December 18th, 2017

What are the odds of Franken actually leaving the Senate?

I’m not sure what the odds are, but I do think that with the defeat of Roy Moore (remember him?), they’ve become a great deal less than they were before.

Franken’s resignation always seemed to be motivated by the need to get Moore—to make him less likely to be elected, and/or to make him easier to censure or toss if elected. If Moore had won, Franken would have had to be sacrificed for the Cause.

But now, maybe not:

At least four senators are urging Al Franken to reconsider resigning, including two who issued statements calling for the resignation two weeks ago and said they now feel remorse over what they feel was a rush to judgment.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who urged Franken not to step down to begin with — at least not before he went through an Ethics Committee investigation — said the Minnesota senator was railroaded by fellow Democrats.

“What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in an interview…

Franken’s unusual timeline — in his departure announcement he said he’d go “in the coming weeks,” without setting a date — has fed the fleeting hopes that there’s still time to reverse course. However, Tina Smith, Minnesota’s Democratic lieutenant governor, was named last week as his appointed successor.

People familiar with Franken’s plans said he has not changed his mind and intends to formally resign in early January. He praised the selection of Smith and has begun working with her on the transition.

It certainly was an “unusual” timeline. But when Smith was picked to succeed him, it seemed to me that this was really going to happen. Now, I wouldn’t bet on it. And you may recall that I didn’t think Franken should resign. Here’s what I wrote when Franken gave his sort-of-resignation speech:

It’s difficult to escape the sense that Al Franken is resigning under pressure from the Democratic Party due to their hopes that they can occupy the sexual assault high ground vis a vis Roy Moore, and also expunge the ghosts of Ted Kennedy and Gary Stubbs (for those with long memories, which most people don’t have), not to mention Bill Clinton…

I can’t stand Al Franken as senator (although I happened to like some of his comedy bits on SNL many a long year ago). I can’t stand his politics and a lot else about him. Looking at the accusations, if I had to bet, I’d say most of them are true, or at least enough of them are true to establish him as a slyly opportunistic sexual scumbag of a minor sort.

Note that characterization: minor sort. I believe in proportionality, and even if all the allegations against Franken are true they don’t rise to a very high (or very low) level. If they are true, the proper remedy is a hearing and possibly censure (or expulsion, if that’s the decision), IMHO, and then if the people of Minnesota don’t want to re-elect him (or he doesn’t want to run again) when his term is up, that’s their decision. I’m uncomfortable with forcing people out because of allegations without any sort of due process at all—and I do believe in having at least some sort of official forum in which the allegations are heard and evaluated.

I also believe that those Democrats who supported his resignation and now feel “remorse” don’t feel a particle of remorse. They feel that since Moore lost there’s no more need for Franken to resign.

48 Responses to “What are the odds of Franken actually leaving the Senate?”

  1. TommyJay Says:

    I agree completely.

    “I also believe that those Democrats who supported his resignation and now feel “remorse” don’t feel a particle of remorse.”

    I’d call it pure unadulterated opportunism.

  2. Tom Says:

    I never thought he’d resign. The fact that he didn’t set a date, or step down immediately, made me believe he never had any intention of resigning. It does expose Democrats as the hypocrites that hey are. They don’t give a single damn about sexual harassment if it effects people who are important to their cause. With all of that said, I think the way all of this has been handled is really terrible, and it scares the crap out of me.

  3. Dave Says:

    I hope he doesn’t. However, he probably will, I don’t believe the democrats would be this foolish to destroy their credibility for merely a senate seat that they will regain anyway. If they do republicans will very likely gain 5 senate seats next year because of that and it will neutralizes weaponizing abuse allegations against conservatives.

  4. BrianE Says:

    If they’re going to go after Trump in the 2018 election cycle (take back the House to impeach Trump), he’s gotta take one for the team.

    It’s hard to envision a spin that would impress voters the Democrats are sincere about sexual purity.

  5. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Dave: What credibility? This will fall down the memory hole in another couple of months. They are just going back to their standard operating procedure from the last 50 years, and it didn’t cost them anything then.

    I think most people on the left who are angry with Franken now will forgive him in time. After all, he’s still on their side.

    I suspect this whole #MeToo thing will blow over soon. I don’t see any real long-term changes to the level of accountability people are held to. I’d prefer to be wrong on this, but if there’s one thing human being are good at, it’s becoming accustomed to something.

