Roy moore accusations

Discussion in 'Politics' started by birch, Nov 17, 2017.

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  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That's not a decision you get to make. Unless prevented or opposed in some significant way by other men, whoever took over for Roger Ailes is going to make that decision for you - and answer whichever of those questions you didn't have time for,

    and a couple of others: Such as the question of which women speak into microphones connected to major media outlets, and how they frame the issues therein.
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  3. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I suspect that Tweeden's motivations were mostly--if not entirely-- political, but that's a whole other conversation. (From what I've read, I gather she's a Fox news troll--and a birther, to boot! A shitty person, generally, but NOT (so far as I can tell) a pathological liar, like so many of Fox news's finest contributers. Were that the case, suchmight be appropriate to this conversation.) Likewise, whoever leaked the Access Hollywood tapes wasn't likely motivated by the pressing need to inform the public that there's a dangerous sexual predator/serial assailant in our midst, but rather more by political expediency.

    These are certainly important considerations, but are tangential to the exposure of inappropriate conduct (in the case of Franken) and serial predation and flagrant and utter disregard for the humanity and sovereignty of women (in the case of Trump). All things considered, I think these are far more pressing matters.

    That said, I absolutely agree that the Republican "strategy" of drawing moral equivalence between the actions of Franken, on the one hand, to those of Roy Moore, Donald Trump, and even Harvey Weinstein needs to be addressed, but not if it means painting the allegations against Franken as nothing more than a carefully timed and framed political maneuver.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    #TheWomenAreSpeaking | #fullstop

    Women do not need to meet your standard to have this discussion. Full stop.

    This is happening, with or without you. Full stop.

    The women are speaking. Full stop.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    They're not '''tangential" to Republican media efforts - they're central. Exposure of inappropriate conduct has no other purpose, for them.
    You're begging the question.

    Some women are speaking. That's news to me?

    Some are not, of course, for various reasons - my wife, speaking, has informed me (I handle the books, under direction) that if Amy Klobuchar does not stiffen her backbone and get her act together here the era of past household forgiveness for weasel wording and cowardice will end, and the household political donations be edited accordingly.

    That is: whose standards, what's happening, and which women are speaking into amplification - and what they are saying, of course. There's that, right?
  8. Bells Staff Member

    I disagree. The very nature of what happened reeks of sexual harassment.

    If you are going to discuss sexual harassment as a political issue and do so seriously and do so with the aim of zero tolerance, then you cannot do so by ignoring Franken's acts.

    As did the women who accused Moore. Should we question their message too?

    You can talk about it as much as you want.

    But what we are seeing now are men attempting to silence and shame women for speaking out or coming forward because those women accused 'their guy' or their preferred candidate.

    Until men and women realise the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault and that yes, it occurs everywhere regardless of one's political beliefs, then the better off we will be. Instead, we have both sides of the political divide hunkering down to defend their guy, resulting in these women being called liars and shamed for speaking out. That is what a large portion of men and women are doing.

    A look at the response to the Franken accusation has showed me one thing. The left in the manner in which they are defending Franken, are just as bad as the right in their defense of Moore, Trump and co.

    They no longer need to drag out Bill Clinton.

    Because what is becoming clear is that your houses of government has a big issue with sexual harassment.

    Now question who is directing her to say this and whose expectations is she meeting in saying this?
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    #rapeculture | #humanitystrikesback | #TheWomenAreSpeaking

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    If that's our priority, sure.

    Think of it this way: I actually am not a fan of meshing the Moore and Franken cases together because it results in the two-bit sort of politicking you're getting into. And nor am I especially fond of generalizations about what counts as left and right; whenever someone wants to complain about "Democrats", suddenly the party becomes the American "Left"; it's kind of a sick joke at this point, but I don't actually care because given a choice between receiving the data and stanching the flow according to an internal standard of what is legitimate according to my opinion is precisely how society has managed to put off dealing with this issue. I want the fucking data.

