My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Dec 8

From Facebook, a tussle…

So, I got into a bit of a tussle on Facebook, a little politics, a little gender equality… I tweeted in favor of Al Franken, who is a person not without contriversy. I’m ALL for the #MeToo movement, I want it to flourish, I don’t want it to stop. I also think that some political dark artists used a movement that’s truly good to do something truly disgusting.

I got the following comments:

“Person 1:You are dead wrong on this and I’m actually disappointed but not surprised at your response. Women have become use to this response. Zero tolerance for sexual assault is about the protection of women. It’s not about politics. If the republicans want to play dirty I do not care. This mentally is why nothing has changed for women. Franken should step down for the good of our country. We don’t lose because someone will take his place that is a democrat. You should speak with a women that has been sexually assaulted or disrespected in the work place. It may change your mind on making exceptions for a likable man. Women shouldn’t have to “take one for the team” because of republicans. It’s gross and hypocritical. Get mad at Al Franken for disappointing us all because of HIS BAD CHOICES. Get mad at him, not female democrats asking him to resign. Your anger is in the wrong place.”

and

“Person 2:“…a few vague claims against Franken…”

What YOU think of what Franken did doesn’t matter. What Franken’s purported victims thought of his behavior is the issue. They said they thought he acted inappropriately. They said he made them uncomfortable.

Yeah, it’s a detestable shame the Democrats hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior than Republicans. And now is the not the time for the party to immolate itself, this close to the midterms.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we, collectively, have to do better. And those that are giving Moore, Trump, Fahrenthold et al a pass on this will be judged harshly by history, because they’re on the wrong side of it.”

To which I replied:

“This is all a little Salem Witch Trial-y. “He made me uncomfortable, burn him!” or “SHE made me uncomfortable, burn her!” Person 2, I’m certain at one time or another, unintentionally or otherwise, you’ve made women uncomfortable. I know I’ve made women uncomfortable. My own mom has made MEN uncomfortable. If the standard for losing your work and your reputation is “uncomfortable,” then we’re all guilty, and we all deserve to be punished.

=Person 1, EVERYTHING is about politics, especially right now. If you think all accusers are genuine, and that nobody’s going to weaponize the times, you’re dead wrong. Who was on-camera trying to dupe the Washington Post in order to vindicate Roy Moore? A WOMAN. She obviously didn’t give a damn about the movement to empower women. People are going to further take advantage of this movement, to the detriment of the movement. If too many people use the movement as a weapon, it hurts the movement, maybe gives an excuse to END the movement, and I don’t want to see THAT happen. Someone very dear to me was assaulted, helping her to not blame herself, staying up all night to make sure the tv always had cartoons, because after a nightmare having cartoons and someone to talk to helped her feel safe, I’d have done ANYTHING to take away that pain. Also, given the opportunity, I’d have killed the evil sick fucker who inflicted it. I mean that, every word. I HATE abusers, which only gives me more incentive to see that the abused get justice, and the abusers lose everything. I want the movement to stay strong and righteous. Here, we can agree, yes?

Now, where we disagree… I’m not sticking up for Franken because I think he’s guilty, but darn likable, and a great Dem besides. If I actually thought he was guilty, well, you know my feelings. No, I’m sticking up for him because I don’t think he’s an abuser, an harasser, or a skeeze. I think he was a test case for a new chapter in the Political Dark Arts Manual. I think the right wanted to see if they could use the current social climate of women’s empowerment to their advantage. I think Franken caught the business end of a political hit-job. They gin’d up accusations knowing we’d go zero tolerance, and that’s that. I think they built their entire scheme around that stupid photograph. I know people look at that photograph and say, “Monster!” I just don’t see it that way. He wasn’t a senator, he was a comic on a USO gig, and he played a prank, as comics are wont to do, a stupid, immature prank… and it cost him the world. It shouldn’t have, but it did. Also, his seat isn’t guaranteed to stay with us. The Governor of Minnesota will appoint a placeholder Democrat, then comes a special election in early 2018. Minnesota is very purple, we could easily lose the seat. So, we lose a good Democrat, and I think, a good man, over allegations from a BIRTHER and a bunch of “anonymous” sources. Is that really okay? Doesn’t it seem really reactionary? If a woman sold out her gender and CHILDREN for Roy Moore. couldn’t some political dark wizard have found a few women to lay low Al Franken? I think, absolutely.

