Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Collimator

(1,638 posts)
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:32 AM Dec 2017

A Thought Occurred To Me About The Franken Fiasco.

The current upswell of recognition and concern over the issue of sexual harassment started with the exposure of powerful men who were using their positions to access women for sexual abuse and then intimidate them into keeping quiet about it.

The #MeToo has moved beyond those first revelations about famous men to encourage women to open up about the persistance of sexual harassment/abuse/ assault in everyday life.

This is clearly to the good, because it stinks that one half of the human race has to go around living in fear of the other half of the human race.

We are acknowledging that it is not just famous men who make women's lives difficult by meting out such treatment. But fame and power extend a man's reach to do greater harm by putting him beyond the reach of consequences.

Enter Al Franken. This is not a man who used his power and position to seek out victims for his personal satisfaction and then furthered the use of his power to keep his victims quiet.

Franken's power did not intimidate women into suffering through unwanted sexual behavior and remaining silent out of fear of retaliation should their stories not be believed.

These women weren't freed from humilation and fear by the #MeToo movement to come forth and reclaim their personal power. Franken's power was never a threat to them, it was a threat to the people who already have power. Those individuals have no desire to give up what they have. And until Franken became a threat to them, there was no roll call of violated, demeaned, or offended women whispering in support networks, waiting for the day when Franken could be exposed without risking their careers or reputations.

The power being exercised here is not about victims finding their voice. It is about finding "victims" of minor gaffes or misunderstandings and tweaking their narratives to silence Franken's voice and growing political power.

If Al Franken had never become a Senator--if he had continued in his career as an entertainer, it is very unlikely that these women would have bothered to include their experiences with him in the chronicles of #MeToo declarations.

Franken's power made him a target; he did not use his power to target others.

Franken's actions fall into the spectrum of social improprieties if intentional and extend into the realm of misunderstandings that occur between people all the time.

Unfortunately for those who look toward a progressive future, there are people who understand very well how to take advantage of a misunderstanding to bring down a powerful person.

62 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
A Thought Occurred To Me About The Franken Fiasco. (Original Post) Collimator Dec 2017 OP
yes agincourt Dec 2017 #1
Thank You Collimator Dec 2017 #3
The distinction you noted is clearly about the use of power, abuse of power RestoreAmerica2020 Dec 2017 #6
You got it right -- RandomAccess Dec 2017 #23
Yes, Franken's power DID expose him to accusers who came to TheDebbieDee Dec 2017 #54
I've wondered if the Dem leaders were feeling threatened by Franken's growing influence. Kablooie Dec 2017 #2
Absolutely! green917 Dec 2017 #7
Ive felt this way since the pile on occurred. Political motives cant be excluded Guilded Lilly Dec 2017 #34
To me your theory sounds insane and paranoid. n/t Kirk Lover Dec 2017 #48
Yeah, it could be. I'm not claiming this is fact. Kablooie Dec 2017 #50
I understand that the female Senators were talking and texting about Franken and they agreed that Kirk Lover Dec 2017 #51
Thank you! betsuni Dec 2017 #4
very good points KT2000 Dec 2017 #5
I believe this is a pre-emptive strike. parkia00 Dec 2017 #8
Yes, and it won't be the last. lostnfound Dec 2017 #9
Power is, and has always been, the main distinction in sexual harrassment. susanna Dec 2017 #10
Yup! bluestateboomer Dec 2017 #11
Absolutely right on! Thank you for articulating this so well! nt scarletwoman Dec 2017 #12
Well said onetexan Dec 2017 #13
Fiasco is right. The whole series of events never made sense to me. Demit Dec 2017 #14
Not just any career. LisaL Dec 2017 #15
It's a hysteria that's going to look very foolish in time to come. Demit Dec 2017 #18
well said. barbtries Dec 2017 #16
Thank you, so very true. Pacifist Patriot Dec 2017 #17
I don't consider Franken to have done anything...wrong ...don't believe the first two and the Demsrule86 Dec 2017 #19
Yes and so perfectly articulated. Thank you CommonHumanity Dec 2017 #20
And yet it does not work with Republicans treestar Dec 2017 #21
Except it's not always about forceful displays of power mythology Dec 2017 #22
I agree with your points. Ligyron Dec 2017 #28
The facts were not established. BlueWI Dec 2017 #29
you always forget to add...is accused of questionseverything Dec 2017 #35
Al has denied every one of those allegations dansolo Dec 2017 #46
The dem leaders need to answer for this stupid mistake flamingdem Dec 2017 #24
Well stated and accurately so. n/t Different Drummer Dec 2017 #25
The big KEY is that Doug Jones win Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #26
So removing a senator from a once-reliable Dem state, BlueWI Dec 2017 #30
It allows us to keep on advancing the narrative Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #44
So Al is just collateral damage to allow the Dems to "advance the narrative" dansolo Dec 2017 #47
The only TRUE narrative is what matches the truth Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #53
Were you a writer for Monty Python? Thor_MN Dec 2017 #55
Does that narrative include due diligence and respect for process? BlueWI Dec 2017 #59
The end result of a permanently progressive governance should be the ONLY acceptable result. Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #60
WTF makes you think that by kicking out Franken, you are going to get Jones? LisaL Dec 2017 #31
stop equating conyers with franken...conyers went thru the process and lost,settled questionseverything Dec 2017 #32
Sacrificing Franken will NOT assure a Jones win - crazy idea George Eliot Dec 2017 #36
Exactly. What is the logic there? LisaL Dec 2017 #37
So, you believe Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #40
As long as the process is legal, ABSOLUTELY!! Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #43
Anything can be made legal. Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #45
"Stakeholders"?? The country is NOT a corporation Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #49
The word stakeholders has a different meaning from the word stockholders. Demit Dec 2017 #52
Stipulated. Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #56
Well, if you wanna go really big picture, I'm partial to the Frozen Snowball theory. Demit Dec 2017 #58
The Red Giant Sun will vaporize Earth before that happens Fluke a Snooker Dec 2017 #61
Hear, hear. blm Dec 2017 #27
When everyone claims to be a victim then the word "victim" doesn't mean a damn thing anymore. nt Binkie The Clown Dec 2017 #33
Brillilan distinction. Amaryllis Dec 2017 #38
DURec leftstreet Dec 2017 #39
Bless you Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #41
This removal from office for the stated reasons has been bothering me. erinlough Dec 2017 #42
Nail meet hammer. Nt BootinUp Dec 2017 #57
+ a brazillion! Very well said! nt tblue37 Dec 2017 #62

Collimator

(1,638 posts)
3. Thank You
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:48 AM
Dec 2017

But as verbose as I was, I don't think that I really clarified my point. (Possibly because of the lateness of the hour.)

Weinstein's (and the others') power protected him from accusers. But Franken's power exposed him to accusers. Does that make sense? Right now, I'm too tired to tell.

RestoreAmerica2020

(3,429 posts)
6. The distinction you noted is clearly about the use of power, abuse of power
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 04:37 AM
Dec 2017

...something that is used to intimidate, oppress which does not describe Franken. I agree, he was targeted because he had power, not because he used his power. He's one of the good guys... I sincerly hope he does not resign. Thanks for your post!

 

RandomAccess

(5,210 posts)
23. You got it right --
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:19 PM
Dec 2017

This sentence stuck out for me: Franken's power was never a threat to them, it was a threat to the people who already have power.

Followed by this:
The power being exercised here is not about victims finding their voice. It is about finding "victims" of minor gaffes or misunderstandings and tweaking their narratives to silence Franken's voice and growing political power.

Makes the point brilliantly, IMO --

And welcome to DU!

 

TheDebbieDee

(11,119 posts)
54. Yes, Franken's power DID expose him to accusers who came to
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 01:59 PM
Dec 2017

consider their incidental contact with him in the past as an assault.

Also, all Democratic opposition now knows that it only takes 6 or 8 people to allege to have been brushed up against a Dem pol to panic the Dem party who will then...

