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Majority of Democratic Senators Call on Senator Franken to Resign

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    The writing on the wall is beginning to become crystal clear regarding Senator Al Franken's tenure as US Senator. A growing number of Senate Democrats (30 as of this post) have called for him to resign and he's now set to deliver a statement early Thursday (12/7) about his future. I am beginning to think there's no way he can continue to stay in the Senate, especially with the growing number of Democrats calling for him to step down.

    Franken's case has forced me to think deeply about how I react to sexual abuse allegations depending what letter is next to the persons last name. If I automatically go to "this person isn't qualified to be a Senator/Congressman/Actor/etc." when I know the person is a Republican, but try to find ways to justify someones actions when I know the person is a Democrat then what does that mean? The letter next to someone's name shouldn't matter if they are proven to have sexually harassed or abused women.

    I worry about the rush to judgement and throwing due process out the window, but I also worry that Democrats and the Democratic Party are going to fall in the trap of being labeled hypocrites whenever someone on "our side" does something bad.

    Don't get me wrong. I am deeply disappointed that Senator Franken may be forced to step down. He has been a champion for the workingman and has become one of the toughest questioners in the Senate, but what he is accused of is unacceptable and when you do something unacceptable then there should be consequences.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Shaking my head. I am against the actions but is this a high road wherein we we are being self righteous ? He can and should privately and publicly apologize. After that let he or she who has never made a mistake - cast the first stone. We can't dismiss every imperfect persons who are trying to lead. His actions are not great but he hasn't been chasing 14 and 15 year old girls. That would be a disqualification.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    TJ Wrote: Shaking my head. I am against the actions but is this a high road wherein we we are being self righteous ? He can and should privately and publicly apologize. After that let he or she who has never made a mistake - cast the first stone.

    Trust me - I'm struggling with the same question. I have been a huge fan of Senator Franken for years and don't take writing my post lightly.

    I'm not suggesting it's fair that Senator Franken is being pushed out of the Senate when Republicans voted for a serial sexual predator for President and I'm not suggesting it's fair that Republicans in Alabama are willing to overlook the fact that they are voting for a serial pedophile for Senator. All I'm suggesting is that Democrats can't be hypocrites and write off misdeeds conducted by members of our tribe because we want to keep a Senate seat.

    Everyone has made mistakes in their lives, but not everyone has grabbed a sleeping woman's breasts.

    TJ Wrote:We can't dismiss every imperfect persons who are trying to lead. His actions are not great but he hasn't been chasing 14 and 15 year old girls. That would be a disqualification.

    I wholeheartedly agree. Roy Moore is a terrible human being. He has thumped his bible and talked about how righteous he is while being a serial pedophile who preyed on young girls. He deserves a special place in the hell I don't believe in. Fuck Roy Moore.

    But Democrats can't stoop to the level of the Republicans. We have to be better than that. It's not OK to grope women when they are asleep. It's not OK to grab women by the ass when you're taking a picture with them.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I expect that Franken will step down. But if he decides to stay through the Ethics investigation, then I say let him stay until that process is completed. Sure there are allegations by other women, some of which may be exaggerated. There is nothing that Republicans would love and relish more than to take down one of their biggest adversaries in the Senate.

    Al Franken has apologized for some of the incidents, but he has also said that he remembers those events differently or not at all in some cases. He deserves to have his day in "court" the Senate Ethics Committee. What Senator Gillibrand appears to be leading is a zero tolerance campaign against all accused men without questioning the underlying circumstances. Is that the way democracy works?

    In any case, Rep Conyers lawyer is also getting on board saying if his man had to resign, so should Franken. Republicans must love how they divided the Democrats on this. They'll love it more if the Tax Reform bill goes to a tie and Senator Franken is not around to cast a vote.

    So the question that I have to ask. Who exactly is being harmed by letting the Ethics Committee do their job? Senator Gillibrand?

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I should elaborate a bit more. I am 71 years old and grew up in a rather rough blue collar mining town where both the boys and girls had a certain no nonsense toughness about them. If a guy went too far in making advances to a gal, he might get a slap in the face followed perhaps by a few four letter words. No harm done. She defined her space.

