Open thread - Al Franken
As of the writing of this post, Senator Al Franken has yet to resign due to a slew of allegations of sexual impropriety. He is due to have a statement on Thursday. While anything can happen, the haruspices aren't good. His position has become untenable.
Is he getting a raw deal? Yes. But ever since the Weinstein revelations came out, this is the direction in which our culture has been moving at lightning speed. Women are no longer willing to give men the benefit of the doubt. After literally millennia of oppression, women—at least in the West—have had enough.
One of my favorite patrons told me a story this week.
She has built herself a career as a headhunter. She first got into the business in the 1980s. For those who don't remember, women had to dress in three-piece suits, corseted to fit the male-dominated business culture. But, she had knowledge of medical terminology, which her firm wanted to expand into.
A certain man didn't know his boundaries. How could he, as he'd never had boundaries? He continually made physical contact with her. She complained to her supervisor, who informed her: "Oh, we can't do anything to him. He's our biggest earner!"
This is what women are now rebelling against. Yes: what Al Franken is accused of pales in comparison to Roy Moore, Donald Trump, Blake Farenthold. But we're in a place where nuance no longer matters. We can rightly bemoan it, but it is what it is.
Many on this blog are saying that Democrats are showing no spine by casting Franken aside. I offer a different take: what Democrats are doing is ruthless politics. With Franken and Conyers, Democrats are showing that they walk the walk. No, this won't make a difference in Alabama. That's not at whom they are aiming this. This is aimed at voters in purple districts and states who are looking aghast at what the Republican Party is spiraling down to. Democrats can't preach rectitude if they don't then take action against misdemeanors in their own ranks. Again, with Al Franken, this is brutal. But it isn't a lack of spine; rather, it's a targeted ruthlessness. As Charlie Sykes says, this takes away every GOP excuse.
That's my take. There's a vast difference of opinion on this blog over Mr. Franken. I don't expect you to fall in line with me. But I hope you'll consider what I've said.
This is your open thread.
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