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Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 02:54 AM Dec 2017

I believe Al Franken's accusers...

...and I think that he should NOT resign.

As to my first statement, I believe Al Franken's accusers because:

1. That is my default position in cases like this. False accusations can cause great harm. I acknowledge that. Nevertheless, my default position is to believe the accuser.
2. The so-called groping picture. It is what it is. A 50+ year old man behaving very inappropriately.
3. There are just too many women coming forward, anonymous or not.

As to my second statement, I believe Al Franken should NOT resign because:

1. Franken's transgressions (if true) are relatively minor. Yes, they are upsetting. And they should not be tolerated. But we are not talking rape, attempted rape, gross indecency, theft of public funds, bribery, or anything like that. Any of those charges would warrant a resignation, or an expulsion. Patting someone's butt is wrong, but it is not close to that level.
2. Franken quickly apologized for any wrong he might of done. His apology seemed genuine, very genuine.
3. A resignation invalidates an election. Such a thing should happen in only the most extreme of cases.

So here's my suggestion:

The Senate should pass a resolution of reprimand, chastising Franken for certain past behavior. Don't get it all tied up with Moore, Trump, etc. Those are truly separate issues. Just pass a resolution of reprimand. Franken is a stand-up guy. I'd bet he'd even vote for that resolution. Then let's all move on.

(Not that anyone noticed, but I haven't posted for a long time. I'm still in shock from the 2016 election. But this over-kill directed at Franken has me really upset. The punishment should fit the crime. Accept a reprimand Al; don't resign!)

23 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I believe Al Franken's accusers... (Original Post) Shemp Howard Dec 2017 OP
gee before he is condemned perhaps u might agree to a hearing of some sort? nt msongs Dec 2017 #1
I don't believe a hearing is necessary. Shemp Howard Dec 2017 #2
A reprimand before he even gets heard? Egnever Dec 2017 #3
Think of it this way. Shemp Howard Dec 2017 #5
I hear you but Egnever Dec 2017 #8
I believe its also important to note LakeVermilion Dec 2017 #14
Believing anonymous accusers. ... Du circling the drain. Nm bagelsforbreakfast Dec 2017 #4
It's not an easy call. Shemp Howard Dec 2017 #6
Ya, its despicable beyond belief. I was sexually abused as arthritisR_US Dec 2017 #9
craig caught in bathroom trying to have sex Maraya1969 Dec 2017 #7
He shouldn't resign jovi Dec 2017 #10
A tongue in cheek solution. Arkansas Granny Dec 2017 #11
Thats more or less where I sit, but without a reprimand Lee-Lee Dec 2017 #12
Never blindly support all accusers; specially in this current political environment. democratisphere Dec 2017 #13
According to Tom Arnold on twitter who is friends OliverQ Dec 2017 #15
I don't know what to believe with complete certainty. Pacifist Patriot Dec 2017 #16
There should be no default position treestar Dec 2017 #17
And if someone anonymously accuses you... should you lose your job, your life? Demsrule86 Dec 2017 #18
Your default position should never be to automatically believe the accuser. Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2017 #19
Well stated! LAS14 Dec 2017 #22
In recent weeks, people have insisted we should revisit the claims of Juanita Broaddrick... Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2017 #23
I agree PDittie Dec 2017 #20
I agree almost with everything. LAS14 Dec 2017 #21

Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
2. I don't believe a hearing is necessary.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 03:01 AM
Dec 2017

The events (if true) occurred before Franken was a senator. And he has already apologized. And as I noted in my original post, these events were not on the level of rape, bribery, etc.

A reprimand is in order. A reprimand is not a condemnation. A reprimand is an acknowledgement that something inappropriate - but not evil - happened.



(21,506 posts)
3. A reprimand before he even gets heard?
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 03:13 AM
Dec 2017

I get your default position is to believe the accusers but I gotta say while I understand it I find it completely absurd.

Nothing is 100% and in this case there is more than enough reasonable doubt to warrant a hearing at the very least before any action is taken.

Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
5. Think of it this way.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 03:24 AM
Dec 2017

I know I rambled on a bit in my original post, but my two key points are this: Franken (to his credit) has apologized, and his "sins" were relatively minor.

