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Senator Al Franken accused of sexual assault.

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knapplc    19,278

Wow, that photo. Pretty much rules out any denial, right?  Eh.  Al's trying anyway:

 

 

It'll be interesting to see what happens if/when other women come forward. 

 

This is what I expected to happen when we reached a climate where women were empowered to finally speak about the harassment and outright assault they face.  This is not a small problem and it is not rare. It is super common, and if this ball keeps rolling we're going to see dozens, if not hundreds of men in powerful positions outed. 

 

 

 

There are a lot of posters on HuskerBoard who would benefit from some soul-cleansing confessions. 

 

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dudeguyy    3,472

Franken released a pretty underwhelming statement. Apparently he's trying to frame this as practice for a skit.

 

This is disappointing. I thought he was one of the good guys. At the same time, now that we've started down this path, I doubt he's the last politician to be implicated.

 

 

Edited by dudeguyy

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BigRedBuster    7,988
19 minutes ago, knapplc said:

I mean, OK, that's fine let's investigate Franken... but where is McConnell's call for a similar investigation into Trump?  There's a nearly identical accusation of harassment against Trump.

 

Trump Campaign Subpoenaed Over Sexual Assault Allegations

 

 

That is a prime example of why I can not be a part of a party anymore and my friends just can't figure it out.

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knapplc    19,278

Better statement. And fine that he's going to cooperate with an ethics investigation. 

 

Now let's see if any other women come forward with accusations of behavior like this.  It is not likely, in my very humble opinion, that Franked would feel empowered enough to, FOR THE FIRST TIME, force a kiss on a woman as well known and believable as LeeAnn Tweeden if he hadn't done it before. 

 

Not judging him guilty.  Just saying I'm skeptical this is his only such infraction.

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zoogs    6,364

Quite simply, Franken should resign. In a better world this would have come out then, and it would have finished him. 

 

As as many have pointed out, the “ethics investigation” is a trumped up farce that allows us all to pretend we cared and that he was punished. What’s there to even investigate? He admitted it. There’s a reason he and fellow Senators on both sides are so eager to go this route.

 

Franken should resign, immediately, and of his own volition.

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teachercd    3,206
1 minute ago, ColoradoHusk said:

He's a U.S. Senator, not on SNL.

Yeah, dork...I know what he does now...I just didn't know if he still shows up on SNL.

 

 

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dudeguyy    3,472
1 hour ago, knapplc said:

I mean, OK, that's fine let's investigate Franken... but where is McConnell's call for a similar investigation into Trump?  There's a nearly identical accusation of harassment against Trump.

 

Trump Campaign Subpoenaed Over Sexual Assault Allegations

 

 

Does this mean McConnell doesn't view Trump accusers as credible?

 

Curious, since he was so quick to call out Al Franken & claims he believes the Moore accusers in Alabama.

 

It seems to me Mitch McConnell only cares about sexual misbehavior when it is politically expedient to do so.

Edited by dudeguyy

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TGHusker    1,330
1 hour ago, dudeguyy said:

 

Does this mean McConnell doesn't view Trump accusers as credible?

 

Curious, since he was so quick to call out Al Franken & claims he believes the Moore accusers in Alabama.

 

It seems to me Mitch McConnell only cares about sexual misbehavior when it is politically expedient to do so.

Or when he doesn't like the incoming candidate  - Judge Moore.  Ok wt him going after Moore but the whole party looking the other way on Trump is another story.

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Ulty    811

I liked Al Franken on SNL, I enjoyed him on the radio when Air America was on the air, ive enjoyed a couple of his books, and I’ve always thought he was a great Progressive voice in the Senate. But in today’s climate, if we truly want to hold people accountable for bad behavior, especially the Donald Trumps and Roy Moores, Franken needs to resign, or the Denis need to force him out. This is a big moment for the credibility of Democrats and the continued empowerment of women (and everyone) to take a stand against this sort of stuff.

 

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knapplc    19,278

Forcing him to resign seems like the nuclear option. Why isn't there an option somewhere between "Force Him To Resign" and "Pretend This Never Happened?"

Edited by knapplc
I typed this on my tablet and it was formatted weird

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Ulty    811
8 hours ago, knapplc said:

This is what I expected to happen when we reached a climate where women were empowered to finally speak about the harassment and outright assault they face.  This is not a small problem and it is not rare. It is super common, and if this ball keeps rolling we're going to see dozens, if not hundreds of men in powerful positions outed. 

 

 

 

There are a lot of posters on HuskerBoard who would benefit from some soul-cleansing confessions. 

