Al Franken is Gone, Sexual Harassment Allegations are Harming Democrats

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Perhaps a simpler hypothetical - at one time in not so distant US History women, minorities, and LGBT folks had, literally, no rights nor expectations of legal protections... and this was accepted by society, and even embraced by much of it as normal.

God forbid, were such a mindset to take hold again... What would happen to these groups were such rights and protections not enshrined in law? What is the risk?
Your framework is problematic. Sexual violence existed before automobiles, will persist after we have self-driving cars, and, you know, probably flourish, and on that point there is a lot that could be dealt with obliquely if only people were capable.
It’s not the framework that’s problematic, it’s your comprehension of it. The operation of automobiles is merely a common contemporary reference to illustrate the relative aspects of offensive behavior. Pick any social circumstance from any historical era and you’ll find the same inconsistent rationalizations at work.

I’m not denying that an ass grab can be legitimately perceived to be an offensive act, but it’s rank in the set of social offenses needs to be rationally assessed. Actions such as distracted and impaired driving are far more common and much less stigmatized than that of habitually comparable ass grabbing. When the inconsiderate ass grabber makes contact people get annoyed. When the inconsiderate driver makes contact people get injured or die.

Should any person guilty of willfully engaging in behaviors that endangered the lives of others be considered unfit for public office? How many involved in this thread would be off the ballot under such a rule?
Question, Bells - if you do not want to fix the legal system, then what solution do you propose; I ask because it sounds like you are looking for relief outside an established legal precedent, that you want public opinion and pressure to be what results in punishment for the accused.

It sounds to me like you're making up fallacies to argue against.
It sounds to me like you're making up fallacies to argue against.
Thanks for proving my point about why careful consideration is important... too many are willing to go off without even considering the ramifications. ;)
"Handle it".
Or do you mean handle [insert name here]?
And who is going to do the handling, iceaura
These people can't post any differently because they can't think any differently, and they have to slander (power based) because power is what they have left after burning reason.

These kinds of utterly dishonest attempts at slandering precisely illustrate the problem this faction has created for the DFL in Minnesota right now.
They will not replace reality for any but a small percentage of people - not enough to cover what association with them threatens to cost, by an order of magnitude.
You can always let Maher handle it.
Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her
How many slaps do you think crazy women deserve, iceaura?
Why is that here, on this thread? We already know, don't we. It's not subtle - Minnesota voters are not going to miss such things.
{Indicative sign: We're on the brink of losing the word "acceptable". Do we have a general agreement on what it means to accept and not accept things, any more?} Who is "we"? "We" who?
As was perfectly clear in the context, unavoidably for anyone even attempting to post honestly and in good faith:
The people who use the English language to reason and discuss things.
You are welcome to give up your current practice and join them, any time. If you can.
I think you would find yourself still able to argue against endemic sexism, abuse of women, societal oppression of women, and all the usual suspects in this thread - including me.
- - - -
You forget. We don't get to make that determination for ourselves. We need to be told, like we are children
The original issue in my posts was your faction's not only making that determination for others in a particular case, but assigning a wide range of consequences for others, for the State of Minnesota and every woman in it - in matters of which you and yours are almost completely uninformed, almost completely unable to reason even from accurate perception, and apparently remarkably naive. Specifically: a whole State full of women got told what to do about Franken, and when to do it, and why, and what was good for them, and even how to talk about it, by a fairly small faction of mostly distant and/or ill-informed people, who were not making much sense, and who appeared to be at best careless - heedless of consequences.

That was before, when certain illusory assumptions still held.

My new issue is why this faction (represented here by Bells and Tiassa) in my local State politics cannot employ honest rhetoric or post in good faith when replying to my posts here. It's thread relevant, because that is my nomination for the most significant source of the harm they threaten to the DFL (the State Democrats).
He apparently groped and harassed several women to some degree. The expression of that intolerance, what the rightfully intolerant and unaccepting do about this, should be calibrated accordingly - with the degree, the harm of what he actually did and in what context, in mind - right?

