Senator Al Franken resigning "in the coming weeks" after sexual misconduct allegations

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This is disappointing. I always respected Al Franken for speaking his mind, but this is absolutely the right thing to happen. He should probably be booted from Senate, actually, but that's asking a bit too much. Also, I will point out that I absolutely disagree with Franken trying to deflect accusations against him by saying "But look at the president!"

It also seems his decision to resign is not because of any actual guilty conscience, which he may or may not have, but because Democrats in the Senate have turned on him.

The New York Times

This really is the right thing to happen. Sex offenders have no right being in public office.

*Glares at Alabama*

erttheking:
This really is the right thing to happen. Sex offenders have no right being in public office.

This. The President might be a worse offender, but that's no excuse for anything.

Strategically speaking, this also puts the Democrats on the moral high ground going into the midterms. They disavow the abusers and predators in their midst, while the Republicans tacitly support theirs. Trump and Moore are the stand-out examples, but consider also that we learned this week that Blake Farenthold spent over 80 grand in taxpayer money to cover up his various "indiscretions." The Democrats have said that they plan to use this as a weapon in 2018. The way things are going... I think it's actually a sound strategy.

BeetleManiac:
Strategically speaking, this also puts the Democrats on the moral high ground going into the midterms. They disavow the abusers and predators in their midst, while the Republicans tacitly support theirs. Trump and Moore are the stand-out examples, but consider also that we learned this week that Blake Farenthold spent over 80 grand in taxpayer money to cover up his various "indiscretions." The Democrats have said that they plan to use this as a weapon in 2018. The way things are going... I think it's actually a sound strategy.

It is a sound strategy, but still makes me cringe a bit. Their reaction to one of their own being a sexual offender, allegedly? "How can we turn this to our benefit?" It just...gah.

BeetleManiac:
Strategically speaking, this also puts the Democrats on the moral high ground going into the midterms. They disavow the abusers and predators in their midst, while the Republicans tacitly support theirs. Trump and Moore are the stand-out examples, but consider also that we learned this week that Blake Farenthold spent over 80 grand in taxpayer money to cover up his various "indiscretions." The Democrats have said that they plan to use this as a weapon in 2018. The way things are going... I think it's actually a sound strategy.

Highground is bad strategy. Notice that Republicans are in power and Trump doesnt even know what high ground looks like. Even if he says hes got the highest ground around.

As he should. Has that Democratic Rep who's dealing with similar accusations also stepped down (or announced he will)? They should be on the same bus out of town as soon as possible.

Funny how the Democrats are less tolerant of this stuff in their ranks than the party of "personal responsibility," "Christian morals," and "family values."

edit: It was Representative Conyers and he did

Holy cow, is this someone being held to actual standards in modern US politics for once?? It's...been so long.

Avnger:
As he should. Has that Democratic Rep who's dealing with similar accusations also stepped down (or announced he will)? They should be on the same bus out of town as soon as possible.

Funny how the Democrats are less tolerant of this stuff in their ranks than the party of "personal responsibility," "Christian morals," and "family values."

You wanna know something fucked? The Democrats are less tolerant of stuff in their ranks than the Republicans are in the ranks of their rival.

Here's a fun little article I found.

https://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2017-silence-breakers/

When it comes to being a sex offender

82% of Democrats would want a Republican to resign.
74% of Democrats would want a Democrat to resign.
71% of Republicans would want a Democrat to resign.
54% of Republicans would want a Republican to resign.

Note that Democrats are harder on their own people than the Republicans are on Democrats. Well, I guess that leaves the 29% of Republicans who wouldn't want a Democrat sex offender to resign safely out of the hypocrite zone. Though I'm not sure that's something they should be particularly proud of. Oh, and don't forget the 20% difference in demanding resignations if it's one of their own doing the sexual misconduct.

Xsjadoblayde:
Holy cow, is this someone being held to actual standards in modern US politics for once?? It's...been so long.