 

This is a poignant statement. Hypothetically, would such confessions be worthy of their own thread, an addition to the sexism thread, or someplace in the woodshed? 

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zoogs    6,364

What's nuclear about it? He should resign. The hundreds, or more,  of powerful men who also sexually assault women should also be finished as they should have been long ago. No tears shed for them.

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knapplc    19,278

You're taking away his career. That is absolutely a nuclear option. There's nothing measured or reasonable about that, it's just 0-100 immediately.

 

The consequence for every kind of unwanted sexual advance cannot be that you lose your job.  We have to have measured, reasonable responses to these things.  Manipulating a stage scene so that you kiss an actress and take a sophomoric picture where you pantomime grabbing her breasts should not be treated the same as rape or pedophilia. 

 

That smacks of McCarthyism, and is another wrong, not a redress.  Let's not make the mistake of treating every instance of unwanted behavior the same.  Let's continue to reason our way through these things.  We can be reasonable and still respect and provide protection for women.

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zoogs    6,364

I think what I'd consider "going nuclear" is Al Franken jamming his tongue in a woman's mouth, unsolicited, and then keeping his position of power for (if some have their way) indefinitely after that. He and people like him have used their power to keep it, and insulate themselves from any sort of consequences. This is an egregious abuse, and removing them from their position of power is a token step. These people, for these kinds of offenses, probably aren't going to jail or facing criminal charges. They can lose their current position without actually losing all the power and privilege they've accumulated. To no longer entrust them with continued use of that power is really the least we can do.

 

It is not a reasonable world where men can do this to women and get away with it on account of how common it is. And what Franken did cannot simply be filed away as an "unwanted advance". Either that, or we should avoid euphemizing sexual assault down to "unwanted (sexual) advance".

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knapplc    19,278

I don't think even LeeAnn Tweeden describes it as an "egregious abuse."  She describes it as wrong, and she (rightly) spoke up about it.

 

Certainly Mr. Franken should suffer consequences for this, we're all in agreement on that. What those consequences should be is the question, and it's not unreasonable to gauge each situation separately and figure out the best way to move forward from it. 

 

Al Franken does not represent all men in power, and should not suffer the consequences of all abuses of all men in power.  He should pay for what he has done in a reasonable way.  If that means getting counseling, a censure from the Senate, paying a monetary penalty, or losing his job, fine, whatever's reasonable.  But let's not jump to Z when we're at A. 

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Kiyoat Husker    1,507
32 minutes ago, knapplc said:

The consequence for every kind of unwanted sexual advance cannot be that you lose your job.  We have to have measured, reasonable responses to these things.  Manipulating a stage scene so that you kiss an actress and take a sophomoric picture where you pantomime grabbing her breasts should not be treated the same as rape or pedophilia. 

 

I agree with this.

 

As a liberal-leaning person, a fan of SNL, and a fan of Franken,  it's hard for me to look at this without bias.  However, I wish that the fact that Tweeden is a conservative celebrity that is willing to talk mainly to conservative media was not a factor here.

 

I feel like she could remove the "moral equivalent" argument by simply speaking out against Roy Moore, or showing some solidarity with his accusers.  And yet she has not done that.  Instead she has allowed herself to be used as a moral counterpoint to the Roy Moore situation.  And done so on Hannity, one of the most inflammatory conservative voices.

 

I'm not trying to minimize her situation, but, really this story has minimized Roy's teenage victims IMHO.

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teachercd    3,206
17 hours ago, TGHusker said:

Dang...Rocky!

 

Interesting thing...Rocky said he only did Over The Top because they kept offering him more and more money that he finally realized he couldn't turn it down.

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BigRedBuster    7,988
1 hour ago, knapplc said:

I don't think even LeeAnn Tweeden describes it as an "egregious abuse."  She describes it as wrong, and she (rightly) spoke up about it.

 

Certainly Mr. Franken should suffer consequences for this, we're all in agreement on that. What those consequences should be is the question, and it's not unreasonable to gauge each situation separately and figure out the best way to move forward from it. 

 

Al Franken does not represent all men in power, and should not suffer the consequences of all abuses of all men in power.  He should pay for what he has done in a reasonable way.  If that means getting counseling, a censure from the Senate, paying a monetary penalty, or losing his job, fine, whatever's reasonable.  But let's not jump to Z when we're at A. 

 

I do agree with this.

 

We are going into unchartered territory on this....as we should.  In the past, scum bag men were just allowed to do whatever they wanted to affecting women's lives and careers because of their sexual actions.  That was wrong.


We are now going to go through a period where the pendulum swings way the other direction and some people are going to be overly affected by whatever they did or do based on reactions about the larger issue in general.

 

Problem is, it's going to be almost impossible to have an open and honest conversation because it is such a hot topic and an emotional one.  It's also almost impossible to draw a line and say over this line a man's life should be ruined because there are so many variables in every situation that makes them different.

Edited by BigRedBuster

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TGHusker    1,330

This is a good read and details how politics can put 'blinders' on us.  The political left of center is now coming to terms

with what Bill Clinton did and how it compromised Hillary.  The article concludes that Hillary was hamstrung

by Bill's past when any other candidate would have been able to cut Trump down to size when it came to his womanizing and abusive behavior.

I'm waiting for the blinders to fall off of those right of center in regards to Moore, Trump, etc. 

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/what-hillary-knew/546170/

 

A few quotes:

 

Broaddrick’s account—now accepted not just by a vast right-wing conspiracy, but also by a gathering number of liberal writers—is of an attack as brutal and unambiguous as the worst of the alleged assaults by Harvey Weinstein. Clinton, she says, manipulated his way into her hotel room, threw her down on the bed, yanked off her pantyhose, and raped her. She says he bit her lip hard enough to leave it bloodied. “You better put some ice on that,” she remembers him telling her as he walked out the door, headed off to his important work of feeling other people’s pain.

When I have talked about these matters with progressives over the past week, I have encountered a fairly consistent response. It is no longer a frank denial of the weight and gravity of Broaddrick’s testimony. Rather it is a frustrated and dismissive statement of fact, one that can be reduced to the following formulation: I feel sorry for Juanita Broaddrick, but Bill Clinton was an excellent president. It’s a sentiment that encompasses the bitter and irreducible truth about being female in this world. There is sympathy for a rape victim—but she shouldn’t go around destroying a man’s reputation or family or career. Rape, unlike murder, is accepted as such an unremarkable fact of the human experience that a woman who spends years seeking redress for the crime comes to be viewed as some kind of lunatic, rejected lover, or tool of a vast conspiracy.

 

Liberals seem almost giddy with relief, admitting what they believe—which is how it always feels when you finally decide that you’re going to say what you really think and to hell with the consequences. The truth does set you free, but it usually comes at a price, which is why it will probably take another 20 years to open The New York Times and read an editorial called “Hillary Knew.”

 

As first lady, Hillary Clinton created a children’s health-insurance program that continues to provide health care to millions of American children; as a U.S. senator, she secured the billions of federal dollars necessary to right the great damage done to New York City and its residents after 9/11.  But in addition to these great and good works, she must have looked at the facts about Juanita Broaddrick and decided to put them in the same locked box where she kept the truth of Bill’s consensual affairs. As a wife, she had every right to do that. But as a Democratic candidate for president—one whose historic campaign was largely centered on the glass ceiling and the rise of women—she had a Grand Canyon–size vulnerability, as she learned a year before the general election when she blithely tweeted out this corker: “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

 

Donald Trump, as a presidential candidate, posed the greatest existential threat to progressive goals and values of the past half century. He also had a long string of women come forward with very credible accounts of sexual harassment and misconduct. A different Democratic candidate would have cut him off at the knees for that, but Hillary had to be careful because of her husband’s past and because of her own widely believed complicity in helping to marginalize and silence his accusers.  

So maybe, in the end, she’s one more casualty of the truly vast conspiracy: the one that swings into action every time a woman stands up—usually alone, and almost always afraid—and says, “He raped me.”

 

 

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mrandyk    525

Resignation would be too extreme in this case. If that becomes the standard for these actions then it won't be long until I'm in office. He deserves scrutiny, and while I don't know what sort of punishment fits the crime, resignation is too much.

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Kiyoat Husker    1,507
20 hours ago, TGHusker said:

 

I 100% believe Leanne Tweeden's story about the unwanted kiss, (and think it is unacceptible), I think the photo constitutes a violation of her rights, as well.  The characterization of "groping" is going into the realm of make-believe inflammatory speculation, IMO.  

 

And this revelation from Melanie Morgan is just plain opportunistic, hypocritical and purposefully inflammatory as well.  Is it true?  I'd like to see a little more corroboration.  Witnesses, phone records, etc.  Her track record in this area is extremely hypocritical:

 

https://player.fm/series/the-trevor-carey-show/update-on-sex-surveys-at-fresno-unified-melanie-morgan-on-roy-moore-allegations

 

7 days ago on a conservative talk show railing against Roy Moore accusers "rushing to judgement" and she discredits the victims extensively.

 

She has also been a loud proponent of Bill O'Reily's through his sexual misconduct issues.

