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Response to spooky3 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 10:21 PM

48. For those who feel this statement doesn't go far enough or doesn't deny significant aspects,

here, FWIW, is something I posted as a reply a few days ago, when many were het up about the Tweeden allegations.

I've reposted it as a reply a couple of times since, but I think we've had quite enough Franken OPs in the last few days, so I don't intend making it one.

Here's a sad aspect to the story:

Al Franken wrote a bill to help rape survivors like me. He canít lead on it now.

In November 2014, I was raped.

Iím certainly not the only one something this awful has happened to, but afterward, I felt as though I was. I was a 19-year-old college student. My life changed overnight. I faced an incredibly long fight to bring my attacker to justice: Daniel Drill-Mellum was wealthy, well-connected, and willing to throw me and my reputation under the bus. The #MeToo culture Iíve seen develop publicly over the last month wasnít around to help me then. I was nearly harassed off the University of Minnesota campus for reporting. I was turned away by the Minneapolis Police Department despite the mountain of evidence in my case.

Over the next two years, I learned how to hold my frustration in, because I had an end goal in mind. I knew that my attacker belonged in prison, and I was determined to get the justice system on my side. I made mental notes about everything that was going wrong. I tried to have patience that someday I could make a different world. When my rapist was sentenced in August 2016 to six years in prison, I finally had my chance.

I sought help from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). He took up my cause without hesitation, and he worked with his aides to draft legislation to pay for training to help police departments treat assault survivors with more concern for what weíve been through. But now that allegations have come out that Franken himself assaulted a woman years ago, I want another lawmaker to sponsor the bill we worked so hard on. This work deserves to be led by those without a history of sexual harassment or assault.

The news this week was especially disappointing for me because of how effective an advocate Franken has been for my cause. I felt my heart sink when I saw the news, but I was prepared to support the woman involved. I remember what it was like to be shamed and not believed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/18/al-franken-wrote-a-bill-to-help-rape-survivors-like-me-he-cant-lead-on-it-now/


If anybody wants to click through, they'll see the sort of work Franken's been involved in, and how sensitively he and his staff have handled the process of helping this woman frame the bill. She now wants to find a female congressperson to sponsor it instead.

I hope it's an overreaction to the early forms of this story, and she may revise her decision. Or perhaps it would be better if she can find a female senator to sponsor it, and Franken can offer whatever support is necessary, behind the scenes or from the floor. The problem with his involvement is Republican whataboutery. You'd hope a bill like this could find bipartisan agreement, but I doubt it.

It may shed some light on why Franken reacted like he did. The larger picture than his own career is the legislation he wants to pass and the changes he wants to come about - exactly as set out in his long statement. That's integrity.

I don't think any number of videos or pics of Tweeden cavorting onstage are likely to make Abby Honold feel differently, certainly not if Franken were ever to have a hand in relying on them as some sort of "defense" - especially in view of her own experience of the attempts to "throw me and my reputation under the bus". Or maybe she'll realize that this is more or less what's happened to Franken as her ally and change her mind.

What probably won't help change her mind is targeting somebody who comes forward with an allegation for her past behavior, however raunchy, given what she says above. Or maybe she'll join some here in resenting Tweeden for making false allegations, but that could be a slippery slope and she may not be able or willing to go there.

These are the stakes. This whole operation hasn't just targeted Franken, it's targeted the current wave of revulsion at revelations about how (especially powerful) men sometimes conduct themselves.

That's why I think Franken's reacted as he has, and why he's right to do so.


It's just my own interpretation, but I reckon Franken doesn't want to get into the position of publicly expressing disbelief of the women making the allegations, for reasons I outline above.

Arguing about whose hand may have gone where during a photo after all this time, in the case of the later allegations, isn't going to be very pleasant or illuminating for anyone, so this shuts that down as well as can be done as long as nobody tries to keep pressing it, and he's chosen to swallow some crow. I've no idea what did happen.

The one aspect he's outright denied is the business about going off for a washroom assignation - maybe he felt that overstepped the mark.

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spooky3 Nov 2017 OP
MagickMuffin Nov 2017 #1
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spooky3 Nov 2017 #47
Susan Calvin Nov 2017 #45
LineReply For those who feel this statement doesn't go far enough or doesn't deny significant aspects,
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #48
moriah Nov 2017 #58
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oasis Nov 2017 #50
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 2017 #54
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