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Trentrunner:

    WRONG. I can deny categorically UNDER FUCKING OATH that I have never done any of those things.

    Your hand never brushed against a woman’s butt or breasts as you were walking through a crowd or riding on a crowded train or bus? Never? Are you sure?

  200. 200
    Trentrunner says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why can’t Franken deny what they said he did?

    Because he did it.

    He did it.

  201. 201
    Trentrunner says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Jesus Christ, is this a thread of Roy Moore defenders? Sometimes 14-year-olds are stressful and need massaging and your hands just slip…

  202. 202
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Trentrunner:
    “Too bad, we have anonymous accusers that say you’re history’s greatest monster. Time to go to jail. Do not collect $200 when you pass Go.”

  203. 203
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trentrunner: You are the sort of useful idiot Roger Stone loves.

  204. 204
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    But the idea that this is a coordinated conspiracy is an an extraordinary claim. Where is the evidence?

    Other than the previous ratfucking conspiracies where people were driven from their jobs or their nonprofit agencies on “evidence” that was later shown to be doctored?

    As I’ve said, maybe it’s all true. Let’s have an actual investigation to find out.

  205. 205
    Cacti says:

    The horseshoe theory of politics at work again.

    Both the left and the right fringe agree that due process is bothersome and should be jettisoned when inconvenient to a desired outcome.

  206. 206
    Trentrunner says:

    @ruemara: Wow.

    OK, let’s talk politics, since too many of y’all have no foundational moral compass:

    Yes, by all means, let’s drag this Franken shit out well into 2018 with the Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

    It’s been less than a week, and two more women have already come forward to accuse Franken of groping them. How many more will come forward in a 4-8-month investigation? How many ratfuckers will go along for the ride?

    And then where will Dems be in the year of #WomenAreComing?

    We’ll have fucking bothesidesed OURSELVES and lost the high ground on an issue we should fucking OWN. “Yes, Senator Roy Moore, but…Senator Al Franken.”

    So you people are morally craven AND idiotic politically.

  207. 207
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trentrunner: OK. You’ve gone there. You’re totally insane.

  208. 208
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Trentrunner: You haven’t answered my question.

  209. 209
    Cacti says:

    @Trentrunner:

    two more women have already come forward to accuse Franken of groping them.

    No, they haven’t. An anonymous accusation isn’t “coming forward”.

  210. 210
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And he won’t. Ever.

  211. 211
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Trentrunner:
    Enjoy having your healthcare taken away, the end of net neutrality, taxes increased, and permanent GOP control for the rest of your life. That or until the US ceases functioning as coherent unified state. Whichever comes first.

  212. 212
    Emma says:

    @eemom: This is what I cannot understand about some people here. It isn’t a matter of not believing the accusers. It’s a matter of not crucifying anyone until there is proof of the accusation.

  213. 213
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Franken did this shit. It’s over. He needs to be gone.

    Gosh, thanks for reading his mind and letting us know what really happened, Kreskin! Can you get me the PowerBall numbers for this weekend, too?

    Who needs “investigations” or “courts” or “sworn testimony” when we can just get a couple of anonymous accusations with no way of checking or verifying them?

  214. 214
    Immanentize says:

    What is the under/over that Trentrunner is a sockpuppet?

  215. 215
    Immanentize says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Kreskin

    I love you.

  216. 216
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Immanentize: Do you remember him during the VA election?

  217. 217
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ll say what I said before: let’s see what the Senate Ethics Committee investigation — that Franken himself asked for — turns up before demanding Franken’s head.

  218. 218
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Don’t you know? According to Trent:

    And then where will Dems be in the year of #WomenAreComing?

    We’ll have fucking bothesidesed OURSELVES and lost the high ground on an issue we should fucking OWN. “Yes, Senator Roy Moore, but…Senator Al Franken.”

    So you people are morally craven AND idiotic politically.

    We’ll have “bothsidered” ourselves if we don’t immediately excecute Franken without an investigation.

  219. 219
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @MazeDancer: Absolutely and well-said.

    Can I introduce you to my friend John Cole? And he band of merry pranksters? They need some help…thinking this through.

  220. 220
    Cacti says:

    @Immanentize:

    What is the under/over that Trentrunner is a sockpuppet?

    I think he’s a true believer, given the vehemence with which he explains what “really happened” to all of the female commenters.

  221. 221
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: Once again, this, this, THIS.

  222. 222
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Why can’t Franken deny what they said he did?

    Because he’s being accused of vague actions by anonymous people. What if it turns out that one of them turned unexpectedly and he accidentally brushed his hand against her ass without meaning to? If he calls her a liar and then it turns out he did touch her, even accidentally, who’s the liar then?

  223. 223
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Trentrunner: RALPH NORTHAM SAID A THING AND NOW WILL LOSE AND DESERVES TO BWAHAHA

    AL FRANKEN TOUCHED A BUTT AND NOW

    Is this Your Thing now?

  224. 224
    magurakurin says:

    @ruemara: no. Men need to stop touching women that don’t ask to be touched. Shake hands if you require some sort of physical contact…and even that is a meaningless, ancient custom. I fucking shaking hands as well. I don’t want to touch you, I don’t want you to touch me. And I’m a man. I beginning to wrap my mind around how fucked up all this is for women. I hate everything.

  225. 225
    Immanentize says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry, no, I have been at least 70% checked out…. Maybe sorry I checked in, O2…

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  226. 226
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m beginning to think there’s something more going on here. I don’t think he is a sockpuppet but the increasingly hysterical tone is bothersome.

    (added) ok I need to clarify this. I have had run ins with a fair few folks here and have witnessed some doozies but never seen one where one of the parties is trying to impose his opinion by sheer repetition. It’s uncomfortable.

  227. 227
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MazeDancer: Yup. You’re right on target.

  228. 228
    Baud says:

    Bob Packwood was allowed an investigation, which lasted three years.

  229. 229
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: Stop being reasonable and adult, Mnem. Trentrunner has his cheeto-face conniption on.

  230. 230
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Tookie Amirault wants a word with half of you.

  231. 231

    @Emma: I voted for Franken twice. I think he has been a fantastic senator. I was extremely proud of him. But these accusations are not going to go away. If Franken wants to avail himself of a Senate ethics investigation, that certainly is his right. But I’m telling you: it will not play well in Minnesota.

