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  #51  
Old 08-24-2019, 03:38 PM
Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post

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.
I have no quibbles with the above.

I also don't really care one way or the other about Gillibrand herself. She's not my senator and I regard virtually all politicians in higher office as opportunistic to a greater or lesser degree - it's virtually a requirement of the job. Most importantly I don't have to worry much about this because she's not likely to be within sniffing distance of the presidency. It's just that whether she was opportunistic or principled or both( which might actually be the most likely answer ), I don't disagree with the stance she took.

But you're right it's a long dead horse. I'm pretty sure I've been repeating myself across multiple threads.
  #52  
Old 08-25-2019, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
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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Originally Posted by Wiki
During her Senate tenure, Gillibrand has shifted to the left. She has been outspoken on sexual assault in the military and sexual harassment, having criticized President Bill Clinton and Senator Al Franken, both fellow Democrats, for sexual misconduct.

...

In November 2017, amid the MeToo movement, Gillibrand became the first high-profile Democrat to say that Bill Clinton should have resigned when his affair with Monica Lewinsky was revealed.

...

She has been less deferential to Senate seniority protocols and more uncompromising in her positions – such as combating sexual assault in the military – than most freshman senators, traits which have sometimes caused friction with her Democratic colleagues.

...

In 2013, Gillibrand proposed legislation that would remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command; the bill was cosponsored by Republican senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Gillibrand

...primary sources available on the wiki link.

Quote:
If you don't mind, please elaborate. How much evidence is needed to turn spin into opinion?
No need to elaborate. The sentence you quoted concedes the statement was opinion: it was an opinion presented as fact.

Last edited by Banquet Bear; 08-25-2019 at 06:36 AM.
  #53  
Old 08-25-2019, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
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.
As should be obvious, I disagree. I believe Gillibrand made the right call in 2017 and I believe that everything that has occurred since has vindicated her decision.

It all comes down to two central questions:

1. Do you believe sexual harassment is a serious offense?
2. Do you believe Al Franken was guilty of sexual harassment?

To me, the answer to both questions is yes.
  #54  
Old 08-25-2019, 02:41 PM
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While I am not convinced of a yes or no to item 2 (and IMHO certainly there was not enough done at the time for anyone to really know) I would ask you subquestions to item 1:

Is all that can be called sexual harassment as serious of an offense as all else that can be called sexual harassment?

Does a belief that sexual harassment is a serious offense require a belief in the same off with their (career) heads for all levels of offense? Should someone accused, to make a clear these things are not like another example, demanding a blow job to keep a job be handled the same as someone accused of making an inappropriate joke or of placing an unwanted hand on a shoulder?

Is the more global issue of sexual harassment best served by a zero tolerance policy coupled with a default presumption of guilt, or is there a place for action plans to improve behaviors even inclusive of ones that had no ill intent but still resulted in another's discomfort, and working towards structural fixes that reduce future harassment?

My belief is that in many areas and in many cases the desire to punish is often counterproductive to the goal of improved outcomes in the future. Certainly not always so and there are many cases in which punishment is required for justice ... but usually so.
  #55  
Old 08-25-2019, 11:41 PM
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One thing that affected the entire calculus is that the Franken accusations came at the worst possible time for him, namely when Roy Moore was defiantly not stepping down due to credible sexual assault allegations during a close election. Gillibrand didn't make Roy Moore a pedophile and she didn't make WaPo decide to head down to investigate but, once that had happened, there was increasing pressure to differentiate the Democratic party from Republicans and show that they treated sexual assault allegations seriously.

Now that Doug Jones has safely won the election, there's a pressure to look back at decisions an analyze them in a vacuum without considering the larger political context but the context couldn't have been ignored at the time. I truly believe if it had happened at any other time for him, then it would have been easy for him to let the ethics investigation to grind on and they would have found concerning things meriting a censure but he could have accepted the censure and moved on and continued a successful career.

That being said, I absolutely think him resigning was the right thing to do. Part of "believe women" is the fundamental belief that women aren't acting out of some conspiracy to derail mens lives. Every woman in America knows the absolute torrent of hate they are guaranteed to receive in the face of any public sexual assault allegation, no matter now minor. They need to weigh this against the probably effects of them speaking out which is, in many cases, much more minor than it should be. When you have multiple women independently come out and present credible accusations in specific detail that show a common pattern, the investigation becomes a formality at that point and the chances of there being *nothing* is infinitesimal. Public accusations are only ever the tip of the iceberg, if there were 8 women who came forward, it's likely there are dozens more women who were also made to feel deeply uncomfortable by Franken who simply didn't feel like receiving the torrent of shit that comes from coming forward.

Last edited by Shalmanese; 08-25-2019 at 11:43 PM.
  #56  
Old 08-26-2019, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
While I am not convinced of a yes or no to item 2 (and IMHO certainly there was not enough done at the time for anyone to really know) I would ask you subquestions to item 1:

Is all that can be called sexual harassment as serious of an offense as all else that can be called sexual harassment?

Does a belief that sexual harassment is a serious offense require a belief in the same off with their (career) heads for all levels of offense? Should someone accused, to make a clear these things are not like another example, demanding a blow job to keep a job be handled the same as someone accused of making an inappropriate joke or of placing an unwanted hand on a shoulder?

Is the more global issue of sexual harassment best served by a zero tolerance policy coupled with a default presumption of guilt, or is there a place for action plans to improve behaviors even inclusive of ones that had no ill intent but still resulted in another's discomfort, and working towards structural fixes that reduce future harassment?

My belief is that in many areas and in many cases the desire to punish is often counterproductive to the goal of improved outcomes in the future. Certainly not always so and there are many cases in which punishment is required for justice ... but usually so.
I'll address these questions in general rather than one by one. I do not feel that all cases of sexual harassment are the same. Some are much worse than others. Raping a woman is certainly much worse than grabbing her breasts. I've said it other threads that Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh have done far worse than Al Franken did.

But the fact that other people are guilty of greater crimes doesn't make Franken innocent. What he did was well above the level of being unacceptable sexual harassment. The accusations were not about making inappropriate jokes and putting hands on shoulders.

I'm not arguing for zero tolerance. But what happened was well above zero and shouldn't be tolerated. And there was no default presumption of guilt. There was and is credible evidence of guilt.

On the subject of punishment, I don't feel that's a relevant issue here. Al Franken wasn't sent to prison. He was asked to resign from the Senate. If not being a Senator is punishment it's one shared by hundreds of millions of people in this country.

And I think that holding people who commit sexual harassment responsible for their actions, not minimizing those actions, and making sure there are consequences when they're deserved are the kinds of structural fixes we need to reach the goal of improved outcomes in the future.
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