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Old 08-21-2019, 10:39 PM
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Kirsten Gillibrand doesn't regret forcing Al Franken to resign


The Daily, a NYT podcast, had an episode on an interview with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and how Gillibrand remained steadfastly unapologetic about calling for Al Franken to resign from the US Senate. This is despite recent reporting that suggests the claims may not have been 100% factual, and despite numerous other senators going on the record recently saying that they now regret the rush to call for him to resign.

I have to say, the interview left an unpleasant taste in my mouth, and I'm trying to figure out why. On some level, I almost feel like she's trying to have it both ways. When asked why she called on Franken to resign without waiting for an ethics committee investigation etc, it's because she felt like (paraphrasing here) otherwise, her silence meant she was opposing the accusers. She then goes on to say that hey, Al Franken was the one that decided to resign, not her, so that's on him etc etc. She says, 'hey he could have waited for the ethics committee. He could have sued them for fraud, but he chose to resign'.

And yet - if he -had- said he wasn't resigning, he was waiting for the ethics committee, he was suing the accusers - does anyone really believe that Gillibrand would not have blasted him for 'blaming the accusers' and such? Does she really not understand that his actions at the time - including apologizing - were in part specifically due to the fact that he was concerned that any 'denial' etc would be taken the wrong way?

Gillibrand comes off very very poorly in this interview.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:55 PM
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Gillibrand comes off very very poorly in this interview.
...people complaining about Gillibrand calling for Franken's resignation come off very poorly in real life. She did absolutely the right thing. It was Franken's actions that are the issue here. Franken chose to do what he did, he chose to resign when he didn't have to resign, that really should be the end of it.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:56 PM
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And former senator Al Franken comes across as a decent human being, erring on the side of caution, by resigning and “doing the right thing.” This is more than we’ve seen from most members of the GOP with respect to inappropriate actions.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:58 PM
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Worth pointing out that Warren, Sanders, and Harris all joined the Franken-must-resign brigade. Sure, KG started it, but a whole mess of high profile Democrats were delighted to sign on.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:16 PM
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I'm guessing this is the podcast that the OP is referring to.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/p...-franken.html?

Some clips from the transcript:

Quote:
michael barbaro
Weíll be right back. You said the allegations were corroborated by the national media, kind of in real time. Of course, there have been these developments in recent weeks with significant reporting in The New Yorker that has challenged many of those accounts, raised questions about their accuracy.
kirsten gillibrand
I donít think thatís accurate, actually. I felt that piece only challenged one account. There were eight credible allegations. From what I read, it really seemed to delve into only one.
Then later:

Quote:
kirsten gillibrand
Right, Michael, but youíre asking me about something thatís not my choice. Whether or not to stick it out for an ethics investigation is Al Frankenís decision, and his decision alone. Heís entitled to every bit of investigative work. He could have sued every woman that came forward and gone to the criminal justice system. He could have sued them for fraud. He could have had any measure of investigation that he wanted. Heís the one who chose not to have that. But what he is not entitled to, Michael, and I want to be clear on this, is my silence. Heís not entitled to the Democratic Party being in his corner. Because if thatís whatís expected of us, then his role as senator is more important than the rest of our roles as senator. That we can be speakers of truth. That we can stand with a woman who works in our workplace who felt not only attacked, but felt devalued. So those are my choices, whether to speak out or not. I am somebody who stands up for people who need protection, who need their voices to be lifted up, and I will stand with those eight survivors. I would do it again today, and thatís the courage we need to have, and Iím grateful that the Democratic Party has the courage to do that.
The interviewer was very adversarial, trying to get her to admit she was wrong, over and over.

Later, Gillibrand says that taking the stance on Franken lost her some Democratic donors and hurt her campaign.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:23 PM
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I have no problem with Gillibrand calling on Franken to resign. She's free to call on Trump to resign as well.

She didn't fire Franken (admittedly she didn't have the power to fire him). She let Franken know that the Democrats were not going support him if he was guilty the same way the Republicans have supported Trump and Kavanaugh and others. Franken, who knew he was guilty, resigned.

So Gillibrand upheld an important principle when it was politically costly to her to do so.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Michael Barbaro
I hear you pushing back on all of the reporting there. Is there room to challenge those who accuse?
Kirsten Gillibrand
Of course there is. That’s what justice is about. When you say believe women, what that means is not they get to decide whether something happened or didn’t. It means that you will do an investigation.
But...that's not what she did. She didn't say, 'let's ensure the ethics committee etc can do it's job'. She called on him to resign precisely because of the political climate at the time made it beneficial to do so.
I suspect she's lost some Democratic donors etc recently, now that they see that maybe things were not quite as clear-cut as it seemed, and she's refusing to admit she may have been too hasty.
And I don't believe for a second that she would have supported Al Franken's decision to not resign.

I certainly didn't think the interviewer was 'adversarial' at all. He asked tough questions concerning a difficult topic. The technical term for it is 'journalism'.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:47 PM
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We've discussed this in other threads. Are you claiming that Franken was innocent and all of the charges against him were false? Because it wasn't just one woman that accused him.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DragonAsh View Post
I certainly didn't think the interviewer was 'adversarial' at all. He asked tough questions concerning a difficult topic. The technical term for it is 'journalism'.
I'm guessing that the interview was supposed to be about her Presidential campaign because that's what she's doing right now. If he had invited her to do an interview to rehash the Franken story . . . again, I'm again guessing she might not be as eager to spend the time to rehash that. The interviewer spent almost the entire interview on Franken. There was only time for a question or two about the campaign.

Sure interviewers can do that, but I'd call it adversarial.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:14 AM
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The only person who "forced" Al Franken to resign was Al Franken.

Anyone who continues to pretend otherwise is just in denial that someone they supported could turn out to have done a bad thing.

Last edited by Smapti; 08-22-2019 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:49 AM
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She called on him to resign precisely because of the political climate at the time made it beneficial to do so.
...this is simply your spin. A narrative. From what I could see she called on him to resign precisely because resigning was, in her opinion, the right thing to do.

Quote:
I suspect she's lost some Democratic donors etc recently, now that they see that maybe things were not quite as clear-cut as it seemed, and she's refusing to admit she may have been too hasty.
She wasn't hasty. Admitting she was hasty when she wasn't, in her opinion hasty, would be the wrong thing to do.

Quote:
And I don't believe for a second that she would have supported Al Franken's decision to not resign.
Of course not. Neither would I. Why does that matter?

Quote:
I certainly didn't think the interviewer was 'adversarial' at all. He asked tough questions concerning a difficult topic. The technical term for it is 'journalism'.
The questions have already been answered. What did we learn that was new? Person who had an opinion two years ago holds the same opinion now. Were you expecting something different?
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:33 AM
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So Gillibrand upheld an important principle when it was politically costly to her to do so.

Its politically costly to her...now. It was very advantageous to her then.
Politician makes a political decision. It doesn't go as hoped. Nothing big, move on.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:44 AM
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Worth pointing out that Warren, Sanders, and Harris all joined the Franken-must-resign brigade. Sure, KG started it, but a whole mess of high profile Democrats were delighted to sign on.
"Were delighted to sign on"?

Boy howdy, that's quite a choice of wording. I will hope that it was one of those accidental bad choices we all make from time to time when firing off a quick post.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:48 AM
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I don't think it was ever advantageous to her, really. Franken was easily the biggest star in the Senate, and apparently a friend of hers. The press elevated her as "the one who pushed Franken out" even though apparently it was Schumer's lack of support for Franken that convinced Al to leave. The press then exploited the public's affection for Franken to make Gillibrand look like a villain, but oddly, no one else, not even Schumer.

I think there are two big reasons to scapegoat Gillibrand but not, for example, Schumer:
One, it helps shore up a sexist portrayal of women in power as backstabbers.
Two, she was obviously running for President from the beginning of 2017, positioning herself as the anti-Trump; and the people who own the networks are all extremely wealthy & lean very, very Republican.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:44 AM
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What is with the reverence, the near-deification of Al Franken that many of my fellow liberals annoint him with?

All of his accusers (except the one with photographic proof of his degrading actions) are/were fans of his comedy career and/or his politics, a couple of whom said that they would even still support him staying in office over any possible Republican replacement, they just wanted people to know as a person, as a man, he isn't really the noble, enlightened "Champion for Women" he claims to be. (yeah, yeah, I know, he never used that specific phrase to describe himself, but he clearly pretended to be one of the Good Guys, not some vile caveman like Trump)

None of you would advocate giving someone like Mitt Romney or Ted Cruz (two truly reprehensible people, but for altogether different reasons) a pass for the actions that Franken took over the years (his little grab-ass schtick had been going on for decades) so why should a rank hypocrite like Al Franken get special treatement?

For the record, I was watching Al Franken since I was probably too young to fully understand some of his more obscure political jokes, back when I was just 9 or 10 years old, back when "Saturday Night Live" was in its prime in the late 1970's-early '80's, as far as I can tell, his politics are largely identical to mine, and his favorite band happens to be my favorite band as well, (apparently we attended several of the same concerts together over the years) so I am not some puritanical prude who is offended by naughty jokes between consenting adults or someone who despises his counterculture persona.

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Old 08-22-2019, 06:56 AM
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Wow. Excluded middle much? There's a lot of daylight between 'one of the good guys' and 'Trump' in terms of treatment of women.

What we all REALLY wanted was Franken to run for President so we could get the hilarity of Trump vs and improvisational comedian in the debates. Let's just face that.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:12 AM
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I miss having Franken in the Senate, no doubt. He was a fighter. But I'm glad that he chose the right thing and resigned. It was simply the right thing to do, and hopefully it's a lesson for those who could use it. Priorities and values are proven to be valid in the actions one takes, not the empty garbage that most politicians speak.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:16 AM
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Kirsten Gillibrand isn't the real story in this interview; the real story is the apparent desperation of the New York Times, trying to find a controversial angle to a story that was settled with little controversy in late 2017 (it's now 2019).

The real story is that the New York Times is being pushed into the right wing conspiracysphere. They're clearly trying to engineer news, as we've already seen with its headline mishap and now this. They're supplicating for millennial "bro" subscribers and capitulating to the pressure that Trump and the right wing is putting them under.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
Kirsten Gillibrand isn't the real story in this interview; the real story is the apparent desperation of the New York Times, trying to find a controversial angle to a story that was settled with little controversy in late 2017 (it's now 2019).

The real story is that the New York Times is being pushed into the right wing conspiracysphere. They're clearly trying to engineer news, as we've already seen with its headline mishap and now this. They're supplicating for millennial "bro" subscribers and capitulating to the pressure that Trump and the right wing is putting them under.
We have a winner!
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:21 AM
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What is with the reverence, the near-deification of Al Franken that many of my fellow liberals annoint him with?
The Senate ethics committee announced an investigation would be started after some accusations were made. A week later, before anything happened with this, two more accusations surfaced. Gillibrand called for Franken to resign then, before the accusations against him were fully investigated. It goes without saying that if you are okay with this, you have no beef with her in regards to her action. I am not okay with it, so you know where I stand. The point that I want to make is that it's absolutely, without question a legitimate stance to take without it being a deification of Franken. Some believe in full investigations for their own sake. And some, I suppose, do not always believe in this. I remember you from the other thread a while ago and don't remember if you said I was one of the deifiers, just to be clear, but I just wanted to get this out there.

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Old 08-22-2019, 10:35 AM
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...this is simply your spin. A narrative. From what I could see she called on him to resign precisely because resigning was, in her opinion, the right thing to do.
But surely, being that neither you (nor I for that matter) are mind-readers, will acknowledge that the possibility exists that she in fact called on him to resign because of the political climate, right? She's a politician. This is what politicians do.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-22-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:53 AM
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Its politically costly to her...now. It was very advantageous to her then.
Politician makes a political decision. It doesn't go as hoped. Nothing big, move on.
I disagree. Franken was a popular Democrat. It hurt Gillibrand's party to lose him. She knew that in 2017.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:22 AM
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I disagree. Franken was a popular Democrat. It hurt Gillibrand's party to lose him. She knew that in 2017.
Reasonable minds can differ. I love Franken and wish he was in the 2020 race. But I hold no ill will to Senator Gillibrand. I see her point of view, even if I don't 100% share it. One thing I've learned from the Trump years, I can be more tolerant of "normal" ranges of political views, and reserve my outrage for Trump-level misconduct.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:43 AM
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I also love Franken and wish he was running for President. He's intelligent, talented, and charismatic. He'd be a good candidate in general and I think he'd be particularly strong against Trump; he's somebody who'd irritate Trump and make him screw up.

But sexual harassment is wrong and the accusations against Franken are credible. So do we stand by our principles or do we go down the "it's only wrong when the other side does it" route? I personally would rather have a party that believes principles are something more than just tactics.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:02 PM
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Or do we ignore this particular medias attempt to gin up a conflict involving a Presidential hopeful?
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:44 PM
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I'm sure she probably does regret it now, but saying otherwise would look like you were unsupportive of the women and would be political suicide. She's made her own bed and now she has to lie in it.

Last edited by Ashtura; 08-22-2019 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:52 PM
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But sexual harassment is wrong and the accusations against Franken are credible. So do we stand by our principles or do we go down the "it's only wrong when the other side does it" route? I personally would rather have a party that believes principles are something more than just tactics.
Certainly we don't (my bold) do that. But there are other principles involved. Maybe those are the ones that should be stood by.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:24 PM
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If this hasn't yet been cited, it should be. (New Yorker)
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:29 PM
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I wish he had been more respectful of women's bodies and boundaries. And if that were the case, I think I might have been a supporter if he were running for president now.

But I don't have any problem with the people who asked him to resign. Especially given his statements at the time, which were not full denials, and the photographic evidence. I remember hearing at the time from friends who are Democrats that it was foolish to expect him to resign, because Dems would lose a powerful senator. But I don't think it is really that hard to find people who don't have a long history of groping or kissing women against their will, and let them have a chance to lead.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:27 PM
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But surely, being that neither you (nor I for that matter) are mind-readers, will acknowledge that the possibility exists that she in fact called on him to resign because of the political climate, right?
...what part of "from what I could see" did you fail to understand?

Quote:
She's a politician. This is what politicians do.
And politicians often do the principled thing. That's what they do. I see no reason why we should assume she did this "just because of the political climate" which was all I was pointing out.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:30 PM
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If this hasn't yet been cited, it should be. (New Yorker)
...in case this hasn't already been cited yet, it should be. (Huff Post)
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:10 PM
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...what part of "from what I could see" did you fail to understand?



And politicians often do the principled thing. That's what they do. I see no reason why we should assume she did this "just because of the political climate" which was all I was pointing out.
You characterized what DragonAsh said as "simply spin", or a "narrative". He gave his opinion about what he thinks was going through KG's mind, as did you. Are you just spinning? I don't think so. I'm simply asking, why is what you say thoughtful and reasoned, but what DA said is not?

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Old 08-22-2019, 07:25 PM
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You characterized what Dragon Ash said as "simply spin", or a "narrative".
...it is spin. It was a narrative.

Quote:
He gave his opinion about what he thinks was going through KG's mind, as did you.
"She called on him to resign precisely because of the political climate at the time made it beneficial to do so" is not an expression of an "opinion". It was an expression of fact.

Quote:
Are you just spinning? I don't think so. I'm simply asking, why is what you say thoughtful and reasoned, but what DA said is not?
Because it is entirely reasonable to just accept someone at their word. There is no reason to believe that Gillibrand would have behaved differently in a different political climate, in fact she is on record (stated by the OP) as saying that she remains "steadfastly unapologetic about calling for Al Franken to resign from the US Senate." What is the belief that "she called on him to resign precisely because of the political climate at the time made it beneficial to do so" based on? What material benefit did she get, and how does that compare to the harassment and the smear campaigns and the hate that has been directed her way since she made that decision?
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:38 PM
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Because it is entirely reasonable to just accept someone at their word.
I find it incredibly naive of you to just accept KG at her word. You seriously won't even consider the possibilities DragonAsh has brought up? You know, give him the benefit of the doubt instead of making those accustations. And just because you don't agree with someone, doesn't mean they are spinning. In any case, DA can defend himself...

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-22-2019 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:42 PM
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Certainly we don't (my bold) do that. But there are other principles involved. Maybe those are the ones that should be stood by.
What principles are you suggesting?
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:45 PM
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I find it incredibly naive of you to just accept KG at her word.
...why? I'm taking you at your word. I take everyone here in this thread at their word. What reason would I have to not take her at her word? Her statement is consistent with her position on sexual harassment that she has shown throughout her career. Her statement is entirely consistent with the position she holds now. Why should I not believe her?

Quote:
You seriously won't even consider the possibilities DragonAsh has brought up?
I would seriously consider the possibilities if DragonAsh were to present some evidence to back those possibilities up.

Quote:
And just because you don't agree with someone, doesn't mean they are spinning. In any case, DA can defend himself...
DA presented an opinion without evidence as fact. That's spin. Not a mere difference in opinion.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:36 PM
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The real story is that the New York Times is being pushed into the right wing conspiracysphere. They're clearly trying to engineer news, as we've already seen with its headline mishap and now this. They're supplicating for millennial "bro" subscribers and capitulating to the pressure that Trump and the right wing is putting them under.
The Times might be slowly fading into irrelevance in the mediasphere, but they aren't looking for millennial bros to save them. The Times has never appealed to young readers, and knows damn well it never will. The paper has been an acquired taste since at least the 1930s and it understands that people "grow into it."
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:26 PM
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But I don't have any problem with the people who asked him to resign. Especially given his statements at the time, which were not full denials
This is one aspect I have issue with. If he had issued 'strong full denials', does anyone really think reaction from KG or other senators would have been 'see, he's denying it, we really should let the ethics committee do its thing'?

Because I don't think that's what would have happened. I think his denials would have been viewed as just another sexual molester denying everything and calling the accusers liars etc. That's what most people assumed with Kavanaugh, right? And the travesty there was that the 'due process' appeared to be a rushed, half-baked partisan hack job designed to avoid getting to the truth at all costs.

Numerous senators now say they let themselves be persuaded by the climate at the time, and wish they had pushed for due process. Franken has noted that his response was measured in part by feeling that any sort of strong denial would be construed as blaming/accusing the accusers.

KG sidesteps all responsibility by saying that calling on him to resign without the ethics committee investigation, and then him resigning was 'his decision', then at the same time claiming that he could have 'sued the accusers of fraud' etc, because there's no way she's arguing in good faith that she would have backed his decision to not resign and fight the accusations.

From the New Yorker article:

Quote:
A remarkable number of Franken’s Senate colleagues have regrets about their own roles in his fall. Seven current and former U.S. senators who demanded Franken’s resignation in 2017 told me that they’d been wrong to do so. Such admissions are unusual in an institution whose members rarely concede mistakes. Patrick Leahy, the veteran Democrat from Vermont, said that his decision to seek Franken’s resignation without first getting all the facts was “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made” in forty-five years in the Senate. Heidi Heitkamp, the former senator from North Dakota, told me, “If there’s one decision I’ve made that I would take back, it’s the decision to call for his resignation. It was made in the heat of the moment, without concern for exactly what this was.” Tammy Duckworth, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, told me that the Senate Ethics Committee “should have been allowed to move forward.” She said it was important to acknowledge the trauma that Franken’s accusers had gone through, but added, “We needed more facts. That due process didn’t happen is not good for our democracy.” Angus King, the Independent senator from Maine, said that he’d “regretted it ever since” he joined the call for Franken’s resignation. “There’s no excuse for sexual assault,” he said. “But Al deserved more of a process. I don’t denigrate the allegations, but this was the political equivalent of capital punishment.” Senator Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, told me, “This was a rush to judgment that didn’t allow any of us to fully explore what this was about. I took the judgment of my peers rather than independently examining the circumstances. In my heart, I’ve not felt right about it.” Bill Nelson, the former Florida senator, said, “I realized almost right away I’d made a mistake. I felt terrible. I should have stood up for due process to render what it’s supposed to—the truth.” Tom Udall, the senior Democratic senator from New Mexico, said, “I made a mistake. I started having second thoughts shortly after he stepped down. He had the right to be heard by an independent investigative body. I’ve heard from people around my state, and around the country, saying that they think he got railroaded. It doesn’t seem fair. I’m a lawyer. I really believe in due process.”
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 08-23-2019 at 10:29 PM.
  #39  
Old 08-23-2019, 10:45 PM
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Remind me again, when has Kirsten Gillibrand called on Biden or Klobuchar to pull out of the race due to the numerous accusations from women against them?
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  #40  
Old 08-24-2019, 12:50 AM
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Remind me again, when has Kirsten Gillibrand called on Biden or Klobuchar to pull out of the race due to the numerous accusations from women against them?
...remind me again when Franken was running for the Democratic nomination and Kirsten Gillibrand called on him to pull out of the race?

Quote:
This is one aspect I have issue with.
I strongly suspect there are more than one aspect you would have issue with.

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If he had issued 'strong full denials', does anyone really think reaction from KG or other senators would have been 'see, he's denying it, we really should let the ethics committee do its thing'?
This particular objection isn't really about Gillibrand though. She is entitled to ask Franken to resign. And if she had chosen, in the face of denials, to continue to ask him to resign, then how does that change anything?

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Because I don't think that's what would have happened. I think his denials would have been viewed as just another sexual molester denying everything and calling the accusers liars etc. That's what most people assumed with Kavanaugh, right? And the travesty there was that the 'due process' appeared to be a rushed, half-baked partisan hack job designed to avoid getting to the truth at all costs.
We all have the ability to listen to the stories of the accusers, listen to the story told by Franken, and to formulate an opinion on who is more credible. That's just how the world works. And if Franken did deny the allegations and if he did threaten to sue his accusers then I am allowed to judge him on that. What is it exactly are you wanting to happen?

Quote:
Numerous senators now say they let themselves be persuaded by the climate at the time, and wish they had pushed for due process. Franken has noted that his response was measured in part by feeling that any sort of strong denial would be construed as blaming/accusing the accusers.
So numerous senators, unlike Gillibrand, don't have the courage of their convictions, and will "flip" when the political climate changes. That is unsurprising, but it paints Gillibrand in a good light, not a bad one, IMHO.

Quote:
KG sidesteps all responsibility by saying that calling on him to resign without the ethics committee investigation, and then him resigning was 'his decision', then at the same time claiming that he could have 'sued the accusers of fraud' etc, because there's no way she's arguing in good faith that she would have backed his decision to not resign and fight the accusations.
There are no contradictions here. Gillibrand's position is a simple one: Franken had agency. He chose to resign. He could have stayed and fought. He could have sued his accusers. What he wasn't entitled to though was Gillibrand's silence. You seem to fundamentally not understand what it is that Gillibrand was saying.

Quote:
From the New Yorker article:
The New Yorker article was a great big steaming pile of shit.

Last edited by Banquet Bear; 08-24-2019 at 12:52 AM.
  #41  
Old 08-24-2019, 01:26 AM
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The New Yorker article may be a "great big steaming pile of shit." And I won't be voting for Kristen Gillibrand.

Nor am I going to be voting for Pat Leahy, Heidi Heidkamp, Tammy Duckworth, Angus King, Jeff Merkley or Tom Udall. What a bunch of Cowards.

To hell with them!

Oh yeah, Bill Nelson, too!
  #42  
Old 08-24-2019, 01:32 AM
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And I won't be voting for Kristen Gillibrand.
Considering how poorly she is polling this is probably a moot point unless she gets tapped for a VP slot. And I wouldn't give that great odds either, as a New Yorker is less likely to be at the top of any Democratic Party contender's list for the #2.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 08-24-2019 at 01:32 AM.
  #43  
Old 08-24-2019, 01:38 AM
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The New Yorker article may be a "great big steaming pile of shit."
...it was. Gutter journalism.

Quote:
And I won't be voting for Kristen Gillibrand.

Nor am I going to be voting for Pat Leahy, Heidi Heidkamp, Tammy Duckworth, Angus King, Jeff Merkley or Tom Udall. What a bunch of Cowards.
Cowards? You think they lack courage? How so?

Quote:
To hell with them!
To hell with them for...believing women?

Quote:
Oh yeah, Bill Nelson, too!
You want Bill Nelson to "go to hell" as well?
  #44  
Old 08-24-2019, 02:24 AM
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Cowards? You think they lack courage? How so?
To hell with them for...believing women?
A coward to me is one who doesn't support a friend. Each of these people in one way or another is saying, "I failed to have my friend's back. perhaps he was wrong, but I bailed on Al Franken too early."

That to me is a coward.

I read the whole article and I am conflicted. I think Al Franken is a handsy guy. Joe Biden strikes me as a handsy guy. I suspect there are women out there who are handsy women. I don't want anyone touching me, quite frankly, so I don't have Al or Joe's or any other politician's issues.

And I do believe that Joe and Al and politicians for time immemorial have touched women. And women, for time immemorial have wanted to be beside politically powerful people. Yes, I believe women, too. But I don't believe the woman at the center of the Al Franken Story.

And when politicians begin to say that, "Kristen told Angus that Bill told Bill that something happened that we all think that you have to resign." That's a pile that represents cowardice and I think that is what overcame the party back in 2017. And No, I don't think that Al Franken got a fair shake.

From what I've read, but who's to say that represents reality anyway? Right?
  #45  
Old 08-24-2019, 03:03 AM
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A coward to me is one who doesn't support a friend. Each of these people in one way or another is saying, "I failed to have my friend's back. perhaps he was wrong, but I bailed on Al Franken too early."
...they were all friends with Franken? Really?

If a friend of yours was credibly accused of grabbing women on the butt you would "have their back" regardless, simply because they were your friend?

If that person were my friend I would be seriously re-evaluating my friendship. And if I chose to end that friendship and speak out against them, that wouldn't be cowardly.

Quote:
That to me is a coward.
You haven't demonstrated that they were all "friends" yet.

Quote:
I read the whole article and I am conflicted.
The New Yorker article is a terrible article to read if you want to understand what this story is all about. If you read that heavily biased article and still came away "conflicted" I'd love to see what your opinion would be when you read a source that isn't dedicated to attacking one of the alleged victims.

Quote:
I think Al Franken is a handsy guy. Joe Biden strikes me as a handsy guy.
You've heard reports of Biden grabbing women by the butt? We have photos of Biden maybe grabbing (or at the very least pretending to) grab them by the breasts? Why are you conflating the accusations against Franken with those against Biden?

Quote:
I suspect there are women out there who are handsy women. I don't want anyone touching me, quite frankly, so I don't have Al or Joe's or any other politician's issues.
If a woman grabbed you on the butt (without your explicit consent) I'd be calling for her resignation as well.

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And I do believe that Joe and Al and politicians for time immemorial have touched women.
Billions of people have touched women. With their consent. "Touching" isn't the issue. Its all about consent, and boundaries.

Quote:
And women, for time immemorial have wanted to be beside politically powerful people. Yes, I believe women, too. But I don't believe the woman at the center of the Al Franken Story.
You "believe women", just not these particular eight women. Sounds legit.

Quote:
And when politicians begin to say that, "Kristen told Angus that Bill told Bill that something happened that we all think that you have to resign." That's a pile that represents cowardice and I think that is what overcame the party back in 2017.
The party wasn't "overcome" by anything in 2017. And we all had a chance to listen to the accusations directly from the people who made them.

Quote:
And No, I don't think that Al Franken got a fair shake.
Al Franken chose to resign. That's about as fair a shake as you can get.

Quote:
From what I've read, but who's to say that represents reality anyway? Right?
Well that's just how things work. You read something. You judge the credibility of what you've read. What else can you do?
  #46  
Old 08-24-2019, 11:52 AM
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For those who are arguing that Gillibrand and others should now be regretting their decision, do you feel that Franken has been vindicated? That in the two years since his resignation, it's been shown that the charges against him are baseless? Or are you saying the accusations, even if true, did not justify him leaving office?
  #47  
Old 08-24-2019, 12:29 PM
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For those who are arguing that Gillibrand and others should now be regretting their decision, do you feel that Franken has been vindicated? That in the two years since his resignation, it's been shown that the charges against him are baseless? Or are you saying the accusations, even if true, did not justify him leaving office?
Not to speak for anyone but judging from the last couple of threads on this topic, they seem to be saying that it was inappropriate to pressure Franken to resign before a full investigation was done. The underlying assumption seeming to be that Tweeden was a biased accuser that might have been exaggerating Franken's conduct, the other seven accusations were arguably weak sauce that might be explained by him just being touchy-feely in general and the odds were decent he'd beat the wrap after that whole interminable process ground to a close. Which would mean a strong, articulate, clever and liberal senator would have remained in play.

They're wrong. Tweeden by herself was probably not enough, but Tweeden + seven certainly was. It was more than appropriate to pressure him to resign because the optics were awful. If I had been a personal friend of Franken I would have advised him to do the same. And being handsy has always been inappropriate in American society even when it was tolerated. Yeah he didn't attack anybody, but if you had eight separate accusations of inappropriate kissing and light groping taken to HR you'd get fired at any reasonably run business or government agency in the country.

Franken made his own bed. Then he slept in it when he voluntarily waived his right to an investigation and resigned. That he regrets it now merits nothing more than a huge shrug from me. That he was pressured to do so also merits a huge shrug, because what else do you expect when you put yourself in that position?
  #48  
Old 08-24-2019, 02:42 PM
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Not sure why this subject merits such dead horse beating.

Personally I think those who think like Tamerlane are wrong.

I readily acknowledge that my take is biased by how I have seen the individual players pasts.

Yup I see Franken's behaviors as described but I also see him as a person whose sense of ethics was such that he thought his resignation, his minimally short term career sacrifice, at that point was in service of the greater good. I see him as very much believing in the importance of that greater good.

If he decides to run for office it will be up to those who can vote for or against him to decide his political future from here. At the time at least there was not huge support in his state for him to resign and if he does run in the future I hope everyone else can accept whatever verdict those voters as a group pass.

Gillibrand has her own track record. She was quite conservative and has gone from a strong gun rights supporter and a a solid House Blue Dog when she felt that served her ambitions to strongly for gun control and when in a different arena. I cannot help but believe that her jumping to be the forst to call for Franken to resign was based on what she (mistakenly) thought was in her own political best interest with no regard for the the actual issues, for fairness or justice, or the good of the party.

And ... meh. She has no chance at the nomination and, as with Franken if he ever runs for anything again, it will up to those who vote for her to decide if she is an honest champion for women or a political opportunist who should be tossed out.

I know that if I could I'd vote for Franken and against Gillibrand as D nominee for Senate or whatever, but I can do neither, and most of those posting here can't either.

Meanwhile this past done history is a subject that potentially divides those who are mostly on the same team. Why so much equine zombification?
  #49  
Old 08-24-2019, 03:13 PM
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Her statement is consistent with her position on sexual harassment that she has shown throughout her career. Her statement is entirely consistent with the position she holds now. Why should I not believe her?
She's isn't going to change her opinion of Franken now and did not in the interview. Of course not. But what do you mean about "consistent"? I'm not aware of her crusading or otherwise being involved with sexual harassment causes before Franken. A cursory Google search turned up nothing. Maybe I missed it.

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DA presented an opinion without evidence as fact. That's spin. Not a mere difference in opinion.
If you don't mind, please elaborate. How much evidence is needed to turn spin into opinion?
  #50  
Old 08-24-2019, 03:14 PM
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Not sure why this subject merits such dead horse beating.
I cannot help but believe that her jumping to be the forst to call for Franken to resign was based on what she (mistakenly) thought was in her own political best interest with no regard for the the actual issues, for fairness or justice, or the good of the party.
This nails it for me. Seems to me one should at least consider this possibility. It takes a certain amount of naivety not to do so, especially where politicians are concerned. This is not a silly concept to keep in mind. I've seen plenty of opportunistic politicians in my life, and even if one has no specific reason to doubt one, a bit of skepticism is always appropriate.
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