Are Democrats In Washington To Set a Good Example?

Comments

1
Franken shouldn't resign. There is the argument that it's working against the interests of women for him to leave when the likes of Trump and Moore remain. There is also the argument that Franken (if he's got the mentally liberals have every reason to believe he does) really does feel bad about this and will correct his own behavior. Ironically, the people who are being disproportionately policed (democrats) are the people most likely to police themselves.
2
Forgive us Dan, for doing the right thing and ruining it for the rest of you in this critical political moment. It's all our fault--for doing the right thing. We're such losers.
3
@2: Exactly my point. Your apology is so, so gracious. I accept it.
4
I think Franken should resign.

Then, I think the other 534 members of Congress should resign.

Then I think every man that is even vaguely famous should retire from public life.

After that, we should institute strict segregation based on gender.

Whatever it takes to make this go away so that we never, ever talk about it again ever.

And yes, I have tried to ignore it. Unfortunately I don't have a cabin in the woods without power or internet connectivity and the ability to retire there for about six months or so. This is almost everywhere I look. NY Times, Politico, here, the screensaver on my TV, etc.
5
Thank God some pundits on the left are starting to realize how the Democrats' quest for purity has the practical effect of giving a structural political advantage to Republicans. It may help Democrats feel good about themselves, but it leads to right-wing courts and right-wing legislation, which hurts a lot more women than Al Franken ever could. Most harassment victims aren't assaulted by national politicians and can't hope for media attention bringing their harassers to justice. They need real legal protections, which will only come from Democrats being in power.
6
@3 Dan, you made the mistake of putting your best points towards the end of the article and unfortunately attention spans are short these days...

Seriously, though, the fact that we dismantle our own party before going after the other, worse bad guy on the other team is the whole problem. Sure, Franken should go, but Dan was absolutely correct here in saying that this should first and foremost be used as political leverage for removing Trump, not as a precedent that Republicans don't give two fucks about following.
7
btw, Ezra Klein is being a naive fool here. In every political/moral gray area - from gerrymandering to nominating activist judges, to filibustering, to lying in political ads - Democrats already hold themselves to higher standards than Republicans. Can you think of a single instance in the last forty years where the Democrats' unilateral high standards led the Republicans to improve?
8
As we already know, Simpsons did it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu3bq1dq…
9
The point is not to set an example; it’s about their voters: people who lean left are more likely to hold politicians accountable for harassment, while conservatives simply do not care because contempt for women is baked into their politics. There would be electoral repercussions for democrats if they *don’t* do anything about it, but republicans will never lose a vote from treating women like garbage - or at least, not enough to matter.

Grouse all you want about symbolic victories but there is no better path forward for democrats. I think they should wait to hold ethics hearings first - and then run moore through the same process when he gets to washington - but i have a feeling the senators who asked franken to resign know something we don’t (yet). Of course they should also demand the same of republicans, not because they will suddenly decide they should treat women like people (they won’t) but to draw a line under the differences between them.
10
The Dems fire Franken and Conyers while the ‘pubs gleefully welcome psychotic, rapist, fascists Tdumbp and Mooron. RepubliKKKan voters have proven over and over again that there's no floor to their relentless depravity, cruelty, and insanity.

Claiming the moral high ground will be of no comfort when they're shoving us into the ovens.
11
Franken should resign, for all the reasons stated above. He should make the effective date the day Trump is removed from office.
12
The majority of white women are hate-crazed racist RepubliKKKan Tdumbp voters who don't give a shit about their own rights, health, and safety, let alone those of the rest of us.

As much as I wish our politics weren't so sick and twisted, this is a political civil war that we're losing, and holding the Dems to a higher standard doesn't help anyone.
13
@1: Good works is not a plausible defense.
14
@12

What?!

OA, I think you should sit down, shut your yapper, and listen for a bit.

No matter hate-crazed, racist, Republican, KKK member, Trump voter: NO WOMAN DESERVES TO BE HARASSED or assulted. And harassers should step up and do what's right, no matter who else does what. This is called ethics. Obviously this will and should vary from case to case.

More importantly, any given woman's stance on her own rights, health and safety IS NOT YOUR CONCERN, or the concern of ANY MAN.
15
It's almost as if they're in bed with Trump and the Republicans, and the whole system is fraudulent.
16
@ 14,

Bullshit.

Who's worse, the sexual predator or the women who enable and defend him?