  232. 232
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Here’s another scenario for you: what if Franken rested his hand on what he thought was the woman’s hip, but it was actually her ass and she was too embarrassed to tell him? Which one of them is lying?

  233. 233
    Emma says:

    @Knight of Nothing: Fine. Let Minnesota decide after a full airing of the facts. (added) Let democrats primary him in the next election even if he’s found not guilty. I really don’t care. I want these accusations aired out because I am tired of the ACORNing of democrats by democrats.

  234. 234
    msdc says:

    When the first allegations about Franken broke, a lot of his defenders here said they wanted to wait and see if there was a pattern of abuse before they jumped to any conclusions. Fair enough.

    Now four women have accused him of groping them, and a lot of his defenders here are saying that anonymous accusations don’t count (oh well, there go a third of Trump’s accusers!). Or they’re cooking up conspiracy theories about ACORN or net neutrality. Or they’re grasping at any other straw that will let them ignore the accusations when they think well of the accused.

    It’s not a good look, people. If you want to take sexual harassment and abuse seriously you need to take it seriously when anybody does it, not just the other side.

  235. 235
    GregB says:

    I have the notion that Trentrunner is the same crusty, stanky, old sock as Bob in Portland but with a new name.

  236. 236
    Baud says:

    @msdc: We take it seriously. That’s why we want the investigation.

  237. 237
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I’m waiting for an anonymous accusation against Wilmer and seeing certain heads explode here

  238. 238
    Cacti says:

    @msdc:

    If you want to take sexual harassment and abuse seriously you need to take it seriously when anybody does it, not just the other side.

    Asking for an Ethics Committee investigation isn’t taking an issue seriously?

  239. 239
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @msdc:
    Enjoy being thrown from a helicopter in the future. But don’t worry, at least you’ll still be morally superior to America’s ruling party, the GOP.

  240. 240
    Baud says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That would be something.

  241. 241
    clay says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Why can’t Franken deny what they said he did?

    Because denying what they said is to call them liars, which for a variety of reasons is a tricky situation.

    Here’s a counter-example: Donald Trump has been accused of much worse, by more women. He has categorically denied it all. Said all the women were liars. Do you believe him? Roy Moore has been accused of even worse. Categorically denied it. Called all the women liars. Do you believe him? Do you think when they deny it, and call women liars, that they look innocent? Do you think Franken would look innocent if he did the same thing?

  242. 242
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    I BELIEVE THE WOMEN!!!*

    *after an lengthy investigation, and not the anonymous ones, plus which who can really tell the difference between a hip and an ass?, that shit don’t count.

  243. 243
    Immanentize says:

    @Emma: This.

    Knight doesn’t post much, but I read K’s stuff and it seems sincere. If your standard is this doesn’t float in MAN, let that be the standard.

    It SSOOO reminds me of the rather racist white guys (Dago Red wine, anyone?) who kept saying Nancy Pelosi just oughta step down, but they couldn’t sustain an election challengers against her.

  244. 244
    magurakurin says:

    @Mnemosyne: How about a man not resting his hand on anything? Fuck it. I’m just waiting for the next comet and the Mothership at this point.

  245. 245
    Mnemosyne says:

    @msdc:

    Or they’re grasping at any other straw that will let them ignore the accusations when they think well of the accused.

    Yes, when we say, “The Senate Ethics Committee investigation should move forward as requested by Senator Franken,” that means we’re ignoring the accusations.

    If you want to take sexual harassment and abuse seriously you need to take it seriously when anybody does it, not just the other side.

    I take the accusations seriously enough that I think there should be a full investigation of the charges. Why do you take them so frivolously that you think he should resign without any official investigation at all?

  246. 246
    Emma says:

    @msdc: And yes, a third of the Trump accusers go away if they choose to remain anonymous. Jesus how hard it is to understand that in a lawful society people shouldn’t be punished without proof?

  247. 247
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O9dg2EZeZf8

  248. 248
    Mnemosyne says:

    @magurakurin:

    How about a man not resting his hand on anything?

    So when you take a photo with someone, you both stand stock-still with your arms at your sides? You never lean in towards the other person or put your arm behind or around them?

  249. 249
    Cacti says:

    President Trump and Attorney General Sessions agree that Senator Franken should resign without the bother of an ethics committee investigation.

    If you wonder if you’re being played, see above.

  250. 250
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This really isn’t one of your better arguments.

  251. 251
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Should be entertaining, to be sure.

  252. 252
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    Which pattern am I supposed to see? Because I’m old and lived through Nixon’s ratfucking, Roger Stone’s ratfucking, Newt’s ratfucking, Roger Stone’s ratfucking, Turd Blossom’s ratfucking, Breitbart’s ratfucking, Bannon’s ratfucking, and all their little rat pups.

    THAT’s that pattern I see.

    So I guess put my vote down for “let’s see what the Senate investigation shows, the one he himself called for.”

  253. 253
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: I’m sure when the McMartin preschool case was going, you were screaming “I BELIEVE THE CHILDREN!” as well.

    Even though it was proven that the children WERE manipulated into the testimony they gave.

  254. 254
    PIGL says:

    @Trentrunner: And how much defending of women is going to happen in entirely Republican controlled Congress?

  255. 255
    magurakurin says:

    @Mnemosyne: yes. Unless it is my wife and there are scant few photos of that. We don’t make public displays of affection. We don’t want to. But we love each other very, very much. I guess I’m a weirdo… I don’t know. I never felt the need to touch people I don’t know very well or who didn’t ask me to. It is probably one reason I am happy as an ex pat in a culture that bows instead of handshake. I may be a weirdo, but I don’t think I’m wrong.

  256. 256
    ruemara says:

    @Trentrunner: I don’t have a moral compass? Then fuck you very mightily then. A fair hearing is the essence of a moral compass and working within the law. Whatever, go start a recall election petition then.

    @Steve in the ATL: I’ve been trying not to say that.

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    Why? We’re talking about a situation when two or more people are standing together having their picture taken. Have you really, not even once, ever had someone’s hand accidentally brush a sensitive place on another person when you’re getting arranged for a photo?

