ChrisWeigant.com

Maybe Al Franken Should Run Again

[ Posted Thursday, December 7th, 2017 – 18:03 UTC ]

Today was a sad day for progressives, as Al Franken took to the floor of the Senate to announce he will be stepping down from his seat due to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct which have been made against him. Franken was seen by many as one of the best newcomers to politics in the past decade, an intelligent and unrelenting voice strongly supporting a very progressive agenda. So his loss is felt more deeply than some other random Democratic senator (who was a lot less well-known) would have been. Franken was even being talked about as a possible presidential contender in 2020, but that now seems like an impossibility. However, even before the news broke yesterday that Franken was on the brink of resigning, I've been wondering about a larger argument being made -- that of whether the voters aren't the ultimate jury for such allegations against politicians. Which, today, brings me to the question of whether Al Franken might just redeem himself politically by running for the seat he will soon be vacating when it comes up again for election, in 2020.

At first glance, that seems pretty far-fetched, and it may seem overly partisan of me to even suggest such a thing. I'll address these in reverse order, since what made me consider the idea of what role the voters play in the outcome of these scandals is the upcoming Senate special election in Alabama, the election of Donald Trump, and even the original election of Bill Clinton back in 1992. So my thought processes haven't been as partisan as might originally be assumed.

At the heart of it is a very basic question: how much do scandals matter to the voters? Sometimes they matter a lot, and sometimes they don't. Whenever any supporter of Donald Trump is faced with the question of the accusations of Trump's sexual misconduct, they usually reply with some version of: "Well, the voters knew all about it, and he won anyway -- so it's not even worth discussing now." The voters have spoken, in other words, so who are we to second-guess their judgment?

Seen through a partisan lens, it matters who the politician in question is. But try to see it without the tribalism of which team you root for. In both the case of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, accusations were made during the campaign. The voters may not have had all the facts, but the basic storyline was pretty well-known by Election Day. And yet the voters decided to elect the guy anyway.

Does this matter? More to the point, does it allow a politician to "move on" from the scandal entirely? Should it?

Let's take a dive into the swampy world of Louisiana politics for two historical examples, when pondering this question. Because the colorful political careers of Edwin Edwards and David Vitter certainly provide a few topics of conversation when it comes to political scandals.

Edwin Edwards has served as governor of Louisiana four times, when no other governor in the state's history has managed to win more than twice. His terms, much like Jerry Brown's in California, were not consecutive. After serving two terms in the 1970s, Edwards was forced by the state constitution to take a break from being governor, but he returned in 1983 to win back the office. While Edwards was embroiled in many corruption scandals over his political career, they were mostly financial in nature (rather than sexual). But during the 1983 race he did utter a quote when bragging about his chances for victory which has become immortal in the American political lexicon. Just before the election was held, Edwards joked to a reporter: "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." As he so confidently predicted, he won handily.

By the end of his third term, the voters weren't as happy with him, however. While in the governor's office, he had been tried twice for corruption in federal court. The first case ended in a mistrial, and when the charges were brought again, Edwards was acquitted. But the voters were tired of his scandals (many salacious details of which had been aired in court), and in 1987 they elected the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. At the time, a local newspaper predicted that the only way Edwards could be elected again was if he ran against Adolf Hitler. Which is pretty close to what happened in 1991.

Even though his corruption was widely known, Edwards won the primary and, in the runoff election which followed, faced not the sitting governor (who had come in third in the primary), but David Duke, the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. This led to an election even more bizarre than the one currently taking place in Alabama. Voters knew Edwards was crooked, but they also recoiled from the national attention a K.K.K. candidate was receiving from the national press. This led to yet another timeless political quote, this time from an unsanctioned (by the campaign) bumpersticker which read: "Vote for the crook. It's important."

Faced with such a choice, the voters returned Edwards to office for his fourth term. But eventually his past caught up with him, and he was indicted in 1998 in another federal corruption case. When the case was heard in 2001, Edwards was found guilty of 17 counts of racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, and wire fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. After he served his sentence, a public opinion poll found 30 percent of the voters still thought he was the best governor since 1980. Edwards supporters even tried to get both George W. Bush and Barack Obama to pardon Edwards, so he could run for governor again. Both presidents declined to do so.