    Nor are we done with either of these cases. To the one, they can both get a lot worse. To the other, try using your political acumen and watch what Al Franken is doing; he is stuck with a process, is not resigning during a period when the news can only get worse, and he has precisely one way through this with no guarantee of where and how he lands. To the beeblebrox, we get a definitive statement and periodic boundary of some sort from Yellowhammer voters soon enough; the politics of sexual violence move with that vote.

    Meanwhile, the women are speaking, and it is precisely not my job or yours to filter that speech according to political need. Seriously, as much as I disdain treating the Democratic Party as the Left, it's not like leftists are any better at showing women basic human respect: Rape culture is not a partisan investment.

    In the end, driving stakes to set boundaries only reminds that some expect what women tell us to follow our wishful narratives, which is utterly disrespectful, and also subordinates the larger problem to perception of limited, immediate personal need, which in turn is dangerous.

    And if you need a beeblebrox, there is this: As these particular sad tales and the generally tragic narrative of societal atrocity continue, please remember that any stakes we drive along the way might well come back to bite us. It's one thing, for example, that I have used the word "sophomoric" at various times in discussing Al Franken's behavior; doesn't make it right, and all those other unfortunately requisite disclaimers, but the fact remains that I recognize this behavioral pattern. And now there is data suggesting that, while I might not be wrong about recognizing a sophomoric, theatre-related, comedy-derived general disrespect for humanity, that point might not have anything to do with anything.

    And if I want to give you a fourth, so that we can stay home and lick ourselves, please consider the prospect of any moment during this particular period of societal discourse that would see me mansplaining reality, political or otherwise.

    The women are speaking. Their narrative is not subordinate.


    Anecdotal: There is a joke buried in one of Mark Steel's radio lectures, probably, "The Sexual Revolution", about communication, sexual behavior, expectation, and, well, being British; he wonders what the negotiations would sound like, and Carla Mendonça bursts in, declaring that she has talked it over with the sisterhood, and they're definitely not going with feet behind the head.

    It's actually kind of grim, these nineteen years later.

    The point comes up because recently a bit went around the web from Jackson Katz, and the one thing I can't seem to find an answer about is compartmentalization; if we reject the broader phrase, we can focus on smaller issues one at a time; my cynicism follows up with, "and politick them to death one at a time". What I mean by this is that various forms of violence against human beings orbiting the fact of womanhood are all interrelated, and the result of dispensing with the phrase "violence against women" involves a perspective by which a man hitting his wife has nothing to do with a man raping his girlfriend has nothing to do with a teenager getting on his five year-old sister has nothing to do with demanding sexual favors of women requisite to employment has nothing to do with the forty-eight hookers he confessed to and the hundred-plus we still can't account for officially even though we know who killed them has nothing to do with the fact that prior to the yet-inexplicable massacre in Las Vegas the two largest mass shootings of the year had to do with men being pissed at their ex-wives.

    And maybe this would be just a symptomatic byproduct of human error in formulation, and the general discourse will bring the necessary correction—you know, like they always say about how the market regulates itself—except a few weeks ago I happened to hear an interview with Katz, and I need to look it up and see if there is a transcript, and go through it again, because holy shit, it really did sound as if he was declaring demands in order to negotiate the terms by which men will engage discourse about violence against women; it was agonizing to sit through, especially while driving.


    I suppose in the end, part of the question has to do with what any of us expect. The women are speaking; are we just waiting for them to shut up so we can get on with our lives? Because, y'know, trust me, they will persist. And to that end, we need only take a look around at the larger circumstance. Look, this isn't the societal conversation that is actually going to get us there, and, yes, in part because of politics, though mostly because men just aren't ready to give up on all this. Still, the shield that somehow obscures rape culture to so many is gashed, and as it shreds unto the myriad forces tearing it to windblown tatters, trying to stitch here and there in order to influence how the strands break is an endeavor not only futile but entirely dubious. Pick a metaphor; the narrative must not be subordinate, as subordination only protects what the narrative would indict. The beast will roar. And no, we can't control when and how it does. And when the women step up to save us all, all of the people who were trying to control it will still need to get the fuck out of the way. We're in the chapter when people need to learn the idol exists. Still to come is the entirely terrifying debate when rape culture strikes back and asserts its human right to exist, as well as its traditional propriety and even divine ordination. Defense of this idolatry will be a human spectacle none of us really want to witness, but the only way to avoid it would be if rape culture decides to be so kind as to roll over and die.