    I dunno, maybe I’m unusually klutzy, but I’ve been both the accidental giver and the accidental recipient of bad touches in those situations, and I take a lot fewer spontaneous photos with people than Al Franken does.

  258. 258
    Brachiator says:

    Franken should resign after Trump resigns.

    And the idiot court of instant public opinion needs to drop its zero tolerance fetish.

  259. 259
    magurakurin says:

    @Mnemosyne: You know, I don’t know what Franken did or didn’t do. But I do know I have seen countless men give a back rub to a woman and I visibly watched the woman cringe a bit but just take it because…culture or some such shit. Ass grabs and pinches, hugs that go too long. It’s all everyday and accepted stuff. Guys used to brag about it in Junior High and High School and they would put pressure on others to grab “Sally’s ass” or some such thing. It’s an utterly fucked up culture and what Franken did or didn’t do is immaterial to the fact that it is perfectly believable that he did that shit because it is so fucking common. To me, that is a deeper problem and I got no solution because it really seems like most people don’t even give a shit. I hate everything.

  260. 260
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Immanentize: Northam was a racist, GOP lite sell-out who deserved to lose because a comment he made about sanctuary cities. The rest of us were immoral, GOP lite monsters for not seeing it.

    The dude has a pattern.

  261. 261
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    A pattern of purity

  262. 262
    Mnemosyne says:

    @magurakurin:

    I never felt the need to touch people I don’t know very well or who didn’t ask me to.

    I bolded that part, because I think it’s important. So far, I haven’t seen any accusations of Franken randomly grabbing women who happened to be nearby. Three of the four accusations are that he touched them inappropriately while they were taking a photo with him. In most photos, people put their arms around each other or otherwise stand as closely as possible with their arms out of the way. So, yes, I do think it’s possible that, given the number of photos someone like Franken would take at something like the Minnesota State Fair, there could have been some accidental touches while getting arranged for the photo.

    Or maybe they weren’t accidental and he’s been regularly perving on his constituents who want photos with him. That’s the kind of thing an investigation can sort out.

  263. 263
    dexwood says:

    @magurakurin:
    That’s you and your wife. Fine. You don’t represent all humanity. You don’t get to tell me how to pose for a picture. My friends and family hug, we touch. We trust.

  264. 264
    Duane says:

    @Spanky: So did the FCC fall for these comments, or go along with it?

  265. 265
    Immanentize says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ahhh. Thanks I recognize the pattern. Someone or other’s revolution pattern. Just not mine.

  266. 266
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have been in countless group photos. With family and friends, there are hands on shoulders, arms linked, etc. In work situations, it’s side by side, period. With strangers, famous or not, hands better be at their sides.

  267. 267

    @Emma: the undisputed facts already in play look terrible. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how bad the State Fair incident plays here — poll here. And I have not seen anything that contradicts her story in any way.

    I want this to be bullshit, I want it to go away. But I don’t think it is and I don’t think it will. I think Franken has been quiet for the last two days because he knows this. If he is wholly innocent, I expect he will fight until he is exonerated, because apart from anything else, he is a fighter. But I don’t think he is wholly innocent. We will see.

  268. 268
    Mnemosyne says:

    @magurakurin:

    It’s an utterly fucked up culture and what Franken did or didn’t do is immaterial to the fact that it is perfectly believable that he did that shit because it is so fucking common.

    So Al Franken has to resign because you know guys who are assholes?

    To me, that is a deeper problem and I got no solution because it really seems like most people don’t even give a shit.

    FWIW, the head of Pixar and Disney Animation is currently on a six-month suspension for (allegedly) hugging and touching people without their consent. He doesn’t seem to have been deliberately harassing or perving on people (that we know of so far), but the mere fact that he has been touching and hugging people for 20+ years without asking if they were okay with it earned him a suspension because things are changing right now.

  269. 269
    geg6 says:

    @Karen Potter:

    Whoa, I was a bartender for many years and my sister made a successful career running clubs and bars. I never worked anywhere that behavior like that was expected. Neither did my sister. I even did some part-time shifts at a biker bar. They were the best customers, and tippers, ever. I always slapped away any hands and never allowed anyone to disrespect me. Maybe strip clubs and the Playboy Clubs worked differently but no well-run bar wants the help groped against their will.

  270. 270
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: Yet again. This, this, THIS.

  271. 271

    @Mnemosyne: Like you, I smell a rat here.

  272. 272
    Jeremy says:

    Now we’ll eat ourselves on the word of annoymous sources. Genius. The collective of right-wing media figures responsible for this ratfucking of Franken must be marveling at how easy this was. They will now use annoymous “victims” to come after every male Democratic star we have. And we’ll do their work for them because we are naive idiots.

  273. 273
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    With family and friends, there are hands on shoulders, arms linked, etc. In work situations, it’s side by side, period. With strangers, famous or not, hands better be at their sides.

    You have way stricter photo rules than I do, then. At work, we were posing for a group photo around the couch in our lobby and one of my coworkers accidentally put her hand on my butt as we were both moving to new positions in close quarters as directed by the photographer. No big deal, because it was clearly accidental.

  274. 274
    Duane says:

    @Raven: I can’t believe they did that. Merry Christmas, guys.

  275. 275
    PIGL says:

    @Trentrunner: So now we know. Every prominent Democrat can be brought down by accusations of any relatively minor offence so that his or vote can be replaced by that of a Republican child molester.

    Or maybe, instead, an actual investigation could be conducted. If his guilt of some reasonably serious offenses are established, then by all means off with his head. And the head of EVERY OTHER Congress Critter who deserves the same. Until that result, and that procedure is established, you are preaching surrender.

  276. 276
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Maybe I’m exhausted from driving 800 miles a week for the past 12 weeks to attend grad school while still working full time, maybe it’s because I’m exhausted from cleaning and grocery shopping and rearranging my house for the 24 people coming to dinner tomorrow or maybe it’s all the really, truly, sad stories I’ve seen in the ICU in the past few weeks or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had two glasses of wine but GODDAMN IT THIS IS JUST MORE BULLSHIT PILED ONTO A BULLSHIT STORY AND WE ALL NEED TO GET A FUCKING GRIP

    I’m SORRY if I’m not falling into lefty self-flagellation mode here but I’m not gonna demand a frigging, brilliant, erudite, courageous defender of all that is liberal resign because here and there he copped a few feels of women’s asses in 3 second photo ops that resulted in ZERO trauma or damage or job losses or career ruination or ANYTHING ELSE BUT THAT SHE COULD SAY AL FRANKEN TOUCHED MY BUTT!

