Friday, December 08, 2017

"This Moment Is Bigger Than The Democrats Or The Republicans"


I like Al Franken well enough. He's not my favorite senator but he certainly has a great voting record-- ProgressivePunch rates him a strong, solid "A" and his lifetime crucial vote score is 95.69, pretty much identical to Bernie Sanders', Jeff Merkley's, Dick Durbin's... right between Kirsten Gillibrand's and Tammy Baldwin's. Last time I saw him, I was leaving Cafe Gratitude and he was just entering. I introduced him to Randy Bryce and he stood and gave Randy a lot of generous advice... and then sent him a check (which Bryce has since donated to a Milwaukee shelter for women veterans).

If you don't live in Michigan-- or even if you do-- you had probably never heard of Dana Nessel, a candidate for her state's Attorney General. When her ad started getting played, I doubt anyone was happier than Patrick Miles a former US Attorney for the Western District (not to mention Republicans state House Speaker Tom Leonard and state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, all candidates for the same job Nessel is campaigning for. I don't know anything about her other than her anti-penis shtik.

She'll lose, either the primary or the general. Men are furious, even if they're not running to the mic whining about it. I only know about how pissed off liberal men are. I imagine conservative men are even angrier. A gender war only benefits the GOP and forcing Franken to resign was the overreach of the year. At least this will mark the end of Gillibrand's presidential hopes, Gillibrand-- the former Blue Dog and NRA champion who became the xenophobic poster girl for keeping immigrants from getting drivers licenses-- before she suddenly was reborn a Wall Street fake progressive.

Today I was out with a woman friend hiking. She was furious Franken was being forced to resign. We met half a dozen neighbors-- men and women-- and every single one of them was as angry as she was. Jeff, an old friend (decades) who I know to be a reflexive progressive and who is the father of two uber-liberated daughters, sent me this note this morning: "I never write to politicians... ever, but I just sent this to Schumer and a modified version to Gillibrand, Feinstein and Harris." He always takes the lead from his even more left-wing wife and I was eager to see what he had to say to Schumer.
As a lifelong Democrat, I am disgusted by your support for Al Franken's resignation. Like thousands of others, I will be resigning from the Democratic Party, and resigning from making donations to the party. Franken was a supremely qualified senator and his transgressions minor compared to Roy Moore or the President, or I’m sure many senators and congressmen as will be revealed in the coming days. The fact that the Democratic Party would waste time and effort attacking one of their own, instead of Roy Moore or the President astounds me. Under your leadership the Democratic Party has shot itself in the brain.

You should be embarrassed to be leading the Senate.

I see where he-- and most people in know in the real world-- are coming from; but another friend, Eugene Puryear, an author, journalist and one of the country's most enlightened political leaders, had very different perspective, one that progressives angered about Franken should read carefully and take into account:
Just historically here, there was always a push for the Civil Rights movement to moderate itself, or subject itself purely to the political demands of the Democratic Party at the moment. The argument was that if they did not it would cause a white backlash that could kill the momentum on civil rights legislative priorities. In fact the 1966 election WAS a backlash election, and DID kill the open housing bill. Who here wants to argue the MFDP should've taken those two seats and shut up though?

Further, that same bill ended up passing after the uprisings after King's assassination in 1968. That same liberatory upsurge produced the initial positive moves, the backlash, and then more positive moves. Politics can't be governed purely by what this or that piece of electoral math in the moment dictates. That is how you can end up with huge election shifts, that result in, well, less than huge political shifts in the direction of the country. Racism isn't gone, but for sure, it is now considered terrible to be a racist, where the actual racists do not even want to be called racist.

This moment is bigger than the Democrats or the Republicans, it is bigger than partisan politics. We are seeing truly mass steps towards an extremely necessary, critical, indispensable cultural change in this country. We need to fan the flames. The time to fight to take on (and hopefully crush) the patriarchy is now, women are fighting and leading, we need to join them not lament that some pissed off dudes are gonna vote next year.
So what do you walk away with? Gillibrand may be an idiot but Eugene is correct-- "This moment is bigger than the Democrats or the Republicans." Pass it along.

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At 6:54 AM, Blogger CNYOrange said...

Sorry, I'm pissed too. Don't want to hear about "This moment is bigger than Democrats or Republicans" I've given money to various campaigns through this web site(can prove it if necessary) but no more money to the demorats. That the demorats did this to him can not be defended in any way shape or form.

Fuck them just fuck them right to hell. There is one anonymous poster to this site that is always pounding the demorats, I always thought s/he way to harsh but I now see s/he wasn't harsh enough.

BTW I live in NYS and gillibrand and schumer have done something I never thought possible I just may vote for their republican opponents out of sheer spite, and I've NEVER voted for a republican for anything. FUCK these two, just fuck them.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Where should the bar be? Surely Garrison Keillor's accidental touching of a woman's skin on her back and then apologizing is not the same as rape?