    There were, of course, other more promiscuous women who by their suggestive actions would welcome the advances of the guy. Those women also defined how far a guy could go which is probably a bit further than the slapper. The "locker room" talk as Trump calls it was real. Guys would talk about the gals and I assume that in the women's locker room they might have a similar conversation of the opposite sex.

    Al Franken is just five years younger than me and reading Wikipedia his circumstances in his youth were probably not that different than mine. That was life in the 50s and 60s and 70s...and a bit beyond. I really don't recall any women claiming they were sexually harassed if a guy stole a kiss or pinched a woman's behind in those days. But I appreciate that for many women of Gillibrand's generation, they may look at those events differently. That and the fact the Gillibrand grew up in a more sheltered affluent existence. Both of her parents were lawyers.

    This English nursery rhyme would not be allowed to be recited in schools today. Too sexist.

    Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,

    Kissed the girls and made them cry,

    When the boys came out to play,

    Georgie Porgie ran away.

    My opinion...

  • Independent
    Washington
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Al Franken has apologized for some of the incidents, but he has also said that he remembers those events differently or not at all in some cases.

    "Perspective" and "intent" is a aspect life that is not well understood by the average person, including myself, but its extremely important in solving social and relationship problems.

    There are people we all know to be "Huggers" they greet nearly everyone with a friendly hug. In their mind, they are being sincere and open in physically showing that they are happy to see others; no sexual motivation involve. And there are people who are just the opposite, they hate being touched, or at least they hate being touched by anyone other than close friends\family. For them (often women), any physical contact initiated by others is offensive and they easily will label it "harassment" if the physical contact, such as a hug, is part of a public\work\social environment.


    People in general often don't remember specific details of events they perceived to be routine\normal when they experienced it, but two people can perceive the same event drastically different. One person gives a hug and thinks nothing of it, the other (ie woman) feels sick because she does not like the guy and he has very bad BO. She remembers it as a bad experience(s), the guy remembers nothing, and shocked and denies when accused of misconduct. All he remember was they greeted each other in a friendly manner. She describes it as being having his arms wrapped around her and holding her in a embrace for a very very long time. She experiences of a 2-3 second hug which she perceives to have lasted 20-30 seconds, and that is what she remembers, a very long embrace where he seemed to never want to let go.

    Whether it be Moore or Franken; did they fall into bad behavior because they had power and thus made it easier to push beyond acceptable limits they otherwise would not have, or were they behaving relatively normally for that time\place, and the women involved had standards that most people would consider outside the norm. Maybe a bit of both. Even if the women have very high standards, they are still entitled define their boundaries of physical contact. If a person does not want to be hugged or even shake hands, that is their right.

    The question becomes what is acceptable without having to ask "Is OK if I....". We accept handshakes to be acceptable, and even expected, but people who are germaphobes don't even like that, but likely would not label it harassment.

    What is also interesting. In our culture many women like and respect men who take the initiative to pursue them, and it is not perceived as harassment when they like a guy that flirts with them and makes suggestive comments. However, if a women doesn't like the guy, then she may label it as harassment. Most people I think are able to communicate well enough, and control their behavior, that lines are not crossed.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Different rules and standards are absolutely bullshit. Let's see if they fall for this.... We do it and zero price to pay. You do it and then we show outrage and you pay dearly. Lmao... they are buying it.

    Democrats are showing idiocy but we are providing tremendous humor to those who never pay.

    A self inflicted wound. If we march rapidly towards the cliff they should at least cheer while laughing. Every single day it gets tougher to handle our clown show.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    wwjd and TJ -- Yes I agree. Different strokes for different folks. What rather caught my attention is the line up of women expressing their new "zero tolerance" edict. It's like a populist movement now. They say they cannot be critical of Roy Moore if people in their own party have any kind of inappropriate conduct. There cannot be any degree of tolerance where some acts are judged more appropriate than others. It is only ZERO tolerance.

    It would seem we now have another purity test to weed out potential Democratic Party candidates for office. These to go along with all the other purity tests that the Our Revolution and other movements are applying.