    This “Me Too” movement started out with real, genuine, compelling stories of hurt, humiliation, shame, loss and fear being perpetrated on women who were essentially powerless to avoid being assaulted. Now the “what aboutism” is taking over and a lot of the stories coming out about people are getting ridiculous, and yes, it’s the Goddamned McMartin preschool case all over again which damaged the ability of those of us who worked in the field trying to help victims of abuse and sexual assault for decades. It’s starting to ruinin the chances for legitimately harmed people, people really hurt by sexual harassment and assault to be believed and supported, and have their cases taken up by law enforcement. How do you think these asshole ministers in Alabama supporting Moore right now by blaming the victims get any traction? THIS kind of shit.

    And seriously, how hard is it to turn around and give someone “the fucking look” if he cups your butt during a photo op? NOT HARD AT FUCKING ALL. So why didn’t they do it? Are we to believe that the same gender that is able to kick fucking ass everywhere else in life suddenly becomes a weeping mass of indignitude (yes thats a made up word) from a touch to her butt? Given he’s the most unformidable frigging guy on the planet?

    I’m a feminist, but some of these whiney-ass females are starting to piss me off. IF he’d have done that to me, I would have turned around, and like the spunky, outspoken, strong woman I am, looked at him and said “Thanks for the massage, Senator.”

  277. 277
    msdc says:

    @Cacti: Dismissing anonymous accusations (which are frequent in sexual assault/harassment cases – see Trump) because you like the accused isn’t taking the situation seriously.

    Calling any criticism of that position “virtue signaling” isn’t taking the situation seriously.

    And falling back on legalistic defenses of due process for what is fundamentally a political and ethical scandal isn’t taking the situation seriously either.

    I’m all for investigating Franken’s conduct. I’m not for dismissing his accusers, whipping up conspiracy theories about them, or checking their counter tops. And I’m not for moving the goalposts with each new accusation, either. Every single thing people have said to defend Franken here, some beady-eyed mouthbreather has said to defend Roy Moore. Do better.

  278. 278
    Emma says:

    @Knight of Nothing: I don’t care how it looks. Looks are for starlets not for law and procedure. And I give you a prediction for free. If we screw over Franken on a republican ratfuck, the democratic party will have one hell of a time finding candidates, because most human beings aren’t saints and we all have something we aren’t so damn proud of in our pasts, though it may be as legal as the First Amendment, and nobody wants to risk exposing themselves to opposition scrutiny knowing his party doesn’t have his back.

  279. 279
    magurakurin says:

    @dexwood: as if I was talking about family as the main point. Unwanted touching is pervasive and even encouraged. whatever. I really don’t give a shit. I’m just doing this to fill time and avoid jumping off a bridge. Carry on.

  280. 280
    marcopolo says:

    @Knight of Nothing: Thanks for laying this out so clearly. Two things to add–the third and fourth accusers both have said their political leanings are to the left and both have contemporaneous witnesses to the groping happening: folks that they told at the time that Franken had groped them.

    I get what other BJers are saying here about Franken shouldn’t go until the Orange one is forced to leave office. It truly does suck, but that just isn’t how it works. We are better than that. We should be holding ourselves to a higher standard. We have to. Franken is one of my favorite senators. I have appreciated his effectiveness. But he needs to figure his pathway out of office so the Democratic Governor of MN can appoint his Democratic successor.

    And then there is the polling on Franken. This was before the other accusers came forward and it doesn’t look pretty.

    .

  281. 281
    Eljai says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: Amen! I can only add that I wish everyone would go back and study the 90s. Hell, go back and study the 60s. Republicans fight dirty. They lie, they cheat, they steal, and then they lie some more. The press has never held them to the same standard that they hold Democrats. I’m not saying we have to sink to their level, but we do have to wise the hell up and stop rolling over.

  282. 282
    magurakurin says:

    Shit like this. but, whatever. Nothing to see here. No deeper problems.

  283. 283
    geg6 says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Um, no. He didn’t admit to the kiss the way she characterized it. He admitted the photo was stupid. I’m not ready to throw him off the bus without an investigation. Anyone who is really isn’t vested in the due process or respect for the voters who elected him.

  284. 284
    msdc says:

    @Emma:

    Jesus how hard it is to understand that in a lawful society people shouldn’t be punished without proof?

    This isn’t about whether people should be punished at all – that’s for courts to decide, with a much higher standard of proof.

    The question is whether people like Roy Moore or Al Franken deserve to be rewarded with some of the highest public offices in the nation. The question is whether Alabamans want to be represented by a child molester, whether Minnesotans want to be represented by a groper, and whether progressives want to go to the mat to make that groper their standard-bearer. Those are political and ethical questions, not legal ones.

    Nice job throwing those Trump accusers under the bus to protect Al Franken, by the way.

  285. 285
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @msdc:
    Once again,
    Enjoy being thrown from a helicopter in the future. But don’t worry, at least you’ll still be morally superior to America’s ruling party, the GOP.

  286. 286
    Mnemosyne says:

    @marcopolo:

    We should be holding ourselves to a higher standard.

    We are holding ourselves to a higher standard. Our standard is, “There should be an open, honest, and fair investigation of these charges against a public official, and if he’s guilty, he should go.”

    Forcing someone to resign based on anonymous allegations is not “a higher standard.” It’s lunacy.

  287. 287
    msdc says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: The zinger so nice you posted it twice!

    If you really want to see the GOP become America’s ruling party, undermine the Democrats’ messaging on women’s rights and destroy their appeal to their single largest constituency. You’re off to a great start.

  288. 288
    marv says:

    I simply do not understand why people are so heartbroken at the idea of Al Franken resigning. It looks like he done wrong, in ways that are just now coming into focus. Someone on here a day or two ago was complaining about the moral arc of the universe being so slow. Well, yeah, maybe, but who ever said it would be easy?