Zero tolerance is a bad way to go, it’s punishment without reason. Not every man, or woman, who makes someone feel uncomfortable deserves to lose their career, their reputation, everything they’ve built. Also, I’m sorry, but it’s especially dangerous in politics. The right isn’t playing by the same rules as us, they’re not even playing the same game! There’s a mile of CREDIBLE evidence against Roy Moore, a PEDOPHILE, and they’re going to let him in with open arms, because he’s an easy “yes” vote, and a fearless liar. Trump has TAPED evidence against him, bragging about sexual assault against women AND abusing his power as a pageant owner, walking in on young girls in their dressing-rooms, yet he’s safely ensconced in the Oval Office, telling lies easy as breathing. Of course, he surrounds himself with liars, and therein lies the problem with zero tolerance in politics. The right does not and will not play fair. The GOP will keep their abusers, no matter how egregious, and I genuinely fear Bannon with his Trumpian cult will pick off any Dem who makes their Master’s life too difficult. What happens if Kamala Harris starts hitting Trump too hard, then a picture shows up of her doing a beer bong in college at some party, then a fellow from that party says she was aggressive, drunk, touched him inappropriately… then a few “anonymous” staffers from her lawyering days pop up and say that she could be very verbally abusive, and at the office holiday parties, well, they had to quit hanging mistletoe… What if that happens? Zero tolerance? We lose another strong voice against Trump, the GOP loses nothing. Some GOPers may go up on ethics charges, some might even go down, but they won’t be anybody important. Trump wants to surround himself with more radicals and easy-liars anyway. They get to say, “See, we’re cleaning house too!” all while the Moores and the Trumps stay safe as houses.

Our sex crimes laws are broken, our governmental ethics system is broken. Let’s remove the the statute of limitations on sex crimes, no abuser should slip through the cracks. As far as the government goes, instead of the current broken ethics committee system, let’s establish a Bob Muller-style non-partisan investigative office. They’d hear all ethics complaints, swiftly, yet thoroughly. Rather than zero tolerance, both parties get due process, which is the basis of our just system.”

Maybe I’m wrong… If I am, I’ll admit it, and I’ll apologize. I guess we’ll just see.

These are dark times, America has become an Orwellian nightmare… and I wish I was kidding.

4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Randy December 8th, 2017 9:08 pm

    “Your mom made some men uncomfortable “. ?
    That’s an understatement. Like saying Godzilla irritated Tokyo.

  2. Linda Cirocco December 8th, 2017 9:10 pm

    Hi Mike,

    As a rape victim, I understand the pain women go through. But, I feel that Franken’s mistakes pale in comparison to Roy Moore and Donald Trump. We have to investigate the claims before we pass judgement. I agree with you. Franken should stay and the women’s’ claims need to be investigated. Until that happens, he should continue serving. There cannot be two different standards.

  3. Annie B December 9th, 2017 12:21 am

    Wow, just, wow.

    I am a survivor of both sexual assault and sexual harassment, so I understand the pain. But I agree with Linda’s comments. We cannot have a double standard. Franken deserves due process and should continue serving while the ethics investigation is done.

    I also agree that Franken’s behavior pales in comparison to Trump’s admitted behavior and Moore’s accusations.

    You may be right about the situation being used by the right.

  4. Shawn December 9th, 2017 9:10 am

    Very thoughtful. I share your sense of gloom on this issue. I don’t think I know a single woman who has not been the object of sexual mistreatment of some sort. Wrong and punishable, for sure. But all areas of human misconduct have degrees of severity, and we currently have not defined those delineations. I have been a victim of minor offenses and realize that those men should not have lost their jobs or been publicly scorned. But women have put up with far worse treatment silently for decades, or, worse, come forward and been dismissed as hysterical or not believable. We need a balance which I hope we can find. Men’ and women’s lives are being ruined with no remedy. The silence has been broken. Now where do those pieces all fit to form a new more perfect whole?

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