Look at NoHope Hicks, Sarah Hucksterbee Slanders, and Kobra Anne Conjob as perfect examples of women who derive sadistic pleasure from their outrageous lies and the harm that they're enabling Tdumbp and the RepubliKKKan party to carry out against everyone else. This horrific nightmare wouldn't be possible without them.

Of course all of the men who committed these despicable acts should resign and/or be fired.

But no truly honest and ethical commitment to this process can move forward without also holding these toxic, abusive, destructive women accountable for their role in ruining countless lives.
17
the predator is always the worst one, like how is this even a question
18
Dan- with both Murray and Franken, their peers (city council, U.S. Senate dem caucus) didn't jump on a bandwagon, but rather waited to see if it was part of a pattern and then took action when they realized it was. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?
19
GOP politicians can't stand doing actual, meaningful work, so the Democrats might as well do it for them. Great job guys, keep destroying your own party so the Repubs can take more golf vacations and play pocket pool during legislative sessions.
20
If Roy Moore is elected, it wouldn't matter if Jesus made flesh asked him to resign. He will NEVER resign. I support the ethics investigation process as the right path forward. That way, standards would be applied consistently, regardless of party. If we rely on Decency, the Republicans won't have to bother with gerrymandering and suppressing voter turnout ever again.
21
I do feel as though letting Bill Clinton's mischief slide set a bad precedent for allowing shitty behavior by democrats (and thus Republicans as well) that we are now still paying for. Might as well course correct now. But damn that impeachment vote was sad. Y'all won't even try?? Because it's "a waste of time"? Why not show you are capable of a tiny bit of fortitude? Dems will just continue to roll over for the Republicans, I fear.
22
I remember back in 1998 when Clinton was caught and the world's news headlines had world leaders in shock that Clinton could do such an awful thing. Now that we have something much worse in the oval office, where are these world leader's complaints and finger wagging now?
23
@ 22
World leaders nor their constituencies couldn’t care less. A French mainstream newspaper’s front headline read something like, “Such a big deal because of a blow job?”

It was here that a Republican-controlled congress investigation of supposedly corruption or whatever that was couldn’t find anything, so instead figured a consensual sex between adults would be juicy enough to force a resignation.
24
More importantly, any given woman's stance on her own rights, health and safety IS NOT YOUR CONCERN, or the concern of ANY MAN.


46% of women who voted in 2016 voted for Trump. 53% of white women voted for Trump.

As a result Trump is now eroding the rights of ALL vulnerable people in this country.

Citizens of this country have every right to criticize women or men's stances on their "own rights" when that stance is stupid as fuck and leads to everyones rights being jeopardized.
25
@9 nailed it.

Democrats are wringing their hands over Franken resigning while Moore looks to get elected (and while we have an admitted sexual predator as president).

Democrats don't understand it (and I admit I didn't at first either) but then I remembered, I'm not a republican. That's why I don't get it.

For republicans, treating women (and all minorities) like shit is a feature to be admired and aspired to. They want their leaders to be rapists.

I still don't entirely understand why republicans feel that way (though I have theories, most based in evolutionary psychology), I just know that they do.

Also, it sucks because they'll keep winning with that strategy.
26
@24, how about her "health" or her "safety"

You want to question the collective result of individual perspectives, go to it. But don't question the right of a woman to self-determination.
27
Is Bill Clinton in elected office, or running for it? If not, why continue to mention him?
28
This is who should resign:
1. Every sexual offender.
2. Everyone over 65. (sorry Bernie, you too.)
3. Everyone who has taken corporate money.
4. Everyone who voted for the tax bill and to repeal the ACA.
5. Everyone who voted for the Iraq invasion and the Patriot Act.
6. Everyone who had any involvement in the 08 crash.
7. Everyone involved in the Clinton campaign.
8. Everyone who voted against climate change action, locally and globally.