  289. 289
    dexwood says:

    @magurakurin:
    Well, you did bring your family into it and you did seem to set a standard behavior. Don’t jump off a bridge. I find you a good voice here. Might just be irritability on my part. Part of my background involved investigating abuse cases, the recognition that monsters preying upon the weak existed. In my mind, there is a clear line between a loving hug and predatory behavior. Information overload setting in, perhaps. Peace.

  290. 290
    Ohio Mom says:

    @msdc: There’s lots more to dislike about Moore than his um, interest in underage girls — let’s concentrate on his track record in office, and not be lured into this version of both sides do it.

  291. 291

    @Emma: I’ll grant your prediction, but I’ll add that the ‘if’ clause that it hinges upon is doing a great deal of work.

    @marcopolo: thanks.

  292. 292
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @msdc: Yes, women will be flocking in droves to the GOP now, the true party of women’s rights.

  293. 293
    Emma says:

    @msdc: Nice try at the political version of slut shaming, bud, but no dice. Anonymous accusations should never be enough to convict anyone of anything. Not even Trump.

    I spent my childhood in a country where a Party member’s word was enough to have someone convicted to 50 years of hard labor. There’s no way in hell that you can ever convince me that destroying someone life, or career, on unsubstantiated accusations is a good thing.

    If the Minnesotans want him out, I’m sure they have recall mechanisms in place. Otherwise, the charges should be fully aired, and if he’s found guilty THEN we apply whatever penalties and remedies are legally in place.

  294. 294
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @msdc:
    Actually you should just mindlessly believe anonymous accusations and demand resignation without due process and watch as the Democratic party purges all of its good pols. Mysteriously very few Republicans will get this treatment.

  295. 295
    Emma says:

    @Knight of Nothing: Really? Take me, Ms. Plain-Softspoken-NotVeryInteresting Librarian. I wasn’t such all my life, and even through my thirties there are things I look back on and do the old “jeeesus what were you thinking?” None of it was illegal, just remarkably stupid and easily twisted. What about you?

  296. 296
    msdc says:

    @Emma:

    Nice try at the political version of slut shaming

    What does this even mean? You are literally dismissing accusations of groping (by Franken) and sexual assault (by Trump). And I just said that this isn’t about legal convictions.

    Projection is a hell of a drug.

  297. 297
    Mnemosyne says:

    @marcopolo:
    @Knight of Nothing:

    I have a question for both of you, since you seem to be in MN politics: why is it better for Franken to resign right this second without delay and have the governor appoint a replacement rather than have him simply not run for re-election? What does rushing the process gain us?

  298. 298
    eemom says:

    Sweet baby Jesus, there are an awful lot of dumb as dirt people commenting on this blog. Either that or there is something to the paid troll meme, though I’ve never believed it.

    To clarify — dumb as dirt being, as it is, dumb as dirt — anyone who thinks Franken should do anything or go anywhere, or that “we” should turn on him, unless and until SOMETHING IS FUCKING PROVEN against him — is dumb as dirt.

  299. 299
    Mnemosyne says:

    @msdc:

    You are literally dismissing accusations of groping (by Franken) and sexual assault (by Trump). And I just said that this isn’t about legal convictions.

    You realize that an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee — the thing that we’re all calling for — is not a legal conviction, right? It’s an investigation to make sure that this is not just a ratfucking operation and that we don’t panic ourselves into doing another Shirley Sherrod.

  300. 300
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @marv: People are paranoid about this being a Shirley Sherrod type situation where the truth exonerates the Dem after she is fired/resigns, etc. Which is why having an formal investigation where people testify under oath is a great idea.

  301. 301
    msdc says:

    @Mnemosyne: I have never said Franken should resign, even now, though I’m coming closer and closer to that point. What I’ve said all along is that we shouldn’t be looking for excuses to smear Franken’s accusers or dismiss their claims out of hand. We criticize the other side for doing it all the time – for doing it right now in Alabama – and yet too many of us can’t wait to jump on board when it’s one of our own.

    @Felanius Kootea: The danger is that marginal or swing voters won’t vote at all because they see sexual harassment and abuse as a “both sides” issue – and some of the commenters here are doing their best to make it one.

  302. 302
    marcopolo says:

    @Trentrunner: You know, I am actually not at all surprised by the back and forth of the comments in this thread. Depending on your starting place it can be really hard to get your head around the possibility that one of your “heroes” has done something that is disgusting and seemingly out of character. As I said in my first comment here: Franken was one of my heroes. I took the first accusation with a huge grain of salt due to the way it was presented and the who the presenter was. When the woman from the MN state fair came forward my heart started to sink. With these two additional women, I am done.

    I see a lot of claims that these are “anonymous sources.” Well, the first two aren’t and the second two have solid reporting behind their claims. Multiple people that they told immediately after the groping incidents. Calling these fabricated stories just doesn’t pass the smell test. The people doing that might as well be Donald Trump shouting “Fake News!, Fake News!.”

    Finally, despite the fact that White Women do not seem to want to support D presidential candidates the way they should, the Democratic Party is the party that respects women and women’s lived experiences. No doubt it is a double standard to say that Franken needs to resign when there are Republican elected officials who have done much more monstrous things who are not held to the same level of accounting by Republican voters but that a reason why we despise the R party and voters and what they stand for cannot be a reason to justify cutting slack on our side. And I am a guy who believes in situational ethics and that there is a lot of grey in the world. In this case, we need to take the right stand on the right side of things.

    And, no, don’t ask me what I would be thinking/writing if MN had a Republican governor who would not appoint a D replacement. It’s hard enough being better than the Republicans when the shit is hitting the fan inside your own tent.

  303. 303
    glory b says:

    @Trentrunner:’ Either this shit matters to our side, or we are only slightly less cravenly, politically abject than the IOKIYAAR GOPers.’

    As an African American woman, given what the GOP intends to do to me and mine, being the lesser evil is okay with me.

  304. 304
    eemom says:

    @msdc:

    Every single thing people have said to defend Franken here, some beady-eyed mouthbreather has said to defend Roy Moore.

    ok, this one HAS to be a paid troll.

  305. 305

    @Mnemosyne: I have carefully avoided calling for his immediate resignation, because I want to believe that he can find a path that allows him to retain some grace and dignity. But barring some remarkable new twist, I think his career in politics is over. Certainly, announcing that he will not run for re-election is one option. But right now, I feel like the sooner he removes himself from the conversation, the better off the DFL will be.