  6. Dave Says:

    It would be quite comical if Al Franken turns back on his promise to resign to stay and only promises to resign again in fall 2020, how dumb does a person have to be to continue to vote for the democrats based on their empty promises.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    If Franken stays, every republican running in 2018 can run ads showing that picture of Franken ‘molesting’ that sleeping woman… and asking; ‘how do we know he didn’t grope her before or after the picture was taken?

    Franken’s still in Congress. Clearly, the democrat establishment still excuses sexual assault as, “Boys just being boys…”

    But hey! It’s someone else’s Mother, Wife, Sister or Daughter… right?

    Rules for Radicals #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”

  8. Bill Says:

    I don’t know if Franken will resign. I think he should.

    Neither party, by the way, has high ground on this subject until some powerful people begin losing their positions (by that I mean representatives, Senators, etc). The Democrats are currently slightly ahead of the game if Conyers and Franken both go.

    The Republican Party lost their high ground when they re-established financial and political support for Roy Moore (who, even without the sexual allegations was a really bad candidate). Disheartening (once again) to see white evangelicals behind the larger culture when it comes to sexual mores and the seriousness of men in powerful positions who (credibly and with solid evidence) appear to have been engaging in sexually abusive behavior.

  9. miklos000rosza Says:

    I think Franken would really, really, really like to remain a senator. And yes, in time a lot of people will forget. Chappaquiddick faded, didn’t it, to the point where Teddy Kennedy could mount a strong challenge to Jimmy Carter in the 1980 primaries even though Carter was still in the White House at the time. Attention spans are often shallow and brief. The worst thing here for I’m is that photograph.

  10. miklos000rosza Says:

    correction = “for him”

  11. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    I expect “fish lips” will say “that he is humbled by the strong support and the forgiveness that he has received from his stalwart colleagues, and in order to honor their desires, he has changed his mind and will carry on keeping the women of America safe.”

    That kind of stuff just writes itself.

    I thought the grope was childish and vulgar, but the tongue . . .

  12. parker Says:

    Oh, I like clown car franken right where he is. Please Al denounce your promised exit. Meryl wear that black dress, but make sure to wear your pussy hat..

    The unmaskers unmask themselves. Hillary (hic), Jarret and her lap dog, Huma, Pelosi, Schumer, Durbin, etc; keep on pushing please.

  13. neo-neocon Says:


    Oh, so you believe that support should be withdrawn from any politician who is the target of unsubstantiated allegations? And you believe that anyone who doesn’t agree with that loses the high ground and is “disheartening”?

    I disagree with you. I think allegations must rise to a much higher level before they should be the basis for that sort of response. I find it “disheartening” that people are engaged in putting someone in the stocks just on the say-so of another person or persons who come out with no proof and who do it right before an election.

    You also say that Moore was a bad candidate even before the allegations. With that, I heartily agree. I was “disheartened” when he won the primary. But I certainly wasn’t willing to cede the race to the Democrat. The people had spoken, and I wouldn’t expect party leaders to have abandoned him because he’s a bad candidate. It is not the way politics works, and if parties did that they would always be losing parties.

  14. Dave Says:

    It used to be that extraordinary allegations require extraordinary evidence, now the opposite is true after society has been flipped by liberals and the new motto is extraordinarily allegations require just words from someone with zero credibility and a forged yearbook. There ain’t evidences to prove that Moore has ever met the girls, let alone having done whatever they claimed he did.

  15. steve walsh Says:

    As we say around here, he ain’t goin’ nowhere.

    I still say this was the plan, hatched among the Dems, all along.

  16. Matt_SE Says:

    This just redoubles my disgust at the gullible AL GOP voters who stayed home and let this happen. Also at the GOPe who enabled it, like Shelby (and of course, that black spider McConnell).

  17. John Guilfoyle Says:

    The Ds wanted the last body in the “all-men-are-rapists” lynching to be that of an R. Moore is it, so the witch hunt is over.

    Watch for the screeching to subside on this front until another R gets in the crosshairs of a tight election.

    Except for Trump…TDS is like gravity; it never lets up.

  18. groundhog Says:

    Neo, there is a possibility the parties involved already know the evidence will be against them enough that it’s not worth waiting for the public embarrassment when it all gets dragged out.

    On the other hand if the evidence is weak and the accused knows it, it makes sense not to resign just from allegations.

  19. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Agreed. This is a cynical exercise in the extreme.

    Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention to the political scene the last few weeks will see through this volte-face by the Democrat leadership and recognise it for the the cynical ploy it is and will recognise that their current professions of regret at losing sight of principle in their initial haste to do justice are bold-faced lies spouted for political ends.