This shows an amazing political resilience for a convicted racketeer, you have to admit. He hadn't been convicted when he won each of his elections, but by the fourth one there was simply no doubt about how corrupt he was ("Vote for the crook"). Now, running against the head of the K.K.K. (thankfully) doesn't happen very often in American politics. So that election was so bizarre it's hard to draw any meaningful conclusions. But the voters knew who he was, and re-elected him anyway rather than seeing a stone-cold racist run their state.

An even better example of the voters knowing full well who they were voting for (if that example's too unusual) would be Marion Barry, who won a fourth term as mayor of Washington, D.C. after being convicted in federal court of possessing crack cocaine -- a pretty easy conviction, given that the F.B.I. had him on videotape actually smoking crack. After serving a six-month sentence, Barry made his own political comeback. First he won a seat on the city council (with the campaign slogan: "He may not be perfect, but he's perfect for D.C."), and two years later was back in the mayor's office. The voters knew who they were getting, and they still elected him.

But back to Louisiana. The other case from Pelican State politics is a little closer to what is going on now. David Vitter was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 2004. In 2007, his phone number was included in the little black book of the "D.C. Madam," who was running a high-class prostitution ring in Washington. Hustler magazine noticed his number and called up his office to ask them about it. Knowing he was about to be outed as a D.C. Madam client, the next day Vitter released a statement confessing to "sin" and asking the voters for forgiveness. Three years later, the Louisiana voters re-elected him to the Senate. Even details such as Vitter's fetish for wearing diapers while visiting prostitutes didn't lead to his defeat.

It wasn't until the 2015 election for governor that he paid a real political price for his sex scandal. In that election, Vitter's Democratic opponent exposed the fact (from the phone records) that Vitter was actually on the phone with the D.C. Madam when he should have been voting on a measure to honor fallen U.S. soldiers. A hard-hitting ad (called "Prostitutes over patriots") zeroed in on this call and Vitter's sexual past. His opponent wasn't afraid to strongly and directly challenge Vitter on the issue, and it worked -- Vitter lost. But only after he had been re-elected to the Senate, when the voters also had known all about the scandal.

Getting back to the current political situation, and Al Franken in particular, all of this -- plus Trump's victory and Moore's possible win next week -- has left me wondering if the excuse of "the voters knew, and they didn't care" isn't a lot more valid than it first looks. Sometimes -- as in the Edwards/Duke race -- there are clearly higher priorities in play than a corrupt political past. Sometimes the voters just don't care about the crime at all -- as Marion Barry proved. And sometimes the only way to beat such a politician at the polls is to hit him as hard as possible on his scandalous past -- as happened to Vitter, eventually.

If Roy Moore is elected next Tuesday, look for a whole lot of Republicans to start urging everyone to move on. Donald Trump has been staking out this position since his election -- that's old news, let's move on. In fact, the very phrase "move on" in politics (as in MoveOn.org) was coined in an effort to get Congress to just censure Bill Clinton so we could all move on.

Which brings me back to my original question: can Al Franken ever stage a political comeback? Would the voters of Minnesota ever decide to give him a second chance?

Immediately after the first Franken accuser went public, I accurately predicted that in order to claim the moral and political high road, Democrats would have to force Al Franken to resign. Back then I wrote:

Will immediately apologizing and cooperating with an Ethics Committee investigation be enough, or will Franken have to step down from his Senate seat so that Democrats can continue making their own "moral high road" arguments? So far it is only one isolated incident, but if others make similar accusations against him then Franken is probably toast no matter what.

. . .

