Open Thread Nov. 21: Sex and Politics Don’t Mix

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 21, 2017

With liberals arguing over Al Franken, Bill Clinton and the political power of opposing sexual harassment, here’s a reminder that Republicans’ Roy Moore problem, which is only partly about sexual harassment, remains a problem. Both Steve Bannon and the White House have vacillated about their strategy, and the result has been silence from Ol’ Stumpy Fingers.

As expected, the calls for Franken’s resignation grew louder after a second victim came forward yesterday. “Time for Al Franken to go,” tweeted liberal commentator Sally Kohn. “Wrong is wrong. And the Democrats need to show they strongly AND CONSISTENTLY stand for women’s rights.” The evidence that they “need” to do this is non-existent, BTW. What will women do otherwise, vote Republican?

The Trump Justice Department has sued to block the merger of AT&T and Time-Warner. Speculation is that this is all about Trump’s war with CNN, but I’ll take the right move for the wrong reason every time.

As evidence that creating a media monopoly isn’t the problem with that merger, read how Trump’s FCC is making it easier for a right-wing media takeover.

Schadenfreude alert: Fox News host “Judge” Jeanine Pirro turns out to be a speed freak. She was clocked driving 119 mph in upstate New York. Having seen her act in clips, I feel sorry for the cop who pulled her over.

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  1. Paul says:

    Since Franken has not been found guilty of anything in a court of law, we must remember that he is being tried in the court of public opinion. I think that is the most appropriate venue to try Franken in that we should let the voters of Minnesota assert their voices and decide his fate the next time he runs. Considering we have the word of the POTUS that he “grabbed them by the _” and is elected anyway, this seems only fair to Franken. He’ll make his case and will be judged accordingly. Rushing to expel ALL sexual harasses from public service seems both premature and not based on rational consideration. And yes, we need to reset the alarm buzzers so that from this point forward, you harass, you suffer consequences. Women deserve to be respected as a gender. We owe them nothing less.

  2. A perhaps not so hypothetical exercise.

    Assume that 10 D legislators and 10 R legislators are accused of sexual harassment.

    We already know that there will be no push from the R’s to remove their legislators. Although they will likely use their right-wing noise machine (soon to be free of that pesky net neutrality) to amplify and likely embellish the complaints against the D’s.

    We already know that there will be a push from D’s, or at least D constituencies to remove their legislators. We know that it will lead to fissures within the Democratic Party.

    Tell me again who winds up on top in such a scenario.

  3. chris says:

    Franken was the lead sponsor on some important sexual assault legislation. He has since dropped off and Sen. Klobuchar has taken it over. Disappointing. I really thought Franken was a serious legislator with thoughtful views. But this private behavior is disturbing, as it is for any member from either party. I agree, the voters should ultimately decide this stuff. Just tough if voters have to wait several years for a Senator to come up for re-election. Franken has admitted his gross conduct and the second woman has significant proof from the time of the event that was groped at the State Fair. Likely some more women out there…

    I hope all these “respected journalists” like Mark Halperin and others the media and in DC who use their positions of power to take advantage of women are exposed and disgraced. Rumors about dirty ‘ol Chrlies Rose have been around for years. About time that all came out..

  4. Or maybe he is a serious legislator and maybe, in some way, his sponsorship is penance of some sort. It beats all these child molesters who pretend to be ‘godly’ men.

    I love the way you consistently use the word ‘disappointing’ when you know and I know where your political allegiance lies. I’m never disappointed by trolls. They are 100% predictable.

  5. pandora says:

    May I suggest that we stop focusing on individual men. This problem is far bigger. The political score card (D vs R/Hollywood vs Conservative, etc.) doesn’t help address a problem that exists everywhere – across political and socioeconomic lines.

  6. I agree. I also agree that this is a major problem and has been since, well, forever. I wish I knew what to do about it. Any and all suggestions appreciated.

  7. mouse says:

    I’m a bit confused by the rules. I highly and fully respect women and have a young daughter. I would certainly never do anything inappropriate or anything I believed to be unwelcome toward a woman. If I approached a women I was attracted to, it would be tentatively and shyly. Given that, if I make a pass at a woman thinking she will be receptive and she is not, am I a sexual harasser or done something wrong?

  8. Paul says:

    Som et. al. Like other forms of bullying, the key to reducing it is to speak up in a timely fashion, like when you become aware of it. We didn’t do it decades ago because, well, we were less aware. That can no longer be used as a rationale for silence, nor is “everyone is doing it” a viable excuse for the behavior. Thank God. From the perspective of women, the change can’t happen too soon. Let’s hope this is a sea change, and not the media just winding us up.