    As to Roy Moore, the next data point is either another accuser or the election. Al Franken? What, more accusers? Is the Senate suddenly going to become efficient? What are the chances voters will eventually send him back? What would that say about what, and the answer to that is we cannot possibly speculate from here.

    It took years for a bunch of Democratic supporters to come to terms with rape culture, because while it's true, that's just the way things were does not actually change the definition of what rape is. I focus on the Democrats, here, because it was our president. These years later, we know Republicans never gave a damn, and were just using women.

    You know that bit I do about the psychoanalytic meaning of history? It's not at all unimportant in the moment. But it's also the reason I'm looking at what is happening and reading a different phenomenon. It's also the reason there is only so much shit I can give Alabama, right now. Polls are polls, and people will tell pollsters what each person's conscience wants to believe will make the pollster judge them in some way, and no, that's not just a Yellowhammer psyche, that's everyone else, too. And if I say, for instance, that we just went through the Gay Fray, remember I'm one who holds the Gay Fray was always about women, anyway. I already know we cannot force Alabama to do the right thing. Doesn't mean I have a clue what to do, but while I'm busy psychoanalyzing Roy Moore's alleged behavior, and how people respond to it, or Al Franken's behavior alleged and acknowledged, and how people respond to it, or ... that's the thing, isn't it? There's a lot of this going on, and it has to do with more than just politicians.

    And that larger process is going on. Trying to psychoanalyze this history as it is told seems impossible and is probably irresponsible. The body of information pertaining to Roy Moore will take on entirely different meaning next month. Meanwhile, the way people are treating it tells me a lot about what's going on "out there" in my society.

    This time, there's just not much for me to say or do until it's time to say or do something.
  10. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Again, I agree with you there.

    But the Republicans' total lack of moral compass doesn't change the fact the Franken behaved badly.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It does change the public discussion.
    In particular, it changes the political response and repercussions for Franken himself. He should not be the lead story in any discussion of predation, and attempts to lump him in with Moore and Weinstein and Trump should be treated as the cynical tactics they are. The immediate (within hours) calls for Franken to resign, for instance, were almost entirely examples of the successful trivialization of the matter.
    The lumping of Moore with Franken, to illustrate, not only exaggerates Franken's wrongdoing - it also trivializes Moore's. And that's the goal.
    Honest, in depth discussion of the larger societal issue is not a goal of anyone lumping Franken with Moore, or refusing to focus on any Republican figure without including a Democratic one as an equivalent, and so forth.
    But "they" do. Centrally and significantly and repeatedly and at length. Why, do you suppose?
    Score for the media campaign long waged by the folks who made Trump the President of the US. "Both sides" - in everything, equivalent.

    That is oblivious to the point of absurdity - starting with the goofy presumption that "the left" is defending Franken at all, let alone in some "manner" you find equivalent to the past fifty years of non-left and other-left overt misogyny.
    Not on "the left". The difference between the "sides" in that respect is particularly striking - however recent.
    It was never alleged, by even the most strident accusers on the scene. The eyewitness testimony - including major accusers such as Linda Tripp - have the "harassment" aspects from Lewinsky, who was apparently smitten. And if you think that's a defense of Clinton, you're an idiot.
    I can? Not according to some. And it's rare to find anyone - male or female - talking in any depth about how to deal with this elephant-aspect in the public discussion. The closest I've run across is the subtext of a discussion between Rebecca Traister and Chelsea Handler, in a series of exchanges they managed to wedge into Bill Maher's last show (the November 17th one).
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So don't. Do what I do, instead, and focus on the men who are filtering, the men who own and control, the men who are hiring, the men who are speaking, the men who are (for example) trying to get Franken out of the Senate and Roy Moore into it, by any means necessary.