If Donald Trump had never won the Republican nomination for president, and if Roy Moore had lost his own Republican primary, then Al Franken would probably have survived politically, even in the post-Weinstein era. He did the right thing within hours of the bombshell news -- he apologized and offered himself up to the Ethics Committee. Hearings would likely have been held, and -- if no further accusations had been made by any other women -- at the end of the process perhaps Franken would have been censured by the Senate and allowed to remain. Then it would have been up to the voters of Minnesota to decide whether he was still worthy of their vote the next time he was up for re-election. Franken might have survived the accusation politically at the ballot box, and then again he might not have.

. . .

There is really only one way for Democrats to completely avoid this political bludgeoning attempt, and that is for Franken himself to step down. Again, I am not calling on him to do so and I am seeing this solely through the lens of electoral (rather than moral) politics. But it would be a lot harder for Democrats to cast themselves in the mold of moral absolutists ("always believe the accusers, and any accusation disqualifies you from politics") if Franken is still serving alongside them. Whether the Democrats wanted it or not, they would be forcibly dragged off the moral high road into the swamps of debating just how much moral relativism should be considered allowable. That is a very tough spot for Franken to put the rest of the party in.

This is precisely what happened. More accusers came forward, until it made it impossible for Democrats to use the "let's wait for the Ethics Committee" dodge. After Representative John Conyers was forced out of the House, it became almost impossible for Democrats not to call on Franken to do the same. They chose the moral high road, and Franken will be out of office at the end of the year.

But will he be out of office forever? Could he -- and should he -- ever make a political comeback? If he atones for his sins enough in the eyes of Minnesota voters, could he be a viable candidate in the future?

Now, whomever gets appointed to take Franken's place will have been a senator for almost three years when the 2020 election rolls around (the first election the replacement will face). So it'd be rather impolite for a Democrat to challenge them in a primary, unless they prove to be an unpopular senator in the meantime. So Franken might not even want to take the chance of running for his old seat, out of politeness. But political offices open up every now and then, so it's not entirely out of the question to picture Franken running for, let's say, the Minnesota governor's office in the future. Redemption with the voters is sometimes possible, after all, and it would depend on how Minnesota voters felt about the seriousness of Franken's sins at the time.

Even if he could get elected to some political post again, should he? That's a deeper question. I have to admit my own bias (also, see below), since Al Franken has consistently been one of my top three favorite senators ever since he took office. I think he's a natural at politics, and I think that if he hadn't been caught up in this scandal he might have actually won the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination (I saw it as a long-shot, but a distinct possibility, to be clear). And, truth be told, if I ever had any doubts about Franken being taken down by scandal, I would have bet good money that the scandal would have emerged from his days on Saturday Night Live. Franken was a co-worker of John Belushi, after all, and the partying of the SNL cast back then was legendary. Nobody present at any of those parties imagined themselves (at the time) as a possible future senator, and they acted accordingly. 'Nuff said.

Whether Franken ever decides to return to politics or not, the ultimate jury for Franken's political crimes would be the voters of Minnesota. As the voters in Alabama are about to be, for Roy Moore. While it's tough to admit -- since Donald Trump is the most prominent person making this case today -- that is really the only jury that matters in politics. This doesn't mean that after the election political opponents shouldn't continue to hit hard on the scandals -- eventually David Vitter was defeated using this tactic, after all. If Franken ever rejoined the Senate, he'd have to put up with Republicans snidely referencing today for as long as he stayed in office. Democrats should certainly not let up on either Trump or (if he's elected) Moore.

But, in the end, it's the voters who get to make the real decision about how serious the charges against the candidate are, and what mitigating factors there might be. And that, even though I'm essentially agreeing with Trump, is precisely how it should be.

 

[Full Disclosure: Years ago, my wife and I had the chance to meet privately with Al Franken after he became a senator, for a 5-10 minute "meet and greet" session, while he was backstage waiting to make a keynote speech. I found him both charming and hilarious, but the meeting was off the record so I have never reported on it in any way. At the end of the meeting, Franken posed for photos with us, and my wife confirms to me that Franken did nothing improper while we posed for the photo with arms around each other. This is the photo that resulted from this meeting, although (at her own request) I have cropped out my wife from this version of it. This is our own personal experience and is not even really relevant in any way, but I wanted to make this full disclosure.]