Meh, I kind of dont really consider "resigning' to be 'held to actual standards'. Its actually a cop out in my book. I mean, better than staying in office when you are literally completely incompetent, but low standards are still low even compared to no standards.

Too many CEOs and Politicians who 'resign' instead of getting actual legal punishment they deserve.

Yeah, I think this is a good move. Al Franken and John Conyers provided unnecessary ammunition for people like Bannon to distract from the indiscretions of guys like Roy Moore.

My initial assessment of the Franken situation was "well, that was stupid and wrong, but he apologised and seems to realise that it was stupid and wrong." People were worried about forcing him to retire, because it'd set a precedent where Democrats accused of sexual harassment get taken off the board but Republicans just suck it up and stick around; I figured a decent compromise would be if he announced he wasn't running for re-election, which would be a fair call anyway because the photo would likely plague him in 2018. But then more allegations started coming out, and it's like...yeah, it's time to retire, Al.

This is a good move strategically because it puts the buck back on the GOP and because it clears the field for Franken's seat in 2018, rather than risking a scandal-wracked candidate in a tense election year. And it means that if Moore wins the Alabama election - which is very likely at this point now that he's been re-endorsed - then he'll serve as a huge goddamn target for Democrats to exploit in 2018.

bastardofmelbourne:
Yeah, I think this is a good move. Al Franken and John Conyers provided unnecessary ammunition for people like Bannon to distract from the indiscretions of guys like Roy Moore.

My initial assessment of the Franken situation was "well, that was stupid and wrong, but he apologised and seems to realise that it was stupid and wrong." People were worried about forcing him to retire, because it'd set a precedent where Democrats accused of sexual harassment get taken off the board but Republicans just suck it up and stick around; I figured a decent compromise would be if he announced he wasn't running for re-election, which would be a fair call anyway because the photo would likely plague him in 2018. But then more allegations started coming out, and it's like...yeah, it's time to retire, Al.

This is a good move strategically because it puts the buck back on the GOP and because it clears the field for Franken's seat in 2018, rather than risking a scandal-wracked candidate in a tense election year. And it means that if Moore wins the Alabama election - which is very likely at this point now that he's been re-endorsed - then he'll serve as a huge goddamn target for Democrats to exploit in 2018.

Know how Batman refuses to kill The Joker cause he is 'morally superior'? Notice how The Joker is still a problem for him?

The President literally endorses pedophiles.

Resigning is just the right thing to do. I could have done without his 'whataboutism' pointing at Trump, but at least the Dems are starting to hold their own to the right standards. Maybe this new direction will start restoring some trust in at least one of our parties.

"There you see that people? The democrat just admitted to sexual misconduct and resigned, he's guilty! The Democratic Party is the party of rapists or else why would they admit it?
But meanwhile the brave men of the GOP like Roy Moore and Dear Supreme Leader may his name be praised and blasphemers slain President Trump are fighting on in spite of all the fake news and evil false accusations being pelted against them! Clearly they are innocent, right? We would never happily endorse pedophiles, rapists and pedophile rapists to secure power would we? No we wouldn't. You can trust us. Your so smart to trust us. Who's our favourite little smarties? You are. Yes you are."

- How Fox News and conservative media generally is going to feed this news to their viewers.

I'm glad Franken resigned, it showed integrity on his part and that democrats actually put their money where their mouths are when it comes to integrity.

Just don't think this guarantees public opinion will sway back to them, in the deeply entrenched far right world, especially in this post fact gas lighting era of politics, 'integrity' means very little.
'Never admitting fault' is all that matters because it's all about who looks 'tough' because apparently so much of America never left middle school apparently.

Saelune:
Know how Batman refuses to kill The Joker cause he is 'morally superior'? Notice how The Joker is still a problem for him?