    This is not just my view. My wife is even more outspoken against Senator Gillibrand than I am. Senator Gillibrand is the leader of this now populist women's movement to rid the party of anyone who might have touched a woman inappropriately.

    Meanwhile, the good Republican women of the evangelical faith who might have been sexually harassed by other employees or physically abused by their spouses remain silent...out of fear. It is why so many of them did not come forward in the first place...a fear of not only Roy Moore but also their fellow church goers. And now it appears that they will pay the price for coming out as the Roy Moore supporters vilify them. That's the society in which they live their miserable existence.

  • Independent
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    I am struggling with this as well.

    My sister-in-law runs the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. I grew up in a home where my father abused my mother physically, verbally and mentally. Unwanted advances, harassment, inappropriate touching are not acceptable.

    Yet what is happening here? Roy Moore trolled for young girls. That is an order of magnitude beyond what Franken has been accused of. Still Franken’s actions are not acceptable either. And how many instances are the result of people misremembering or having an agenda? I don’t know. We have entered a territory that is the result of the actions of men in positions of power or celebrity in the past resulted in he said/she said now combined with trial by media. The alleged offender is automatically guilty (yes, Franken’s actions were captured on film at least once) and the accuser is automatically innocent and a victim. Do we know for sure? Can we always know for sure? In Roy Moore’s case he was banned from a mall. In Franken's case we have a picture. But what of those accusations where there is no evidence? Do we know what is true and what isn’t?

    and you had better believe that Republicans would be screaming if a Democrat had done what Roy Moore did.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    The whole thing is pure ridiculous. In this case then Trump should also resign. If we play the "holy" game then plenty more are guilty. If this continues then it will look like as in India, where if you have a party, that women and men group in their own corners and aren't even allowed to blink at the women.

    Let alone priests who grab little boys, that's good. Country of hypocrites for sure.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    One question comes to mind: why now after all of these years passed or gone by, why now. I don't get it. Didn't these people come forth because they were afraid of Franken's stature or position as a legislator?

    Yes, future officials should be held to a higher standard, let's have anyone considering running for public office fill out a questionnaire, it would look like a Spanish Inquisition, beginning with question #1. Have You Ever, Ever............?

    Final Question: Do You Have Any, Any, Skeletons In Your Closet?

    Final statement on questionnaire: Answer honestly and appropriately, or else something in your past will haunt you forever and bite you in your ass later in life.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Tina Dupuy, the 8th woman accuser has now come out. I have taken her account from Breitbart News:

    “D.C. was decked out and packed in for the inauguration of a young and popular new president. The town was buzzing with optimism, and one of the many events on our list was a swanky Media Matters party with Democratic notables everywhere,” the former communications director for Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson wrote in the article titled, “I Believe Franken’s Accusers Because He Groped Me, Too.”

    “Then I saw Al Franken,” Dupuy wrote. “I only bug celebrities for pictures when it’ll make my foster mom happy. She loves Franken, so I asked to get a picture with him. We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.”

    “Al Franken’s familiarity was inappropriate and unwanted. It was also quick; he knew exactly what he was doing,” wrote Dupuy, who said, “I don’t let my husband touch me like that in public because I believe it diminishes me as a professional woman.”

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    Okay it was inappropriate for Franken to put his arm around her waist and squeeze it as they were posing for a picture. Is that groping of the Trump variety? She is one that apparently doesn't like to be touched. For many of the other accusers, Franken's inappropriate behavior is of a similar variety...a sloppy kiss or such. I suppose a single episode might be excused, but Franken is being castigated by his fellow Dems because of the number of acts. However, if that is all there is, then I wonder how many men in Congress or companies would be terminated for the same kind of conduct.

    Is there any line that cannot be crossed? Will all men have to now follow Mike Pence as a role model for fear of accusations when a "she said" trumps anything that he might say in defense of something that happened many years ago.

    And yes it's true. The police will tell you that eye witnesses to events such as car crashes or robberies will describe the events from their memories entirely differently. Would these women's recall of events be unquestioned?

    I don't want to appear to be suddenly taking up the "guy defense". But it still appears to me that we need some kind of cooling off period to judge Al Franken and not let our emotions run wild. Gillibrand is pushing a populist movement now to purge the Democratic Party in a hurry.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    And everyone should believe britebart because whatever they produce is truth, even when people call it fake

    I think men, and women should keep their hands to themselves, and basically keep to themselves, a handshake is fine, forget the hug and closeness. This isn't 1950 anymore. In a group photo, let's keep our arms and hands at our sides so as not to give the impression that we're really that close, because we are really not.

    Which reminds me, my wife's boss (female) keeps telling my wife and other people what a good looking man I am, I met her boss once, and want to forget it, I felt she was sort of cougarish, and we're both invited to her Christmas get together (party), I believe I will abstain and stay at our apartment and watch garbage television. I am much of an introvert, and wished I'd been born wealthy instead of so good looking.

    I'm keeping an open mind on Al, I do not believe all of the accusers, there is no proof, except that their numbers are more than one or two now. It's another likeable person who went down the tubes, I liked Matt Lauer, I loved the Charlie Rose afternoon shows on PBS, now all there is to watch is that days of our lives crap, but I do believe the trump accusers, especially after the release of the groping audio tape and his own acknowledgement of said tape and his lame apology. I believe O'Really is a harasser at large, why else would he pay off people he was said to have harassed.

    There's been a fine line drawn lately between what people had done in the past, and what they have done recently.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    It's now official after Franken announced he will be resigning soon during a speech on the Senate floor. His speech was defiant, far more defiant than I thought he would be. And I'm ok with that because it isn't fair that he's being forced out while we have a serial harasser as President and Republicans in Alabama are very likely going to place an accused pedophile in the Senate.

    I don't think it's fair at all that he's being forced out, but I do understand why he had to fall on his sword. Democrats are playing a long game that may (or very well may not) work. They see an opening to get suburban women who begrudgingly voted for Donald and have concluded that the party should have a zero tolerance policy regarding harassment.

    My concern with that strategy is two fold. One - I'm not sure it will work. Suburban women knew for over a month that Donald openly bragged about sexually assaulting women and they still overwhelmingly voted for him. What has changed since then that Democrats think they have an opening with this demographic?

    Two - what is and isn't sexual harassment? Is a side hug that maybe lasted a little too long sexual harassment? Is telling a staffer that her outfit looks nice sexual harassment? As Schmidt pondered - do we now have to institute the Mike Pence rule?

    I've been very torn about Franken since the allegations against him came to light. On one hand, sexual harassment is unacceptable regardless of the letter next to your name. On the other, is due process something Democrats are willing to throw out the window in an effort to take the moral high ground? Are we going to institute strict purity tests for all candidates while Republicans elect molesters, pedophiles, and sexual harassers without fear of any consequence?

  • Independent
    Washington
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    I've been very torn about Franken since the allegations against him came to light. On one hand, sexual harassment is unacceptable regardless of the letter next to your name. On the other, is due process something Democrats are willing to throw out the window in an effort to take the moral high ground? Are we going to institute strict purity tests for all candidates while Republicans elect molesters, pedophiles, and sexual harassers without fear of any consequence?

    Yes, it's very difficult and frustrating.

    From trump's perspective, what Al Franken (and the democratic party) did by resigning is what "Losers" do; letting ethics get in the way of being successful. In trump politics (the trump republican party), always deny, always double down, and turn the tables on victims using power\wealth\influence etc to destroy victims personally and professionally. And importantly, use their higher standards and ethics as weapon against them because they won't cross those lines. Its a power move, shift resources to take out anything, anyone who attempts to get in the way. The thinking is (not mine): Women who associate with a powerful man are there on his terms, not theirs; they can't define the terms of their relationship. If he wants them to do ANYTHING, they have only two options, follow his instructions (get coffee, make copies, listen to his racist jokes, suck his dick, etc, etc), or leave and never come back. There is no harassment, harassment is 100% BS. The women have made a choice based in his terms. And if they keep coming back, then they know what he is expecting of them.

    trumpism: All that matters is who wins and who is in control; and I always win and always in control.