    I said elsewhere that if he is truly innocent, I think he will fight, because that is who he is and always has been. But weighing everything we’ve seen so far, I just don’t think he is innocent.

  306. 306
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yes adult women are as easily manipulated as 6 year old pre-schoolers.

    Spot on.

  307. 307
    msdc says:

    @Ohio Mom: Sadly, Moore’s track record in office hasn’t kept him from getting elected in Alabama. His stalking and sexual pursuit of teenage girls is one of the few things that might. And every new accusation against Franken gives Republicans one more opportunity to bothsides it.

  308. 308
    Emma says:

    @marcopolo: if “taking the right stand on the right side of things” translate to “conviction before investigation” I think I’ll change my voting card to “Independent”. I trust women a great deal but I do not trust Republicans. Period.

    (added) To repeat what I’ve said in many comments. I do not really know or care if Franken is guilty. I care that there should be a proper investigation. If he is found guilty, let Minnesota voters deal with him and let Congress apply whatever penalties they can. But I will not hang a man before he’s found guilty.

  309. 309
    msdc says:

    @eemom: No. Longtime commenter and Clinton and Northam canvasser, thank you very much. But it’s nice to know that challenging your arguments, even on something as odious as dismissing accusations of serial sexual harassment, is enough to get one excommunicated.

  310. 310
    Mnemosyne says:

    @marcopolo:

    Well, the first two aren’t and the second two have solid reporting behind their claims. Multiple people that they told immediately after the groping incidents. Calling these fabricated stories just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Then let them give statements under oath about exactly what happened and let Senator Franken respond once he knows exactly when the incidents took place. It’s hard to respond to charges when you don’t know who is making the accusation.

    It could be that they’re telling the truth and he deliberately groped them. It could be that it was accidental. It could be that Franken is more comfortable touching strangers than they are with being touched by a stranger, and they got freaked out by his casualness. There’s really no way to know as long as we’re dealing with anonymous accusers.

  311. 311
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:
    So what? They can still be manipulated.

  312. 312
    marcopolo says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am in MO not MN. Fortunately my Dem senator is Claire McCaskill and I don’t have to worry about her groping folks (we only have to worry about the purity ponies who don’t think she is progressive enough).

    However, since there is a D gov in MN, a D gov will be appointing his replacement–until the special election takes place.

    As for why the rush: we are at four accusations now. As far as I can tell, the reporting on the most recent two is solid (read my comment before about how I felt when there was only the first woman–I wasn’t sold by that). As a guy, my instinct now is that there is more of this behavior that will come forward. Maybe you’ve been blessed by quality of the men around you in your life but I know from experience that there are just a lot of men who do piggish crap. Unthinkingly…or worse with forethought . I would not have expected to find Franken in this camp. I am terribly disappointed by him. I will miss him. And yeah, butt groping isn’t the worst thing in the world. But we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. If we don’t we are wide open to the both sides do it/tolerate it etc… Even if Franken’s behavior is nowhere near as bad as Moore’s (and of course it isn’t). But politics isn’t particularly fair.

    As I said above, if I knew Franken’s replacement wouldn’t be a Dem this would be a hella lot harder for me. But since they will be we need to rip the bandaid off clean and fast and move on.

  313. 313
    geg6 says:

    @glory b:

    Hell, as a woman, I feel the same. In fact, that so many liberal men right here on this thread aren’t making the same calculation shows you how strong white male privilege really is. They have little to lose compared to us. Easy to be pure when that’s the case.

  314. 314
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @msdc: Not if the Democrats continue to field highly qualified women for the House and the Senate. One of my dreams for the Dems is that the party have as many female, progressive candidates running for office as they have men (supporting Emily’s List candidates is one way to help achieve this goal). That helps tremendously in maintaining credibility with women and getting them excited about voting.

  315. 315
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    But right now, I feel like the sooner he removes himself from the conversation, the better off the DFL will be.

    Why? I seriously want to know. Why is it better for Franken to resign under a cloud than it is to have the charges investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee?

    I said elsewhere that if he is truly innocent, I think he will fight, because that is who he is and always has been. But weighing everything we’ve seen so far, I just don’t think he is innocent.

    So if he decides to stand and fight, you’ll believe him when he says he’s innocent? Or you’ve already judged him guilty and will refuse to support him?

    I understand being disillusioned in your heroes. Honestly, I understand that in a very fresh way. But there can be multiple interpretations of an event that don’t require anyone to be lying, and a photo at a crowded event like a state fair seems like a situation that’s rife for misinterpretation and misplaced hands.

  316. 316
    eemom says:

    @msdc:

    ok then. You’re dumb as dirt and not a paid troll. Congrats.

  317. 317

    @Mnemosyne: also, there’s this: two Minnesota state legislators — one Democrat, one Republican — resigned today because of sexual harassment scandals. Right or wrong, scandal fatigue will color people’s perception of the Franken story.

  318. 318
    eemom says:

    @msdc:

    dismissing accusations of serial sexual harassment

    learn to fucking READ.

  319. 319
    msdc says:

    @Felanius Kootea: I agree with the general strategy. But I worry that digging in and defending Franken (esp. in light of the new accusations) undoes that good work, especially in the near term with the Doug Jones/Roy Moore race right around the corner.

  320. 320
    magurakurin says:

    @dexwood: thanks. peace

  321. 321
    msdc says:

    @eemom: @eemom: Probably better to reply with one good response, not two weak ones. Goodbye.

  322. 322
    Jay says:

    @Barbara:

    14 year old girl’s can’t give “informed consent”, even in Alabama.

  323. 323
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    Right or wrong, scandal fatigue will color people’s perception of the Franken story.

    Which is exactly how the Republicans got just enough voters to be suspicious of Hillary that they were able to steal the election from the popular vote winner.

    Here’s a thought: maybe we shouldn’t play their stupid game and ask “How high?” every time they tell us to jump. Maybe we should insist on a minimum standard of investigation before demanding resignations.

  324. 324
    eemom says:

    @glory b:
    @geg6:

    Interesting point. ARE there any women amongst the “ditch Franken” commenters on this thread?