In this case, Batman not killing the Joker is the most pragmatic move for Batman. If Franken did not resign and ran for re-election, two things would happen. First, his campaign would be permanently tarred by the allegations, allowing Republicans an opportunity (Minnesota is a blue-ish state, but not so safe that they're just gonna ignore it) to try and snatch another Senate seat. (The 2018 Senate election map is already horrendous for Democrats, because they're defending 23 seats while Republicans are defending only 8.)

Secondly, letting Franken go allows them to hang the likely-senator-to-be Roy Moore over the Republican Party's heads for the next several months, especially if McConnell doesn't go through with his threats to kick Moore out if he does take office. While Alabama Republicans are turning a blind eye to Moore, on a national level, he's a catastrophe; an uncontrollable, unreliable theocrat with a sordid history of embezzling charity monies and several accusations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Maybe he can get away with that in Alabama, but moderate Republican voters nation-wide are going to look at Moore with disgust, and that creates an opportunity for Democrats, who need to keep all 23 of their Senate seats and win 2-3 Republican seats while they're at it in order to retake the Senate.

Minnesota has a Democrat governor, so there's no risk of a Republican being nominated to replace Franken after his resignation. If that wasn't true, maybe Franken wouldn't be under so much pressure. But right now, the Democrats can afford to lose Franken, and doing so both protects them against a future line of attack and opens up new vulnerabilities for Republicans if they end up stuck with Moore as everyone expects.

Vrex360:
I'm glad Franken resigned, it showed integrity on his part and that democrats actually put their money where their mouths are when it comes to integrity.

I wouldn't go so far as to pat Franken on the back for stepping down. That's due to outside pressure, not some internal moral compass. He seemed pretty content to waffle when the first few accusations came out about how 'the photo was just a joke' and how he didn't remember the USO rehersal the way she did and how he doesn't remember grabbing anyones butts, etc etc.

'Integrity is what you do when no one is looking'. If Franken had been stepping down from a place of integrity, he would have done so prior to anyone actually coming out to accuse him.

I'd say that it reflects better on the democratic party as a whole that they're cleaning house, agreed there.

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Know how Batman refuses to kill The Joker cause he is 'morally superior'? Notice how The Joker is still a problem for him?

In this case, Batman not killing the Joker is the most pragmatic move for Batman. If Franken did not resign and ran for re-election, two things would happen. First, his campaign would be permanently tarred by the allegations, allowing Republicans an opportunity (Minnesota is a blue-ish state, but not so safe that they're just gonna ignore it) to try and snatch another Senate seat. (The 2018 Senate election map is already horrendous for Democrats, because they're defending 23 seats while Republicans are defending only 8.)

Secondly, letting Franken go allows them to hang the likely-senator-to-be Roy Moore over the Republican Party's heads for the next several months, especially if McConnell doesn't go through with his threats to kick Moore out if he does take office. While Alabama Republicans are turning a blind eye to Moore, on a national level, he's a catastrophe; an uncontrollable, unreliable theocrat with a sordid history of embezzling charity monies and several accusations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Maybe he can get away with that in Alabama, but moderate Republican voters nation-wide are going to look at Moore with disgust, and that creates an opportunity for Democrats, who need to keep all 23 of their Senate seats and win 2-3 Republican seats while they're at it in order to retake the Senate.

Minnesota has a Democrat governor, so there's no risk of a Republican being nominated to replace Franken after his resignation. If that wasn't true, maybe Franken wouldn't be under so much pressure. But right now, the Democrats can afford to lose Franken, and doing so both protects them against a future line of attack and opens up new vulnerabilities for Republicans if they end up stuck with Moore as everyone expects.

My point is Trump isnt being impeached and Alabama is probably going to have a pedo in office.

Alot of good our moral superiority gets us. Hell, we do the right thing and we're 'just as bad as Nazis'.

Unfortunately, being the good guys doesnt get you much it seems.

The Franken resignation is a good thing if only so I'll see less of this crap:

When you see this stuff from "feminist" centrist #UniteBlue Democrats... it's, ah... it's rape culture. No better way to say it.