 

 

Edited by Kiyoat Husker

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TGHusker    1,330
12 minutes ago, Kiyoat Husker said:

 

I 100% believe Leanne Tweeden's story about the unwanted kiss, (and think it is unacceptible), I think the photo constitutes a violation of her rights, as well.  The characterization of "groping" is going into the realm of make-believe inflammatory speculation, IMO.  

 

And this revelation from Melanie Morgan is just plain opportunistic, hypocritical and purposefully inflammatory as well.  Is it true?  I'd like to see a little more corroboration.  Witnesses, phone records, etc.  Her track record in this area is extremely hypocritical:

 

https://player.fm/series/the-trevor-carey-show/update-on-sex-surveys-at-fresno-unified-melanie-morgan-on-roy-moore-allegations

 

7 days ago on a conservative talk show railing against Roy Moore accusers "rushing to judgement" and she discredits the victims extensively.

 

She has also been a loud proponent of Bill O'Reily's through his sexual misconduct issues.

 

 

I didn't know anything about her until I saw the article.  But it is a more than a bit hypocritical for her to be defending Moore/O'Reily or not taking seriously charges against them seriously.   I wonder if see had made more comments about Moore since coming out with her story.  Maybe her better angel got a hold of her and she started to think differently - reflecting back to her situation and comparing it to the Moore situation.  I can only hope.  Otherwise, one could say she was 'standing by her men' just like Hillary stood by Bill when she knew better.

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knapplc    19,278

Here's where we start to talk about Franken resigning.  Not after one disputed allegation, but now there's two. One person accuses you, it may just be a difference of opinion.

 

Two people accuse you, and it starts to look like a pattern. 

 

 

Quote

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching.

 

Lindsay Menz tells CNN that Franken placed his hand on her bottom as they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, two years into Franken’s first term.

 

The 33-year-old Menz told CNN that the interaction made her feel “gross.” She says she immediately told her husband that Franken had “grabbed” her bottom.

 

Franken told CNN he didn’t remember taking the photo with Menz, but that he feels badly that she felt disrespected.

 

Los Angeles broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused Franken last week of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour in 2006, before he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

 

Franken’s office has not responded to Associated Press messages seeking comment Monday.

 

 

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knapplc    19,278

Franken doesn't agree that he assaulted Tweeden, says it was misinterpreted. The photo doesn't show him groping her, the photographer says Tweeden was awake faking sleep and in on the joke - and it was a joke. The script calls for a kiss in that scene. 

 

Yes, there's dispute there.  Every instance where a woman claims sexual harassment isn't sexual harassment. 

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zoogs    6,364

You're usually better with your sourcing: https://www.snopes.com/photographer-said-franken-image-was-staged/

 

Regardless, I don't think I can agree that there is an interpretation question here. If there's a question at all it's a "was the woman truthful" question -- which equally applies to the second case, as well as countless other examples of people speaking up.

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knapplc    19,278

I stand corrected. I had heard on multiple platforms that it was staged, and I (obviously) hadn't seen a direct quote from the photographer.

 

I agree - what I should have said is it's questionable if Tweeden was truthful - but the same is true of Franken.  Now, with two women saying the same/similar things, Franken's denials get more difficult.

 

I wasn't on board with a resignation before. But if more - and more credible - stories come out, then the probability of his innocence/this being a witch hunt to counter the Moore story diminishes. 

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Kiyoat Husker    1,507

Knap may have mistakenly used a fake quote about the photographer, but there is still the matter of Mrs. Tweeden stating that "he groped me" while simultaneously admitting that she was not aware of the situation (she was sleeping) until she had seen the photo.  She was basing her assumption that she was groped solely on the photo, according to her own account.

 

I'm not saying it did or did not happen, but that is an awfully big assumption to make based on that photo, IMO.  Especially when she has repeatedly stated she was groped.  She has talked about being groped on Twitter, on CNN, on The View, on her radio show, etc.  

 

That language is very inflammatory, considering that neither she, nor the media that uses it as a headline, can reasonably assume that anything more than that photo happened.  There is no apparent physical contact in the photo.  She was wearing a flack vest and layers of clothing.  If "groping" actually occurred, why did it not wake her?  Maybe we should all make the assumption that she had been drugged, too?

 

Again,  The kiss happened, the photo happened.  The photo definitely constitutes some form of harassment, no question.  I just feel like the assumptions and characterizations of "groping" are unfair.  Language matters, and its being used as a weapon here.

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knapplc    19,278

Now that yet more accusers have come forward, it is an appropriate time to discuss Franken resigning.