So that's why I think a reprimand is in order, and nothing more. Heck, I've gotten my share of reprimands at work. When I was wrong - or when I thought I was probably wrong - I apologized. And that's pretty much what Franken did.

Then I get a reprimand. My boss points out that I did something that I shouldn't have done. I don't demand a hearing. I just take my lumps and move on.

Now, if my boss fired me over a minor transgression, then you can be sure I'd demand a hearing. And if the Senate would move to expel Franken, then he should certainly demand a hearing.

But he should not just resign!



(21,506 posts)
8. I hear you but
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 04:19 AM
Dec 2017

You seem to have judged Franken without giving him a chance to defend himself or even face his accusers, and then no matter the severity of the punishment, have deemed he should be punished for it.

Despite the fact he immediately asked for an ethics investigation.

Yep he apologized for being a comedian and making jokes that had an impact on women. I do not agree he should be reprimanded in the senate for being a comedian. (I didnt agree with the pile on of Cathy Griffin either btw). Comedians push boundaries and at times step over lines we are not comfortable with. I would not want it any other way. I certainly don't when we reach back ten years to look at their comedy by the standards of today.

He also apologized to Lean Tweeden directly for the picture. But while he recognized she might see the backstage rehearsal differently he certainly denied remembering it the same. Given what we now know about Mrs. Tweeden I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

It is entirely possible he is a serial groper in front of cameras but I don't really find it credible. I am fairly certain if it is true a hearing would provide plenty of evidence of it and again he has denied all of that.

But that is it end of apology for actions and sets a pretty low bar in my opinion for censure in the senate.

I will include the vast majority of his apology just for clarity and because I actually thought it was outstanding. He recognized what women are facing and apologized for any he has let down through his actions intentional or not.

I hear you that you are not out for his neck but I think you have judged him before letting him face what from the outset looks a whole lot like dirty pool.

Without further ado his apology.


I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.

But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.

For instance, that picture. I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what's more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.

Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren't the point at all. It's the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come to terms with that.

While I don't remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.

I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.

Pretty stand up guy in my opinion and I think a censure from this senate would be a grave injustice baring a hearing that finds evidence to do so of course.


(992 posts)
14. I believe its also important to note
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 07:01 AM
Dec 2017

that Senator Franken did not stalk. He created uncomfortable situations, but each of these women did not fear that he would be around the next corner, or be waiting for them the next day. Franken did not threaten any relationships that these women had.

In my mind he should get a time out and sent to the corner to think about his actions. A reprimand is a public shaming. It is appropriate.

Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
6. It's not an easy call.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 03:46 AM
Dec 2017

In fact, it's a very painful call.

Like most people, I know quite a few women who were sexually harassed, but would only tell their stories to close friends. They preferred to stay anonymous (and not go to Human Resources) for many good reasons.

Of course these stories would get around. Is that fair to the accused? Certainly not. And could at least one of my friends be lying? Sure.

So I must judge each case on its own merits. I start from the position that the woman is probably telling the truth, and go from there. And in Franken's case, I find most of the accusations to be credible. You might disagree. But I also think the incidents were relatively minor in nature. They are NOT something Franken should lose his job over.


(61 posts)
10. He shouldn't resign
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 06:17 AM
Dec 2017

I'm calling BS on all this. The Dem's are calling on him to resign to set the high ground for standards hoping the GOP will follow. The GOP has no standards, morals, or integrity. They elected a pussy grabber to the WH- and he himself admitted that- that didn't come from any women. And they are about to elect a pedophile to the senate. Dem's need to stop being so nice and trying to set a different standard in Washington that will never be. They need to let Franken stay in the senate. Ground him from playing with others- take away his toys, but leave him in the senate.

I believe the women- but I also see it as something that happened years ago- not that it makes it ok. The ass grabbing accusations in pictures i sorta call BS on- I have been in pictures where my ass grabbed accidentally by the man standing next to me. I made jokes about it and let it go- I NEVER though it was in intentional nor did I feel violated. But every person perceives things differently. Are these women GOP operatives being paid to come forward? They accuse us of this kinda of shit.

If Franken resigns I feel I may need to leave the Dem party and but a I behind my name. I will feel really let down. I want the Dem party to fight and go to the mats with the GOP- not be this nice sweet party that gets along with everyone and tries to right every wrong. We are in a whole different political world then we were 8-16-24 years ago. This has become a war to hold onto what we believe in- if we don't get dirty we will lose more than just Franken and possibly others we will lose the country to this thing called the GOP.