    Even if your concern is elsewhere - because this media operation by those men is the primary threat to any larger community discussion.
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    #hopeless | #nevermind

    You mean—

    —by setting the criteria for what women are allowed to say, what it needs to answer, and who they need to satisfy?

    How about if I don't?

    No, seriously, it's time to do away with that sickness.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You suddenly can't read? Are my posts really that confusing to you?
    The attacks on Franken - mediated and controlled and framed (and quite often "spoken"), as they are, by powerful Republican men - are designed to dismiss, marginalize, and if possible shut down, those speaking women who are undermining the Republican agenda (and the patriarchal, male dominated, misogynist core of its support). And you are collaborating with those men.

    Or to put it in your language, to help you understand: why are you advocating tolerance of male sexual predation on top of ennabling Republican campaign tactics?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  15. mathman Valued Senior Member

    It looks like sexual abuse is OK as long as the man is a Trump supporter.
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

    of course, that lines up perfectly with conservative values which are hypocritical at it's core.

    you can see the game of these factions in politics over time.

    today's conservatives were yesterday's amoral liberals. but since that fuks them over as well as their children, they had to adopt some moral values, hypocritically mind you, so jump ship to identify as conservatives corrupting the very meaning of it's original intent.

    this is why anyone who has much experience in knowing conservatives will find out that on the inside they are rather immoral, even amoral and need a moral structure even more than liberals do because liberals core is ethical starting from the inside out whereas conservatives are only so from the outside/structure in (not as genuine) but luridly have taken on the guise/reputation of upstanding moral citizenry. the problem is it doesn't change the fact they are sociopaths underneath and the very opposite of their facade.

    poltiics is a continuous came of cat/mouse and smoke/mirrors. the only difference in human societies is titles and labels are used to obfuscate and deceive.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  17. Bells Staff Member


    The man gropes women. Those women, at least one of whom is a Democrat, are coming forward to say that he groped them. Two of those women are so afraid of the backlash from his supporters (one only has to read Daily KoS to see just how far people are willing to go to excuse groping women and just how they have shamed the women who have come forward to see why theses women were afraid to speak out), did not release their names. If you want to see shutting down women, just take a wander to that website and do a search on Franken, to see just how bad it's getting when it comes to dismissing, marginalizing and shutting down women who are coming forward. They aren't attacking Franken, they are attacking the women themselves. Some even declared that the women are all clearly lying because apparently Franken is gay and therefore, is not attracted to women, to others literally slut shaming these women in ways that I cannot even describe.

    Delve down into the comments section and it's a steaming pile of misogyny. Literally. From some who argued that she could have closed her teeth, to another arguing that the women consented to being hugged and don't really have a right to complain when they don't like the hug (apparently, a hug = having your arse groped). You complain about the patriarchal misogyny of the GOP? Democrat voters who post on sites like that are just as bad. It got so bad, that women have declared they aren't coming back. And that is one of the biggest Democrat voter based website online.

    The reaction to Moore's accusers and Franken's accusers does not help women, at all and sadly, at present, it is the male supporters for both of these men who are driving the victim blaming misogynistic message.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You didn't notice them?
    The content of the accounts so far do not indicate even that. No predation, no abuse of power, no pattern of threat and coercion, appears so far. Did you notice?
    None of the women accusing Franken appear - in the public accounts so far - to have felt threatened at all, either at the time or later. Angered and repulsed, but not threatened. Neither do they recount being bribed, coerced, or overtly shamed into silence - in the accounts so far made public.
    That is completely predictable, and essentially none of it is coming from Franken or any identified supporter of Franken so far as has been made public.
    Yes. It's significantly worse than is found elsewhere - including in the shamefully bad and guilty Democratic Party.
    No, those posters aren't just as bad - not if you sit down and compare. They are very bad, but not just as bad.
    And the bad ones are not Franken, or the Democratic establishment, or known and recognized Franken supporters, or - to put a point on it - anyone you actually know is a Democrat or a voter.
    Lumping Franken's behavior with that of predators like Moore, Weinstein, and Trump, trivializes Moore's actions, and trivializes Weinstein's actions, and trivializes Trump's actions, and defuses the entire public discussion. That is the goal of that lumping. Is that your idea of helping women? It's the Republican Party media wing's idea of how to defuse the issue, and marginalize women, and deflect the entire public discussion of power and predation into a "bothsides" muddle in which everyone is equally bad.