It wasn't. Obviously and unfortunately very publicly and now undeniably was not. By Party identified people, facing an election season of Partisan complexity.

Meanwhile, among the many factors left out of that poor whiff of a calibration: the consequences assigned were not just to Franken - his job was not some kind of trophy, an honorary degree, a reward for fine character and great deeds, or even a position of moral example and lesson: he was in the middle of performing a public service, doing stuff we need to get done, especially the "we" of women in Minnesota. He was far better than average at representing Minnesota women's interests in the Senate, in his job performance - an eight year record of doing much better in that respect than the average holder of his job. His record - what he actually did - is better than Klobuchar's, or Gillebrand's, for example. And part of that was his Party identification - his ability to gain and hold a Senate seat for the Democratic Party, and his security in it for the next few years. Are you familiar with the expression "pissing in the soup"?

That soup is water under the bridge, now. We are now dealing with those poorly calibrated consequences. Cross your fingers - it's looking like the worst is not happening. Yet.
To me, it doesn't seem that people are any less misogynistic than they were in decades past. While conditions may have improved--better (though not equal) wages, less discriminatory hiring practices, etc.--attitudes do not seem to have changed all that much.
It seems to me they have, and that this is visible in the defensiveness on display. It is also visible in advertising, a reality-of-the-market-driven enterprise, and the like.
I don't remember the bad of the adult world from my childhood - were I restricted to memory, I would see today's explosion of revelations and backlash as an indication of something recent in all manner of bad stuff, including racism etc. It was worse, before, the misogyny, the simple assumptions behind it and enforced by it. It just wasn't acknowledged - and therefore in need of defense - in public. It had a safe space of chivalry and economic hierarchy, custom and habit - look at the regions where these still hold unchallenged sway.

Another evident improvement: the recognition that an accumulation of trivialities can be a serious matter, not only as an indication of fundamental corruption but as a hardship in itself - with a victim, and a class of identifiable perps. A pat on the butt may be a long way from perpetrating forcible rape, but the inability to live one's life without finding strange hands on one's butt at any time is not nearly as far from being a victim of it. And then there is the threat involved - completely absent, perp view, inherent in the ubiquity and unavoidability,
victim view. Traditionally, and probably rightly in most matters, we calibrate punishment on the basis of the perp's point of view - how bad was the intent, how abhorrent the state of mind, how visible to the perp the harm done - but we have other bases available.

If we reason from them. Only if we reason from them. Power will not take that side.

Because these bases - governance from the victim's and/or community's point of view - threaten the rich and powerful. What's being fought here is not restricted to male hierarchy, but infuses all hierarchy.
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Honestly? I don't know.
But you feel you know enough to comment about it and complain about it?
Yes, yes, the technical definition would be, as per Cornell, Vigilante justice often describes the actions of a single person or group of people who claim to enforce the law but lack the legal authority to do so. I am using the colloquial sense of the term (which they also describe), the term can also describe a general state of disarray or lawlessness.
Okay. Now:
As far as I'm aware, no - there have been no credible threats of violence that I am aware of.
So why are you ascribing "vigilante justice" to Franken, when you aren't aware of their being "vigilante justice" against Franken?
So what would you prefer to call "justice" that is performed outside the standard system of law or legal purview?
What "justice" has been "performed outside the standard system of law or legal purview" (sigh) when it comes to Franken?

Because asking him to resign because of how many women had come forward and the seriousness of the accusations is not illegal, nor does that exist outside of the "standard" justice system.

You should also keep in mind that Franken was never at risk of facing the justice system. The Ethics Committee is not the justice system. It's a panel of 6 fellow Senators.

So, can you please explain your statement "so what would you prefer to call "justice" that is performed outside the standard system of law or legal purview"? Because it makes absolutely no sense.
Do I want to know about an accusation? Honestly, no, not really. If he or she was found guilty, or if there was credible evidence of a threat, then sure; do I want to know about every accusation levied against anyone in my general proximity, not so much.
Then you are pretty much the only person I know of who would not want to know. Because the very thought that there could be a risk of harm, and people tend to want to know if that person is going to be spending some time in their 'general proximity'.
And as it stands, there has, to my knowledge, been no legal action in this case, which there should be.
Okay. But that doesn't answer my question or my point. You already assigned 'guilt' to him, outside of the 'justice system' by referring to him as a "pedo" and noting your disgust that Republicans were voting for him.
I'm not sure where you are finding difficulty in my stance here, Bells - there is a legal system, and a method for attaining relief therein. If that system is broken, we must endeavor to fix it. If we circumvent it, well... what's the point? We may as well go back to dueling pistols at twenty paces. Certainly, as someone who has professed to act in a legal profession, you can understand that?
You avoided the question.

And your stance is hypocritical. For example:
No, I doubt I would vote for him, regardless of what letter you put beside his name. However, I don't feel someone should be thrown out of their job (which one could argue is a violation of their liberty) without legal process. You cannot have "innocent until proven guilty" for some, and "guilty until proven innocent" for others in a civilized society.
You doubt you would vote for him, because of the accusations.

But you don't think "someone should be thrown out of their job" without legal process...? To the one, Franken was not "thrown out of his job". There was never going to be a "legal process" to begin with, whether he remained as a Senator or not. The Ethics Committee would not and is not designed to assign guilt or innocence. You still don't get that part?

The suggestion from his colleagues was that he should probably resign. Which is not illegal or existing outside of the justice system (ie, it isn't vigilante justice). He was not forced to resign, he was not fired over the accusations, he wasn't threatened in any way, shape or form. So your argument makes absolutely makes no sense in any way, shape or form. If we are to take your arguments at face value, I take it you are also upset that Weinstein was fired from his own company for the numerous accusations of rape and sexual assault?

You just seem to be throwing big words around without any understanding of what those words actually mean.
I'm not sure what you want me to do with this comment.
Do you know what "diminishing" means?
Nor will it be fixed by a political party that has not only defended rape culture, but welcomed it with open arms and continues to run candidates with records to that effect.
My 12 year old understands this, Kitta, how can you still not get it?

Rape culture is not "fixed" by politics. It is fixed by society, by members of society (ie. you).
Should there be? Think on this long and hard, Bells - if someone files charges, in a normalized and rational legal system, does it make sense for the media to use their pain and suffering to enhance their own ratings? Does it make any sense for such proceedings to be put into the court of public opinion before even a cursory fact-finding investigation has occurred, wherein they will be labeled innocent or guilty in the eyes of the world before any guilt has been factually established?

Does it help the victim to have their every life situation, every movement, every action scrutinized by a media that, on one side, is looking to use their situation to further their own goals, and on the other side is looking to find some fault with them to use to discredit their claim of having been assaulted?

Because, honestly, I don't think that helps them much.
So it makes sense for their "every life situation, every movement, every action scrutinized by a media" if they report it to the police, but it does not make sense for the media to report on their accusations if they do not report it to the police? Because that is essentially what you just argued.

Your main issue is that you seem to be upset that Franken was outed, but you don't seem that upset that Moore was outed, or Weinstein or Trump, even. Your outrage is misplaced. Instead of being angry that men like Franken abused their position to sexually harass women, you seem more angry that the women spoke out about it voluntarily and outed him, and you seem even more upset that he was asked to resign by his colleagues, given the numerous accusations, but you don't seem upset that Weinstein was actually fired from his position in his own company after he was outed by his victims.

Perhaps it is you who needs to think long and hard, Kitta. Although I don't think you are capable of actually understanding it.
So, again - why do we want to put the victim under a very large, very public microscope like this?
So now you care about the victims? You seemed quite happy to doubt them and diminish what they experienced and demean them previously. The victims chose to speak out about it and to out the men who did this to them, because they felt empowered to do so, because they now realise they aren't alone, and that there is a whole friggin movement of millions of women out there who will stand with them. The only people abusing them, are people like you, given some of the arguments you presented. Perhaps you should consider why these women felt that it was the right thing to do, to open themselves up to facing men like you...?

Maybe you should consider why women are now speaking out about it, Kitta.