I believe strongly that Al Franken should not leave the Senate. At the very least, he should have said he'd consider it when President Trump resigned. Other than that, this is all insanity. I abhor the female Congressional members who insisted on it without holding Trump accountable and without having a realistic bar for men's behavior. Men have been doing this stuff since the year 1 - and times and standards have changed. Just look at Sean Connery slapping women on the ass in the early Bond movies. That would never happen now. Should Connery be blackballed now and his movies banned?

WE CANNOT HAVE TWO SEPARATE STANDARDS FOR REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. Dems will get NOTHING out of taking the high road. The Republicans never do so and get away with it. It will make Dems look weak, not strong. They are bowing to standards without insisting the Republicans do. Stupid!!! It is horrible. We will now have President Trump and very likely Roy Moore and not have Al Franken.

Gillibrand, you should have called for Trump to resign as a condition for Al Franken. And you should have waited to see what happens with Roy Moore's election and what Congress will do about it if he wins before you stuck your neck out against Franken. You did not. Fuck you.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CNY Orange if you think a candidate represents your political views then by all means vote for him. But voting to punish the Dems is still utilizing & enabling "Lesser Evil-ism". There are always third party candidates or write-ins who may be better candidates. Too funny that Alabama republicans now face a "lesser Evil" choice between Democrats and Pedophilia & yet this logic will be used again and again to corral people into voting to accept a corrupt political system based on fear.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure where all this bile is coming from. Franken should not have resigned until AFTER the findings of the ethics probe. Unless, that is, the ethics panel was going to find some pretty bad stuff. Only he knows for sure.

I viewed his premature resignation as:
1) an admission that he is guilty of some bad stuff.
2) his state is rigged to name a halfway decent interim who won't make a fool of herself.

And, yeah, if we voters had punished fake democraps for deeds unbecoming a Democrat, we'd not worry about losing 1 of our 75 in the senate and trump would ONLY be a pretend billionaire laundering putin's mob money and driving 1 business every 3 years into receivership. Of course, Pelosi and scummer would have been voted back to the private sector in the '90s.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...

Mr. Franken, immediately after the first report of harassment was broadcast, agreed to submit to an Ethics Committee investigation. Our anger isn't about Democrats and Republicans. It's about the fact a man who asked for due process was denied it and tried and condemned in the media. Again.

The Senate has had no problem wasting millions desperately looking for a shred of evidence to support the Clinton campaign's myth their anointed was done in by a nasty bunch of Russians, but a man with that stellar a record is forced to take a plea bargain—which will be accepted as an admission of guilt by the witch hunters. Why?

I have many, many reasons to abhor this culture that takes sexual harassment and worse as the cost of doing business, but something about this whole Franken deal stinks.

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Exit 135 said...

Hone: "...Dems will get NOTHING out of taking the high road. The Republicans never do so and get away with it. It will make Dems look weak, not strong..."


Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, he CALLED FOR the ethics panel to be convened. But HE quit before it did. I know why scummer et al wanted him to go... because he tended to be a progressive voice that had some juice... and got in their way on occasion. Not THAT often, but the in the future you never know.

But what I don't know is why he didn't just ride out the investigation and defend himself. That he quit, under not enough pressure to be called withering, can ONLY be taken as his admission of sufficient deeds unbecoming to be drummed out.

Or maybe he was just sick of all the corruption and horseshit. But if that were it, why didn't he say so?

I kinda liked him too. His relentless mischaracterization of republicans in friendly terms annoyed me to no end. But I liked him. He did join in a filibuster or two during the ACA performances... so I had reason to not consider him a reliable progressive... but all in all, a lot better than average.

Except he LIKES the racist sessions. No accounting for taste?

At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should remember when Harry Reid called Gillibrand the hottest Senator.

Then there was this:

"People reporters Tara Fowler and Sandra Sobieraj Westfall write:
"Gillibrand, 47, shares a sobering incident in the congressional gym, where an older, male colleague told her, 'Good thing you're working out, because you wouldn't want to get porky!' On another occasion, she writes, after she dropped 50 lbs. one of her fellow Senate members approached her, squeezed her stomach, and said, 'Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!'

I recall her downplaying the commentary which erupted about this general appraisal of her appearance and not any outrage over being so addressed.

"Gillibrand isn't especially offended by her coworkers' remarks. 'It was all statements that were being made by men who were well into their 60s, 70s or 80s,' she says. 'They had no clue that those are inappropriate things to say to a pregnant woman or a woman who just had a baby or to women in general.' "

But now, she gets all militant about Al Franken and led the charge demanding his resignation??? I smell an opportunist selectively expressing outrage so as to gain some kind of advantage. What else to expect from a protege of HER!?

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what this proves is that the moment was FAAAAR TOO BIG for the democraps.

And 6:10 is correct. those who demanded Franken resign unconditionally stink of opportunism. But that's how the totally corrupt act, isn't it?


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