    They know it too and here’s the thing: they don’t care. They know they won’t be called out on it by the majority.

    That’s why I turn so frequently these days to Solzhenitsyn. Ruled by a totally unprincipled political class who disdained them and punished dissent the Russian people could only shrug and say to close and trusted friends after each bold lie by their rulers: “What kind of tricks are they playing on us, and where are they dragging us?”

    The political caste’s disdain for the American people is now Soviet-like in its degree and openness, The Democrats lied openly to the people, first about their concern for the women Franken was alleged to have harmed and now, that they don’t need him out, in their lies about regretting rushing to judgement – all under the influence of their powerful and principled commitment to justice, don’t you know.

    I am reminded, as I always am when I see powerful people lying blatantly, of the old saw: “Don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining”.

    The saying is superficially funny because it’s so striking to be talking of peeing on someone. It’s also only superficially about the telling of lies – because lies are hardly news.

    Bad people do bad things all the time and no one should be surprised about that; bad people also lie when caught doing bad things and again no one should be surprised at that.

    Where the danger really lies is in the demands that are being made, as they always are, that the people being lied to join in the lie by taking it in and accepting it as the truth – or at the very least that they acquiesce in it by not calling them out on the lie.

    I saw that a lot in practice as lawyer: the client, a career criminal caught red-handed in a crime, who nevertheless not only gave me a statistically improbable explanation to account for it, (no shock or harm there), but went one step further to demand that I assure them of my belief in their innocence.

    They never got that from me – nor should these Democrats from the American people. What my lying clients got from me was what they, (and I), were entitled to: an affirmation from me that I could not know whether they were guilty as I was not there but that they were entitled to a legal presumption of innocence.

    A constant theme in the writings of Solzhenitsyn is the de-humanising effect of acquiescing to the lies told by the ruling class. That is where the danger is. Not in the being lied to – that is only to be expected of the unprincipled and cannot harm our souls. The danger to the soul – individually and societally -lays in the joining in with the lie.

    I like very much how in his 1974 letter: “Live Not By Lies” Solzhenitsyn characterises open political lies as poisonous “infections” and calls on people to “renounce the lies” by “walking away from the gangrenous boundary” between being lied to and acquiescing in the lie.

    He is right, is he not?, to point out that lies have no power to harm unless the people are willing to convince themselves that pee really is rain, because: “Like an infection…the lies… can only exist in a living organism”.

    If only the West had a leader as brave as Solzhenitsyn who would say to the people in the face of their rulers’ open lies:

    “It’s dangerous, but let us refuse to say that which we do not think…and if we are too frightened, we should stop complaining that someone is suffocating us”.

  20. AesopFan Says:

    Stephen: What you said.

  21. AesopFan Says:

    “In writing this post, I want to do one thing in particular. There will be, as I said, a great deal written, on many topics, as the punditry chews over Meyer’s article. But here I want to focus on one main point: that the origin of the Obama administration’s attitude was not solely related to the desire for an “Iran deal.”

    That was no doubt a major part of it, especially in Obama’s second term. But there’s a key event in his first term that has been almost entirely overlooked, and that illuminates the more systemic perspective on international security that seems to have driven all of the administration’s decisions on these matters.

    A basic posture was missing – one that, if it had existed, would have changed the course of everything that has happened since. How the Obama administration addressed Hezbollah was an important emblem of that posture’s absence.

    The DEA’s desire to take the network operations down, however, ran afoul of infiltration operations by other agencies, which were focused on gaining prior knowledge of terror plots and averting them. The exposure and the breakup of Hezbollah’s structures that would come from DEA-oriented prosecutions could threaten what other agencies were doing.

    That’s a legitimate concern. But it’s not a show-stopper – unless an administration’s priorities let it be one.
    And it’s clear that the Obama administration’s priority was not to, shall we say, degrade and defeat Hezbollah; i.e., the goals Obama announced for going after ISIS in 2014.

    That made all the difference. Team Obama had no intention of weakening Hezbollah, and no vision for a Middle East without it.

    Without disputing that much of the Obama administration’s approach on Hezbollah was motivated by concern for a “deal” with Iran, the more fundamental problem was that Team Obama couldn’t imagine a Middle East without Hezbollah. It wasn’t just Iran Obama saw a need to accommodate; it was Hezbollah too.

    Unquestionably, the ingredients for instability and popular discontent existed in the Muslim Middle East, apart from the power dynamics of Hezbollah and Iran. The point here is not that there would have been no manifestations like those of 2011 without the Hezbollah coup in Lebanon.