Franken and Weigant

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

58 Comments on “Maybe Al Franken Should Run Again”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Technical note [Before any other movie buffs point it out]:

    As any fan of Animal House knows, the sentence "Nobody present at any of those parties imagined themselves (at the time) as a possible future senator, and they acted accordingly" does not exactly tell the full story.

    From the closing credits of the movie:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/DonaPetruzzelli/status/633746561042780162

    [Hah! -- Michale... beat you to it!]

    :-)

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It is doubtful that many people vote based on these scandals. After all, they keep voting for the Big Money candidates even though the Big Money candidates keep screwing them.

    But we don't have to just accept any of it, we can actually fight back.

    After all, did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Dan Harris [2] -

    OK, that last line was pretty funny, I have to admit...

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    CORRECTION:

    Due to laziness in fact-checking, there is an error in the above article. The process of replacing Franken means a stand-in will be named by the MN governor, but then there will be a special election in 2018, rather than at the end of what would have been Franken's full term (in 2020). Both MN senators will thus be up for election in 2018 (Klobuchar would have been up anyway).

    This slightly changes the timeline of what I lay out in the article, but doesn't really change the dynamics of such a decision for Franken, so I left it as it was rather than try to correct it throughout the article. My apologies for the error.

    Mea culpa maxima.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Franken was an effective senator. The initial story concerned some sexual horseplay that took place before he held office. His initial public response stated that was all. Subsequent reports indicated that there was a convincing pattern of lewdness during his time in office. That means his initial response was a lie by omission... It was simply damage control. That is sleazy. I wouldn't vote for him. He is too charming a liar and that makes him all the more dangerous in office.

  6. [6] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    I think he should go back to SNL. It's been going nowhere but downhill for years.

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I have to say that Trump's slurred Jerusalem speech sounds like a man suffering a stroke more than a man with loose dentures or dementia.

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki [6] -

    OK, I agree, that would be interesting.

    Personally, I think SNL's been pretty funny for the past few years, at least it you like Alec Baldwin's Trump...

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    No comments on that photo? I expected at least a little snark from someone...

    :-)

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    TheStig,

    Subsequent reports indicated that there was a convincing pattern of lewdness during his time in office.

    We need to get back to relying on the rule of law to determine guilt or innocence when criminal allegations arise. “Indicated” , “suggests”, “hinted at”... all of these are subjective as well as suggestive.

    I still think this was the GOP going after Franken like they went after Hillary... they knew he had the potential to be a powerful force for the Democrats and they wanted to nip it in the bud!

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, just spent some time on comments for the past few days, if anyone's still interested in those threads. Now it's time to write thank-yous for some donations...

    Our pledge drive seems to have stalled out somewhat, but maybe everyone's waiting for Friday's column or something...

    :-)

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Saw a funny posting from Madison Ave. Baptist Church’s front reader board:

    “Honk if you love Jesus!
    Text and drive if you want to meet him sooner!”

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping you are having the wrong conversation,” Ms. Gillibrand said Wednesday at a Capitol Hill news conference when asked about calling on Mr. Franken to resign. “You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable."

    Oh, but it's tough to be a Democrat today, because, sorry CW, I couldn't disagree with you or with Ms. Gillibrand's statement here more.

    Anyone who thought that sticking to a 'zero tolerance' policy that lumps a kiss on the cheek together with pedophilia and rape would give Democrats an air moral superiority with which to attack Moore must have been fairly surprised today when Franken's resignation was met with loud guffaws, pointing and catcalls from the Republican caucus.

    That's because the GOP knows that it can easily turn the episode into another example of political correctness gone amok. Just as only in academia can micro-aggression be considered the equivalent of open hostility, they say, only in today's Democratic party is gentle waist-squeezing and a kiss on the cheek considered the equivalent of blatant sexual imposition.

    And that moral confusion just cost us one of our best Senators (guffaw! guffaw!).