29
I don't see how anyone who has lived through the past two years could possibly be asking how Bill Clinton's legacies are relevant to the hell that is our current political landscape.
30
@CMD I agree regarding Monica. It was a media circus and a witch hunt, and yes the rest of the world had a good laugh at that. But Bill Clinton has been repeatedly accused of rape and sexual harassment throughout his career, and while I reluctantly voted for both him and his wife as lesser evils in attempts to prevent GOP's greater evil, it is true that the refusal for the Dems to seriously face any of his accusations at all has played a role in both the break down of the Dem party and Hilary's loss. At the same time, I don't think they played a major role so I don't want to be dramatic about it. The more damning things about the Clinton era over the long term were his financial deregulations, the shift to third-way neoliberalism, and his handling of Waco (something that most liberals never even think about anymore but which is probably the tipping point at which southern conservatives moved from mistrust of the government to all-out hysterical hatred that to this day still fuels militia stuff and Hilary hatred). But yes, absolutely the Dem party's refusal to address the repeated accusations of sexual assault and rape against Bill played a part as well.
31
I mean, liberals kept talking about how Trump brought the women that accused Bill to the debates as if his motivation were to shake Hilary's nerves or just to be a bully. While those might have been benefits (from his point of view), his motivations were to play to his base.

I think a lot of people don't really get Republicans, and good for you for not having to be around them. You know how liberals get pissed off when Republicans are caught in gay sex affairs even though liberals are champions for gay rights? Well the reason the liberals are pissed whenever this happens is because they are not offended by the fact of a Republican being gay. They are offended by the hypocrisy of a Republican making laws that harm gay people while himself secretly having gay affairs. This same dynamic about the hypocrisy is how conservatives feel about Bill Clinton's accusations. It's not really that they are so offended that he's a misogynist. Obviously their own party is full of misogynists and they even celebrate it when someone like Trump has a hot girl on his arm, etc. It's that they are offended by the liberal hypocrisy in pretending to champion the rights of women and victims of sexual assault while themselves harboring sexual predators in their own party. This is how they can straight face support someone like Moore or Trump while going after someone like Franken or Clinton.

I'm not saying that this should be among the considerations of Democrats when trying to get their own house in order. They should face sexual assault allegations because it's the right thing to do. But if we are going to talk about the GOP or Clinton or the motivations of conservative voters, we can't do that without understanding this in the first place.
32
Locals politicians — like our new mayor — who waited until the fifth accusation to call on Murray to resign came in for heavy criticism.

Duran accepted Murray's endorsement, and received aid from him and his supporters. Meanwhile, the candidate you'd endorsed called for Murray's resignation. How'd that work out, again?

What do you think we voters of Seattle were telling you about your accusations, and those who accused Murray?
33
EmmaLiz - I'm gonna push back on your analysis of partisan calls of hypocrisy. The difference is how the politicians vote or govern. Republicans aggressively oppose both the basic civil rights of the LGBTQ community and the reproductive freedoms of women (aka "sluts"). So when they're caught in a gay scandal, it is hypocrisy. Bill Clinton, whatever his faults, has always supported the gay community and women's fundamental rights. Completely different.
34
You can't push back against something with a statement that demonstrates you do not understand what I said.

Maybe you don't have any background for it? I'm not talking about Monica here. That was clearly a consensual relationship. I believe it is still problematic for all sorts of reasons, but it's not assault nor worthy of even much discussion so let it be. But are you aware that he has been accused of rape and sexual harassment repeatedly throughout his career? Liberals have never really reckoned with those accusations. They've blown them all off as Republican fabrications without much consideration of the fact that a few of the cases, especially the ones earlier in his career, hold some water. But that's irrelevant anyway to what I was saying as I was trying to explain a Republican mindset, and they believe these allegations.

So first off, yes it is hypocritical to be a politician who supports women's rights in legislation while also being a a politician who abuses women. But I wasn't talking about the politicians themselves- I was talking about the liberal support for them. And yes, it is also hypocritical to be a voter who claims to care about women's issues while also supporting a politician who rapes and assaults women. Now if you are a politician or a voter who openly dismisses women's issues as a valid concern (or even supports misogynistic legislation) then it is not hypocritical to be/support a politician who assaults women. Can you really not see what I'm saying? This is why Trump brought those women to the debates with Hilary. It's something liberals didn't understand- at the time they kept saying he brought them there to rattle Hillary, but that's not true. He brought them there to cash in on what his base sees as an extreme hypocrisy. They seethe with indignation over it. This is also why they didn't care about the pussy grabbing statement. They don't care if a rich man grabs pussy. They are offended that liberals say they are offended while meanwhile supporting politicians accused of sexual assault. It's why they couldn't even understand the offense (remember how many said "so what he said the word pussy"). It's likewise why they think liberals are hypocrites for supporting gay rights but getting offended when GOP are caught having gay sex. They don't see the distinction you made above because they don't support that sort of legislation in the first place. You are two groups of people talking past one another.

