Tag Archives: Me Too

Franken deserves to be censured … at minimum

Al Franken has acquitted himself surprisingly well in the U.S. Senate.

Until now.

The Minnesota Democrat has been snagged in a growing scandal involving members of Congress who have misbehaved badly in the presence of women. A television news anchor has come forth with an accusation that in 2006 Franken, before he was a senator, grabbed her and kissed her without her permission.

Franken has apologized for his conduct. He also says he remembers the incident — which occurred when the then-comedian was on a USO tour of the Middle East — differently from what the woman has alleged.

That is not good enough, senator.

The only aspect of this case that differs from the hideous accusations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — who’s been accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls — is that the accuser was an adult when the incident occurred.

That doesn’t make it acceptable in any form or fashion.

You see, Franken is one of those lawmakers who likes to speak glowingly of his wife, their children and grandchildren. He presents himself as a devoted family man.

What should the Senate do? I think a censure is clearly in order. There ought to be a strong statement condemning one of the body’s colleagues — who until this week was actually discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 2020.

For those of us out here in Flyover Country who have admired the work he has done ever since he joined the Senate, Al Franken has just become a huge disappointment.

GOP Senate candidate turns toxic

They’re now starting to cut ties with one of their own.

Republican U.S. senators who once backed the candidacy of Alabama GOP nominee Roy Moore are bailing on a guy they once hoped would join their ranks.

Moore is accused of having making improper sexual advances on a 14-year-old girl nearly 40 years ago. Moore was 32 years of age when he allegedly made the advance on Leigh Corfman, who’s now 53 and has come forward with the scathing accusation. Other women have told essentially the same type of story about Moore.

Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana have rescinded their endorsements of Moore. They haven’t exactly declared him guilty as charged. They are concerned about what they believe are the veracity of the allegations made.

Indeed, they are seeking to cut their own political losses by severing ties with Moore. There well might be more defections as the Alabama special election set for Dec. 12 draws closer.

As for Moore, he is denying it all. He says he doesn’t know Leigh Corfman. He calls it a conspiracy cooked up by Democrats. He calls the allegation the work of the “forces of evil.”

Well, let’s just wait and see how this plays out. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Doug Jones might be the immediate beneficiary of the troubles that now are threatening to swallow Roy Moore whole.

We have entered an entirely new political environment fueled by he “Me Too” movement that has swelled in the wake of sexual abuse/assault/harassment allegations that have all but destroyed the careers of Hollywood titans.

It isn’t pretty. It is, however, a significant part of a brand new political reality.

Sex enters a key political contest

A Hollywood film mogul has had his career wiped out over allegations of rape. Same for an Academy Award-winning actor. Women are streaming forward to say “Me, too.” The public seems to more or less have accepted the women’s view of what happened with these men.

Many other men in the entertainment industry are facing similar accusations.

OK, then. What about a candidate for the U.S. Senate? A Republican former state supreme court chief justice is facing charges of sexual contact with an underage girl.

Who do we believe here? Roy Moore, the accused candidate, or the woman who was 14 years of age at the time the incident allegedly occurred?

This “Me too” environment has elevated the issue of sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment to a whole new level of visibility.

I am in no position to assess the value of what the accuser has said Moore supposedly did. Republican leaders are saying that “if it’s true,” Moore has to pull out of his Senate contest against Democratic opponent Doug Jones.

Here is where the matter gets sticky. The election will take place slightly more than a month from now. How does someone prove an allegation of a crime that occurred nearly 40 years ago in such a short span of time? Absent that proof, how do voters respond?

Moore is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Then again, so are the many other men in public life who’ve been accused of sex crimes ranging from making inappropriate remarks to flat-out rape. The public, though, is quick to presume the worst about those others.

Will the voters in Alabama do the same to Roy Moore?

This situation is going to get real sticky … real fast.

Waiting for a ‘Me Too’-themed political campaign

In the bad old days, when President Clinton was being impeached over his relationship with the White House intern, we saw a rash of political campaign themes aimed at extolling candidates’ marital fidelity.

As if someone should actually boast about honoring a sacred oath he took to love his wife “for as long as we both shall live.”

But it happened. I found it disgusting at the time to see these individuals making their devotion to their families a political talking point.

That was then.

This latest incarnation of moral misbehavior has produced a plethora of allegations against politicians and various celebrities from all walks of life. It’s called the “Me Too” campaign, with women coming forward to accuse men in high places of sexual harassment and, in some cases, of sexual assault.

I’m not predicting it will happen, but I won’t be at all surprised to see a new spate of political ads from men running for public office who will say that they know how to behave in the company of women. They well might couch their slogans in ways that seek to ensure that voters understand that they’ve never done anything they would regret as it regards women.

My reaction is likely to mirror how I felt when politicians in the late 1990s sought to capitalize on the president’s misbehavior. It sickened me then.

I don’t look forward to seeing what I fear might occur in this age of “Me Too” politics.

‘Me Too’ movement culling men from celebrity ranks

The “Me Too” movement is spreading. It is inflicting plenty of casualties.

To which I say, “good,” as long as the allegations have merit.

The movement is spawned by the number of women around the world who have contended that men in high places — with powerful standing — have committed egregious acts of sexual harassment and abuse against them.

It’s an “impressive” list of celebrities who have been taken out by these allegations: Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly; his boss at Fox, Roger Ailes; legendary comic Bill Cosby; Fox News co-host Eric Bolling; MSBNC contributor Mark Halperin; Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey; Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

And, yep, there even have been accusations leveled against the president of the United States.

Will there be more? Quite possibly.

The corporate culture has for too long given men in high places a pass to conduct themselves in a disgusting manner. The “Me Too” movement came to be as women came forward to say, “me too,” that men have abused them.

Of all the allegations leveled, I want to make a point about what has been said about former President George H.W. Bush, who reportedly has been accused of “sexual assault” by women who said the wheelchair-bound statesman patted them on their backside. Excuse me, but that in no way constitutes sexual assault. Indeed, the former president’s staff has acknowledged that he might have done so¬† in a “good natured manner.”

It’s not assault by any definition of the term.

For many of the rest of them, though, the scorn they are experiencing appears well-founded, assuming that they actually did what they are accused of doing.

If the “Me Too” movement culls the world of celebrities of sexual predators, then it will have accomplished much to make this world a much better place.