[img][/img]

Kablooie

(18,519 posts)
2. I've wondered if the Dem leaders were feeling threatened by Franken's growing influence.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:47 AM
Dec 2017

So they eliminated him before he could become a threat to their power.

This is what it felt like to me.

If so it could be the the death knell of the Democratic party because anyone who is strong and competent will be destroyed leaving only the mediocre and incompetent to fill the ranks of the party.

green917

(442 posts)
7. Absolutely!
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 04:49 AM
Dec 2017

I think this whole thing was a right wing hit job that kristen Gil8brand jumped on because she wants to run for president and this "scandal" gave her the opportunity to remove her greatest possible democratic challenger without having to actually beat him in a primary. I think this whole fiasco should tell all of us that out democracy is well and truly fucked!

Kablooie

(18,519 posts)
50. Yeah, it could be. I'm not claiming this is fact.
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 12:46 PM
Dec 2017

But canning such a competent Senator in such a quick and dramatic way raises questions.

 

Kirk Lover

(3,608 posts)
51. I understand that the female Senators were talking and texting about Franken and they agreed that
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 12:55 PM
Dec 2017

the next accusation that came forward was going to be the straw that broke the camels back...and that is what happened.

KT2000

(20,520 posts)
5. very good points
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 04:03 AM
Dec 2017

and spot on regarding the use of power. I always get back to the point of intention. Does anyone think Franken's intention was to assault a woman?
As these incidents will be used to bring someone down, the real effort to stop sexual harassment of women will eventually fade and the real abusers will keep doing it.

parkia00

(570 posts)
8. I believe this is a pre-emptive strike.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 04:59 AM
Dec 2017

It seems the Democrats right now do not have a clear leader which all factions can look to and support to eventually become a contender for the next Presidential elections. So any Democrat that starts to have a growing influence will be targeted by the other side through false news and suggestive allegations and that, is all it seems to take for us to turn on one of our own and take that leader down. When that leader is burdened by such "scandals" that make them unsuitable for candidate for the top office, they will turn on the next leader with growing influence. And the same idiots spineless Democrats will take him/her down as well.

susanna

(5,231 posts)
10. Power is, and has always been, the main distinction in sexual harrassment.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 05:09 AM
Dec 2017

Your take is insightful and important.





 

Demit

(11,238 posts)
14. Fiasco is right. The whole series of events never made sense to me.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 05:50 AM
Dec 2017

It never fit in right with the other examples of abusive men that came to light.

This part of what you wrote describes very well what has always bothered me—

"...there was no roll call of violated, demeaned, or offended women whispering in support networks, waiting for the day when Franken could be exposed without risking their careers or reputations.

The power being exercised here is not about victims finding their voice. It is about finding "victims" of minor gaffes or misunderstandings and tweaking their narratives..."

Minor incidents, from long ago, descriptions of which sounded tweaked; half of the purported victims that, when found, being kept anonymous, yet hailed as "brave;" the insistence that the only remedy to this long ago alleged behavior was the draconian ending of a career...it all felt manufactured. What scares me is the part the Democrats played in it.

LisaL

(44,956 posts)
15. Not just any career.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 06:12 AM
Dec 2017

Franken was elected by many people. If you are going to override the will of the people, at least give the guy a hearing like he asked.

 

Demit

(11,238 posts)
18. It's a hysteria that's going to look very foolish in time to come.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 07:35 AM
Dec 2017

A major misstep by the Democrats. It will not get them anything. Who do they think will admire what they did? Not Republican voters. The Republican mindset is authoritarian; it values strong leadership but it also values loyalty. I don't know what else Kirsten Gillebrand has in mind to further polish her brand but her ease —also the ease of the Democrats as a party—in being disloyal won't appeal to authoritarians at all. I'm a female, feminist, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and it sickens me.

And your point is a good one: the way the Democrats handled this, as if it was their decision only, was too high-handed, too autocratic. It was, simply, anti-democratic.