Understanding this actually matters if you want to talk about skillfully running a campaign. It's one of the many reasons it was incredibly non-strategic for the DNC to run Hilary last year. One could argue also that it's one reason that it's good for liberals to support the resignation of Franken and Conyers, though I don't think this is a good argument because Dems should never attempt to chase the support of Reps (a losing battle) or Centrists (mythical creatures, mostly) and should instead go about engaging the disaffected and the left.
35
But Bill Clinton has been repeatedly accused of rape and sexual harassment throughout his career,

And never found guilty of anything. He was accused of sexual harassment in court, and the suit was dismissed for lack of merit. (In that suit, most of the women called by the plaintiff testified Clinton's behavior towards them had been respectful.)

Which brings up a point in all of these accusations: can there ever be exculpatory evidence? Al Franken received public support from women at SNL, some of whom had worked with him for decades, yet he was hounded into resigning anyway. Here in Seattle, Murray's accusers could not have possibly been less credible, and at least one even publicly lied about his own accusations(!), yet Murray had to resign in disgrace.

How many times must we voters be denied the choices we made, because someone brought some accusation, years after we voted, and without any standard of proof? This is profoundly anti-democratic, and will only bring more harm if we allow it to continue.
36
EmmaLiz I get where you are coming from, but having lived through the Clinton presidency as an adult, I also vividly remember the almost 8 year investigation of all things Clinton during that presidency. I honestly don't know if the rape allegation is true, but I do know that for the most part, times have changed for the better. In my first corporate job, women weren't allowed to wear pants, and office parties were pretty raucous affairs. That was also around the time that sexual harassment was just starting to be recognized as a thing and dealt with by corporate America.

As a gay woman, I don't get offended or angry when an anti-LGBTQ politician is caught with a rent boy. Rather I'm sad that internalized homophobia is still a thing, especially with Republicans.

I'm also sad that whataboutism and buttheClintons! is the de facto response of conservatives to literally any criticism.
37
@JibeHo, I agree and I was an adult at that time as well. I was also in the south and in a community that had previously been working class Dems- labor union types. The combo of Clintonism, GOP propaganda, Waco, the scandals & the rise of cable news turned them all slowly into Republicans. First they were centrists, and then more to the right, until now they are mostly Trump supporters. It's a propaganda machine that has built a mind set. I'm trying to explain that mindset, not accuse people of being guilty of what conservatives think of them. I'm trying to explain the discrepancy, which I think is important if we wish to move strategically in the future. I think too many liberals only think about Republicans that are religious conservatives, and that Evangelical branch is a serious part of their party, but it's not what I'm talking about and they aren't the people in power with Trump.

Also @tensor and others, I don't know (or care) if Clinton is guilty or not. But neither do you. The fact that liberals generally just accept that he's not guilty of every single accusation against him over the course of his career (and there are many, and no most were not brought to court nor were they all from people associated with the GOP) is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it's highly likely that a man who repeatedly has affairs including with staff at work probably hits on other staff members to say the very least. Maybe the more serious accusations are all fabrications, maybe not. I don't really give a shit. My point wasn't to say that Bill is guilty but rather to point out the way continued support for him and denial of all of his accusers plays out in the minds of voters on both sides and how this is used strategically by Republicans and non-strategically by Democrats. Regardless of what you think of the Clintons (I personally think there are legit reasons to hate them that have nothing to do with sexual assault allegations nor the more insane conspiracy theories about them), it is a fact that they are among the most deeply hated people in this country and that the Bill Clinton presidency was the turning point for the right to move into this crazy land they inhabit now, and it was extremely nonstrategic to run a person with so much hatred and baggage. It never fails to amaze me how stupid the DNC can be. But beyond that, all of this was just a response to the people up thread who said that since Bill hasn't run for a long time, his sexual exploits (or rumors thereof if you like) are irrelevant to current politics, which is only a position you could take if you have absolutely never spoken to a Republican over 40. It's so out-of-touch with the actual opinions of Republicans (which I've tried to explain) as well as the reality of the last election (Trump bringin those women to the debates) that it baffles me that anyone could claim this. I really think liberals in general are having trouble reckoning with the election and the current political climate, and this terrifies me b/c if they don't shape up, things are going to get worse.