Gillibrand is in

Open thread

323 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I believe in right vs. wrong

    Much like Spy vs. Spy, I believe in Wrong vs. Wrong.

    Baud! 2020!: The Right Wrong Choice for America!

  2. 2
    satby says:

    Nope. She’ll have to be the last one standing before I vote for her, except for Tulsi and the non-Democratic gadfly. Ok, third last standing.

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    The senator was also asked about swearing on the campaign trail, and she said she’d try not to do so. When Colbert asked what word she’d miss the most, Gillibrand joked that it “rhymes with duck.”

    Heh. :-)

    She could nut a dude. While smiling. I like that about her.

  4. 4
    Sebastian says:

    I’ll be donating and volunteering for her primary opponents. If she is the candidate I’ll support her, until then I’ll do everything to end her career. Will never forgive her for Al Franken. Never.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @satby: You are optimistic about the number of horrible candidates we’re going to have.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:

    Please let’s not have the same discussion for the millionth time.

  7. 7
    columbusqueen says:

    @satby: Seconded. Too much a weathervane, & I still can’t forgive her for torpedoing Al Franken before an Inquiry was done.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    I iz OUT for Ms. Gillibrand.

    No no no no no. Al Franken deserved due process.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    From the thread below: Sorry, but Franken couldn’t have been saved without torpedoing Jones’s chances in Alabama. I don’t think that it is bad for the Democrats to have someone capable of ruthless calculation in the mix. Also, every female Dem lined up against Franken, right? Where is the vitriol aimed at the others?

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @zhena gogolia: Yeah, the first debate is in June which is six months before the first primary. We gots time to kick all the tires.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    I prefer my candidates without the blood of better Democrats on their hands.

    If she wants to be some Cabinet secretary, I am all there. But never POTUS.

  13. 13
    Barbara says:

    @zhena gogolia: Hear, hear.

  14. 14
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I get so tired of Democrats sometimes.

  15. 15
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Al Franken was a sentient adult.

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It was a rush to judgement.

    Was Franken molesting his fellow Senators? They kinda left us with that impression.

  17. 17
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I love how all these jackasses blame one Senator for Franken resigning, like it wasn’t something the entire party leadership told him had to happen. Blaming a woman comes easy for some people.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    @zhena gogolia: Still is, as far as I know.

    I think a lot of that was a set-up.

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    Speaking of candidates, I couldn’t help but notice former BJ saint Glenn Greenwald and Tucker Carlson were both waving their poms poms for Tulsi Gabbard last night on Fox.

    Yep. Putin’s getting his candidates going early.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Fuck you. She was at the forefront.

    Out of this thread.

  21. 21
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Elizabelle: the last straw was when a former Democratic staffer – i.e., a person they knew – said he came on to her.

    But sure, Franken has no agency and Gillibrand controls the entire Democratic party. Sure.

  22. 22

    Regardless of the Franken issue, nobody was hot to jump on the Gillibrand train anyway. We have better options.

  23. 23
    Cmorenc says:

    Lets not start up the progressive circular firing squad this presidential election- vote for the one you think best choice among those still available in your state’s respective primary, advicate for them, donate to them – but give strong support to whomever wins the d nomination, imperfect as they may be. They are still light years better than trump or any other tepublican, and third party unicorns wont win but every vote for them helps trump

  24. 24
    tobie says:

    Good for her. It looks like we’re going to have a record number of women running (Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, Warren, and Gabbard). I’ll be eager to see how they perform on the debate stage. Thus far my ranking is Klobuchar, Harris, O’Rourke, Gillibrand, Castro, Warren and Gabbard but it’s pretty fluid.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @tobie:

    Has Klobuchar announced?

  26. 26
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: the fourth most progressive Senator (really the third because Rosen skews the results) and the only one to vote against all Trump’s nominees. I prefer Harris but Gillibrand deserves to make her case.

  27. 27
    different-church-lady says:

    Dear diary: today, again the argument about Al Franken…

  28. 28
    Barbara says:

    @Elizabelle: Some of us agree with Bobby Thomson. Ask yourself why Franken so readily surrendered. Do you really think it was from an excess of virtue? I was disappointed but long ago decided that he knew more and more would come out. It is time to move on and stop blaming Gillibrand for Franken’s vulnerabilities.

  29. 29
    different-church-lady says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Obviously you never wander over to Lawyers, Guns and Money.

  30. 30
    PeakVT says:

    Fucking Franken truthers.

  31. 31
    Jeffro says:

    Eh…
    – not my first or second or third choice
    – still a Dem party member and also not owned by Putin
    – will still be my choice over any Republican
    Next!

    PS in all seriousness, the policy positions of almost any of the actual/likely Democratic nominees are going to be so slim as to be virtually indistinguishable. So, unfortunately, there’s going to be that much more arguing about relatively small stuff. Brace yourselves and keep reminding everyone you know to stay focused on the big picture

    PS 2: I just watched 15 minutes of “Hardball” and wow am I dumber for it

    PS 3: time for the Dems to call for a general strike of all furloughed federal workers. No more letting them work unpaid, no more trumpov calling back the workers (IRS) he needs to avoid bearing the consequences of his actions

  32. 32
    different-church-lady says:

    My deepest worry is we recreate the deeply fractured baker’s dozen GOP field of 2016 and Sean Penn becomes our nominee.

  33. 33
    tobie says:

    @Baud: She hasn’t announced but said that she’s consulted with her family and they’re on board if she wants to run.

  34. 34
    Larime Taylor says:

    I love Al Franken, but he’s a grown-ass man who was doing at BEST juvenile shit on camera. Hirono and others, all lauded and loved, also told him to GTFO. But Gillibrand is the one who ruined poor Al’s career. Right.

    This blame-the-woman stuff isn’t okay when we do it either.

    Moderation? For that?

  35. 35
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jeffro:

    PS 2: I just watched 15 minutes of “Hardball” and wow am I dumber for it

    And so is Chris Matthews.

  36. 36
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jeffro:

    Yeah, what the hell is going to happen? I feel as if they’re going to have to cave on the damn wall just so the country doesn’t fall apart. It’s always the Democrats who have to save the country, why should this be any exception?

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    I’m just happy we’re not faced with a primary challenge to President Hillary Clinton. Dodged that bullet.

  38. 38
    Larime Taylor says:

    Stuck in moderation! Wheeee!

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @zhena gogolia: Cave now and we’ll never stop caving.

  40. 40
    hells littlest angel says:

    Definitely not my first choice, but I’m happy to see her in the race.

  41. 41
    dexwood says:

    Quite simply, no. Though, I do want a woman elected president in 2020.

  42. 42
    hells littlest angel says:

    @Baud: LOL. Also … is there a weeping acronym?

  43. 43
    B.B.A. says:

    She’s had my vote for a year already.

  44. 44
    MomSense says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I can’t get past her work for big tobacco.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    CNN

    The Democratic National Committee appears to have pulled out from partnering with the organizers of the Women’s March as the group’s leadership faces accusations of anti-Semitism due to their association with Louis Farrakhan ahead of its third annual march this weekend.

    Although the DNC was not listed as a partner for the Women’s March as of Tuesday evening, a page cached by Google on Sunday morning showed otherwise. This year’s march is scheduled for Saturday in Washington.

    They were necessary at a fragile time but it seems their time is done.

  46. 46
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @B.B.A.: That is sad.

    In other news:

    Psychologists have explained quite a lot about Donald Trump ’s political invincibility and the unconditional allegiance of his followers. One well-supported explanation is that the president keeps his base loyal by keeping them fearful. Through persistent fear-mongering, with scary messages like, “Illegal immigrants are murderers and rapists,” and “Islam hates us,” Trump gets to play the role of the great protector.

    But there is another major reason why Trump loyalists do not waver no matter how he behaves or what scandals come to light. For most evangelicals, it is not only fear that keeps them in line, but it is also faith. As a cognitive psychology researcher who has been writing about the science underlying Trump’s unshakable support since he began his presidential campaign, I have learned—through comments, emails, and discussion forums—that a significant portion of his supporters literally believe the president was an answer to their prayers. He is regarded as something of a messiah, sent by God to protect a Christian nation.

    Let’s focus on the enemy.

  47. 47

    @hells littlest angel: there are many emojis at least. 😢😭😥😿

  48. 48
    Steve Crickmore says:

    She is to be applauded in her uncompromising position – of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell”, in pushing forward in 2009, a hearing in the Armed Services Committee on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gay members of the armed forces, and she also took the lead in combating sexual assault in the military.

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    On the other hand, that loathsome Steve King is having a no-good, very bad, day.

  50. 50
    Princess says:

    I always thought Al Franken was overrated and I’m glad he resigned when it turned out he was a serial groper. I also figured that the senators knew way, way more stuff about him than they told us, and the choice they gave him privately was “resign or we release this crap.”

    That being said, Gillebrand was only one voice calling for his resignation, and I don’t know why she drew all the ire.

    That being said, she’s not among my top choices for nominee.

  51. 51
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Cacti: Typical bankrupt Griftwald. Tulsi Gabbard is a torture apologist and is on video saying she would use it as president. (Man, she really hates Mooslims).

    Anyways, as long as she undermines Wilmer, it’s all good.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If that was my only reason for opposing her, you might have a point. But that is only one of several reasons I oppose and not even the most important one.

  53. 53
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    Not to mention years of sucking up to the NRA. Until, as any opportunist does, she realized how it would hurt her ambitions and suddenly she doesn’t know what a gun is,

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    Sherrod Brown about to make a “big announcement” on Chris Hayes show, according to Chris Hayes.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    Though I look forward to voting against her if she’s still there when the PA primary finally rolls around.

  56. 56
    Waynski says:

    I knew a Union leader in NYC who I went to college with tell me Gillibrand was the smartest person he’d ever met. I’m not throwing my hat in for her yet, but let’s not get in a poo flinging contest just now. There’s a lot of baseball left.

  57. 57
    geg6 says:

    @Baud:

    I like him but his trade ideas are not my favorite. His wife, however, is totally awesome. I adore Connie Schultz.

  58. 58
    Jeffro says:

    @zhena gogolia: Dem leaders need to say ‘fuck it’ and make something happen here. trumpov and the Turtle are content, apparently, to let the government (and economy) disintegrate in order to keep the media focus off of trumpov’s many crimes.