Demsrule86

(68,039 posts)
19. I don't consider Franken to have done anything...wrong ...don't believe the first two and the
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 09:00 AM
Dec 2017

anonymous ones are just laughable.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
21. And yet it does not work with Republicans
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 11:13 AM
Dec 2017

Once they are in power, they hang onto it, no matter who says what.

 

mythology

(9,527 posts)
22. Except it's not always about forceful displays of power
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 01:25 PM
Dec 2017

He at least gave Tweeden the impression he wrote a skit just to kiss her, he told another woman that he's an entertainer so he gets to do this, but more than that you don't seem to get that sexual harassment isn't always about making a threat any more than a rapist needs to have a knife in order to rape somebody.

Feeling as though you have the right to put your hands on somebody is in fact establishing that you have power over somebody. That you have the right to touch them without their consent. Taking that moment to touch somebody where they don't want to be touched, is in fact a display of power.

BlueWI

(1,736 posts)
29. The facts were not established.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:49 PM
Dec 2017

Last edited Sun Dec 10, 2017, 07:30 PM - Edit history (1)

You're summarizing heresay, some of it purposefully framed by right wing sources that support and deny sexism. One of the most outrageous elements of this episode is the interruption of fact finding in a rush to judgement, which is exactly what your statement does.

dansolo

(5,376 posts)
46. Al has denied every one of those allegations
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:41 AM
Dec 2017

You are repeating questionable allegations as if they are established facts.

flamingdem

(39,294 posts)
24. The dem leaders need to answer for this stupid mistake
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:21 PM
Dec 2017

I believe they are realizing now the dust has cleared

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
26. The big KEY is that Doug Jones win
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:29 PM
Dec 2017

With Jones, we control the senate, as Collins and Murkowski will flip, giving us 51-49 until we retake next year in 2018. This is worth the sacrifices we make with Franken, Conyers, and others, because we can replace them all with even stronger, younger progressives, which in itself is a net win for us, because then the replacements will have the power of incumbancy.

But with a Jones victory in Alabama, we absolutely stop Trump dead in his tracks until we impeach him in 2019, and indict him in 2021 with a President Kamala Harris-run DOJ, along with his entire family.

THIS IS WHAT IS AT STAKE. And don't worry about Al Franken, as his career as a political pundit will be rich and full.

BlueWI

(1,736 posts)
30. So removing a senator from a once-reliable Dem state,
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 03:52 PM
Dec 2017

disenfranchising those who supported and voted for him, under the shadow of Trump, shouldn't be a concern.

I disagree completely.

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
44. It allows us to keep on advancing the narrative
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:37 AM
Dec 2017

In Alabama, if we show that the Democratic Party is serious about maintaining high standards for our own progressive officials, then the voters will realize that they should be voting for the party of integrity over the party of the pedophile. And keep in mind that Franken will no be replaced by a crazed Republican, but by a dynamic progressive individual whom will have an even bigger progressive impact on the Senate.

Long game, folks. We need to transform the United States from a hyper-nationalist white privileged cesspool into a functional component of the globalist progressive agenda. This is the entire goal of our Democratic Party, and should be our ONLY focus.

dansolo

(5,376 posts)
47. So Al is just collateral damage to allow the Dems to "advance the narrative"
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:43 AM
Dec 2017

Apparently you are more concerned about the narrative, than whether it is true or not.

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
53. The only TRUE narrative is what matches the truth
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 01:51 PM
Dec 2017

And the truth is that capitalist, white supremacist ideology, conflated with Western Civilization and the principles of the oppressive nature of the United States construct vis a vis a flawed Constitution, should be shitcanned as soon as possible so we can get a true globalist, progressive agenda that relies more on human need, not corporate greed.

 

Thor_MN

(11,843 posts)
55. Were you a writer for Monty Python?
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 02:07 PM
Dec 2017

Lynching Franken will have no effect on tomorrow's election in Alabama, nor Trump's staying in office. Thomas will remain on the Supreme Court regardless of disenfranchising Minnesota voters.

If Trump leaves office it will be because of money laundering, collusion with Russia and violating the Constitution, not his sexual misconduct.