    Which is one obvious and likely possible explanation for why these accusations are not coming from insurance, banking, or high level corporations and other white male Protestant Republican dominated arenas. Hollywood, politics, media - not Wall Street.

    No, it isn't. Franken's male supporters are behaving quite differently from Moore's. So are his female supporters. Of course, they have a much different guy and much different behavior to deal with.
  19. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I'm always a bit sceptical about reading much into comments sections. On the one hand, I've no doubt that a number of these comments are from actual Democrats/Franken supporters who are, if not as misogynistic as their GOP counterparts, still pretty damned fucked up. But I suspect a fair number are from imposters--the sort who create phony anti-semitic robocalls from "Bernie Bernstein" of WaPo soliciting--for payment--dirt on Roy Moore.

    Still, your point stands, as known and confirmed supporters like Jake Tapper (also, a known twit) have done much the same.

    I simply don't understand this tendency to try to sweep this under the rug--a strategy that will inevitably backfire, and only bolster that misogyny, to varying degrees, plagues political arenas of all persuasions. One would think that acknowledging Franken's wrongdoings, while also noting that such are not quite in the same league as Moore's pedophilia and predation, would be the more appropriate response.
  20. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Not threatened by Franken perhaps, or any of his known associates, but they certainly have sound reason to feel threatened by wackos on the internets. Just look at Gamergate and related phenomena.
  21. Bells Staff Member

    If discussing or reporting on how he groped women are attacks?

    I'm sorry, what?

    He used his position to grope women on their backsides. Or are you suggesting that grabbing women on their butts and squeezing without their consent does not amount to groping? And I am not even touching on that photo.

    I think it's interesting that you don't see it as an abuse of power or pattern of threat or coercion. Tweeden did not want to rehearse, he pushed and coerced her until she gave in. He posed for photos as a United States Senator, with his staff and security in tow, and groped their backsides in the open, because he knew nothing would happen to him. And you don't consider that to be a threat? Or did you not notice any of that?

    And he didn't just do it once. I suspect there are a lot more women who simply have not come forward. His pattern of behaviour certainly indicates that there are more out there. And his initial response to the last two allegations... Leaves one to wonder just how many women are there.

    Uh huh..

    One fellow choir member, Sarah, remembers not only being there for the groping incident but hearing another choir member say that Franken wouldn’t stop looking at her chest.

    Ten years ago, it was easier to shrug off predatory behavior as “boys being boys,” Sarah said, especially when that predatory behavior came from a political ally.

    “At the time ... people weren’t as willing to speak against people they felt like were on their side,” Sarah said. “It’s really disappointing. And it’s crappy. Ten years ago we were also at an age where there was still a feeling of powerlessness, or that boys will be boys.”


    “I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt.”

    “I was completely mortified,” she added.

    In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.

    The second woman told several people ― including one of the reporters for this story, Zachary Roth ― about the incident some years ago, but didn’t want it reported then. She said she didn’t tell anyone at the time of the incident because inappropriate behavior from men was not that unusual to her or her friends.

    “Sexual harassment happens so often, you have to learn how to move on,” she said, describing her thinking at the time.

    Several other factors also left her feeling powerless.

    “I felt like I didn’t have a voice,” she said. “This man had all of the power, all of the authority. In addition, he is a white man and I am a woman of color. I was 21 years old. And I was afraid that he would use all of those privileges to discredit me, to make me feel even smaller than I already felt.”