    The point is that the course of the Arab Spring was not predestined to unfold as it did. Josh Meyer’s article shows the U.S. was armed with important ways to move against Hezbollah at the very time of the January 2011 coup, like a boxer going all in for a K.O.

    Yet at that heavily freighted time, with Lebanon already destabilized and a pretext handed to it to do something meaningful about Hezbollah, the Obama administration “feared a broader assault on Lebanese financial institutions would destabilize the country.”

    That’s not just a concern about relations with Iran. That’s a fundamental attitude that Hezbollah, or some similar “revolutionary” actor, is in the driver’s seat: that things happen to us, and the main thing is to have our excuses in order afterward.”


  22. Bill Says:


    Oh, so you believe that support should be withdrawn from any politician who is the target of unsubstantiated allegations?

    No. I said no such thing. And that’s not what I think.

    I think allegations have to be credible for them to be something we take action on. I think these were. These came from multiple women. They seemed credible to me. They also seemed credible to the RNC at first, evidently. Then the polls turned a bit in Moore’s favor and DJT openly supported him and suddenly the RNC dropped the high-minded talk.

    You can believe Roy Moore if you’d like. But for my part I’ve seen a number of these types of cases over the years. Sometimes they seem completely shocking (like in the case of Bill Cosby, at first). Sometimes not shocking at all (as in the case of the pre-92 allegations against Bill Clinton, not even counting the Lewinsky scandal.) Roy Moore’s case seemed to fit a pattern in his life. Losing a Senate seat is bad. Not as bad as supporting a pedophile, which is what I think he is. Just like I think Bill Clinton probably raped Juanita Broderick (that was never proven either).

    Roy Moore can, of course, take legal action against these ladies if he’d like. Won’t get him a Senate seat but might clear his name, if he’s innocent.

  23. neo-neocon Says:


    “Credible” is a word I discussed here. All “credible” means is that the story might be true—that it’s not incredible.

    For example, if I said “John Smith sexually abused me when we were drifting in outer space while flying to Mars under our own power,” that would be an incredible story. Not believable. Literally impossible. But to craft a credible story, all I’d have to do is have a history that involves some proximity to the accused, and do a bit of research as to where he worked, etc.. Stuff that would be easy to find out.

    Even better if I’d had some connection to him.

    People who are out to get a politician in trouble through false accusations have a lot of information to work with. It also helps if it was long enough ago that there is no way to fact check. For example, with the restaurant where Moore’s accuser Nelson had supposedly met Moore, there is an extreme lack of information about the restaurant itself. Newspapers tried to research it or at least talk to the person who had owned it when the incident was supposed to have taken place, or find a photo to document the layout, and they had no success. The only people who came forward to talk about it said that the layout was not as the accuser described, the hiring practices were such that she would not have been hired at 15 (when she said she started), and no one ever remembered seeing her there or seeing Moore there for that matter. Quite a few people said they worked there or frequented the place and no one remembered him.

    Couple that with the controversy about the yearbook signature and inscription and you get, in my opinion, a story that is credible in the sense of possible but a story that I think is most likely a lie.

    You don’t convict people or condemn them or think them guilty merely because a story told about them is possibly true. That’s not my standard, and I don’t think it should be anyone else’s.

    By the way, Moore has only 2 accusers. The other women have a very different story—that he dated them when they were young but of age, and acted respectfully to them. The fact that the teenage girls who apparently really did date Moore (when they were of legal age) all say he was basically respectful argues against Nelson’s (the yearbook lady) story being true, because his alleged behavior with her was so different.

    I believe you are letting your dislike of Moore color your belief about his guilt or innocence. By the way, you are using the word “pedophile” incorrectly. That word is reserved for pre-pubescent children, and even if you accept the allegations about Moore as true they do not involve that group of victims at all. You need to get your terms straight, at the very least, before you make accusations.

    I see that you think Broaddrick is telling the truth, too (that’s her name, by the way, not Broderick). I do not agree. I wrote about that allegation of Broaddrick’s here. Although I think that—as with Moore’s accusers—we cannot know the truth, I believe that Broaddrick’s story contains a lot of holes and there are reasons to believe she’s lying (including that fact that she changed her story and said under oath that it didn’t happen, and then she changed it back again).

    I hope you don’t take what I’m about to say personally, but you don’t seem like a person who pays much attention to details. And yet cases like this turn on details rather than rather the story is “credible.”