    The problem with Gillibrand's 'throw it all in the same pot' dictum is that it diminishes the importance of all of the more serious accusations, while elevating mere annoyance to the status of victimhood. This is problematic for both the accused and for the most wronged accusers, who must now fight to be heard over the voices of women filling air time with their stories of the painful experience of being touched on the butt.

    I don't think that Franken should run again - unless he's really drawn back to that world of hypocrisy and back-stabbing. Screw politics - all it did was take his voice off the airwaves most of the time. I'm looking forward to his next book: "Donald Trump is Another Fat Idiot with Impulse Control Issues"

  14. [14] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    This is a complex issue; just how normalised and institutionalised the harassment and abuse of women and girls has been should have been made public and condemned much sooner. (When I was a freshman at a women's college, the administration did not want to publicise a series of attacks until students forced them to, and I still remember the disgraceful comments from a nearby men's college.)

    I note, sorrowfully, that not many of these men have said something like 'At the time I thought this was normal guy stuff and that I had a right to treat women like this. Over the years, I have come to realise how appalling that was, I am deeply ashamed and sorry, and I apologise unreservedly to all the women I mistreated.' Then we could look at more recent behaviour to know whether the apology was genuine and proceed as we might with any other reformed behaviour. Too often, there is no evidence of changed understanding or behaviour.

    As for Frank, he has a right to stand again and then it's up to the voters.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whose the goofy looking guy in the glasses?? :D

    heh

    I'll repost my comment regarding what Franken SHOULD have said.. Apologies in advance for the vulgarity..

    "Yea, I might have squeezed here or there.. Yea, I am a huggy kind of person.. Yea, I even put my arm on some woman's waist.. Big Fucking Deal!!! Cry my a river!!! Have we gotten so politically correct that minor flirtations are worthy of execution!!!! I am what I am and fuck ya'all... I am staying put and going to continue to do the good work that I do!! Fuck ya'all!!"

    I completely agree with Balthasar...

    The GOP is laughing their asses off at what they made the Democrats do... If ANYONE thinks that the GOP is going to follow suit and force out one of their own over such piddley stuff, well I have a swamp in FL I wanna sell you...

    I can just see the conversation now..

    "But!! But!!! You HAVE to force out Senator Smith!!! We did with Franken!!!!!"
    "Yea, well, yer a bunch of morons!!!!"

    Just when you thought the Democrat Party couldn't get ANY stoopider, they go and surprise you.....

    263

    263

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is problematic for both the accused and for the most wronged accusers, who must now fight to be heard over the voices of women filling air time with their stories of the painful experience of being touched on the butt.

    Or even worse!!!!

    A hand on the waist!!!!

    "Oh my god what a fucking nightmare!!!"
    -Marisa Tomeii, MY COUSIN VINNY

    :D

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    And let's face reality....

    If Franken's seat would have been filled by a Republican, you can bet that Democrats would NOT have forced out Franken, but rather would have defended him with every fiber of their being...

    For all their passionate claims of defending women, when the rubber meets the road, it's all about the -D/-R....

    It was simply Franken's bad luck that Minnesota didn't have a Republican governor...

    265

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Please. Don't quote the lame-ass American movie, with (shudder) Sly Stallone. Judge Dredd had no speech impediment. None.

    "I AM the law!"

    is the only way that line should be quoted. Period. Watch the British Judge Dredd movie to see what he was really all about...

    hehehe I knew I was gonna get my wee-wee whacked.. :D

    Did you see Karl Urban's DREDD?? It was pretty good and much more true to the Dredd legend.. I think you would like it...


    Hmmph. I mean, I wouldn't quote John Travolta as Terl in Battlefield Earth, because the original was so much better than the movie!

    -CW

    I am one of the few who actually liked BATTLEFIELD EARTH... But I am not to discerning when it comes to movie entertainment..

    I even liked WATERWORLD and LOVED THE POSTMAN

    :D

    266

  19. [19] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If Franken's seat would have been filled by a Republican, you can bet that Democrats would NOT have forced out Franken

    Well of course, I'm sure that was a consideration. He's a Senator, after all. The Senate is a political institution.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well of course, I'm sure that was a consideration. He's a Senator, after all. The Senate is a political institution.