    So, just spitballing here:
    – call for a general strike of all furloughed federal workers, to include TSA agents, air traffic controllers, IRS agents, etc
    – have the House pass legislation calling for Congress to lose its pay and travel privileges whenever the government is shut down
    – call for mass demonstrations at Mitch McConnell’s DC and KY offices, noting that he and he alone could end this despite the orange toddler’s tantrum
    – ask all federal workers to call their Reps and Senators all day every day while they are furloughed
    – ask all federal workers, publicly, to “remember who did this to them” (hey, WHY NOT – trumpov is already ok with hurting them since he thinks they’re all Democrats)
    – pass legislation that mandates spending/paychecks continue at previously-passed levels until new budget CRs are passed
    – march on Washington (wait…it’s super-cold at the moment…don’t do that)

    The blame game isn’t going to shift too much further…numbers are already at the president*s typical level and unlikely to do further down, so something else is required.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Sebastian:

    I am with you, for exactly the same reasons.

  60. 60
    Ohio Mom says:

    @tobie: You left out Sherrod Brown.

    It’s probably not true but seven is said to be the limit of a set of items most people can remember easily. Hence, the seven-digit phone number.

    People who don’t follow politics closely are going to be overwhelmed by our state.

  61. 61
    PJ says:

    @geg6: More reasons to vote for someone other than Gillibrand:

    Her work for Phillip Morris (yes, she was an associate, but she could have declined the work without penalty): https://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/nyregion/27gillibrand.html

    Her former positions on gun control, gay rights, immigration: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/kirsten-gillibrand-tries-to-explain-her-pro-gun-anti-immigrant-past.html

    She wasn’t some sheltered upstate little white girl when she took those positions – she’d worked as a lawyer for large firms in NYC for 10 years. She took them because it was expedient when running upstate, and when she had to appeal to all NY voters as a Senator, she dropped them. It was a successful strategy to get elected, but I would only trust her to do what was expedient for Kirsten Gillibrand.

  62. 62
    JPL says:

    I’m going to vote for the democratic candidate no matter who it is.

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    @WereBear:

    Steve King today on his situation: “This is like a lynching, but in a bad way.” (Joke, h/t @Popehat.)

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud: Good for him, he’ll do well.

    I’m still wondering what, policy-wise, will differentiate Castro, Harris, Gillibrand, Brown, Warren, Booker, etc. It seems relatively easy to sift out the non-Dems (Wilmer), billionaire interlopers (Schultz, Bloomberg, Steyer), and obvious nuts (Gabbard). But the mainstream Dems are all pretty much mainstream Dems. Various versions of college for all and health care for all, with about 1% difference between them, which is fine. Just need to keep reminding folks that there is only 1% difference between them, while there is a vast chasm between Dems and Trumpublicans.

  65. 65
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Please let’s not have the same discussion for the millionth time.

    Oh please. This is Balloon Juice.

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @geg6:
    @Jeffro:

    Could be a big tease. Looks like we won’t know until the end of the show.

  67. 67
    bluehill says:

    Looks like it’s going to be a crowded field. Makes it easier for a darkhorse candidate to rise to the top, which could be good or bad. DNC should review primary rules and make any changes or clarifications now.

  68. 68
    Another Scott says:

    @Waynski: I saw her give a short speech at the Lincoln Memorial on the 2nd anniversary of the Women’s March.

    It was more low-key than her speech there a year earlier – one that I didn’t see.

    She seemed earnest, and sincere, but seemed to be trying to find a natural delivery style and hadn’t found it yet.

    I’m not willing to rule her out yet.

    Every politician that has to run for office in a non-safe district has to figure out how to win. Jimmy Carter ran a despicable campaign for Governor in many ways, but he did a good job once he had the prize. If one doesn’t win, one can’t implement their policies after all.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the campaign shakes out. I hope that we all don’t have too many “unforgivable” buttons that get pushed…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  69. 69
    Raven says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Who the fuck are you asshole?

  70. 70
    Jackie says:

    @Waynski: Heck, Spring Training is still a month away!😉

  71. 71
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That defense is even sadder.

    Vote for Omarosa Gillibrand if you like. We can do better.

  72. 72
    Nicole says:

    All of you who are objecting to her because of Franken better jolly well be objecting just as hard to Harris and Warren, because they also said Franken should resign. Gillibrand is getting blamed because she was first. I’d say “brave enough to be first” except, as this article makes clear, the women of the Senate discussed who would be the first one to do it and AGREED TOGETHER that Giliibrand should go first:

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/06/politics/senators-al-franken-resignation/index.html

    So if you’re using Franken as your reason, you’d best not be supporting Harris or Warren, either, or you’re just a hypocrite. In which case, the Republicans would love to have you; they’re very at home with hypocrites.

    The women Senators calling on Franken TOGETHER to resign was the best thing the Democratic Party did in 2017, and it was because with that, they very clearly drew a line between Democrats and Republicans. What they were saying was, “The Democratic Party believes women.” That was incredibly important. As we saw with Kavanaugh, due process can still be bullshit, and has been bullshit for women for hundreds of years. The Democrats made clear that they believe women. They believe them. To borrow from someone who, in the past, made it clear he did not believe women, it’s a big fucking deal.

    And it showed with Doug Jones’ election and with November of 2018. And the woman picked to replace Franken still holds the seat. I fail to see how this is a negative, other than a bunch of people miffed because they liked Stuart Smalley being in the Senate.

    This makes me mad, because it’s astounding how intensely women continue to internalize misogyny when it comes to a celebrity. A dear friend of mine defended Franken with, “Well, we’ve all had that creepy old boss who tried to kiss us.” OH MY GOD THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT OKAY.

    So yeah, be opposed to her because she’s a real-life Tracy Flick, or she’s blonde, or reminds you too much of Hillary (also a real-life Tracy Flick, and I love her for it) or because she voted against the bailout in 2008 or because she managed to win a conservative district in upstate NY. But if it’s over Franken, and you’re talking about how excited you are to vote for Warren or Harris, you’re being a hypocrite. Harris and Warren did the same thing Gillibrand did, and they were all of them right to do it.

  73. 73

    @Barbara: OK, I still won’t vote for her.

  74. 74
    tobie says:

    @Ohio Mom: I forgot about him. There are so many good candidates! I agree with @geg6, though, that his and Warren’s positions on trade are short-sighted and IMO dangerous. Neither is my top choice in the primary, though of course I would support them in the general.

  75. 75
    feebog says:

    I was pissed at Gillebrand over the Franken debacle initially, but she was just the tip of the spear, plenty of other women Senators, including Kamala Harris joined in. I’m fine with her jumping in, let’s see what’s she’s got.

  76. 76

    @Jeffro:

    time for the Dems to call for a general strike of all furloughed federal workers

    If they’re furloughted they’re already not coming to work.

  77. 77
    different-church-lady says:

    @bluehill: But, you know, Super-delegates are EEEEEEVIL!!!

  78. 78
    B.B.A. says:

    Al Franken is a sexual predator. I don’t want that to be true – he was a personal hero of mine – but it is. Now I don’t have any more heroes. They always betray you in the end.

    Heroines, I still have a few of.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Waynski says:

    @Another Scott: Cheers back to you, Another Scott

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    Brown coming up after the break.

  82. 82
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Trump welcomed the NCAA national champion Clemson Tigers football team to the White House with a shutdown smorgasbord of fast food offerings he called “great American food,” including piles of pizza and fries and more than 300 burgers.

    Pizza was invented by (checks notes) … Italy. Fries were invented by French speaking Belgians. Burger King is a Canadian company.

    Fucker was too cheap to include smoothies and shakes.

  83. 83
    Mart says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Agree about Franken. The film of him slavering over the sleeping beauty pretending to grab her boobs – it is OK if you are Trump, but not the commie comedian Franken. The repub daddy’s would have had a non-stop Fox scolding until he was forced out.

  84. 84
    Jeffro says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: ??? Many, many of these furloughed folks are actually working without pay, right now. That’s what’s keeping the Turtle and trumpov from feeling the consequences of their actions.

  85. 85
    oldster says:

    1) I’ll vote for the Democratic candidate, whoever she is. Gillibrand is not currently my top pick, but I’ll vote for her if she gets the bid.

    2) Gillbrand is one of my senators, and I think she has done a good job.

    3) She made exactly the right call on Franken, morally and politically. She made it possible for the Democratic brand to be unequivocally, unquestionably the brand that stands against sexual harassment and for #MeToo. And that has precluded months and years of whataboutism from the Republicans defending their serial harassers and predators. She set the bar at zero tolerance, zero excuses, and that is now what we can demand of the other side, too. Every time another Republican has gone down in flames due to a sex-scandal, I have silently thanked Gillibrand for helping to make it happen. And Franken, for not dragging his party down out of vanity or petulance.

  86. 86
    Emma says:

    @JPL: Yep. If she is the candidate I will vote for her. I would vote for Pennywise at this point. But that is all I will do.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @geg6:

    I’ve followed Connie on FB for years. Love the way she engages with her commenters.

    Some years earlier, read (and greatly admired) both of her books. She would be a Michelle-worthy First Lady (although I’d prefer a woman as POTUS).

  88. 88
    marduk says:

    I was pretty neutral on Gillibrand but seeing you clowns whining about Franken jumps her up near the top of my list.

  89. 89
    PJ says:

    @Nicole: It was an expedient thing to call for Franken’s resignation – Gillibrand even said that she wanted him out because she didn’t want to have to keep answering questions about him. I still don’t respect any of them for it.

  90. 90
    hells littlest angel says:

    @Nicole: I love Al Franken, but I agree with every word you’ve said. We need to, er, move on.

  91. 91
    raven says:

    @Mart: Sleeping beauty my fucking ass. The others, probably, but not her.

  92. 92
    Amir Khalid says:

    First of all: does Kirsten Gillibrand look like she has the makings of a capable executive?

  93. 93
    Emma says:

    @oldster: Funny. She still can’t quite explain her anti-immigrant positions. But hey, it was a long time ago and it’s water under the bridge, right?

  94. 94
    oldster says:

    @Nicole:

    Thanks. You said it better.

  95. 95
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Nicole: Zealots. It was a ratfuck GOP operation. Gillibrand saw an opportunity, and she took it.

    I’d sooner vote for Wilmer, and that ain’t happening.

  96. 96
    JPL says:

    Did I miss Sherrod Brown on All In ?

    haha Up next.

  97. 97
    bluehill says:

    @different-church-lady: Unfortunately, I think you have to assume foreign governments are going to try to manipulate the nomination process.