  325. 325
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @geg6: I read the Washington Post article by the feminist who doesn’t want Franken to resign until an investigation is completed and found myself nodding in agreement in several places. If an investigation shows that he is indeed guilty, I hope his replacement is a progressive woman.

  326. 326
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @msdc: Go join the GOP. You’ll be happier there.

  327. 327
    Barbara says:

    @msdc: Fuck off. Anonymous accusations are NEVER credible, not against Democrats or Republicans or people I like or people I loathe. Let them come forward, and they don’t have to come forward to me, they can come forward to Franken himself or other senators.

  328. 328
    Mnemosyne says:

    @msdc:

    But I worry that digging in and defending Franken (esp. in light of the new accusations) undoes that good work, especially in the near term with the Doug Jones/Roy Moore race right around the corner.

    Too late. The mere fact that Franken was accused at all means that Alabama Republicans will now turn out to vote for Moore in droves because, See, I told you politicians were all alike! I may as well vote for Moore — he may be a molester like Franken, but at least Moore will vote to ban abortion!

    Almost like that was the point of this whole ratfucking operation in the first place, huh? 🤔

  329. 329
    Barbara says:

    @Jay: Yeah, that’s why I said that would be impossible to explain away and that’s why I assume he is still denying that one in toto. But having read the details it seems as if Moore did not actually do the deed with any of these girls, and it is unclear how much touching there was. I honestly don’t remember at this point.

  330. 330
    msdc says:

    @Barbara: Half of Franken’s accusers have already come forward. (And of course, the other two did come forward to somebody – to journalists and to their friends and colleagues at the time – just not to you.)

    @Villago Delenda Est: Wow, when I mentioned the excommunicating thing I thought it was a figure of speech.

    Keep growing that coalition, folks! Your decision to become the second political party that waves off sexual harassment by attacking the accusers is certainly a novel strategy for regaining power, I’ll give you that.

  331. 331
    marcopolo says:

    @Mnemosyne: Look, I have been on this blog since around the time Cole had his come to Jesus moment regarding the Republican party. Over that time I have more lurked than not. I have been reading your comments a long time with mostly respect and enjoyment. But in all honesty, I just hear you making excuses here for Franken. The reporters reporting this story have done the work of tracking down the corroborations. These most recent women, who from the stories come across as liberal Democratic voting individuals, told family/friends/(in one case to an actual reporter to whom they told they didn’t want it made public) that the groping happened right afterwards. Are you saying you don’t believe the reporters? That there is some massive conspiracy out there that someone went back in a time machine to make sure all the stories were straight? As much as I love Franken, I can’t get on that boat. I was willing to be skeptical of the first accuser. I was still holding back with the second one but as Cole said at the top, now we have a pattern.

    And this is my last comment for this thread: when the entire Weinstein thing broke a few weeks ago I made a pledge to believe the women. As a guy, I can tell you in the universe of men I have known over 55 years at least–no, strike that, over half of them have done something questionable vis a vis women. A lot when they were young and stupid (I include myself in that category). But men over thirty (and really probably after 25 but some men are really slow learners) who do this shit (at whatever level from groping to full out sexual harassment and abuse of power) should/need to be held to account. I still think we are in the early stages of all of this. And this Franken episode has certainly been the most painful one yet for me to see unfold, but I don’t plan on making excuses for anyone, even my heroes.

  332. 332
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @msdc: Another one of Roger Stone’s useful idiots.

  333. 333

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve been trying to make a good faith case that the claims against him are credible. Is it really so hard to believe that what these women have said is true? What so many women have said about powerful men in the past? I just haven’t seen any real reason to doubt them yet.

    My earlier point — that he would fight — is predicated on the (rather far-fetched) idea that this really is a massive ratfucking operation orchestrated by Roger Stone, et. al. If it is, there will be evidence of that. But I would be *extremely* surprised if this turned out to be the case. And it still doesn’t really explain how that picture of him pretending to grope a sleeping woman came to be. I think Occam’s Razor is the correct principle here.

    His conduct as my representative is in question. One woman has made a credible claim, corroborated by written contemporary evidence. Three others women have made statements that can be shown to be true or false. And there’s the picture. Can you address these things?

  334. 334
    msdc says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m sure a lot of the damage has already been done. But the more we circle the wagons and smear the accusers, the less chance there is to do damage control.

    And I agree about the timing, btw – this was done to bail out Moore and the Republicans by muddying the waters. When our response mirrors the Alabama GOP’s, we help them out with that.

  335. 335
    Emma says:

    @msdc: You do realize that the majority of Franken defenders in these threads have been women, right? If “defender” can be construed as “wanting an investigation before acting” that is.

  336. 336
    msdc says:

    I wonder how many of the commenters have even read the story Cole linked to in the post. Because in light of some of the comments here, this line really jumps out at me:

    The first woman, who spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity because she’s worried she’ll be harassed online for making the allegation, said Franken groped her when they posed for a photo after a June 25, 2007, event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis.

    I wonder where she got that idea?

  337. 337
    glory b says:

    @geg6: I know! I heard a progressive guy on the radio saying if the Republicans wind up with the votes they need to pass through their agenda, at least he’ll be able to sleep at night. WTF??

    Sounds like someone with nothing left to lose.

    I don’t understand the commenters here who say that Dems will lose the women’s vote, while not noticing the WOMEN here who are all saying hold on a minute.

  338. 338
    stinger says:

    @magurakurin:

    what Franken did or didn’t do is immaterial to the fact that it is perfectly believable that he did that shit because it is so fucking common.

    Wow. I hope you never get called to jury duty.

  339. 339
    Emma says:

    @msdc: No, we don’t. You’re assuming that they would see the party turning against Franken as a strong moral stance. What they actually see is weakness, a group of cowards that would rather roll over and play dead rather than fight. The only thing they truly respect is a fist to the nose.

    Having said that, I am on record somewhere in last week’s thread as saying that Franken will be gone before the end of the year. Prophecy number two: six months after that it will be proven that it was a ratfuck.

    Democrats are halfway related to the French Bourbons: we learn nothing and we forget everything.

  340. 340

    @msdc: Or maybe they got the idea from this story: http://www.startribune.com/cha.....459367673/

    Messages sent to Abby Honold, a woman who was raped by a former Franken intern:

    “You disgust me. How dare you make it seem like Al Franken is a sexual predator?”