Saelune:
Unfortunately, being the good guys doesnt get you much it seems.

You get...moral satisfaction!!!

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Unfortunately, being the good guys doesnt get you much it seems.

You get...moral satisfaction!!!

And one person out of office. Which is better than none, but only by one.

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Unfortunately, being the good guys doesnt get you much it seems.

You get...moral satisfaction!!!

Man, I hope their is a heaven and not being a Republican gets you there, or else most of this aint worth it.

Seanchaidh:
The Franken resignation is a good thing if only so I'll see less of this crap:

When you see this stuff from "feminist" centrist #UniteBlue Democrats... it's, ah... it's rape culture. No better way to say it.

You should have gone with the one that shows her groping someone.

Seanchaidh:
The Franken resignation is a good thing if only so I'll see less of this crap:

When you see this stuff from "feminist" centrist #UniteBlue Democrats... it's, ah... it's rape culture. No better way to say it.

Eeeyup.

Doesn't matter if she's a model, stripper, prostitute, or escort. If she says no, or you grope her without asking, you just did a no-no.

When Newt Gingrich is going to bat for you, it's time to reconsider your life choices.

Seanchaidh:
The Franken resignation is a good thing if only so I'll see less of this crap:

When you see this stuff from "feminist" centrist #UniteBlue Democrats... it's, ah... it's rape culture. No better way to say it.

Goddamn, 'sexual attention' is a sneaky way to equivocate between asking somebody out on a date, raping somebody and everything in between.

Have our society forgotten the difference between "allegation" and "evidence"? I understand the political calculations of all this. It still doesn't make it right. If Al Franken feels he is being falsely accused, he should have his day in court. Instead, he was pushed out by members of his political party. (Which again demonstrates why I am against political parties.)

This is like the recent episode of The Orville, where society is ruled by social media making decisions of guilt or innocence. We should be better than this. Right now, it looks like that we are not.

KissingSunlight:
Have our society forgotten the difference between "allegation" and "evidence"? I understand the political calculations of all this. It still doesn't make it right. If Al Franken feels he is being falsely accused, he should have his day in court. Instead, he was pushed out by members of his political party. (Which again demonstrates why I am against political parties.)

This is like the recent episode of The Orville, where society is ruled by social media making decisions of guilt or innocence. We should be better than this. Right now, it looks like that we are not.

Has Franken been put and handcuffs and put in jail while no one was looking? If not, he still has every opportunity for a day in court. Also, witness and victim testimony (an allegations as you put it) is evidence; you seem to be the one who doesn't get what those words mean mate.

Avnger:

KissingSunlight:
Have our society forgotten the difference between "allegation" and "evidence"? I understand the political calculations of all this. It still doesn't make it right. If Al Franken feels he is being falsely accused, he should have his day in court. Instead, he was pushed out by members of his political party. (Which again demonstrates why I am against political parties.)

This is like the recent episode of The Orville, where society is ruled by social media making decisions of guilt or innocence. We should be better than this. Right now, it looks like that we are not.

Has Franken been put and handcuffs and put in jail while no one was looking? If not, he still has every opportunity for a day in court. Also, witness and victim testimony (an allegations as you put it) is evidence; you seem to be the one who doesn't get what those words mean mate.

I guess I have to school you on definition of words. Allegation is me accusing you of stealing million dollars from me. Evidence is finding million dollars with the words "Kissing Sunlight's money".

In short, anybody can make allegations without evidence. Evidence is proof of one's innocence or guilt. Only a fool would believe any allegations without evidence.

KissingSunlight:

Avnger:

KissingSunlight:
Have our society forgotten the difference between "allegation" and "evidence"? I understand the political calculations of all this. It still doesn't make it right. If Al Franken feels he is being falsely accused, he should have his day in court. Instead, he was pushed out by members of his political party. (Which again demonstrates why I am against political parties.)

This is like the recent episode of The Orville, where society is ruled by social media making decisions of guilt or innocence. We should be better than this. Right now, it looks like that we are not.