  9. Arthur says:

    The only thing sex mixes with better than politics is rock and roll. they all go hand in hand

  10. Jim C says:

    Hi folks, re: Net Neutrality.
    I called LBR’s office today to ask what she is doing on it. I got a canned response from a staffer saying I couldn’t possibly know what she’s doing that I haven’t heard about; it’s really hard to get anything done when you’re in the minority, etc, etc! Sounds like the responses I used to get from Castle’s office
    Can anyone tell me something good she’s done for Delaware?

  11. I’m thinking, I’m thinking…

  12. mediawatch says:

    Some historic perspective — 40-plus years ago, Pete du Pont got tired of being a minority lawmaker from a small state. He ran for governor.
    Just last year, John Carney got tired of being a minority lawmaker from a small state. He ran for governor.
    LBR is keeping the chair warm in Washington while waiting her turn.
    Meanwhile, we wonder. Whether we liked his policies or not, Pete du Pont as governor got stuff done. What, if anything, will John Carney ever do?

  13. Far be it from me to be a conspiracy theorist (he lied), but the timing of both the Franken and Conyers allegations is interesting. We’ve now had the deflection. And now Trump comes out today to say that Alabama must not elect a liberal Democrat. A blatant non-endorsement endorsement. Coincidence? I think not.

    Trust me, the D’s are on their way to blowing this election.

  14. bamboozer says:

    Sadly suspect the Sonambulator is correct, I have no faith in the DNC or the Dem organization as a whole, they seem adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If we are to be led by clowns and fools at least we could get some new ones.

  15. Dave says:

    “We already know that there will be a push from D’s, or at least D constituencies to remove their legislators.”
    “I wish I knew what to do about it. ”

    Ds are well practiced in cutting off their noses. Still, I don’t know what to either. It is appropriate that these things come to light finally (including, it appears, incidents investigated by the Congressional Office of Compliance), but since I take a more strategic and pragmatic approach, I do wonder about the tomorrow. 2020 is around the corner. I worry about another 4 years of Trump and a continuation of the Congress we currently have. I’m not saying the end justifies the means, but there is a real cost to the people.

  16. Paul says:

    mediawatch: One question is whether or not Pete DuPont could get elected today.

  17. Dave says:

    “Given that, if I make a pass at a woman thinking she will be receptive and she is not, am I a sexual harasser or done something wrong?”

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It depends on your approach and how she perceives your approach. So, the answer is even if you are not, she may think you are. Perception is reality. Of course, it could be that you are one and she thinks you aren’t. People are strange. It’s easier (and less risky) to wait for her to ask you.

    If that sounds like a long period of abstinence, then you just simply remember that sex is a lot like washing clothes. If you have a small load, you just wash them by hand.

  18. Alby says:

    @Arthur: That’s sex, DRUGS, and rock ‘n’ roll. At least where I grew up.

  19. Liberal Elite says:

    @m “Given that, if I make a pass at a woman thinking she will be receptive and she is not, am I a sexual harasser or done something wrong?”

    The phrase “make a pass” has multiple meanings. One involves only talking, and the other involves physical contact. The former is often OK, the latter is never.

  20. Rusty Dils says:

    Bulo, here is the problem with your hypothetical. In real life, it would never be 10 dem sex abusers and 10 rep sex abusers. Dems would always have more by a ratio of 5 to 10 times more than republicans. (That is one of the main reasons they are democrats, they don’t truly believe in individual responsibility and ethics.They put up a facade, and pretend they do, but they don’t) what’s so laughable about all this is that the media, (by lack of, and selective reporting) have greatly enabled this. None of these guys think they are really going to get in trouble. This is what I mean by selective reporting, or lack of reporting. In late 2014, or early 2015, as the Presidential race was just getting started, some of Colin Powell’s emails got leaked, where he had emailed someone and said that Bill Clinton was still “dicking” interns. Where was the Washington Post investigation on that?

  21. Jason330 says:

    What Dils knows about the real world could be written down on dry cleaning ticket.

  22. mediawatch says:

    @Jason …
    not a dry-cleaning ticket, a Post-it note.

  23. Alby says:

    Not a Post-It note, one of those little colored slips kids use as bookmarks.

  24. Paul says:

    Re: Dils. a chinese fortune cookie fortune paper with the writing already on it.

  25. Alby says:

    On the fortune side, or the lucky numbers side?

  26. bamboozer says:

    Damn, missed Dil Fest 5000…….

  27. Here is an interesting and, I think, helpful piece on the Sexual Harassment Crisis: