Monday, July 22, 2019

You Know Me Al

YouTube screen capture, from the Sessions confirmation hearings.

I only wrote one brief post on Al Franken's resignation from the Senate, not saying much more than, "I really hate everything. I certainly hate Al Franken, though I obviously hate Roger Stone a lot more," with reference to the clear indications that ratfucking was involved, and archratfucker Roger Stone was somehow involved in it:
And with the understanding that Franken had set himself up for this, which quickly began to look more and more unfair as the character of the ratfucking exposed itself in more depth, and I found myself hating him a lot less. As I put it last spring, with reference to attacks on Joe Biden for his disturbing-uncle behavior:
I also thought and continue to think Al Franken was essentially innocent, in similar ways and indeed still more so (in the sense that his dopey comedian behaviors are less creepy than the Biden massages and hair sniffings), but nevertheless right to resign from the Senate, because what loyalty to the party demanded at the moment of accusation was to not allow that to become an issue for diluting the party message on sexual assault...
So that I was fully prepared, as many of us must have been, for Jane Mayer's excellent New Yorker report, though maybe not for how angry I'd start to feel as I began to appreciate how obvious Franken's innocence should have been from the start, whenever we learned who the accuser LeeAnn Tweeden was (conservative radio "host", Fox figure and Hannity friend, and an inveterate liar about a large number of subjects, including that USO tour); what Tom Arnold of all people was able to report accurately in early December 2017 must have been possible for the press to check out, and I don't know why they didn't.

I still think Franken was right to resign (agreeing with the conclusion, if not many of the premises, of Matt Yglesias)—even though he seems to be second-guessing himself at this point—and I'm not going to scream at the Democratic Senators who did what they felt they had to do, including Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer in the leadership roles they took, though I'm glad Gillibrand's never going to be president after reading about this slightly Frank Underwood moment:
at a previously scheduled press conference, Gillibrand added insult to injury: she reiterated her call for Franken to resign while also trumpeting her sponsorship of a new bill that banned mandatory arbitration of sexual-harassment claims. She didn’t mention that Franken had originated the legislation—and had given it to Gillibrand to sponsor, out of concern that it might be imperilled by his scandal. 
Still, politics is ugly, and nobody's indispensable. But I miss him, shooting barbs in the Senate judiciary committee and representing exactly the kind of progressivism the whole party has begun to move toward. I hope we get him back in public life.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

No comments: