Monday, December 11, 2017

Due Process, Alternate Reality, and Who Cares?

I am sitting in my room at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. Let me just say that I am having a really good time. I loved Diagon Alley and all the shops come to life. Didn't buy a thing, although I confess I was really tempted to get a wand. However, everyone knows the wand chooses the wizard, and there didn't seem to be a wand that chose me. Alas.

I know it's the night before the highly anticipated Panorama in Alabama. I know, too, that tons of money have been pouring into Alabama for Mr. Jones. And I know this is going to be ugly no matter what happens. But I also know this is a bellweather election for these here United States, and that no matter who the people elect, they will own that choice. They have the right to send anyone they want to the Senate. 

That's the beauty of democracy, and the curse. I don't know how much longer We, the People, will be able to preserve this union. The moorings and the underpinnings have taken a few severe hits in the last 6 or so months. We are no longer standing on such firm ground. And it breaks my heart.

And it breaks my heart that Senator Klobouchar betrayed the trust of the people of Minnesota by joining the warlock hunt demanding the resignation of Senator Franken. Senator Franken was denied due process despite his call for an ethics investigation. He was denied the right to answer their questions. 

And it breaks my heart that the Democrats of the Senate not only betrayed their own colleague, but they betrayed any woman who has suffered violence and serious trauma at the hands of a rapist. They have equated a fanny pat with full-blown, forced, violent, vicious sexual intercourse. Anyone who has experienced that violence knows there is a difference. A BIG, WHOPPING DIFFERENCE.

Funny thing, Senator Franken was castigated for saying:
Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others, I remember very differently.
But when Sarah Huckabee said,
As the president said himself, he thinks it's a good thing that women are coming forward, but he also feels strongly that a mere allegations shouldn't determine the course. And in this case, the president has denied many of these allegations....Look, the President has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations.
we were expected to take his word for it even though there's video tape where he brags about forcing himself on women. Okay. Why not? Lots of people also believe the Palestinians want peace. 

And y'know, none of it means squat. We are too far off the road for redemption. 

What matters is that I went on THE TRANSFORMERS ride at Universal Studios today and it was the best ride ever. Escape from Gingrott's was good, and RACE THROUGH NEW YORK was pretty exciting, but TRANSFORMERS RIDE was amazing.

Tomorrow, we start with Hogwarts, then later in the day we move to Cape Canaveral. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Coming soon to your in any day now.....


  1. Have a nice trip... see you in the fall.

    P.S. Happy Hanukkah!

  2. Also, Ms. Sanders said that it wasn't necessary to pursue any of the allegations against the Orange Toad because, after all, he was elected even though people knew what a sleaze he is.

  3. Is your argument that we should give Franken the benefit of the doubt and due process? Or that we should not call for Trump's head? Yes, I recognize the difference in what is being alleged, but it's hard to say that we have to hold our elected officials to a higher standard (i.e., hold them accountable despite the lack of a conviction) while not holding ALL politicians to such a higher standard.
    I don't like the fact that Franken has to go, but he must. Likewise, I think SHS's statements are absurd, POTUS must be held to account, and Roy Moore should have been disqualified before the first vote was even cast.
    What would Klobuchar have earned by standing up for Franken? She would have been villanized by the Right as "anti-victim." Franken would still have been grilled and likely drummed out. The ability of the Ds to call for heads would have been greatly diminished. And I'd have to explain to my son why the concerns of some women could be discounted and it's okay for that guy to be one of the 100 most powerful people in the country despite allegations against him.
    Might we lose a generation of male politicians due to such a standard? Yep. Does that suck? In some ways - I can't give a full-throated "YES" because I believe in honor and respect. Should we lower the standard, give some a pass, or try to prolong things when we don't like where the path takes us? No. Not even a little.
    Franken was privileged to serve - it wasn't a right. You get due process for rights, not privileges. It stinks in this case and that's unfortunate. Still, there's no way to draw a bright line without just putting pen to paper - I'd rather lose a leader who some say is "not that bad" by making the line bright, than allow in the worst of riffraff because we make exceptions.

    1. When one is accused of a crime, due process must be followed; that is a right, and Franken exercised that right by calling for an ethics investigation. He has been denied the right to testify on his own behalf for committing crimes and misdemeanors. ANY person alleged to have committed a crime as a right to a hearing. My objection is to the lack of due process which might have prevented his resignation. Due process would bring everything out into the open, and the accused gets to participate in his/her own defense. Instead, a guy who owned his own behavior has been run over by the political purity bus while a guy who bragged about his sexual abuses sits in the oval office with no ownership of his misdeeds. That is a double standard and should not be tolerated.

      There is a HUGE difference between the misdeeds of Franken and the violence of rape. They cannot and should not be treated equally under the law. That's not to give a free pass to either, nor does it say women who have experienced any sort of personal-space violation should be silenced. But as there is a difference between vehicular homicide and traffic fatality, there is a difference between a fanny pat or a too tight hug and beating someone senseless in order to have sexual intercourse with them. By equating the two, you dishonor and diminish their pain.

      So, Luke, this is one of those rare instances we must disagree.

  4. "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants..."
    - Justice Brandeis

    Luke, I hope someone is there to defend you if you are ever falsely accused; think Duke lacrosse case, Rolling Stone's UVa's A Rape on Campus, Tawana Brawley, Brian Banks

    Susan, my instinct is that Franken folded rather than fight because he knew he held a weak hand and that more accusers would emerge. He was a kissing bandit like Trump and many of the 65+ generation. What nice Jewish boy or girl has not experienced elderly relatives kissing you on the lips during holiday get-togethers? In my family it was a right of passage.

    1. I hope that no one is falsely accused. It's a very rare occurrence, but it does happen. That being said, I never said that due process isn't important. Instead, I believe our elected leaders should be held to a higher standard to continue the privilege of serving.
      Franken was accused by several women. Would the due process you demand have found them all to be false allegations? Highly unlikely (the FBI estimates that 7-10% of sexual assault allegations are false, in line with all other crimes - granted not all these allegations rise to the level of sexual assault). It's not too much to say we should have a zero-tolerance policy - if even 1 allegation is true, then he should be gone.
      The continuum of sexual violence (i.e., sexual harassment to rape) includes all sorts of conduct, and the acts should not and are not treated equally by the law (or even by the media). However, while I regret the absence of the leadership Senator Franken showed during his time in the Senate, I do not regret supporting his ouster - I want a zero-tolerance society and am willing to start by holding elected officials to that standard.

    2. Luke, I agree with Matt Bai:

      ... Facts and contexts are relevant. This is why the penal code provides for myriad definitions and degrees of serious crimes.

      Show me a society that decides all transgressions are the same, and I’ll show you one without reason or compassion. Show me a citizenry that suspends its freedoms and standards in pursuit of the privileged, and I’ll show you one that is bound to terrorize its least powerful.

      What we have now, I fear, are institutions scared to death of lawyers and bad publicity, rushing to catch up to swift-moving public opinion, firing first and asking questions later. We have loud, often well-meaning voices on social media coalescing into a virtual street mob, circulating rumors whose origin can’t be named...

      But you can’t sustain justice without fair-mindedness and some sort of credible process. Without those things, you won’t get a better, more inclusive media or governing class.

      All you’ll get is vengeance.