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dudeguyy    3,472

Have you dug into these accusations at all Knapp? I haven't, but I'd like to know they are credible before discussing his stepping down.

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Moiraine    5,947
On 11/20/2017 at 3:08 PM, Kiyoat Husker said:

She was wearing a flack vest and layers of clothing.  If "groping" actually occurred, why did it not wake her?  Maybe we should all make the assumption that she had been drugged, too?

 

 

I'm making an assumption here that you're a man. On top of that I've never talked to other women about this.

 

But speaking as someone who has boobs, there is only one part of them that's sensitive. I would say they are one of the least sensitive parts of the body unless there is a lot of pressure (in which case it can be very painful). Even just wearing a tshirt I can't feel anything unless there's a lot of pressure. There's really not a lot of pleasure out of booby touching for the woman (other than the sensitive part I suppose) except that you're happy and turned on because you're making your partner happy and turned on. I know I'm not speaking for all women here but that's how it is for a lot of women.

 

So, there is your daily lesson on boobies.

Edited by Moiraine

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NM11046    2,035

Another thing to add to Morianes comments ... they get in the way, and they're sometimes where you don't expect them to be.  There are many times that I've been brushed up against, or touched there when it was not intended, and not what I'd consider groping.

 

Now I agree with Kiyots comments, and I also want to add that I can not count how many times the same scenario (being inadvertantly touched on the backside) has happened during photos and the like.  Al Franken has admitted to inappropriate behavior with Tweeden, and has apologized for that and all the others.  He may very well be guilty of these, but to me his scenario smells a lot different than Clinton, Trump, Moore, etc, etc, etc.  I think he's getting strung up.

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dudeguyy    3,472
29 minutes ago, NM11046 said:

I can not count how many times the same scenario (being inadvertantly touched on the backside) has happened during photos and the like.  .

 

I had this thought the other day as well.

 

If the floodgates do continue to pour open, what is to stop an unscrupulous accuser with ulterior motives from accusing someone in such a situation when in fact it was only incidental contact & completely innocuous? 

I mean, I assume we've all done this. I know I have, and in some occasions I gave a quick apology, whereas other times I just let it go and briefly felt awkward. 

I know we've fostered a culture where an accuser should be believed. That is a big step and it's important we maintain it. But there's another side to that coin that could be used to irreparably damage innocent people, if wielded malevolently...

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zoogs    6,364

Franken's apologies are truly flabbergasting. He's not saying he didn't grab ass while posing for these photos. He's saying, and I should just quote here, ""Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that." WTF? That's a "greeting or embrace"? The apology is "Sorry, I didn't realize women object to enduring sexual assault"? 

 

Franken quips that he "crossed a line with some women" in the same apology letter where he tries to place context on this by saying "I'm a warm person; I hug people." 

 

That he can face the backlash he has -- and these photos are the second public incident -- and still have such a blurred views of the lines here, should be utterly and thoroughly disqualifying now. Given Franken's long and respectable record in the Senate, including on women's issues, I'm possibly more shocked by his response than his actions. But I suppose they're necessarily related. If you get it, you probably never did those things in the first place. Then again, Louis CK?...

 

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NM11046    2,035

And I read his comments very differently.  

 

He is making a point NOT to belittle the feelings of the women that came forward. If they felt uncomfortable, whether he did something or not, or intentionally made a move or not - then he is sorry and apologizing.  Is it then more admirable Zoogs if someone flatout says he didnt do something?  Its a matter of believing the accuser or the defense of the accused?

 

I’d prefer the apology and the request to have a committee of his peers investigate while he cooperates fully than a flat out denial and discrediting of the accusers.  

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dudeguyy    3,472

I'd say Franken gets marks for being the only politician that I can remember for trying to own the situation - apologizing to Tweeden (she accepted), asking for an ethics investigation into himself & pledging to earn constituents trust back. He's also had former female staffers & female castmates on SNL write letters supporting him. 

 

I just read the latest statement and I lean closer to NM's reaction that zoogs'. I thought his initial statement when this all broke was pretty atrocious, but I don't know that the statement itself is super disqualifying for me. I can only assume that an apparently sizable chunk of the older generation was touchy-feely in a way that perhaps they used to be able to get away with but that society now considers creepy and indeed sexual harassment. 

 

But I just read the accusations of the third and fourth women, which are apparently well corroborated by close friends.

 

So I guess I'm conflicted. He appears to be responding to the situation the best of anyone, but I'm not sure in the grand scheme of things that matters all that much if it means a serial groper is left in the Senate, however contrite.

I will say I also think John Conyers should resign, both due to the allegations against him and his ineffectiveness as a lawmaker due to his age.

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