    A few questioned whether Honold was raped. One person sent her a direct message saying: “Maybe one of these days someone will SHOW YOU what it feels like to REALLY BE RAPED.”

  341. 341
    Mnemosyne says:

    @marcopolo:
    @Knight of Nothing:

    Adam just said in the comments of the thread at the top that there now seems to be documentary evidence that Franken was not at one of the locations where one of the anonymous accusers says he was, along with some other discrepancies. I’m waiting for his links and will bring them down here.

  342. 342
    glory b says:

    @Emma: Yep, Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, ACORN, hell, Hillary Clinton too.

    We’ve taught the GOP that if they throw enough shit, we’ll roll over. Look at all we’ve lost because of that.

  343. 343
    Emma says:

    @Knight of Nothing: The police should be investigating and those bastards should be thrown in jail for the longest time legally possible. And?

    Gah. my laptop is dying faster than I thought. To continue. And that doesn’t mean that we should accept an anonymous accusation as a fact.

    Maybe if online stalking and harassment would be treated more as a crime and less as free speech the problem wouldn’t exist in the first place.

  344. 344

    @Mnemosyne: thanks, I’ll look for them in the morning. I’ll hope that it’s really, really good.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  345. 345
    stinger says:

    @debbie:

    With strangers, famous or not, hands better be at their sides.

    I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of photos of people posing with President and/or Mrs. Obama, and nobody ever seems to mind having an Obama arm around them. Even the Queen! Perhaps your own preference is not the rule?

  346. 346
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @marcopolo:

    Well put.

  347. 347
    stinger says:

    @Mnemosyne: Upvote.

  348. 348
    Barbara says:

    @marcopolo: I am not making excuses for Franken. It is undoubtedly the case that most people — women, men, children — do not lie about abuse. Some do. In the 80s, when appreciation of child abuse sometimes crossed into hysteria, there was a movement to allow court’s to instruct juries that studies showed that children were very unlikely to lie. Courts didn’t go for it because it would be tantamount to an instruction to convict 100% of defendants — even though some small percentage of children do lie. I am not accusing anyone of lying. But there is simply no way to test the veracity of anonymous claims, and maybe going out on a limb here, but especially claims that involve what appears to be transient contact that occurred in public because it can be open to misinterpretation. Like I said above, they don’t have to come out to the public at large but I think they need to identify themselves to Franken or the committee that investigates the conduct to allow for some integrity in any resolution. I am okay living with consequences but I am not okay with immediately jumping to conclusions.

  349. 349
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep. Any fig leaf of equivalence will do.

  350. 350
    Citizen Alan says:

    Why are people still engaging with this fuckstick Trentrunner? He could not be more transparently a ratfucker for the GOP if he signed his posts “Roger Stone.” My only question is whether he’s being paid in dollars or rubles.

  351. 351
    SgrAstar says:

    @jk: We lost the « high ground » a long time ago, wrt sexual harassment. Franken may be a level two creep on the Bret Ratner Scale but he’s far from bad enough to bail out of the Senate at this critical juncture. When the president is called to account I’ll reconsider.

  352. 352
    Death Panel Truck says:

    I’ma seeing a whole lot of nyms here I’ve never seen before today, and I’ve been (mostly) lurking here for nearly ten years.

    Hmm….

  353. 353
    TenguPhule says:

    And everyone who was calling for Franken’s head got punked.

    The fucking stories FALL APART under scrutiny.

    One event was HE WASN’T EVEN FUCKING THERE.

    The other one his wife vouches for him AND the accuser just changed her story.

    Stop falling for the BENGAZI/EMAIL/SOLANDRA/FAST&FURIOUS/ACORN Footballs please!

  354. 354
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: Come sit by me.

    Half the fucking blog has gone fucking crazy.

  355. 355
    Kathleen says:

    @Steve in the ATL: The anti Dem rat fuckers won’t target one of their own.

  356. 356
    trnc says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Minnesota has a Democratic governor who can appoint a Democratic replacement. If the appointee is competent, there needn’t be any Franken hangover into a general election campaign.

    I appreciate Franken’s efforts, and he’s a very smart guy. But ultimately he’s a replaceable Democratic vote, nothing more or nothing less. He’s nothing special.

    Franken is not just another vote. He’s a fierce advocate for many things I believe in. That doesn’t excuse these allegations if they turn out to be true, but he absolutely deserves the investigation that he has requested.

    The women from SNL and his senate office have or had exactly the kind of relationship with Franken that abuse victims have with their abusers, but he they say he never did or tried anything inappropriate with them. That counts for a lot with me, so I am reserving judgement until the investigation has concluded. I think anyone calling on him to resign now is dancing to the republicans’ tune of double standards and doing our democracy a grave disservice.

  357. 357
    trnc says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And everyone who was calling for Franken’s head got punked.

    The fucking stories FALL APART under scrutiny.

    One event was HE WASN’T EVEN FUCKING THERE.

    The other one his wife vouches for him AND the accuser just changed her story.

    Any links for those?

  358. 358
    George says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: Your post deserves a thousand upvotes.

    The only discipline the left seems to have overall is its ability to form circular firing squads at the merest innuendo.

    Given what we know about the lunacy of the nut in the White House and his associated crime syndicate that smells suspiciously of borscht and sweaty track suits, our message should be something like, “We will investigate reports of one of our guys touching women’s butts during photo ops if you investigate reports of one of your guys trying to bed underage girls.”

    Because the only result I see if some of the idiots on the left have their way is that we lose one of our most committed voices in the Senate while the criminals get one of theirs elected.

    That’s what this is all about–the rightwing trying to grab victory from the jaws of defeat, and us not only allowing them to do it, but actively assisting them.

  359. 359
    Spider-Dan says:

    Any Democrat who is accused by openly partisan Republican women and/or anonymous sources should resign immediately.
    Meanwhile, Republicans who are accused by Republican women can simply call them liars, blame the media, and remain in office.

    Why can’t everyone see that if only the Democrats were more committed to moral and ideological purity, they would win?

  360. 360
    GeoWHayduke says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    Fuck that. The ethics investigation should occur. Everybody should testify under oath regarding these accusations.

Comments are closed.