    Which means that "zero tolerance" policy is actually a ZERO TOLERANCE UNLESS POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS DICTATE OTHERWISE, THEN IT'S TOLERATED policy...

    Remind me again of the "honor" and "integrity" of the Dumbocrat Party???

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, from your matter-of-fact concession, it appears that you are perfectly ok with political considerations dictating moral stances and positions..

    Hay, don't get me wrong. I have known that all along..

    I am just surprised to see you concede it..

    268

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    10 - LWYH

    I'm not applying a legal standard. I'm not a lawyer, I don't know the legal standard. It's more like "a friend let me down standard." You modify your level of trust.

  23. [23] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [20]: It is possible to practice politics while retaining a set of morals and standards. The Right ought to try it some time.

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Once again the focus is on the symptom rather than the cause. It is the culture in many facets of our society that for some people the rules don't apply.

    "Celebrities are above the law. Case dismissed."
    Whoopi Goldberg
    Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie

    When the candidates take Big Money they also take on the Big Money culture- if they didn't already start there.

    It's time that we demand zero tolerance for candidates that take Big Money.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar (22)-
    So should the left. see comment 23.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale [20]: It is possible to practice politics while retaining a set of morals and standards.

    Yea, cuz the Left are such PERFECT examples of it. :^/

    269

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Just added a new picture to my petition to get Ralph Nader that should make it clear where we are headed if we continue to vote for Big Money candidates.

    If a person can't understand the problem of Big Money in both Current Major Parties after viewing this picture than it is a wonder that that person can understand anything.

    https://www.change.org/p/ralph-nader-address-one-demand-campaignfinancing-approach

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    corrections:
    ...to get Ralph Nader to address the One Demand campaign financing approach.....

    and https://www.change.org/p/ralph-nader-address-one-demand-campaign-financing-approach

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Hispanic unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% - the LOWEST in the history of the United States. This Administration and @realDonaldTrump are working hard to create opportunities for all Americans…and we are just getting started! ???????? #MAGA #JobsReport
    https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

    -Ivanka Trump

    HA!!!!!!

    President Trump!!!!

    Making America GREAT Again...

    274

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, it turns out that one of Moore's accusers ADMITS to altering the yearbook signature to incriminate Moore....

    BBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Bonafide SMEAR campaign SOLELY to influence an election..

    What *IS* it with you Democrats???

    Say it with me..

    SENATOR ROY MOORE

    275

  31. [31] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Don H

    It isn't that people "can't recognize the problem of big money in politics", it's mostly that there doesn't seem to be any viable realistic solution short of public financing, which probably ain't gonna happen.

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CRS-
    Public financing is not realistic or viable as a solution, even if it could happen.

    Until the Big Money legislators are removed from office or at least become the minority any legislation including public financing will protect the status quo which is the Big Money interests.

    So the only viable solution is to stop voting for the Big Money candidates and start voting against them- even if it takes more than one election cycle to be fully effective.

    While many do seem to be able to recognize the problem, very few seem to be able to grasp the obvious solution.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now that the conspiracy against Soon To Be Senator Roy Moore has been exposed, I am prepared to accept ya'all's concession that ya'all were wrong and I was right. :D

    276

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Trump

    Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/08/trump-mattis-turn-military-loose-on-isis-leaving-terror-caliphate-in-tatters.html

    Making America Great Again

    Cue NeverTrumper whiners with their "But!!! OBAMA!!! RUSSIA!!! COLLUSION!!!!" in 3.... 2.... 1....

    277

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters

    I thought you didn't follow Fox News.

    Of course they are going to claim Obama's wins as 45's - they are doing it with the labor markets and the economy, why not ISIS too.

    Did you expect Fox News to tell the truth:

    "Obama's Policies Continue to Improve the Economy, the Jobs Market, and the Downfall of ISIS"?

    Point to exactly what policies 45 has implemented to improve any of those three?

    (Remember that the military has already admitted that if they want to get 45 to do something they tell him that Obama wouldn't have approved it.)

    Hint: There has been no material improvement in e.g. Coal jobs and the Carrier plant is still moving to Mexico, minus the jobs Indiana is paying them to keep.

    This is the most clueless administration we've had in living memory, they couldn't even repeal Obamacare, let alone produce an alternative plan. They are a bunch of losers whose only accomplishment by year's end will be paying off their big donors.

    You should be thanking Obama every day for the current strong economy, but making hay while you can, because the tax cuts are likely to put the dampers on it over the next year or so.

  36. [36] 
    neilm wrote:

    45's approval rating is dropping again ... a recent poll had him at 34% for, 62% against. When your 45-child-molester-look-alike can barely stay ahead in Alabama (motto: There's Something about Virgin Mary) you know the stink must be bad.

  37. [37] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [14] -

    Whose the goofy looking guy in the glasses?? :D

    OK, now THAT was funny!

    :-)

    -CW

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    In World News, the Palestinians have recognized Moscow as the capital of the United States and are moving their embassy there in six months.

  39. [39] 
    neilm wrote:

    Let's face it - there are a lot of white voters who gleefully extended a middle finger to what they call "political correctness" (basic civility and respect for others) by voting for Trump. They are determined to keep that finger extended no matter what the cost.

    Good description of the moral repugnance of the populism that Fox News encouraged and the Republican Party has been too cowardly to stand up to.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought you didn't follow Fox News.

    I never said I didn't "follow" Fox News.. I said I don't WATCH Fox News...

    FNC is one of a dozen news sites I check on a regular basis..

    Of course they are going to claim Obama's wins as 45's - they are doing it with the labor markets and the economy, why not ISIS too.

    Of course you are going to claim Trump's wins as Obama's :D

    You should be thanking Obama every day for the current strong economy,

    I thank the person responsible. President Trump.. :D

    278

  41. [41] 
    neilm wrote:

    I thank the person responsible. President Trump.. :D

    And as usual you can't point to one action he has taken to justify your point.

    In other news, the Golden State Warriors are the NBA Champions. I'm thanking the person responsible, Taylor Swift!

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale [14] -

    Whose the goofy looking guy in the glasses?? :D

    OK, now THAT was funny!

    :-)

    -CW

    Hehehe I thought ya might like that one.. :D

    279

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:
  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    And as usual you can't point to one action he has taken to justify your point.

    He's the commander in chief.. He gets the blame, he gets the credit..

    You didn't mind giving Odumbo credit for everything good that happened while HE was POTUS...

    Oh that's right. Odumbo has a -D after his name, so that's different..

    281

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    He gets the blame, he gets the credit..

    Except he molests over a dozen women and you give him no blame, yet he does nothing to help the economy and you give him all the credit.

    Basically you failed the test - you can't name one bill or executive order that has actually helped the economy.

  46. [46] 
    neilm wrote:

    Very good movie on Netflix: Icarus

    A major Olympic cheating scandal is uncovered by accident by an American documentary filmmaker and a Russian scientist, when they realize their combined knowledge points fingers at Russia's secret sports doping program.

    Explains why the Russians are banned from the Winter Olympics (and should have been banned from Rio 2016). Explosive stuff. And the soundtrack is excellent.

    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/icarus_2017

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    Labor force participation, which finally started to turn around again in 2015 has leveled off in 2017.

    https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300060

    Care to claim credit for 45 Michale?

  48. [48] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale [29],

    So, it turns out that one of Moore's accusers ADMITS to altering the yearbook signature to incriminate Moore....

    No, she admitted to adding the date and the address where it was signed after he wrote the message and signed it. The handwriting specialists still say he wrote the message and signed his name.

    Moore is a bigot, a liar, and child molester...no wonder Trump likes him so much!

  49. [49] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [46]

    If I remember correctly, that participation rate "turnaround" actually amounted to more like a 'leveling off' (as in 'quit falling') I don't think it has meaningfully actually risen for years.

