Good Morning, Bad Memories…
1 The duty to remember…The most amazing thing about Pearl Harbor was perhaps how lucky the United States was that the sneak attack by Japan, as devastating as it was, didn’t permanently cripple our ability to defend ourselves. Two links lead to explanations why. Here is a letter written by Admiral Nimitz, then in his eightieth year. to Admiral David L. McDonald, the present Chief of Naval Operations. The National Review provides the tale of how a forgotten Georgia Congressman, Democrat Carl Vinson saved the country and probably the world. An excerpt:
For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined. Vinson had assumed in the mid-1930s that fascist Japan and Germany posed existential threats to the United States. For America to survive, he saw that America would need mastery of the seas to transport its armies across the Pacific and Atlantic.
This is Thank You Carl Day. Read it all.
2. ‘I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smart enough, and doggone it, nobody likes me!’ This appears to be the end for Senator Al Franken. If it’s not, the end is near and inevitable. His seventh new accuser was the tipping point, for some reason, though her story Franken denies—especially the part where the anonymous woman claims that after she ducked his attempt at a spontaneous kiss in 2006, he protested, “It’s my right as an entertainer! ” The soon-to-be-former Senator told Politico,
“This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous. I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation.”
That “It’s my right” comment sounds to me like a desperate attempt to save face by making a joke out of an awkward situation, not a serious claim. If I’m right, then Franken’s statement is deceit: he’s saying that he would never claim such a right, but he isn’t saying that those words never came out of his mouth. Al’s slippery, mealy-mouthed, not-quite apologies are a large part of why he’s in this mess, as I wrote here.
Still, no one should be presumed guilty or face negative consequences for a public accusation by an accuser who refuses to go on the record. This is basic fairness and due process. Never mind: the Democratic women in the U.S. Senate are less interested in due process and fairness than grandstanding and standing for the proposition that women must be believed in cases of sexual assault, unless they were assaulted by Bill Clinton. I think that’s the rule, right?
They led a coordinated attack on Franken yesterday by 16 U.S. Senators, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York—you know, the one who championed “Mattress Girl”?–who wrote in a 650-word statement,”While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.”
That’s right, Senator, it’s better to send the message that due process is just a sham to make doing what you want to do look fair.
For example, how do you like this (from Politico):
Two former colleagues of the woman independently corroborated her version of events, including Franken telling her he had the right to try to kiss her because he was “an entertainer.” The first former colleague interviewed by POLITICO said she was told of the incident in 2006, shortly after it happened. The second former co-worker said she was made aware of the encounter sometime in 2009 or 2010.
What? Those women didn’t corroborate the the accuser’s “version of events”! How can any journalist write such junk? How could an editor let it pass? All they can do is corroborate that the woman said this happened, not that her account is accurate or true.
But again, never mind. This is The Terror. Al’s a man, Democrats have been caught in the web of hypocrisy they started spinning when Clinton was President, and his metaphorical blood must cleanse them.
That said, I don’t see how Franken’s position is tenable, and he shares much of the blame. The allegations involving his conduct before he was a Senator should have and probably could have been survivable if they had been all there was, because Franken’s leering, naughty boy persona was part of his comedy shtick and not hidden from voters in any way. Minnesota citizens ratified that Al Franken when they elected him to the Senate on his implicit promise to get serious., just as voters ratified Trump’s gross Access Hollywood performance. Congressman Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, was elected after he was was impeached by the House as a Federal judge for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413–3. He is the Democratic Party’s Roy Moore. Still, it would be absurd to demand Hastings’ resignation today because of his criminal conduct as a judge.
Franken played it straight for years, avoiding any hint of Al the Funny Jerk, until he got cocky and sniffed a possible Presidential run. Then he tried to be funny again, giving jocular interviews and writing this book…
Not smart, Al. He couldn’t make a credible “I’m not that guy anymore” mea culpa when he clearly still is that guy, and worse, acting like him.
Then came the only allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred while Franken was a Senator, three claims that he was handsy, a la ancient George H.W. Bush, in some photo shoots. I’d like to hear a Democratic Senator like Gillibrand answer this question: Is a single allegation by a woman that a male Senator cupped her butt in a photo shoot should require that Senator’s resignation. No? How about two? One allegation that the Senator admits and apologizes for, and one that he disputes? Is three the magic number?
There was a time, boys and girls, and not that long ago, when a man doing this was considered by many of both genders to be friendly, giving a compliment even, manly.
Not me, baby! I HATE photos where I have to put my arm around aunts, nieces, and sisters, not to mention gorgeous actresses and dancers. It’s way too intimate for this Boston boy. I don’t like having my arm around a woman’s waist, which seems quasi-sexual. If it’s lower, I’m in President Bush I’s “David Cop-A-Feel” territory. How should my hand be? Flat? Cupped? A fist? If I leave my hand hanging by my side, I risk touching the woman’s thigh, and 30 years later she might tell a newspaper that I harassed her.
Of course, THIS is right out…
But I digress. Al botched his response to these unwelcome touching complaints by not just saying that he never intentionally took advantage of these photo ops—assuming that is true–and that the women involved were misinterpreting his actions and intent. Instead, he made the stuttering excuse that his hand may have been accidentally pushed against a comely derriere or three by jostling crowds. He also could have said, “Yes, I did that, and I’m very sorry. I will never do it again.” That would have been refreshing.
Even the Grover Cleveland approach (“Why yes, that woman’s kid could well be mine!”), however, wouldn’t have saved Al. Once the desperate defenders of John Conyers, a genuine, textbook, serial sexual harasser, played the race card on Franken, he was doomed. The case against Conyers is completely different, but one characteristic of this witch hunt is that all offenses, real, alleged, or imagined, are considered the same by the mob. Pants or no pants, masturbation, rape, threats, kisses, attempted kisses, close contact, jokes, it’s all one big war on women, who now have the power to destroy a career and a reputation with the sudden realization, perhaps decades after an encounter. that they were victims, whether they felt that way at the time or not, whether there is evidence or not, without due process.
All of the allegations against Conyers involved his conduct as a Congressman. Unlike Franken, some of the incidents involved the absence of pants, and the women in question were Congressional staff. The claims by Congressional Black Caucus members that a racial double standard was being used to benefit a white Senator were cynical and factually untenable, but also predictable and typical. That’s what Democrats do; they mastered the tactic during the Obama years: when in trouble, cry racism….and white Democrats are expected to be supportive when black Democrats use that Get Out of Trouble Free panacea. Thus even though the offenses of Conyers and Franken were not equivalent, similarly serious. or equally justifying resignation, Franken had to go once Conyers gave up, as he did this week.
[Note: Conyers endorsed his son for the job. His son was arrested for domestic abuse in February of 2017.]
Right now I’m watching Fox News gloat about Franken’s demise. Idiots. Yes, this is condign justice for the Democrats’ Clinton hypocrisy. Nonetheless, fairness, due process, proportion and reason are being jettisoned, and the carnage is just beginning.
This day may live in infamy for more than one reason.
UPDATE: Yup. Franken is resigning.