  98. 98
    chris says:

    And Barr gets a Wow from Natasha Bertrand. He seems nice.//

    Wow. Barr in November 2017: “I have long believed that the predicate for investigating the uranium deal, as well as the foundation, is far stronger than any basis for investigating so-called ‘collusion.’” https://t.co/dlJ3j1jkFZ— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) 16 January 2019

    Another low quality hire.

  99. 99
    Baud says:

    @JPL: No, coming up. I think the big announcement was a tease.

  100. 100
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @PJ:

    Gillibrand reminds me a lot of Hillary Clinton.

  101. 101
    hells littlest angel says:

    @geg6: @B.B.A.: Yeah, I have found that having heroes is consistently a bad idea, Barack Obama excepted.

  102. 102
    germy says:

    Hey everybody, I have something that's really important to share: Tina Smith, our new U.S. Senator for Minnesota, has shown time and time again that she's committed to fighting for you, and now we need to do the same for her. So please do something for me. Follow @TinaSmithMN. https://t.co/bkgnSERHMQ— Al Franken (@alfranken) January 6, 2018

  103. 103
    ChuckInAustin says:

    @Jeffro: Absolutely! I like the general strike. If the shutdown drags on it will eventually come to that. Enough TSA workers CAN NOT work for free past 2 pay periods.
    The House needs to pass a bill that federal employees cannot be fired for not working during a shutdown once a payday is missed.

  104. 104
    geg6 says:

    @B.B.A.:

    No one has provided any evidence that he is a sexual predator. No one. Every single accusation is less than proven and even, mostly, completely evidence free.

    That said, this is not even my top reason for not voting for her in the primary. There’s plenty on the record beyond this to make me consider her a “no way” unless it comes down to her, Wilmer and Tulsi Gabbard when my state finally votes.

  105. 105
    Waynski says:

    @Jackie: Yeah, I know Spring Training is still a month away, but it gives me hope. My skin’s been so dry this winter it feels like it’s falling off my body. Once the first pitch comes out, I feel like I’m going to make it.

  106. 106
    Baud says:

    Brown is running. But not officially yet.

  107. 107
    guachi says:

    @Mart: This was a gag that all involved were in on. But, sure, go ahead and act stupid about it.

    As to Gillibrand, she’s not my first choice. We’ll see how things shake out. She did terrible on the first Daily Kos weekly poll at 1%, so there doesn’t seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for her.

  108. 108
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    “Dignity of Work” tour.

  109. 109
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Dignity of work tour. I guess it’s time for me to focus on something .

  110. 110
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    The Franken case is purty convoluted politically, imo. Was Franken tried in the media? Ya. Is that wrong? Sure. Was Gillibrand opportunistic? You bet.

    Will just say this, tho: *Somebody* was gonna act the nutcutter on Franken in the MeToo environment in which the Franken accusations occurred. Ain’t no way, imo, Franken was gonna survive in that environment.

    Now, if you agree with that as a predicate (and you may not; still a sorta free country), question is: Was it better for Dems to clear the decks themselves or let the Republicans demagog the fuck outta the issue and undermine Dem credibility?

    A whole lotta women were justifiably pissed about a very long history of male assholery. Think it’s dead certain that Republicans would be hunting for his scalp in the most unctuous both-sidesing hypocritical ways, and I think they’da got it.

    I don’t like how that deal went down better’n anyone else, especially cuz Franken was an effective liberal lion, but I think, given the circumstances, if it was gonna happen (and I think it was), Dems made the best of a very bad situation.

    imo, ymmv

  111. 111
    eemom says:

    From the last thread. I meant what I said and I said what I meant.

    In terms of rank opportunism, adherence to no principle other than self-advancement, and a void where a soul should be, she’s a fucking female mitt romney.

    I SO don’t get her apologists, here and elsewhere.

    And after another thread’s worth, I STILL don’t.

    Do you folks insist on denying that she LED the charge against Franken, and wasn’t just one of a herd of Democratic sheep?

    And do you honestly believe that she honestly changed her mind about gun control, immigrants, and whatever else she’s flip flopped on? Please.

    Finally, where’s your evidence that Franken was guilty as charged?

  112. 112
    geg6 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Maybe of a large corporation. But not of the US, IMHO.

  113. 113
    chopper says:

    a vote for any of trump’s bullshit grifter nominees is a big black mark against any dem senator in my opinion, so i like gillibrand.

  114. 114
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Why be coy? Why?

  115. 115

    @Jeffro:

    Many, many of these furloughed folks are actually working without pay,

    Furloughed means you’re not working, working without pay is not furloughed,

  116. 116
    Nicole says:

    @Emma:

    Funny. She still can’t quite explain her anti-immigrant positions. But hey, it was a long time ago and it’s water under the bridge, right?

    She did explain it, years ago. She said she represented a mostly white district and had never thought about it and said things that she later realized was wrong. As someone who grew up in a mostly white district and said some really dumb things before I moved to a city and, you know, actually made friends with people who didn’t look like me, I can relate. I don’t mind a politician changing positions if the new positions are better than the old ones.

    Mind you, I’ll vote for whoever has the D after their name. Though if they’re also one of the women who made it clear they believe women, that’ll give me a warm fuzzy, too.

  117. 117
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @oldster:

    She made exactly the right call on Franken, morally and politically. She made it possible for the Democratic brand to be unequivocally, unquestionably the brand that stands against sexual harassment and for #MeToo.

    Honestly, I don’t want to relitigate this whole thing 14-15 months later. But to me, she made (helped make) the Democratic brand to be unequivocally, unquestionably the brand that leaps to conclusions on the shakiest of evidence, and that condemns without a scintilla of due process.

    And yes, if she gets the Dem nom I will work hard for her. But, along with Tulsi (and Wilmer, natch), at this point she is right down there in the lower sub-basement of the electoral cellar.

  118. 118
    geg6 says:

    @eemom:

    We don’t agree on much and we really don’t like each other, but I agree 100% with your comment here.

  119. 119
    dr. bloor says:

    And Sherrod Brown is not in, at least not yet. Chris Hayes looked like someone on his stage crew just cut a fart when he realized that Brown was just pitching the “Dignity of Work” tour rather than “I’m in.”

  120. 120
    Nicole says:

    @eemom:

    Do you folks insist on denying that she LED the charge against Franken, and wasn’t just one of a herd of Democratic sheep?

    eemom, and I say this as someone who adores your blunt and brusque style, and gets indignant on your behalf when you get attacked but never says anything because you’re more than capable of handling naysayers yourself, I respectfully request you read the CNN article I linked to. Gillibrand and the other women Senators spent a LOT of time discussing and planned out what they would do. I give them all huge props. It was brave of ALL OF THEM to go against a popular celebrity, and they did it to make it clear that the Democratic Party’s first position is “Believe women.” She’s getting the grief because she was the first, but even if it were all praise, it’d still be misplaced. The women strategized together, and it makes me love our women Senators all the more.

  121. 121
    Mandalay says:

    @MomSense:

    I can’t get past her work for big tobacco.

    I don’t know about that, but I can’t get past her position on Bill Clinton. Only after the Clintons were no longer useful to her, and #metoo was all the rage, did she proclaim that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    Well if you’re a right wing moral scold like (say) Ralph Reed or Rick Santorum that’s an entirely defensible position. But Gillibrand is a Democrat who happily used both Clintons for 20 years to get to where she is now. Also, with respect to ousting Franken, Gillibrand “defended her approach by insisting she placed deeply held personal values over party loyalty”. Well where were those “deeply held personal values” while she was (presumably pretending to be) a buddy of Bill Clinton for many years?

    She’s a top tier opportunistic hypocrite.

  122. 122

    @Baud: When is Chris going to have you on the show?

  123. 123
    jk says:

    @satby, Sebastian, columbusqueen, Elizabelle

    With all due respect, screw Al Franken! He got exactly what he fucking deserved. I have no sympathy for him, he has only himself to blame. He was a sentient adult who was unable to demonstrate a modicum of self control. It’s shameful and pathetic for you guys to denounce Gillibrand for Franken’s despicable behavior. Go Gillibrand!

  124. 124
    eemom says:

    One more thing: I cannot BELIEVE anybody seriously thinks it was a smart political move to throw Franken under the bus based on media hype and NO fucking evidence.

  125. 125
    chopper says:

    @eemom:

    a group of women in the senate all decided together that she would come out first against franken. it was coordinated with the democratic caucus.

    as to having had republican ideals in the past, that means warren is out as well.

  126. 126
    PJ says:

    @Nicole: Are you telling me you believe Gillibrand? Her explanation is BS. She lived in NYC for 10 years before she ran for office upstate. Are you telling me she never encountered any immigrants in New York? Jeezus. I get it, she tailored her convictions to get elected, but it’s unclear to me if she has any real convictions at all, and how we would know what they were.

    ETA: And according to Wikipedia, she studied in Beijing and Taiwan while in college. In no way did she leave a sheltered life.

  127. 127
    raven says:

    @eemom: I didn’t think evidence was necessary.

  128. 128
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Well, if she’s good enough for BorisInPutinland, who am I to complain?

  129. 129
    Richard Guhl says:

    I’m intrigued by Gillibrand’s candidacy. She obviously has political appeal in unlikely places, being the leftmost Democrat to win in a conservative upstate NY district. But more than that she has advanced some progressive ideas — a postal bank to provide banking services to the poor and working class and a federally guaranteed jobs program. She should pair up with AOC on this latter idea and the Green New Deal.

    As for the objections that she knifed Franken and has done other political things, I will merely point out that Schumer had already told Franken he was toast and given Gillibrand had staked a strong position on sexual harassment before could she really say nothing? And I appreciate a politician who knows how to maneuver politically. I’d love to see her shiv McConnell.

  130. 130
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Furloughed means you’re not working, working without pay is not furloughed either voluntarism or slavery.

  131. 131
    Nicole says:

    @hells littlest angel: I loved Al Franken, too, and I was really, really torn up by the whole thing, and at the time I was really upset he didn’t get a hearing, but first and foremost, I want Republicans out of power, and the Democratic Senators who called for his resignation clearly read the political winds better than I do, because I don’t think Doug Jones would have won if Franken stayed for a hearing, and I definitely don’t think we’d have picked up 40 seats.

    Politics ain’t beanbag, and what’s going on in the nation now is much bigger than me liking a single politician.

  132. 132
    dr. bloor says:

    @eemom: You know who got Al Franken out of the senate?

    Al Franken.

  133. 133
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Also, every female Dem lined up against Franken, right? Where is the vitriol aimed at the others?

    It was widely reported that KG was the ringleader who coordinated the sudden “all the women in the senate are saying he should resign”.

    That’s why.

  134. 134
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Richard Guhl: I’m sorry – the party of opportunists is on the right. Sorry for the confusion.

  135. 135
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    But to me, she made (helped make) the Democratic brand to be unequivocally, unquestionably the brand that leaps to conclusions on the shakiest of evidence, and that condemns without a scintilla of due process.

    Thank you!

    Mostly, this thread tells me Gililbrand ain’t going anywhere. Do you think she won’t draw the same reactions from the public at large?

  136. 136
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @eemom:
    Need a like button up in here.

  137. 137
    B.B.A. says:

    @geg6: When all you have is “he said, she said”, believe her. Always.

    @Mandalay: I believe Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones too.

  138. 138
    Nicole says:

    @PJ: I live in NYC. It’s very, very easy for whites to avoid having any meaningful contact with people of color here. Without intentionally trying to, either. I’d lived in NYC for 15 years before I moved to a neighborhood where I was a racial minority and the first two years were a heck of an adjustment for me. And I say this as someone who didn’t (at the time) see myself as biased. I’m very grateful to my neighbors for making me a better person.

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What she did to Al Franken, that is, being played by Roger Stone, can never be forgotten.

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @Nicole:

    Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated.

    To the merits of what you’re saying, I do not and never will agree with the simpleminded, dangerous dogma “Believe the woman.” It should be “Listen to the woman, treat her with the utmost respect, investigate the facts, and find out the truth.”

    There is no excuse, ever, for condemning any person, male or female, based purely on accusation. How many centuries of history have taught us that?

  141. 141
    gene108 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Regardless of the Franken issue, nobody was hot to jump on the Gillibrand train anyway. We have better options.

    Like who? I know very little about the candidates running to tell, if someone is better than the other.

    Basically, I cannot make a definitive statement in who is the better.

  142. 142
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Al Franken is a sexual predator.

    I looked and looked, but I never was able to find your snark tag. Help me out, here.

    Oh, wait, you weren’t snarling? Well FYVM then.

  143. 143
    Chyron HR says:

    @eemom:

    Well, if we judge her by her enemies you’ve offered up a compelling endorsement.

    Also, I just love the idea that if a modern day Lady MacBeth supposedly concocted a conspiracy to destroy the one person she thought stood between her and the Democratic nomination, she would obviously take down Al freaking’ Franken.

  144. 144
    Nicole says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It was widely reported that KG was the ringleader who coordinated the sudden “all the women in the senate are saying he should resign”.

    But that’s not what actually happened. It’s what the media spun. It was a coordinated effort.

    The media hates her because she’s Hillary 2.0. And that may be a legit reason to decide she’s not a good candidate. A STUPID reason, but a legit one, as the media has spent 30+ wiring us all all to hate Hillary. But the Franken thing was the right call for the Democrats to do.

  145. 145
    PJ says:

    @Elizabelle: The media likes her (as does Wall Street), as she is basically a Centrist/Blue Dog, and they aren’t going to go after her the way they’ll go after Warren or Brown (should he run). That counts for something.

  146. 146
    raven says:

    @B.B.A.: Always huh? What horseshit.

  147. 147
    eemom says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Do you think she won’t draw the same reactions from the public at large?

    I understand she’s already drawn them from Democratic donors with lots of $$$$. That’s why she’s toast from the get go.

  148. 148
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Brickley Paiste: I recommend you email JC about that, IN ALL CAPS.

  149. 149
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Another Scott:

    Oh, how dare you take reality into account?

  150. 150
    Jeffro says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: split hairs/pedant away, sir. These folks are working without pay during the furlough. They ought to go on strike.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Nicole:

    I agree.

  152. 152
    Gvg says:

    I have been warming up to Gillibrand. I was angry at first but she has a history going back years of taking unpopular positions defending women who are disbelieved and harassed. She has some less democratic ideal past positions on other issues but not on that one. She must have known she would get attacked for being first to say Frankenstein had to go but she did it anyway. I also think there must have been more evidence coming though I didn’t at first. My understanding is that only the first story looked like a fake hatchet job because the accuser was right wing employed and got some benefit from it maybe. The other accusers were not so hinky but didn’t seek the spotlight. It actually might be harder to accuse a prominent democrat right now because the only support you can expect (us) will have divided loyalty. Support your own team tribalism happens to all groups.
    Gillibrand also seems to be a hard worker who is getting more responsibilities handed to her.
    You know what I want to know now? Who do other democrats who have worked with them support. Presidents need to be team builders. Obama got a lot of good people working for him. Later Hillary did too but not quite enough. That turned out to mean a lot. Trump has nobody any good thank goodness. But people are usually what they appear to be from a long ways a way. I want to see who gets lots of endorsements from people who have worked with them and see the real worker.

  153. 153
    Nicole says:

    @eemom: An elected official represents the people. It’s not unreasonable to hold them to a higher standard than we do a rank-and-file employee of a Joe Blow company. Franken had seven accusers, only one of whom was a conservative. What on earth would a Democratic woman have to gain by claiming he’d tried to kiss her, as the one staffer did?

    It wasn’t about believing one woman; it was about believing seven. And again, Jones won, and we picked up 40 seats. It wasn’t the wrong call to say he should resign; it was the right one.

  154. 154
    jk says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork:

    Was Gillibrand opportunistic? You bet.

    Bullshit, she was absolutely correct that Franken had to go.

    @Mandalay:

    Screw you. Who the fuck cares about the evolution of Gillibrand’s stance with respect to Bill Clinton. She’ll make a great nominee and I look forward to her kicking Donald Trump’s fat ass on Election Day.

  155. 155
    geg6 says:

    @jk:

    WTF are you on about? He was supposed to know he’d be a senator some day when he was making a living as a comedian and entertainer? What sort of self control was he supposed to show? The only incident for which there is a modicum of evidence is characterized by everyone present (except the “victim”) as a set up joke of which they were all, including her, in on. Unless you think the hand on the waist picture is some sort of assault. And if that is true, pretty much every man I’ve ever known is a sexual predator and should be shunned by polite society. He’s worked with many women, some of them stunningly beautiful, over the years who say he’s a perfect gentleman.

    That said, it is not my main reason for opposing her. She simply isn’t trustworthy, as she has proven over and over and over again. Someone above said she’s a female Mittens. I find that a very apt description.

  156. 156
    Jackie says:

    @Waynski: Me, too! But, I, like you illuded to, was speaking metaphorically of Politics ST😁

  157. 157
    Raven says:

    @jk: This thread is a perfect example of why she won’t.

  158. 158
    PJ says:

    @Nicole: I also live in NYC, but clearly I frequent different neighborhoods than you do, because, if you go outside, I don’t honestly see how you could function on a daily basis without interacting with immigrants at the store, in restaurants and bars, in taxis, etc., not to mention, you know, friends, colleagues, and general socializing. ETA: Oh yeah, and in DEMOCRATIC POLITICS.

  159. 159

    @Nicole:

    Jones won, and we picked up 40 seats

    So the end justifies the means?

  160. 160
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Nicole:

    Truth-bomb just done exploded. Well-written.

    Lotta hard choices made in the Franken case, and not everyone agrees. And that’s OK. Sorta reminds me of politics.

    Inneresting (to me) analogy. Back in the HUAC days, when Elia Kazan testified against his colleagues, he did so inna extrememly political environment in which being accused of being a communist was a career-killer. Now, the complicating part: Kazan and Schulberg and a buncha people that were once commies (or sympathetic) knew of a great many artists and writers who’d been killed by Stalin in “communist” Russia. Understandably, they thought that was wrong, so they salved their consciences about testifying (cuz they knew it was all a trumped-up demagogic dog-and-pony show orchestrated by — you guessed it! — Republicans). So yes, Kazan was a snitch. Undeniably. But Stalin also exterminated lotsa innocent people in the name of his communist regime. (I’m not holding up or tearing down Kazan, just trying to present a difficult political situation.)

    But here’s the telling part. Kazan came out with a rationale in the NYT for why he was willing to testify. He was the head of the spear. And he was hated and resented for it.

    Am not holding for or against Gillibrand, would just say (to echo Nicole’s point): If you hate Gillibrand for what she did to Franken, that’s your prerogative. Go and God be with you or not, just as you please.

    But Gillibrand was just the first and the face of the Franken defenestration. Your female Senator presidential contenders bench is gonna be empty if that’s the hill you wanna die on.

  161. 161
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @gene108: Klobuchar for one. Harris, Castro. My personal choice is Schiff, but he seems locked on to the president.
    We can do better.

  162. 162
    raven says:

    @geg6: “pretty much every man I’ve ever known is a sexual predator and should be shunned by polite society. ” You’re getting to the heart of the matter.

  163. 163
    Mandalay says:

    @Another Scott:

    I hope that we all don’t have too many “unforgivable” buttons that get pushed…

    Recently there were a couple of posters here saying that they could never forgive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she posted a tweet containing an error.

    The bar for never forgiving is set pretty low on BJ.

  164. 164
    Emma says:

    @Nicole: As I said, so will I. But she is way down on my list.

  165. 165
    geg6 says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Fuck off. As a survivor of an actual sexual assault, you don’t get to lecture me on this subject. I’ll believe who I want to believe.

  166. 166
    Nicole says:

    @zhena gogolia: Thanks. I did a lot of thinking about the Franken thing during the Kavanaugh bullshit. I have not had nearly the experiences some of my friends have had, or some of the b-jers here who have been brave enough and generous enough to share their stories, and yet I found it all really, really triggering. I remembered all kinds of things from years ago, things that even at the time I thought were minor, except that here I was, remembering them 20+ years later, and the memories were making me cry, so clearly they weren’t so minor, and never were minor. And I was so, so angry at the GOP and the media, and people I knew playing down what Kavanaugh was (in my opinion, credibly) accused of. And in the end, none of the women speaking up mattered; he’s now on the USSC. And I was really grateful to Gillibrand, and Harris, and Warren, and all of the women who, in 2017, before any of the Kavanaugh stuff, publicly stated one of their own should go because they felt the accusations were credible enough that he shouldn’t stay in the Senate- that he wasn’t a good example of what a Democratic Senator should be. It meant something. It was brave, and it was right, and never in a million years would the GOP have done it. They make me proud to be a Democrat.