I'm sorry, but wha-huh? No, seriously... how in the world do you even reach that conclusion?
Because that is what you presented throughout this past month or so. You have diminished what they experienced, you have demeaned them, you have victim blamed and shamed, you have diminished the whole issue of sexual harassment and sexual violence, you have gone out of your way to infer that women lie by going on and on about false accusations despite they being so rare and despite being repeatedly told that when men like you go on as you have been, it is an attempt to shut women down when they try to speak out about it, you have embraced rape culture like it's your favourite teddybear, you have openly stated that women's human rights is not important (trolley cart example), you have openly attacked rape victims on this site, you have repeatedly complained about "vigilante justice" even though this was never an issue or the case.. Want me to go on? Because I can go on and on.
And why did said perpetrator not face the criminal justice system? I would say that the system failed...
I don't know, Kitta. Why did a bunch of women not feel that they were in a position to report Franken to the police? Consider your own arguments in this thread and your behaviour as a fairly big clue as to why women not report..
If the laws were just, then the viewpoint of society should be irrelevant, should it not; the laws should be impartial and just, ruled on based on facts and evidence, not societal whims - do you disagree with that idea?
Consider this.. The application of the laws often reflect society. The reason sexual harassment, sexual violence and rape is treated as it is by the criminal justice system, is because of a general disregard for women's human rights in society itself. Understand now?

Question, Bells - if you do not want to fix the legal system, then what solution do you propose; I ask because it sounds like you are looking for relief outside an established legal precedent, that you want public opinion and pressure to be what results in punishment for the accused.

Now, that may seem like a great idea right now (much like I'm sure some feel using the Nuclear option in the Senate is a great idea to get the desires of the majority party through) but society is fickle and prone to change. What happens if we establish this precedent, and then ten, twenty years down the line, the whims of society change.

Let us take a rather extreme, but not impossible, hypothetical situation - what happens if society takes the viewpoint that homosexuality should be punished by death (as it is, by law, in several countries) - would you still feel comfortable saying that society should be able to act and enforce justice outside the purview of the legal system?

As another - look at what happened to research into Stem Cell therapy because of the public being convinced that "it was murdering babies", when in reality a lot of stem cell research was being done with somatic stem cells. As a result, a number of promising studies found their funding severely curtailed.

I guess the question is... can, and should, we establish a precedent of punishment that is outside the bounds of the law... and is it safe to do so? What unintended consequences could result down the line?
Can you show me where, I have argued that I do not want to fix the criminal justice system or the legal system and how it is applied when it comes to sexual violence, Kitta? Or are you just making stuff up, so that you can have a whine?

Consider this.. The legal precedent is to not prosecute cases regarding sexual violence or rape. That is not because the law is bad. But because those who work within the criminal justice system (from police right through the prosecutors and the judges) are unwilling to try men who are accused of rape and sexual harassment and sexual violence because of rape culture and all that encompasses, which is a general reflection of the society the participants of the criminal justice system belong to. Does this make sense to you now? And what does "relief outside an established legal precedent" even mean?

As I noted, you seem more angry that women are speaking out and outing these men, than you are at the crimes these men committed.

And can you please point out what punishment Franken faced that was "outside the bounds of the law"?
So now you care about the victims?

I never didn't care about the victim. The fact that you seem to think one can only care about one or the other (that is, the victim or ensuring equitable enforcement of the law) is your problem.

Then again, the fact that you are back to your rabid insults and other such tripe tells me that you are, once again, trolling me. *shrug* And here I thought you wanted to help sexual assault victims- I guess you'd rather use them for self gratification; I shall have no part in that sickness.
And can you please point out what punishment Franken faced that was "outside the bounds of the law"?

Well since punishment is defined as the law that is difficult to say. Would you say harassing someone and his co-patriots until he disappears completely from public life and his career, is within the law? I brought up the issue before with you, that if I had thousands of followers contacting your friends and family to inform them of your satanic child cannibalism, would you think that is legal?
I never didn't care about the victim. The fact that you seem to think one can only care about one or the other (that is, the victim or ensuring equitable enforcement of the law) is your problem.

The problem in this aspect is your shifting focus. Not long ago you were worried about due process for the accused, despite the fact that many of them had personally struggled to avoid due process. Then it was at-will employment, and honestly, why is sympathy for sexual harassment what moves you to suddenly realize how full of shit at-will employment is? No, really, think about it for a moment: Something goes on every day of people's lives, and generally speaking they either don't care or put up with it in the context of futility; but, then, along comes an issue that tweaks their aesthetics, and this becomes the threshold for asking. No, really: What is anyone supposed to think watching workforces destroyed by at-will cullings, but what makes a worker wonder about why it's so easy to do this is famous men getting cut down for sexual harassment?

And think about your concern for the accused: You couldn't explain what you meant by due process, which did help avoid discussion of what counts as due process, and never really had much to say about the efforts of the accused to escape due process.

For instance, how many reporting processes for what crimes have built-in doubt requiring a worker complaining of harassment to undergo counseling, undertake mediation, sign an NDA, and then go through a cool-down period in order to be certain they really want to complain, and then a bureaucrat decides whether you get a day in court or are shuffled off to administrators with vested interest?

What other crimes?

What's that? What am I talking about? I'm talking about process.

So when Democratic supporters claim John Conyers was denied due process, they need to explain why he didn't want the due process they want, but some other assertion of due process, instead? Or in Nevada, where an accused Congressman wants the ethics process, and isn't going to run in November; this will effectively bury the claim, and if anyone is ever upset that his reputation is damaged without due process, they will need to account for his effort to hide in process.

So, your due process campaign on behalf of the accused, including the bit about at-will employment, didn't work. The only part of Bells' question I disagree with—

So now you care about the victims?

—is the word "now". It is a perfectly serviceable word, but on this occasion I would propose it is at least three weeks late↑.

What you're doing ranges somewhere between Godwin's Law and Now-More-Than-Everism. The latter is just what it sounds like, the idea that the the same solution we offered last time is what we need to do this time, and now, more than ever; the archetypal example is Republicans and "tax cuts". The former is an unfortunate marker, but I had occasion to consider it recently↱ because, well, that sort of stuff is going on in my society, right now. The device we're looking at for the moment has to do with appealing to disparate interests while consistently seeking an outcome, and is generally predictable as a supremacist appeal insofar as any given iteration of supremacism, if entertained long enough, will eventually get around to asserting it.. As relates the Nazis, there was a time when Americans parsed a difference 'twixt Holocaust denial and revisionist diminution; the argument quite literally involved the proposition that one hurt the Jews by not accepting that the Jews were exaggerating the Holocaust.

Let me be clear, though: It's not just Nazis. Like I said, it's an unfortunate marker; it literally comes up because revisionist diminution used to be the out, the #notaNazi appeal, the signal that one wasn't dangerous, and, well, that excremental, parsing pretense of safety officially died when a Nazi sympathizer reciting Trump as he went after CNN; apparently he's not actually a Holocaust denier, but identifies with Hitler and something about how the Holocaust was "exaggerated". It hadn't really come up in my circles, according to that old context, for a long, long time.

In the Gay Fray, some people tried switching from arguing the rights of supremacists to dissent from equal protection to the pretense that we're going too fast, and civil rights will actually hurt gay people so why do you hate gay people by demanding their civil rights? And in that case, it was a classic case of the bully class being cornered and deciding now, as they are about to lose, is the time to stop and talk everything through.

Once upon a time, we stole a lot of money from American tribes on the pretense that it was cruel to let them have their money. Suddenly a bunch of white supremacists were worried about the people of the First Nations: It would be mean to allow those people access to their own money, and why would we want to be cruel to the Injuns?

Do you see how this works?

You literally started a thread about this. Yes, evil will fight dirty; this isn't news. The alternative, then, is what, to slow down and let evil do its work? That's one of the things you just can't seem to make any sense out of, and in large part that is because the issue you are botching isn't actually what you're on about.