Has Franken been put and handcuffs and put in jail while no one was looking? If not, he still has every opportunity for a day in court. Also, witness and victim testimony (an allegations as you put it) is evidence; you seem to be the one who doesn't get what those words mean mate.

I guess I have to school you on definition of words. Allegation is me accusing you of stealing million dollars from me. Evidence is finding million dollars with the words "Kissing Sunlight's money".

In short, anybody can make allegations without evidence. Evidence is proof of one's innocence or guilt. Only a fool would believe any allegations without evidence.

...And he isnt being charged or arrested. So...yeah, what Avnger said.

KissingSunlight:

Avnger:

KissingSunlight:
Have our society forgotten the difference between "allegation" and "evidence"? I understand the political calculations of all this. It still doesn't make it right. If Al Franken feels he is being falsely accused, he should have his day in court. Instead, he was pushed out by members of his political party. (Which again demonstrates why I am against political parties.)

This is like the recent episode of The Orville, where society is ruled by social media making decisions of guilt or innocence. We should be better than this. Right now, it looks like that we are not.

Has Franken been put and handcuffs and put in jail while no one was looking? If not, he still has every opportunity for a day in court. Also, witness and victim testimony (an allegations as you put it) is evidence; you seem to be the one who doesn't get what those words mean mate.

I guess I have to school you on definition of words. Allegation is me accusing you of stealing million dollars from me. Evidence is finding million dollars with the words "Kissing Sunlight's money".

In short, anybody can make allegations without evidence. Evidence is proof of one's innocence or guilt. Only a fool would believe any allegations without evidence.

Alrighty then.

Please explain to me what witness testimony (commonly taken as direct evidence of crimes and entirely admissible in a court of law as evidence) is if not "X did this to me. It happened in manner A around DateTime B. At the time, I felt C and took actions D." Because that's what these allegations are.

Evidence is NOT proof of anything. Evidence makes progress towards or away from proof of something. This is exceedingly easy to see with the large number of legal terms revolving around the different types of evidence: circumstantial, corroborative, direct, hearsay, etc. Allegations can be one, none, or multiple of these different types of evidence.

Evidence is not proof. Let me see if I can come up with something really simple to show you this.

Ok I have animal A and animal B. Animals A and B are able to mate successfully and produce a viable offspring. That viable offspring is evidence that animals A and B could be the same species, however, it is not proof. The general rule is that interspecies breeding isn't viable (hence why its evidence), but there are some species that can successfully interbreed (hence why its not proof).

KissingSunlight:
I guess I have to school you on definition of words. Allegation is me accusing you of stealing million dollars from me. Evidence is finding million dollars with the words "Kissing Sunlight's money".

In short, anybody can make allegations without evidence. Evidence is proof of one's innocence or guilt. Only a fool would believe any allegations without evidence.

You are incorrect. Evidence is simply anything that is introduced to the court in order to support a proposition. It does not have to be a physical object (the million dollars would be considered physical evidence). Evidence can be anything from a smoking gun to fingerprints to witness testimony to anecdotes about the defendant's childhood.

Literally anything that is brought up by legal counsel as the X in "If X, then Y" can be considered evidence. This isn't special lawyer knowledge; this is on Wikipedia.

Saelune:
...And he isnt being charged or arrested. So...yeah, what Avnger said.

Let me knock out the easiest one first.

Al Franken has not been charged with anything. Why is he resigning? What is causing him to resign? You are right. He is not being charged legally, but he has been found "guilty" in the court of public opinion. Which what I was lamenting about in the first place.

Avnger:

Alrighty then.

Please explain to me what witness testimony (commonly taken as direct evidence of crimes and entirely admissible in a court of law as evidence) is if not "X did this to me. It happened in manner A around DateTime B. At the time, I felt C and took actions D." Because that's what these allegations are.

Evidence is NOT proof of anything. Evidence makes progress towards or away from proof of something. This is exceedingly easy to see with the large number of legal terms revolving around the different types of evidence: circumstantial, corroborative, direct, hearsay, etc. Allegations can be one, none, or multiple of these different types of evidence.

Evidence is not proof. Let me see if I can come up with something really simple to show you this.

Ok I have animal A and animal B. Animals A and B are able to mate successfully and produce a viable offspring. That viable offspring is evidence that animals A and B could be the same species, however, it is not proof. The general rule is that interspecies breeding isn't viable (hence why its evidence), but there are some species that can successfully interbreed (hence why its not proof).

You are conflating allegations with testimony. Testimonies are not fool-proof. Also, irrelevant to the discussion. We are talking about people who are accusing people outside the courtroom without threat of perjury. There are no standards of the statements being true. Unless there is something to back up what the person is saying. I don't know what you would call it. I call it evidence. Say, a picture or video showing the person doing what they are being accused of doing. Only then, the allegations have any merit of being true. Other than that, it is just an unsubstantiated statement. Which Al Franken wasn't given the time or the benefit of the doubt to counter. Before he was forced by his party to resign. Soooo, no handcuffs or being arrested, buuuuut....

bastardofmelbourne:

KissingSunlight:
I guess I have to school you on definition of words. Allegation is me accusing you of stealing million dollars from me. Evidence is finding million dollars with the words "Kissing Sunlight's money".

In short, anybody can make allegations without evidence. Evidence is proof of one's innocence or guilt. Only a fool would believe any allegations without evidence.

You are incorrect. Evidence is simply anything that is introduced to the court in order to support a proposition. It does not have to be a physical object (the million dollars would be considered physical evidence). Evidence can be anything from a smoking gun to fingerprints to witness testimony to anecdotes about the defendant's childhood.

Literally anything that is brought up by legal counsel as the X in "If X, then Y" can be considered evidence. This isn't special lawyer knowledge; this is on Wikipedia.

I just used an example of physical evidence to give a simple example of evidence. I did that to differentiate "allegation" and "evidence".

Evidence are what required to prove if someone is guilty or innocence. So, what I said isn't incorrect. You are avoiding my main point by using semantics.

KissingSunlight:
I just used an example of physical evidence to give a simple example of evidence. I did that to differentiate "allegation" and "evidence".

Evidence are what required to prove if someone is guilty or innocence. So, what I said isn't incorrect. You are avoiding my main point by using semantics.

What you said was incorrect. You got caught talking out your ass and now you're scrambling.

Evidence is any fact or proposed fact that is put forward in support of a proposition. It is an incredibly broad concept, which is why courts impose rules on hearsay and why much of the court's time is taken up with examining the credibility of any evidence that has been submitted. In cases where a woman alleges she was sexually harassed, the allegation contains a proposition (that an offence was committed) as well as a piece of evidence in support of that proposition (the victim's testimony that an offence was committed).

The mistake you're making is that you're seeing evidence that is being presented alongside the proposition and deciding that, because there is a distinction between a proposition and the evidence in support of it, that the evidence being presented is not "evidence" because it is being presented simultaneously with the proposition that it supports. You are seeing an allegation that is both proposition and evidence and deciding that because it is an allegation, it is only proposition and no evidence. Practically speaking, the allegation is its own evidence; conceptually speaking, one separates the proposition concealed in the allegation (that Franken is guilty of sexual harassment) from the evidence within the allegation (the testimony of the woman making the allegation).

A layman's example: if I say "I saw Al Franken touch that girl's boobs," I am doing two things simultaneously: I am making a proposition that Franken touched boobies, and I am providing evidence in support of that proposition in testifying that I saw Franken touch boobies. What you are doing is saying that because that evidence was provided alongside the proposition it supports, that it is no longer evidence because evidence and proposition are two separate things. This is a fundamental logical error.

None of that shit ought to matter, though, because, y'know...there's a picture of him doing it.

image

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