    Today, she said, she feels more confident, in part thanks to the flood of women who have come forward over the last month to share stories of sexual harassment by powerful men.

    “I couldn’t see all these other women come forward and not walk the walk myself,” she said. “I wanted my report to be a way for other women to say, ‘Yes, that happened to me and I don’t have to be afraid.’”

    No, no fear there.

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    As I said, just go over to Daily KoS and other such sites, which are wholly political, and you will see just how low his supporters are willing to go to excuse his behaviour.

    We can be thankful that the party itself is standing by the true line of 'we need an investigation', but really, it's not enough, nor is his explanation/excuse sufficient.

    Both houses of government has a major issue with sexual harassment and the fact that they have kept so much of it hushed up (such as the Conyers issue), says a lot. One has to wonder just what the hell else has happened that they have simply handed the dosh over to silence the accusers..

    The GOP is bad. The Democrats are bad.

    Hell, society itself is bad and those members are simply a reflection of a wider society. What is infuriating is just how far the GOP and the Democrats are willing to go to protect 'their guy'. The latest from the right and a supporter of Moore is a pastor who advised that Moore probably liked them that young because he would know they were pure.

    Meanwhile, Franken's supporters are delving into the women's background and saying she posed nude, what clothes they wore, etc, to allege that these women are somehow not innocent or pure.

    All of this shit is now acceptable political discourse. Something has to change. And the more the Democrats let wash with the frankly ridiculous excuse/non-apology that Franken gave, then the less likely they are going to look like the party that women will want to vote for to protect their rights.

    Me thinks your head is far down into that sand, iceaura. Time to take the blinkers off and see just how bad this is getting and how low his supporters are willing to go to defend what he did. And sure, Franken is not as bad as Moore, but Franken is bad in his own way.

    And demanding that Franken didn't really do anything wrong or 'that bad' or 'as bad' as what Weinstein, Moore, Trump and co have done, is trivialising sexual assault and normalising behaviour like groping women. The more people keep excusing it by saying 'well, at least he didn't tiddle a little girl', the less likely women are going to come forward to report being groped or sexually harassed, because hey, at least they weren't molested as a little girl.

    I mean duh, it's stating the frigging obvious that he did not molest little girls. But what he did was equally unacceptable. Understand now?

    To wit, he doesn't have to rape, or molest little girls or do everything that Trump did to be classified as someone who sexually harassed and assaulted women. Because he did do that.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    As are all of Franken's actual known supporters, and Franken himself. Are you thankful for that?
    Not equivalently. Not even close. You do recognize what the bothsides narrative is for, right?
    How are you identifying "Franken's supporters"? The only bona fide Franken supporters's stuff I've seen like that is some fact-checking on the details of the accounts (for example that Franken obviously did not, as claimed, write that kissing skit on the spot to set up that first accuser - it was part of the USO show years before)
    1) No, it isn't. And if you muddle that kind of distinction, the predators and Republicans will benefit - not the society, or women in general.
    2) Nobody is saying Franken did nothing "really wrong" - despite a lack of what people normally call evidence that he did, essentially all of Franken's defenders start by saying he did wrong.
    Hold that thought. If it gets lost, the US Senate is going to lose Franken and gain Moore, while the country elects more Trumps and Walkers and so forth - and you can watch the entire discussion dissipate in a muddle of bothsides historical revision.

    Like this bizarre one:
    I understand that you have lost it. Equally unacceptable as what Moore, Weinstein, or Trump did and how they reacted and so forth? That's not sane. And it is the Republican Party line.
    I don't see anybody, in any of those accounts, afraid of Franken or what he would do, how he would react, etc.
    Not the Dems. Just the GOP. Focus.
    The Dems are the ones launching investigations, believing the women by assumption even when the stories don't quite add up and the women have an obvious agenda, accepting the Republican "bothsides" framing, and so forth.

    The Reps are the ones who want everyone to talk about Franken whenever Moore's name comes up.
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

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