  167. 167
    trollhattan says:

    So anyway, CA’s primary is the second Tuesday of March 2020. I shall make my choice on that day.

    Y’all have fun!

  168. 168
    gene108 says:

    @eemom:

    There is no excuse, ever, for condemning any person, male or female, based purely on accusation. How many centuries of history have taught us that?

    I don’t agree.

    If there was only one allegation against Franken that would be one thing, but when you run into a situation of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, it is an entirely different situation.

    Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, etc. were all pulled down, because of multiple accusations from different women, before any due process or court proceedings occurred.

    It is the multiple accusations angle against Al that changes the situation.

  169. 169
    B.B.A. says:

    Does anyone here seriously think that Brett Kavanaugh didn’t try to rape Christine Blasey Ford? All we have is her word against his.

  170. 170
    geg6 says:

    @Nicole:

    I have lived all my life in a place with only 8% minority population. But I didn’t need to meet immigrants or African Americans to not be prejudiced against them. See, I could read and, thus, expand my horizons.

  171. 171
    eemom says:

    @Nicole:

    It wasn’t about believing one woman; it was about believing seven.

    How many accusers were there at the Salem witch trials?

    How many jumped on the blacklisting bandwagon in the 1950s?

    How many little kids were persuaded to “remember” that they’d been sexually abused by Satanists at day care centers in the 1980s?

    How many have wasted their lives in prison because they were wrongly convicted?

  172. 172
    Raven says:

    @gene108: And it doesn’t matter one bit WHAT the accusations are does it?

  173. 173
    Nicole says:

    @Emma:

    As I said, so will I. But she is way down on my list.

    And that’s reasonable, heck, it’s all still really early; I really have no idea who I’m going to support when it comes time to make a call. I’ll wait and see how they all campaign. I freely admit I’m biased towards women candidates, though. Except for Tulsi Gabbard.

  174. 174

    I wonder how she appeals to women nationally and how appeals to the black working class, who are turning out to be crucial.

    I don’t like her a whole lot but, heavens, I’m never going to get the candidate I want, so I’m not going to worry about that.

  175. 175
    jk says:

    Jesus Christ, when will all of you Al Franken supporters wake the fuck up? Al Franken ended his Senate career by his own inexcusable and indefensible actions. You’re all pathetic and childish. You need to think about the concept of personal accountability.

  176. 176
    Raven says:

    @B.B.A.: And that proves everything ALWAYS doesn’t it?

  177. 177
    Emma says:

    @B.B.A.: Wrong. We have at least two other women who the Republicans controlling the committee did not allow to testify.

  178. 178
    Nicole says:

    @eemom:

    How many accusers were there at the Salem witch trials?

    How many jumped on the blacklisting bandwagon in the 1950s?

    How many little kids were persuaded to “remember” that they’d been sexually abused by Satanists at day care centers in the 1980s?

    How many have wasted their lives in prison because they were wrongly convicted?

    False equivalencies. And I know you know that.

  179. 179
    Mandalay says:

    @jk:

    Who the fuck cares about the evolution of Gillibrand’s stance with respect to Bill Clinton.

    Well I do, and it was more of an opportunistic flip flop than an evolution.

    Screw you

    Because you don’t like my opinion of Gillibrand’s hypocritical behavior towards Bill Clinton? Seriously? Go fuck your eyeball with a ballpoint pen, troll.

  180. 180
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork:
    Well, if Omarosa Gillibrand is the hill you’re prepared to die for, have at it. Take provisions; it could get lonely.

  181. 181
    Baud says:

    @B.B.A.: That’s not true. She had corroborating evidence that she had been making these allegations privately years before he was nominated.

  182. 182
    Raven says:

    @jk: Fuck you mom.

  183. 183
    eemom says:

    @B.B.A.: @B.B.A.:

    Does anyone here seriously think that Brett Kavanaugh didn’t try to rape Christine Blasey Ford? All we have is her word against his.

    Were you in a coma at the time?

  184. 184
    Emma says:

    @Nicole: Well actually, I made a promise in this here blog and I intend to keep it: I will follow the lead of my AA sisters. They got their fingers securely attached to the bullshit pulse and have flat out made better decisions.

  185. 185
    WaterGirl says:

    @jk:

    Jesus Christ, when will all of you Al Franken supporters wake the fuck up? Al Franken ended his Senate career by his own inexcusable and indefensible actions. You’re all pathetic and childish. You need to think about the concept of personal accountability.

    Well, I suggest that you think about whether calling people names and insulting them is an effective communication tool.

  186. 186
    Redshift says:

    @Jeffro: Steyer has already said he’s not running, FYI.

  187. 187
    Burnspbesq says:

    @trollhattan:

    She could nut a dude. While smiling. I like that about her.

    Ask Al Franken about that.

    It’s good to have someone in the race who knows how to use a shiv.

  188. 188
    jk says:

    @geg6: @Raven:

    You’re contorting yourselves into pretzels with this damn Al Franken saga. There were multiple credible accusations presented against him and he had to go. I don’t see any value in re-litigating the Franken affair.

  189. 189
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Emma: @eemom:
    He likes beer.

  190. 190
    eemom says:

    @Nicole:

    No, actually I do not at all know what you consider a false equivalency there. The point is simply that determining guilt based solely on number of accusers has been proven time and again to wreak horrific injustice.

  191. 191

    @Redshift: He’s been running ads for “Need to Impeach” on the local news.

  192. 192
    Elizabelle says:

    Listening to TRMS. Chuck Schumer just called Trump Putin’s “bootlicker.” Love it.

  193. 193
    geg6 says:

    @Emma:

    I think that’s a very good standard to have. I think I’ll copy it.

  194. 194
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @jk:
    Yea, you wouldn’t fare well.

  195. 195
    Lyrebird says:

    @eemom:

    To the merits of what you’re saying, I do not and never will agree with the simpleminded, dangerous dogma “Believe the woman.” It should be “Listen to the woman, treat her with the utmost respect, investigate the facts, and find out the truth.”

    Thank you for finding words that I have struggled to put together in a way that would get that across.

    I will campaign for the Dem candidate, whoever it is. I will also be looking out more and more for evidence of trolls coming to make a contentious and painful conversation worse whenever the 2020 race comes up.

  196. 196
    WaterGirl says:

    @jk:

    There were multiple credible accusations presented against him and he had to go.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. You think they were credible; many of us do not. As the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

  197. 197
    Nicole says:

    @geg6:

    I have lived all my life in a place with only 8% minority population. But I didn’t need to meet immigrants or African Americans to not be prejudiced against them. See, I could read and, thus, expand my horizons.

    I’m a Central Pennsylvanian, born and bred, too (what’s up, Williamsport! Land of my ancestors!). And I, too, read plenty of books by great African American authors and expanded my horizons so that I was certainly considerably more evolved than many of the people I went to high school with (some of whom I had to unfriend in the wake of the 2016 election). And my most excellent stepmom and stepbrothers, who have been in my life since the 1980s, are survivors of the Pol Pot regime, and the Cambodian experience in America is a shitton different than that of more affluent immigrants who came from other nations in Asia. My 2 stepbrothers are Republicans, go figure, although Trump is certainly testing them.

    And I didn’t think I was biased either, when I became a racial minority in my neighborhood. I certainly believed then, as I do now, that race is a social construct. But the past 12 years living where I live have taught me that bias expresses in a thousand and one small ways and it’s the height of white privilege for me to think I’m above it, or beyond it.

  198. 198
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Shorter tl;dr this thread: Fuck all y’all, Gillibrand is awesome/terrible, and I will vote for her with as much enthusiasm as if I were her firstborn/holding my nose whilst crawling over shards of broken glass.

  199. 199
    zhena gogolia says:

    God, I wish Al Franken had never been born.

  200. 200
    Ruckus says:

    @Barbara:
    Franken himself said there were skeletons in his closet that he thought would make him ineligible for president. Would any of that make him OK for other federal office? He was a good senator and seems like a very good democrat. That doesn’t make him perfect, not in any world. And he didn’t argue at all, he walked away. That’s not evidence in court or even the senate. But it seemed to be in his mind. He’s the one that knows his past best, the only part that gets me is that as far as I can tell he still seems to be the only one that knows.
    But for me his walking away without a fight tells me that it wasn’t a nothing burger.
    I think he should be allowed to live his life and KG should be given the benefit of the doubt.

  201. 201
    raven says:

    @jk: So shut the fuck up

  202. 202
    geg6 says:

    @jk:

    I don’t agree. And that’s why Gillibrand ain’t gonna be the nominee.

  203. 203
    WaterGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia: I hope that was snark.

  204. 204
    raven says:

    @Ruckus: The only thing I don’t buy us the skank on the USO tour.

  205. 205
    zhena gogolia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Nope.

  206. 206
    A Ghost To Most says:

    : @Burnspbesq:

    It’s good to have someone in the race who knows how to use a shiv.

    You don’t beat Republicans by becoming them.

  207. 207
    Martin says:

    Wow, everyone got their purity groove on especially early this cycle. Reminder – removing Trump is the sole goal here. Every Dem is going to have some flaw or another. Stop blowing yourselves up over these relatively trivial issues, especially this far out. At the very least, make Putin spend his money to spin the party into self-destruction, don’t volunteer for it.

  208. 208
    geg6 says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I’m sure he wishes Gillibrand hadn’t been.

  209. 209
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @geg6: I was only addressing that one point as you would see if you followed my link to the previous thread. At this point, I am not supporting or rejecting any candidate (with the possible exception of Gabbard). I want to see who my options are and how each one bears up under the spotlight.

  210. 210
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus:

    But for me his walking away without a fight tells me that it wasn’t a nothing burger.

    Neither of us can know exactly what was in his mind/heart as he made that decision, but I don’t draw the same conclusion you do. At all.

  211. 211
    Nicole says:

    @eemom: All of the examples you cite actually had due process, whether through court trials or Congressional Hearings. All these examples point out the fallacy of belief that “due process” = “justice.”

  212. 212
    WaterGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia: I’m very sorry to hear that.

  213. 213
    Baud says:

    @Martin: No one had threatened to walk away from the nominee, whoever that may be.

