Twitter Account With Two Fake IDs Accused Richard Blumenthal of Sexual Assualt
Yesterday we looked at the fact that there’s a certain asymmetry between the parties on sexual harassment despite the statement by many pundits that it’s not about party but it’s about powerful men.
Yes it is about powerful men-and the abuse of power more generally. But at least in America Circa 2017, partisanship is a very live and important factor that you ignore at your peril. At the peril of not understanding the political context effectively.
Erin Gloria Ryan put her finger on it:
“After Al Franken and Roy Moore, We Are Dangerously Close to Botching the #MeToo Moment”
“Just as society begins to open its eyes, two prominent cases threaten to severely complicate matters.”
“But privately, I’ve been worried that we’re cruising toward the #MeToo moment’s trip wire, the point where a public’s over-credulity means that opportunists could exploit the movement and bring it all crashing down, worse off than before. And then stories of sexual misconduct will again be relegated to cocktail hours and DM’s—feminist ghost stories women share with each other with the knowledge that the demons that torment us still lurk in corner offices.”
There’s an asymmetry between the parties on sexual harassment that perversely favors the Republicans.
1. Democrats are in principle to powerful men abusing their power and engaging in sexual misconduct.
2. The GOP even in priciple doesn’t really acknolwedge this as an important social problem that needs to be solved.
3. But this has the perverse result that when a Democrat is in any way accued of ANYTHING remotely questionable before we even know the facts there’s tendency of other liberals and Democrats to throw them over board now and ask questions about what even happened later.
4. Meanwhile the GOP defends their guys no matter what. They defend Donald Trump against at least 14 public accusations of gross sexual assault. They defend Rob Moore.
Joy Reid had a lot of religious folks and conservatives from Alabama this morning on her show. There were black as well as white Roy Moore defenders and there was also a female Roy Moore defender.
The GOP is saying that it’s one thing to be a child molester but it’s worse to be a Democrat.
Meanwhile Kirsten Gillibrand suddenly declares that Bill Clinton should have resigned based on having a conseusal affair with a young woman over the age of consent back in the late 1990s. This is allegedly the same as Roy Moore forcing himself on 14 year olds.
And right now I think Erin Gloria Ryan’s worry is well taken. I’m sorry but I strongly do susepct that this sudden accusation against Franken may have something to do with the need to take the heat off of Roy Moore and put it on the Democrats.
Now we’re hearing that Franken who apologized and for whom this was as far as we know an isolated incident will face a hearing. What about David Vitter? Mitch McConnell didn’t see fit to hold a hearing for him on the basis that alleged behavior happened in when Vitter was still in the House.
As for Franken’s accuser she says her intent wasn’t for him to step down. On the other hand there is some talk that she may be a friend of Sean Hannity’s.
Because she is a friend of Hannity. She's been on his show. She & Hannity are setting Franken up. Look forward to ethics probe. pic.twitter.com/lB82d6uUnE
— Leslie Purl (@PurlLeslie) November 18, 2017
Now the logical conclusion of this partisan asymmetry is the GOP can knock off concern about real cases of sexual assault on the part of GOPers by fake accusations against Democrats.
“A woman claiming to be from Connecticut made an explosive allegation of sexual assault against Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Friday. Her account quickly made its way through conservative chat forums, where contributors roundly called for the Senator to address the allegations and be held accountable for them.”
“But it is not entirely clear that the woman making the charge actually exists. In fact, a quick search shows that the account ripped off bio photos of women in Texas and London and misspelled the name of the accuser’s Connecticut hometown. The account was quickly shut down once the accusation went viral on rightwing media, with the user then emerging to claim she’d been hacked. After that, the account was suspended.”
— R Joseph (@rjoseph7777) November 18, 2017
So let’s be clear this is the environment we’re in. The GOP desperately wants a Democrat or two up on sexual assault to take the heat off of the sexual abusers and pedophiles in their own party who they are giving a pass to.
Let’s just be careful not to allow #MeToo to be a vehicle to undermine the very push against sexual misconduct and harassment against women.
Kevin Drum is correct here I believe:
“After going back and forth a bit about Al Franken’s sexual misconduct—he was a comedian at the time and his victim has accepted his apology, but then again, forgiving him could derail the movement to hold sexual predators accountable—Michelle Goldberg concludes that Franken should resign:
It’s not worth it. The question isn’t about what’s fair to Franken, but what’s fair to the rest of us. I would mourn Franken’s departure from the Senate, but I think he should go, and the governor should appoint a woman to fill his seat. The message to men in power about sexual degradation has to be clear: We will replace you.
“No. The message to men in power should be: we will treat you fairly. That should be our message to everyone, the guilty and the innocent alike. If we get to the point where we sacrifice individuals just for the sake of movement optics, that’s where I get off the train.”
P.S. I’m Mike Sax, I’m running for Congress in the NY 2nd District and I’m a Hillary Clinton Democrat.
Meeting her recently was one of the biggest honors in my life to stand next to such a fine public servant and trailblazer. She seemed to like our Impeachment Train campaign t shirts too!
Think of the shirt as a one time investment in restoring legitimacy to this country.
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