BlueWI

(1,736 posts)
59. Does that narrative include due diligence and respect for process?
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 06:13 PM
Dec 2017

Neither was done in this case.

Plus - at this point, the election cycle for the Minnesota senate seat has been moved up by two years. Hopefully the dynamic new progressive is ready to run and win a statewide race in a now-purple state.

I understand the reasoning and strongly disagree with the way it was done. There were other options such as censure that were left off the table. The optics of the resignation were highly unfortunate. We're not just moving pieces on a chessboard, there are flesh and blood people, relationships, and voters that all have a stake in the process.

Don't need lectures on what the focus should be. We are all capable of critically and strategically thinking. The Democratic voters that are aggrieved and disenfranchised by this abrupt and rash process need to be heard.

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
60. The end result of a permanently progressive governance should be the ONLY acceptable result.
Tue Dec 12, 2017, 07:17 PM
Dec 2017

The fact is far more people are hurt with the status quo of the white supremacist construct in place, aka the US Constitution. More and more people are realizing that it exists to oppress non-progressive individuals, particularly those whom are not white males. As such, anything we can do to advance our agenda short of actual warfare is considered fair game.

questionseverything

(9,629 posts)
32. stop equating conyers with franken...conyers went thru the process and lost,settled
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 04:25 PM
Dec 2017

franken deserved the investigation,still does

harris has shown she does not have the judgement to be a senator not alone pres

frankin had the nerve and guts to demand the votes be counted to win his seat,took 8 months

for you to act like some other nameless dem will be that tough is foolish

George Eliot

(701 posts)
36. Sacrificing Franken will NOT assure a Jones win - crazy idea
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 05:10 PM
Dec 2017

Republicans just don't think that way. Can't you tell that? They circles the wagons for their own. They lie, cheat, steal and win and as long as they win, their constituents are fine with it. My opinion and we'll see.

LisaL

(44,956 posts)
37. Exactly. What is the logic there?
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 05:11 PM
Dec 2017

You kick out Franken and all of the sudden Alabama will elect Jones? In what Universe?

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
43. As long as the process is legal, ABSOLUTELY!!
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:33 AM
Dec 2017

Voting is on process of progressive transformation. We must avail all our tools, including past the point where the tools are necessary anymore.

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
49. "Stakeholders"?? The country is NOT a corporation
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 12:26 PM
Dec 2017

At least it's not SUPPOSED to be.

A progressive movement depends on the majority vote of its citizenry. And if a majority of citizens want a progressive, non-GOP-blasted agenda, then that's the way we go. Legal, ethical, and morally complicit in its beauty.

 

Fluke a Snooker

(404 posts)
56. Stipulated.
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 03:33 PM
Dec 2017

Still, the vast majority of the world is vested in a progressive United States. Billions will die, as well as the planet, if the GOP keeps its course. And the Jones/Moore senate race is pivotal in this ultimate dire strait. The narrative that Franken's exodus has caused will help Jones over the finish line. This is an INTEGRATED, not SEGREGATED, issue. Big picture, please.

 

Demit

(11,238 posts)
58. Well, if you wanna go really big picture, I'm partial to the Frozen Snowball theory.
Mon Dec 11, 2017, 04:39 PM
Dec 2017

But in our more immediate timeline, I very much doubt a cause/effect relationship between throwing out Al Franken and electing Doug Jones.

erinlough

(2,176 posts)
42. This removal from office for the stated reasons has been bothering me.
Sun Dec 10, 2017, 09:17 PM
Dec 2017

As a rape survivor I am bothered that unwanted kissing and poor, and tasteless jokes are equated with forcable rape. I can agree with Conyers removal as he threatened woman and hurt their careers, but Franklin....I just don’t see it. As women we need to be very precise about what we allege and what we want from all this.
When I was 18 and was raped I thought it was my own fault for being in the wrong place. I never called it rape or told anyone. I very much relate to Moore’s victims when I listen to them because they are telling my story. Franken’s accusers don’t ring true and I wish I could see their situation as serious, but I don’t.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»A Thought Occurred To Me ...