  214. 214
    jk says:

    @Raven:

    And likewise to you

    @WaterGirl:

    I think it’s way, way past the time to move on from Al Franken and I find it amazing that so many of you can’t let go of him. He was just flesh and blood, he wasn’t a damn deity.

  215. 215
    msdc says:

    I don’t hold Gillibrand accountable for what happened to Al Franken. I hold Al Franken accountable for what happened to Al Franken. Put the responsibility where it belongs.

    But if this is what it takes to get all the ultimatums and dealbreakers out of your systems now, then go for it, I guess. As long as it’s gone by the time the primaries roll around.

    This blog has nothing but scorn for the Bernie-or-busters. (On that point, I’m right there with you.) Don’t become the 2020 version.

  216. 216
    WaterGirl says:

    @Martin: The thing is, Martin, that it’s not so easy to put something aside when it’s a question of character.

    Maybe that’s what makes this such a powder keg. I think it’s an question of character for people on both sides of this issue.

    Reading some of these comments (not yours) really makes my blood boil.

  217. 217
    trollhattan says:

    @Burnspbesq:
    Not that I believe Trump will be the nominee but I’d pay to watch her fillet him. She’s not the only contendah, not by a longshot, but she will not back the fuck down from whatever old, white kitchen appliance they run.

  218. 218
    Burnspbesq says:

    @MomSense:

    There are some good reasons to oppose Gillibrand. The fact that as a law firm associate, she declined to commit career suicide and did the work that was assigned to her is not one of them.

  219. 219
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A Ghost To Most: You can feel free to fuck off any time now.

  220. 220

    @Ruckus:

    But for me his walking away without a fight tells me that it wasn’t a nothing burger.

    He could have done so after he was told it was for the good of the party.

  221. 221
    raven says:

    @jk: Yea, keep talking about what it’s time to move past. Douchebag.

  222. 222
  223. 223
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud: Except if it’s Sean Penn.

  224. 224
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @geg6:
    Franken gave a lot of fine comedy, and a a bunch of crap comedy, to the world. On balance, He’s still ahead, even after the railroading.

  225. 225
    trollhattan says:

    @Elizabelle:
    That’s quite uncivil of Chuck. Has he been hanging with Amy again? Good!

  226. 226
    gene108 says:

    @Raven:

    It might matter what the accusations are. I can’t say for sure.

    But I think we are at a point, when a man is accused of sexual misconduct by several women, we then surmise the man acted inappropriately.

    Was Franken at the threshold, where the number of accusations against him moved the belief he acted inappropriately beyond a reasonable doubt? I don’t know. Would he have reached that threshold? I think he was getting there.

  227. 227
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I can live with the guilt.

  228. 228
    Bess says:

    What continues to bother me is that Franken asked for a hearing and was refused. Then he was forced out of the Senate for what might have been a bucket of nothing or might have been a sexual misdemeanor or might have been a sexual felony.

    We simply do not know his offenses and there was no consideration of fitting the punishment to the crime, if there was one. I just feel like justice was told to fuck off because a few people wanted to express outrage about a general societal problem and make a gesture.

  229. 229
    jk says:

    @raven:

    You have not presented any credible, coherent, or persuasive argument against Gillibrand.

  230. 230
    Burnspbesq says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    You don’t beat Republicans by becoming them.

    You don’t beat them by unilaterally disarming.

  231. 231
    WaterGirl says:

    @jk: You think it’s way past the time for us to move on from Al Franken? You find it amazing that so many of us can’t let go of this?

    I suggest that you read your own comments in block quotes below.

    With all due respect, screw Al Franken! He got exactly what he fucking deserved. I have no sympathy for him, he has only himself to blame. He was a sentient adult who was unable to demonstrate a modicum of self control. It’s shameful and pathetic for you guys to denounce Gillibrand for Franken’s despicable behavior. Go Gillibrand!

    Bullshit, she was absolutely correct that Franken had to go.

    Screw you. Who the fuck cares about the evolution of Gillibrand’s stance with respect to Bill Clinton. She’ll make a great nominee and I look forward to her kicking Donald Trump’s fat ass on Election Day.

    Jesus Christ, when will all of you Al Franken supporters wake the fuck up? Al Franken ended his Senate career by his own inexcusable and indefensible actions. You’re all pathetic and childish. You need to think about the concept of personal accountability.

    You’re contorting yourselves into pretzels with this damn Al Franken saga. There were multiple credible accusations presented against him and he had to go. I don’t see any value in re-litigating the Franken affair.

  232. 232
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Well, if Omarosa Gillibrand is the hill you’re prepared to die for, have at it. Take provisions; it could get lonely.

    Pardon? Perhaps you say this because you’re upset?

    Quite sure I never said anything about supporting Gillibrand (nor about opposing her, for that matter), so your comment is sorta puzzling.

  233. 233
    Nicole says:

    I was trying to remember other Senators who had resigned over sexual harassment allegations, specifically, the “diary” one- Bob Packwood. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and check out the last bit (bolding mine):

    With pressure mounting against him, Packwood announced his resignation from the Senate on September 7, 1995, in which he stated that he was “aware of the dishonor that has befallen me in the last three years” and “his duty to resign” following the Senate Ethics Committee unanimous recommendation that he be expelled from the Senate for ethical misconduct.[37] Democratic Representative Ron Wyden won the seat in a special election.

    Four years later, during debate on Clinton’s impeachment, McConnell said that the Republicans knew that it was very likely Packwood’s seat would fall to the Democrats if Packwood were forced out. However, McConnell said, he and his fellow Republicans felt that it came down to a choice of “retain the Senate seat or retain our honor.”[39]

    What the fuck happened to McConnell since then? I’m guessing Russian money, but holy cow.

    Off to bed- this was actually a really fun thread guys, whether I agreed with you or not. Thanks for making for a lively Tuesday evening. You’re the best jackals ever, every one of you.

  234. 234
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @gene108: Yea, a ratfucking operation would never dream of involving multiple false or trumped accusations.

  235. 235
    B.B.A. says:

    @geg6: I believe you.

    I’ll be bowing out now.

  236. 236
    eemom says:

    @Nicole:

    All of the examples you cite actually had due process, whether through court trials or Congressional Hearings. All these examples point out the fallacy of belief that “due process” = “justice.”

    Pardon me while I clean the fragments of my exploded brain off the walls.

    Meanwhile, please pause a moment and think about what you’ve said. A sick charade that calls itself a trial is not a trial. Due process means the real deal, not a mockery thereof.

  237. 237
    Peale says:

    I didn’t think she was the best choice to replace Hillary at the time, but I’m glad she’s my senator now. The Cuomo branch of the party didn’t want her as she was too close to Schumer. She ticked off the NYT enough that they were involved in that stupid campaign to promote Harold Ford as a senate candidate to run against her. I’ll consider her as I’m a homer, mainly because I get the sense that The Times High Hair Democrats oppose her.

  238. 238
    evodevo says:

    @Sebastian: Me too.

  239. 239
    gwangung says:

    Well, all I have to say is that if Gillibrand’s the nominee, I’m voting for her.

    Will I act to make her the nominee? She hasn’t shown me enough to do that. And I smell a little too much opportunism on her to make me like her now.

    But she has the opportunity to change my mind.

  240. 240
    Mandalay says:

    @Ruckus:

    But for me his walking away without a fight tells me that it wasn’t a nothing burger.

    I know no more than you about the details, but just as a man who walks away from a fight in bar isn’t automatically a coward, Franken isn’t automatically “guilty” of anything (other than that which he has already admitted to) by walking away.

    It could simply be that he didn’t want his family to get dragged through the dirt, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  241. 241
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork:
    You asked if this hill was one I’d die for?
    I just returned the favor.

    I won’t vote for her in the primaries, and while my Democratic soul would force me to vote for her in the general, there would be no joy in it.

    I don’t like opportunists. They belong in the R party.

  242. 242
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @geg6: BBA is back to being a troll. I recommend ignoring him.

  243. 243
    Richard Guhl says:

    @A Ghost To Most: According to Progressive Punch she ranks as the 7th most progressive Senator lifetime, ahead of Sanders and Brown. Harris ranks first and Warren third.

  244. 244
    Burnspbesq says:

    Just out of curiosity … would someone like to take a shot at defining the liberty or property interest that Franken was deprived of, and then specify how much process was due?

  245. 245
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Peale:

    The Cuomo branch of the party and the NYT are the right enemies to have.

  246. 246
    Emma says:

    @jk: He was a goddamned human being and he was thrown under the bus for political expediency. If I wanted to behave like that I would have been a republican.

  247. 247
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Richard Guhl: It’s not just policies – it’s character.

  248. 248
    Bess says:

    @Burnspbesq: He lost his job and probably his political career. Does that count for something?

    I suppose on a more tangible level he lost a source of income.

  249. 249
    WaterGirl says:

    @Bess: And his reputation.

  250. 250
    Suzanne says:

    @Martin:

    Wow, everyone got their purity groove on especially early this cycle. Reminder – removing Trump is the sole goal here. Every Dem is going to have some flaw or another. Stop blowing yourselves up over these relatively trivial issues, especially this far out. At the very least, make Putin spend his money to spin the party into self-destruction, don’t volunteer for it.

    Word.
    Remember who the real enemy is.

  251. 251
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Lyrebird:

    Exactly. It amazes me that people who can, apparently feed and clothe themselves, believe something so immediately refuted as “Always believe the woman.”

    I mean. Barack Obama versus Kellyanne Conway. Always believe the woman?

  252. 252
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Suzanne:

    Remember who the real enemy is.

    We won’t beat them by becoming them.

  253. 253
    Elizabelle says:

    WRT Believe Women. Generally a very good guideline. That said:

    I believe Christine Blasey Ford.

    I do not believe Leeane Tweeden.

  254. 254
    Martin says:

    @Baud: True, but there’s no upside to getting worked up over this stuff this early. Did we learn nothing from 2008 and 2016?

    Gillibrand is in. Ok. We’re a year out from voting. We’ll have a zillion debates before then. She may not even make it to Iowa, who knows, but creating animosity here and tribing up helps nothing. Literally nothing.

    I mean, for the record, I think Franken should have resigned, and I also would consider him for president and think he should run for his seat again. The thing I don’t get about these attitudes is that one of the greatest historical characteristics of the US is that it’s a place where you can fuck up and get 2nd chances. You pay your dues, and get to start again. The people that feel that these actions are deal-breakers must also feel that felons should never be able to re-enter society. Sometimes we learn from these things. Let’s give them the opportunity to make that case. I support Gillibrand being asked about her role with Franken. Maybe she regrets it. Let’s hear. That’s all. But the only thing that will benefit Trump is dem infighting. Fuck, that was the primary characteristic of the russian manipulation. Why are we getting in each others shit already?