And, by the way, Bells can always respond to my questioning the word "now" by simply invoking a different definition, and she will actually be correct, because the word also represents the place of your current tack in the sequence. We can follow this back to you asking yet again for others to tell you what the solutions are↑, and watch you tack↑ in response to an answer.

You do realize some have accepted that futility and disruption are your purpose?
So far, so good -
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar voted for the Stras confirmation while Franken’s replacement, Democratic Sen. Tina Smith, opposed it.

A symbolic vote only - Stras was confirmed - but early indication that at least some aspects of the worst possible outcomes have been dodged.
The title of this thread no doubt helped open the door to objections of "partisanship" - but the issue involved is not strictly Party demarcated: it's a Republicans vs World matter.

And so we see this,
In addition to numbers of cases, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the committee’s Republican chairman, and Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, a Democrat and the ranking committee member, told the office they wanted information on federal grant-making agencies’ harassment policies and procedures on harassment and compliance programs for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination in education.

The lawmakers requested a focus on the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, given their high levels of research funding. The request is part of the committee’s ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in science,

And there's nothing wrong with this, on the surface. It's overdue, it's part of good governance, it's bipartisan, it's all good.

But: the scientists in the Federal agencies listed there are generally hostile to Lamar Alexander. The man's a climate change denier, a supporter of teaching "intelligent design" and Biblical creation accounts in high school science classes, and so forth. He's prolife. He's anti-environment. He's one of the faces of the anti-intellectual and especially anti-science efforts of the Republican Party.
And the Democrat is:
Heart's in the right place, may not be up on the latest scientific research or sexual politics.

And so the effect of this will be to clean up (great) and in the process weaken to some extent (uh oh) - and burden with extra regulations - specifically some of the opposition to Republican efforts and policies. That will be the case even if it is enforced and implemented fairly - contrary to Lamar Alexander's MO. The weakening will be in the scientific opposition to Republican fossil fuel and nuclear power initiatives, in climate change and related research, in any health measures related to abortion such as stem cell research, and so forth.

Note that military research - a large source of grants etc as well, and famous for dubious treatment of women - is not listed except indirectly via Energy or NASA.
The title of this thread no doubt helped open the door to objections of "partisanship" - but the issue involved is not strictly Party demarcated: it's a Republicans vs World matter.

The thread was opened to reiterate the priority of formulating sexual harassment as an electoral consideration.

Furthermore, the title of the thread is, technically, also significant: Sexual harassment happens because people sometimes behave poorly. Allegations will have some impact, but the behavior itself, e.g., actual sexual violence, is even more damaging, and the political response, such we have seen from ostensible Franken supporters, can further denigrate institutions like the Democratic and DFL parties.

People do dumb shit, and that can hurt organizations. When people handle those problems poorly, they can do even more damage to the organizations they would otherwise pretend to care about. Angry conspiracism that sounds, at best, like just another day in a world laden wannabe gaslights working to reserve safe circumstance for sexual violence.

Faced with questions of sexual violence, political parties only make things worse if they labor to reinforce the problem according to the principle that others are worse. In this context, as with so much of the American political experience of late, it isn't so much a question of left and right, or liberal and conservative, as civilized society to the one and celebration of antisocial behavior to the other.
The thread was opened to reiterate the priority of formulating sexual harassment as an electoral consideration.
Maybe, hard to say. But it left that behind in the posting pretty quickly.
and the political response, such we have seen from ostensible Franken supporters, can further denigrate institutions like the Democratic and DFL parties.
We haven't seen much, if any, political response from "ostensible Franken supporters".
The political damage to the DFL, if any, is not from them.
People do dumb shit, and that can hurt organizations. When people handle those problems poorly, they can do even more damage to the organizations they would otherwise pretend to care about.
And it's reasonable to point that stuff out, that dumb shit that people do. It's not a moral failing, just because the dumb shit was in a good cause.
Faced with questions of sexual violence, political parties only make things worse if they labor to reinforce the problem according to the principle that others are worse.
The Rep definition of better and worse invalidates that, for them.
But it's true for the Dems - best for Dems not do that, then.
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