  50. [50] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Mezzomamma [14] -

    First off, welcome to the site!

    Your first comment was held for moderation, and I apologize for the delay in approving it. From now on, you will be able to post your comments and have them appear instantly. Just don't post more than one link per comment, as multilink comments are automatically held for moderation.

    As for your comment, you indeed raise a good point, about the possibility for men to evolve over time.

    And, once again, welcome to the site.

    -CW

  51. [51] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    CW 50-

    Thanks, Chris. I've lurked a long time, off and on. If it's any interest, I'm a native Californian who has now lived in the UK for over 40 years. I make a considerable effort to be an informed voter.

    The UK has also discovered that well-known public figures in different fields have used their fame and power to abuse women and children, sometimes for many years.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Except he molests over a dozen women and you give him no blame,

    That's because the accusations were clearly false and solely designed to derail President Trump's campaign, as evidenced by the FACT that the women accusing Trump couldn't disappear fast enough after Trump won..

    Basically you failed the test - you can't name one bill or executive order that has actually helped the economy.

    I wasn't aware I was taking a test...

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    No, she admitted to adding the date and the address where it was signed after he wrote the message and signed it.

    Newsflash.. That's ALTERING..

    al·ter
    ?ôlt?r/Submit
    verb
    gerund or present participle: altering
    change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.

    The handwriting specialists still say he wrote the message and signed his name.

    And she altered it to be more incriminating. Her intent was to deceive...

    You and I both know that if there was a cause built around that yearbook, it would have been thrown out of court..

    Moore is a bigot, a liar, and child molester...

    Roy Moore is COMPLETELY innocent of ANY accusations made against him..

    This is FACT...

    Deal with it..

    283

  54. [54] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    She didn’t ALTER anything he wrote! Nothing he wrote was changed. What she did was add the date and location it had occurred and noted that he was the DA. Pretty standard stuff with yearbooks.

    The only way it would get thrown out of a court case is if Moore is the judge! Moore couldn’t say he that he didn’t hit on girls 14 years younger than him back then because he ended up married to one of the girls! His wife was classmates with the 14 year old he is accused of having assaulted.

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    She didn’t ALTER anything he wrote! Nothing he wrote was changed. What she did was add the date and location it had occurred and noted that he was the DA. Pretty standard stuff with yearbooks.

    And yet, she HID the fact that she altered the signature. She wouldn't even let ANY forensics be done on the yearbook..

    NOW we know why..

    The only way it would get thrown out of a court case is if Moore is the judge! Moore couldn’t say he that he didn’t hit on girls 14 years younger than him back

    Maybe he did and maybe he didn't.. But it was a different time and place..

    Like I said in the current FTP, if you judge Soon To Be Senator Moore based on the man he may have been 40 years ago, then you MUST judge Odumbo based on the man he was 10 years ago. The man who said that marriage was between a man and a woman ONLY..

    You also must judge the Democrat Party based on what it was 100 years ago. The racist Party of the KKK....

    Are you willing to do that??

    Of course not...

    285

  56. [56] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Maybe he did and maybe he didn't.. But it was a different time and place..

    Different time and place, eh? December 1977 was eight months after Roman Polanski was arrested in Hollywood for sexual relations with a minor not much younger. The judge in that case wanted to give Polanski 50 years, which is why he ran.

    Unless you're saying that the cultural climate in Alabama was more liberal than that of Hollywood at that same time, I'd guess that Moore knew that what he was doing was wrong in any state.

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unless you're saying that the cultural climate in Alabama was more liberal than that of Hollywood at that same time, I'd guess that Moore knew that what he was doing was wrong in any state.

    And if Moore was guilty of what Polanski was guilty of, you would have an argument..

    But he's not, so you don't...

    Especially since there are FACTS that prove this is nothing but a political hit job...

    307

  58. [58] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And if Moore was guilty of what Polanski was guilty of, you would have an argument.

    Thank you for ceding the point.

Comments for this article are closed.