  255. 255
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: Totally agree, Elizabelle.

  256. 256
    Mandalay says:

    @Martin:

    Reminder – removing Trump is the sole goal here…Stop blowing yourselves up over these relatively trivial issues, especially this far out.

    I think you have it all completely backwards.

    Possible character issues relating to Democrats running for president are not trivial – they are major. And now is exactly the right time to raise them. Democrats running for president who are not up to it should be eliminated as early as possible. And “removing Trump is the sole goal” only AFTER the best possible opponent has been chosen.

  257. 257
    Wapiti says:

    I hope she lasts until the WA primary. If both Gillibrand and Harris are still in the race at that point, it will be tough for me to choose. But that’s why we have a primary season.

  258. 258
    PJ says:

    @Burnspbesq: Declining to defend big tobacco is and was not career suicide if that is not your specialty. She was probably hired as a run of the mill litigation associate, and they would have had dozens of other cases she could have worked on.

  259. 259
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I believe Christine Blasey Ford.

    I do not believe Leeane Tweeden.

    I agree with you. IMO, however, Franken was already mortally wounded. Gillibrand and the other female senators putting the shiv in let Jones get elected. Was it ruthless? Yeah, but I am okay with that. I want to win in 2020. I am not writing her off over Franken.

  260. 260
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    95% of lawyers don’t work as associates at large defense firms. The idea that anything else is career suicide is silly.

  261. 261
    Bess says:

    @Martin:

    Why are we getting in each others shit already?

    Trying to sort through the long list of those who have declared so that we can make our personal choices?

  262. 262
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jk: Kindly go DIAF.

  263. 263
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ah well. May we have a plethora of fabulous candidates. (Reasonably) Flawed human beings, fine.

    Putin puppets. Not so much.

  264. 264
    WaterGirl says:

    @Martin: It’s possible for me to have a conversation about Al Franken without my blood boiling, but not on Balloon Juice. Why?

    Because people state things as fact that are simply not true. It’s not true that there is credible evidence from 7 women when most of the accusations were ridiculous on their face. You can say that even one credible accusation is enough, and we could have a reasonable conversation about that. But once you bring up “credible evidence from 7 women”, for example, my blood starts to boil.

  265. 265
    Suzanne says:

    @A Ghost To Most: We won’t beat them by tearing one another apart, either. I like Franken and I’m sorry he’s gone. But no one is entitled to a Senate seat; this isn’t like losing a regular job, and no one has ever talked about criminal charges. Minnesota has a good Senator.

    I don’t think Gillibrand would be a strong nominee for a number of reasons, chief among them being that she’s not a compelling communicator. But I don’t feel that shredding her is helpful to taking back the White House in 2020, and it does feel disproportionate.

  266. 266
    Mandalay says:

    @Bess:

    Trying to sort through the long list of those who have declared so that we can make our personal choices?

    Exactly.

  267. 267
    PJ says:

    @Suzanne: You must be new here – wait till you see what people have to say about Tulsi or Bernie.

  268. 268

    I’m impressed. All it takes is a woman to declare her candidacy for President, and the fucking bullets fly. So glad we are doing the two-bit ratfuck soulless criminals jobs for them, leaves them free to continue ratfucking my country.

    No wonder Mitch McConnell’s got us all by the balls.

  269. 269
    different-church-lady says:

    Look, I don’t care if you fuckers feel like you have to hold your nose or wear a gas mask or make a pouty face for the next two years or whatever. JUST. DON’T. KNEECAP. HER. with your public projection of that whatever. We went there, we did that, and we made an ugly corpse.

  270. 270
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    So, we’re gonna have the equivalent of the 2016 Republican Party Primary in 2020.

    Anyone who decides right now they’re riding or not riding any one of the eleventy-24-something imperfect ponies on the Merry-Go-Round is a Goddamned idiot. Because there will soon come a time when there will only be, maybe, 4 imperfect ponies to choose from. And the world will look entirely different than it does now because, well TRUMP: THE STORY THAT LITERALLY CHANGES EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    That’s when i get serious.

  271. 271
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Also, I think that he looked back on his show business career, and realized that he could be sunk by some groupie he didn’t remember, or some drug binge he didn’t remember. And Gillibrand and others had no way of being sure that wasn’t the case, either. And as for due process: I think the Republicans would have made a mockery of it by dragging it out and trolling for every bit of anything they could use against him while delaying any formal proceedings past November 2018.

    In any event, I’m willing to see what Gillibrand has to offer, and if Al Franken doesn’t seem to have hard feelings, either, I’m ready to turn the page on this one.

  272. 272
    PJ says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Are female candidates above criticism? Should Tulsi Gabbard be treated with kid gloves despite her opinions and her behavior?

    These people, men and women, are adults, and they understand that running for President means that they will be challenged on their record and their character by Democratic voters and other candidates. That’s why we have primaries.

  273. 273
    Suzanne says:

    .@Omnes Omnibus:

    Was it ruthless? Yeah, but I am okay with that. I want to win in 2020. I am not writing her off over Franken.

    Agree.

    @PJ: I am not new here, and I have seen plenty of digital ink spilled about Tulsi and Bernie. I won’t be voting for either of them in the primary.

    My position is: Every Dem nominee will disappoint me in some way, but with the exception of probably Gabbard, there is more that I like about each of them than I don’t. Any of them would be preferable to Trump or whomever else the GOP barfs up. So I am looking for the candidate who can best build a coalition, articulate a compelling agenda, and build an effective team.

  274. 274
    Mandalay says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    All it takes is a woman to declare her candidacy for President, and the fucking bullets fly.

    Oh FFS. Were you here when Sanders declared he was running for president?

    A Democrat with some baggage has declared her intention to run for president in 2020, so she is obviously inviting scrutiny. And plenty of the scrutiny here is coming from female posters. Don’t distort what is happening in this thread.

  275. 275
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: Thank you for making some cold, hard sense.

  276. 276
    Suzanne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    We went there, we did that, and we made an ugly corpse.

    Truth.
    And delivered with great verve and imagery, which is why you are one of my favorite voices here.

  277. 277
    chopper says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    you don’t understand. the constitution guarantees you a place in the democratic senate caucus. it’s right there in the bill of rights.

  278. 278
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Don’t mention facebook.

  279. 279
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There are times this comment section feels like hanging out with that one friend who has spent years in therapy and became excessively navel-gazey as a result.

  280. 280
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: FACEBOOK! SLOWLY I TURNED… STEP BY STEP…

  281. 281
    different-church-lady says:

    @Suzanne: Just doing our jobs, ma’am.

  282. 282
    Arclite says:

    I know folks are pissed at her for Franken. I was too, initially. Until the KKKavanaugh hearing. Getting rid of Franken gave the Dems the moral authority to go hard after Kavanaugh. It failed in the end, but it was a close thing.

  283. 283
    Mandalay says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Also, I think that he looked back on his show business career, and realized that he could be sunk by some groupie he didn’t remember, or some drug binge he didn’t remember.

    That’s a good point I hadn’t considered. The (phony) photo of Franken “groping” on the the plane was devastating, and Franken’s position would have been dire if further photos emerged, even if they were just of him holding a bottle of beer, and grinning and hugging a woman he worked with.

    The only way for politicians to inoculate themselves against this stuff is for all of it to be known in advance. That mostly worked for Trump.

  284. 284
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mandalay:

    The only way for politicians to inoculate themselves against this stuff is for all of it to be known in advance. That worked for Trump.

    Correction by subtraction.

  285. 285
    randy khan says:

    I didn’t even need to read the thread to know that the “she shot Franken dead in cold blood” people would be rampant.

    I won’t repeat all my usual explanations of why that framing is remarkably wrong because, I’m pleased to see, others have taken care of it for me.

    But, for the record, I’d happily vote for her in the primary or the general. I may not end up voting for her – we’re going to have a plethora of good choices – but she’s certainly well within the good (not just acceptable) range.

  286. 286
    Bess says:

    @Arclite:

    Getting rid of Franken gave the Dems the moral authority to go hard after Kavanaugh.

    Having a hearing, getting testimony from anyone charging Franken, and then making a rational decision would have also given the Dems moral authority to go after McRapey.

    Franken’s was an action that had to be taken that afternoon and couldn’t wait for a week or so?

  287. 287
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bess: He resigned. He wasn’t expelled.

  288. 288
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: Respectfully, it really doesn’t matter if we think the accusations were a political hit job and ridiculous and unbelievable.

    The only way to get anything done in the Senate is by working with colleagues. If one loses the trust and support of one’s colleagues, then staying is just delaying the inevitable. (The latest example of this is Rep. Steve King.)

    WaPo’s transcript of Franken’s resignation speech:

    I of all people am aware there is some irony in the fact I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota. It has become clear that I can’t both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them.

    (Emphasis added.)

    He could no longer do the job he was elected to do, so he needed to go.

    He did the right thing in resigning, and the Democratic women of the Senate did the right thing in taking a stand that they would not sweep accusations like that under the rug and they would demand accountability.

    The Bob Packwood Ethics Committee investigation took 34 months – the Franken investigation dragging out for months (or years) was untenable. (That’s another reason why the Ethics Committee investigation process needs to be overhauled.)

    As others have said, Gillibrand had a long history of fighting sexual assault and demanding accountability.

    November 2013 comments on the Senate floor about military sexual assault legislation – 4 years before Franken resigned.

    Everyone has their buttons, and that’s fine, but I hope we’ll all try to look at the Democratic candidates with fresh eyes when the time comes.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  289. 289
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Just watch a bit of JimBakker show in videos on YouTube. They strongly believe and with their guests push the idea that Trump was chosen by God to save the US from ungodliness.

    Also check out various reports at the blog rightwingwatch.com about those pushing this belief.

    If you can stand it, watch some YouTube videos of ‘Rabbi’ Jonathan Cahn as he pushes this idea.

  290. 290
    Bess says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Chased out by some of his peers.

    Franken resigned either because he knew he was guilty and need to go or because he saw it his duty to support women and not fight them. I simply do not know what the truth is and I’m a bit angry that we were never allowed to find out.