Put on gloves- stand by Franken and say yes what he did was wrong- but we will not lose a really good guy for the accusations against him- get rid of the pussy grabber and drop Moore from the ballot and then we can talk- but he stays!!



(6,324 posts)
12. Thats more or less where I sit, but without a reprimand
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 06:30 AM
Dec 2017

In any of these situations my default position is to believe the victims. Doesn’t matter what their politics are. And I won’t go down the path of witch hunts on a victim or possible victim because of the politics. Such actions are damaging to all victims who are thinking of speaking out.

But even so at the word what he is accused of was accused of was mostly before he was in the Senate and as such has little bearing on what the senate does.

For all of you saying there needs to be a Senae ethics investigation, go read the Senate rules. They only do ethics investigations for conduct that happened while you were a Senator. So most of this falls outside the scope of what they can look at.

So, he should own up to whatever he feels he needs to, and then get along with his job. And in 3 years or so decide if he wants to run again with how the polls are looking and how the people in Minnesota feel about the job he is doing and the claims that have been made and either choose to run again or not.


(17,235 posts)
13. Never blindly support all accusers; specially in this current political environment.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 06:31 AM
Dec 2017

I certainly would not want you seated in a jury.



(3,363 posts)
15. According to Tom Arnold on twitter who is friends
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 07:04 AM
Dec 2017

with Leann Tweeden and has been talking to her on the phone, this was a right wing setup by Roger Stone and Tweeden was kinda used as a larger smear campaign. She didn't want Franken to lose his job.

This was a right-wing hit job, and nothing we can do about it.

Pacifist Patriot

(24,643 posts)
16. I don't know what to believe with complete certainty.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 07:19 AM
Dec 2017

I completely agree with you that scale and matters of degree are relevant. However, the appropriate next step would be an Ethics Committee investigation. No censure, reprimand, or request to resign should come before due process.


(82,383 posts)
17. There should be no default position
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 07:23 AM
Dec 2017

Each case is different. It is wrong and unjust to create a presumption based on gender. Just as wrong as it was never to listen to the women.


(67,969 posts)
18. And if someone anonymously accuses you... should you lose your job, your life?
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 07:24 AM
Dec 2017

Now we merely accuse...due process out the window...what you describe is a witch hunt.


(42,978 posts)
19. Your default position should never be to automatically believe the accuser.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 07:43 AM
Dec 2017

Your default position should to be to take the accusations seriously and demand a good faith inquiry into them.

But no one earns the position of being automatically believed just because you made an accusation.


(13,724 posts)
22. Well stated!
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 10:04 AM
Dec 2017

A while back there were several threads about automatically believing the woman and one poster said, "Why would a woman lie?" Well, to damage a man from the opposing party, for one.


(42,978 posts)
23. In recent weeks, people have insisted we should revisit the claims of Juanita Broaddrick...
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 10:17 AM
Dec 2017

....against Bill Clinton, which were so shaky that even Ken Starr couldn't find them credible.

One second glancing at her Twitter page (including the profile and cover photo) reveals her to be a right wing hack with no scruples or consistency that you'd expect someone who was the genuine victim of a sexual assault.

Yep, that's Juanita Broaddrick, replying to someone who has been accused of sexual impropriety with a minor and cheerfully invoking the name of a right wing operative who was once charged with assaulting his then wife.


(8,322 posts)
20. I agree
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 09:56 AM
Dec 2017

I don't believe his misbehavior rises to the level of Moore's, or Trump's, or Conyers', or Farenthold's, or Barton's. All of these men need to withdraw ahead of Franken.


(13,724 posts)
21. I agree almost with everything.
Thu Dec 7, 2017, 10:02 AM
Dec 2017

I would hold back on the "default position." As someone above said, the default position should be to carefully attend to the circumstances. But there's no doubt that we must be very careful not to let our default position be, "she's lying."

But the main point of my post is how much I agree with you! Well stated! Sexual "misconduct" shouldn't be any more fatal than any kind of analagous "misconduct." This zero tolerance crap makes us sound like Puritans.

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