  291. 291
    Bess says:

    @Another Scott:

    Franken felt that he could no longer do the job he was elected to do, so he needed to go.

    Was he made ineffective based on his own behavior or by the rash decisions of others?

  292. 292
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: But here’s a bit of good counter-news:

    (CNN)During the longest government shutdown in US history, President Donald Trump has been losing support among those who may be his strongest supporters — white Americans who don’t have college degrees.

    Among this group, only 45% said they approved of the job Trump is doing as President, according to a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS. That is the lowest level of support among this subgroup by 1 percentage point in CNN’s surveys and a dip from a poll conducted in early December, before the partial shutdown, when 54% of whites without college degrees approved of his job as President and 39% disapproved.

  293. 293
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Jeffro: IMHO Castro isn’t ready. He was being touted as the Latino Obama at the 2012 dem convention. I found his speech then underwhelming to say the least.

  294. 294
    Another Scott says:

    @Bess: It doesn’t matter. (And there are more choices than the ones you listed.) He could no longer do the job.

    He’s a big boy and knows how politics works. He did the right thing in resigning.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  295. 295
    randy khan says:

    @Arclite:

    I know folks are pissed at her for Franken. I was too, initially. Until the KKKavanaugh hearing. Getting rid of Franken gave the Dems the moral authority to go hard after Kavanaugh. It failed in the end, but it was a close thing.

    You don’t even have to wait that long for the moral authority issue to be important – it also helped in the Alabama Senate election.

  296. 296
    Bess says:

    @Another Scott:

    Franken most certainly could have continued to do his job. He was a member of the Senate with committee seats and a vote. Pajama Boy continued to function in the House until his hearing and then afterwards for some time.

    What I’m hearing from some is that it’s OK if Franken was inappropriately forced out of the Senate. Democrats were able to profit off that event. And that’s not right. We should not be waving the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ right for political benefit.

  297. 297
    Another Scott says:

    @Bess: Read me in my posts. I’ve tried to be reasonably clear what my position is.

    We’ve been through all of these arguments before, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind here. Just asking that people not let their emotions on having their buttons pushed cause them to miss the big picture.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  298. 298
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @chopper: IIRC, HRC was a Goldwater girl!

  299. 299
    laura says:

    Hard pass on Gillibrand.
    Next!

  300. 300
    Suzanne says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I wrote a long comment that got eated (FYWP), but to make a long story short, I agree with you big time about Castro. He’s a likeable guy and I’m sure very smart, but he is not the droid that I’m looking for.

  301. 301
    kindness says:

    I will vote for whom ever wins the Democratic primary. So long as it isn’t Jill Stein.

  302. 302
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: And on youtube

  303. 303
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    I understand.
    I didn’t say I liked how the whole thing unfolded. I didn’t like the result. But it wasn’t me in the hot seat and it wasn’t me that had at least alluded to my past. I liked and like Franken. Maybe whatever was in his past was no big deal, he just didn’t want it out, for whatever reason. If it was me, and given my history, I’d have wanted to stay and fight. But it wasn’t me. I did write at the time, as I remember, the basically same comment.
    What is most important is that we move on. We can look back and what does it get us other than possibly the concept to do better next time. And I’m sure there will be a next time, there are too many people who have things in their history that are less than perfect, like pretty much everyone, because we are human and we make mistakes. Some times we make them because we haven’t yet learned better, some times we make them because we haven’t learned at all, and sometimes it seems some humans aren’t capable of leaning at all. Franken is gone, KG is still here and as is her right, is running for president. Whatever any one of us think of her we are in a fight for our democracy and our country. We need to look at the candidates, figure out who we like best and work for them. And then, when the field is narrowed to one, we need to work to insure that one person gets the support they need to secure a better future for us all. Each one of us will have our favorite and our own reasons for liking that choice. But in the end we need to win with a true democratic candidate, one that we can respect and one who can bring us back from a barbaric time in our history.

  304. 304
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    If we are talking about Leeann Tweeden I will say, as I have before, that I knew her professionally for a couple of years. It’s probably been around 15 yrs since I last saw/talked to her but I never got that about her. Now we never once discussed politics so take that for what it’s worth. Not saying you are wrong, just my experience.

  305. 305
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Maybe that’s what makes this such a powder keg. I think it’s an question of character for people on both sides of this issue.

    Thank you. You said it better than me.
    What I was trying to say to you was that I’m not sure there is or ever will be a good answer. And because of that there really isn’t much we can do except argue about it, which seems almost pointless.
    I guess I’m willing to let it go and others are not. BTW I’m not happy about that, just accepting.

  306. 306
    Ruckus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Yes he could have. I believe he should have. But he didn’t.

  307. 307
    Ruckus says:

    @Mandalay:
    As may be noticed I’m late to the thread.
    What you say is absolutely true.
    I did add that I recalled that Franken had pointed out that there were things in his past that would preclude him from seeking the presidency. That’s where that came from for me. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it was not dragging his family through the mud. Maybe it was something. My hunch, for all that’s worth, not one red cent, is that he probably thought it was something. At least something not worth it to him to drag through the mud.

  308. 308
    Mart says:

    Now the thread is dead Media Matters Tina Dupuy has expressed nothing but hatred for the way Franken groped her. So explain to me why it is a right wing scam.

  309. 309
    Jane says:

    @Barbara:

    Al Franken’s wife Frannie is a recovering alcoholic. Al said in interviews he could not put her through the fight that was brewing. He resigned “quickly” not because he was guilty of anything, but because it was hurting his wife, to whom he has always seemed devoted.

    Franken made some big enemies with his questioning of Jeff Sessions. All those dubious accusations seemed like something Roger Stone could arrange.

    I think people who know Al would vouch that he was always a gentleman with them.

  310. 310
    Sab says:

    Thread above is bitching about this thread, but I think it has been clarifying and informative. Changed my perspective on some things. That’s what threads are supposed to do.

  311. 311
    Sab says:

    @Mart: She is a not very successful freelance writer trying to get attention.

    I also am not a touchy-feely person. That is one of the reasons why I don’t get my picture taken with politicians at state fairs. They have to touch you to get both of you in the picture frame. It is inevitable. They don’t mind it but I do. So I don’t do it. It’s my problem not theirs, and certainly not worthy of national press.

    Why does the Atlantic almost only hire idiot women writers? There are lots of bright women out there, but the Atlantic only hires the flakes. McMegan, Caitlin Flanagan, etc. Apologies to Molly Ball who is very competent.

  312. 312

    My thought on Franken, from more-or-less the time he was pressed out of office: if we press all the people who acknowledge fault, who show signs of having a conscience, out of our faction, we will be left with only the conscienceless and those who refuse to admit error.

    I think this is how we may lose the next election, or elect someone horrible.

    This begins to look like less of a distraction from the genuine problems we face, and more of a problem in itself. The refusal to admit error, at least, is part of the how the Democrats have ended up in such a fix. They were losing for two decades at least, and they still kept on their path, and kept hoping that changing their message would somehow solve their problems. As for the conscienceless, consider the horrific foreign policies we have seen Democrats embrace. Trump and the Republicans are worse, perhaps, but surely we can be better?

  313. 313
    columbusqueen says:

    Look, if the Franken matter still sticks in my craw, it’s because it confirmed my impression that Gillibrand will throw anyone or anything under the bus to get ahead. We already had an untrustworthy faux progressive show pony in Bernie; we don’t need another version.

  314. 314
    J R in WV says:

    @Mandalay:

    The bar for never forgiving is set pretty low on BJ.

    And Clthu take you for a dammed one if you misuse whom, or put an oxford comma in the wrong place~~!!!~~

  315. 315
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Speaking of opportunism and throwing people under the bus, one of these two senators voted to defund ACORN and the other one bucked the tide.

    Spoiler: Franken wasn’t the brave one.

  316. 316
    Betty Cracker says:

    I figured if there was a thread on Balloon Juice about Gillibrand’s announcement, it would be at least 50% “BUT MUH FRANKEN!” Wasn’t far off.

  317. 317
    stan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t think that it is bad for the Democrats to have someone capable of ruthless calculation in the mix.

    I agree. And Gillibrand is definitely ruthless and calculating – and I say that as a compliment, not an insult.

    Still she’s among my last choices….i cannot stand the idea of the O’Connell-Corning machine actually rising to the peak of US political power.

  318. 318
    stan says:

    @PJ: I would only trust her to do what was expedient for Kirsten Gillibrand.

    Exactly correct.

  319. 319
    tam1MI says:

    There are no circumstances whatsoever under which I will vote for Kisten Gillibrand.

  320. 320
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: yep.

    Let’s just say, my thinking about the Franken affair has…evolved. Or devolved, depending on whose perspective you adopt. One thing I’m for damn sure not willing to do *now* – despite what I may have thought six months ago – is refuse to consider Gillibrand because of it.

    I’m sure we’ll end up hashing through all this shit again – and again – *sigh* – but I’ll just leave this nugget here:

    Of all the Democratic women who have declared so far – let’s see, Harris, Warren, Gillibrand, Gabbard, am I missing anyone? – you know who is the only one who didn’t sign onto a “sorry, Al, but you must go” position.

    That’s right – Tulsi Gabbard.

    So you can all still hate on Gillibrand if you want to, but remember, Harris and Warren are standing behind her. And when I say, “standing behind her”, I mean not only are they standing behind her decision, they *literally* stood behind and let her be the frontwoman on this issue. Maybe she just elbowed them out of the way, but maybe…not.

    Think about what *that* means.

    So if y’all want to go all “Al Franken was robbed, and I want to vote for a woman candidate but I’m not voting for any bitch that was part of *that*” – think about where that leaves you.

    That is all.

    *dons flame-proof suit*

  321. 321
    BobbyK says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I’m with Elizabelle – fuck you. Also first I heard about this “claim” that he came on to some staffer. Franken didn’t get due process and Gillibrand led the charge. Her wall street owners saw to it.

  322. 322
    Mart says:

    @tam1MI: There are no circumstances whatsoever under which I will vote for Kisten Gillibrand.

    Trump 2020!!! Suck it Gillibrand.

  323. 323
    janesays says:

    @geg6: Sherrod Brown can’t run because if he wins the presidency, that’s a guaranteed lost senate seat… which also means that it becomes extremely unlikely that the Democrats will be able to take a majority in that chamber in 2020 (they’ll need to flip 5 to get to 50, given that Doug Jones’ seat is almost certainly gone).

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