    Your final paragraph shows a lack of understanding of how the law works. It would be almost impossible for Moore to clear his name in a court of law even if he is 100% innocent. Do you understand that if he were to sue his accusers, that the standard he would need to meet to win his case would be enormously high? Take a look. See also this.

    The bottom line is that politicians almost never sue for defamation, and if they do they rarely win. That has nothing whatsoever to do with proving themselves innocent of the allegations, it has to do with the law of defamation against public figures, which works very strongly against them. That last paragraph of your shows a lack of awareness of how defamation law works in the case of a public figure.

  24. Yancey Ward Says:

    Until Smith herself withdraws and encourages Franken to stay, I will work under the assumption he is leaving.

  25. Dave Says:

    it’s a common misleading tactic constantly deployed by that left to try to make allegations more credible with padded unsubstantiated rumours, and complaints that give bad optic but completely legal and even appropriate putting the events in the era they have taken place. The Allred victim with the year book is fake, her testimony has been debunked, she added last name Moore, date and place to the inscription in her year book, there was no parking lot in the back of the restaurant and the restaurant had a policy of only hiring waitresses who are over 18. The only allegation with a smoking gun is the one involving the woman who claims she was 14 at the time, even she admitted she has a history of bad behaviours and making up lies about being sexually abused by other men. Roy Moore is completely innocent, I believe him, he is only vulnerable because he did dated young women. I have never heard liberals complaining about 50 yo Bill Clinton getting a bj from a 20 yo inter, Bill Clinton was almost 20 years older than Moore was when the alleged “dates” with 16+ girls took place.

  26. Dave Says:

    Compare Roy Moore’s allegations to allegations against all the other high profile celebrities, what is the main difference? It’s that almost most of the other allegations involved a man and a woman who knew each other, bill Cosby and the girls she mentored, Weinstein and the actresses, Lauer and his coworkers. Sexual predators rarely prey on random girls on the street, familiarity is an important element to make an assault more likely to succeed.

    The whole story is unbelievable, moore is a risk taker, he likes to randomly pick a stranger girl in the street to prey on, without knowing her background, and whom was she related to, but somehow didn’t care too much making sure that the girl knows his identity, name and occupation so she seek him out in the future.

  27. Dave Says:

    If the whole point of finding random girls to abuse is to obscure his identity, why leave an inscription with his full name and occupation in his victim’s yearbook to ensure the exposure of his identity. When people read these stories, do they even do a mental examination to see if these stories make the most basic sense?

  28. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The only way to fix the Leftist alliance is to kill them.

    This ideological behavior that elections are going to select leaders or that following Alinsky is going to beat the Alinsky boys, is strategically flawed.

    The more people fight against the Left, which applies to the Alt Right as well, the more they become the enemy by learning from the enemy. Only extermination, death, may be a temporary solution. It is not, any more, a permanent solution.

    DC will tolerate Biden for touching pre teens but Moore is their number 1 enemy for some reason. Americans eat this up all the time, it’s like American Idol to them. Red vs Blue. One of the judges is always an A hole, for entertainment purposes. Simon, with his uppity British accent, plays that role quite well. Trum played the same role in the Apprentice.

    If Franken gets to stay in power Ruling Over the Human livestock in the US, and Moore is gone from power, that means the Left won 1, and everybody else lost and is at 0.

    Americans like to pretend the Republicans are the establishment and stupid party but the Deep State treats all of you in the US as human livestock: stupid doesn’t even come into the equation.

    The Left’s score of win and losses exponential victorious growth in the scientific notation. 1×10^10 wins. 1×10^1 losses. If this was a war, our side should already have collapsed.

    That is why it is strategically pointless to fight the Left’s game using their Alinsky tactics. That is a strategic dead end. Logistically, they won’t allow it either, as that is way deep in enemy territory, to the point where people think the vanguard is the Deep State. The Deep State is next to the Rear Guard as their hidden HQ, not in the van. Our army got too deep to see the overall strategic battle sphere, but not deep enough to penetrate their defenses and hit their center of gravity.

    A superior solution to death, although not one humans have been known to use, is conversion of evil to good. This is one of the strongest weapons of the evil factions in the US, that they can convert good to evil. So it doesn’t matter who you elect or who you think you are, the Leftist alliance will hijack everything you build, all of your family and friends and allies, and they will become their allies and your enemies. Destroying what people built takes far less time than it took to build them. 2001 Sep 11. If only we could raise up buildings as quickly as they turned to dust.

    Sun Tzu’s ultimate battle skill, the ability to turn your enemies into allies, is not seen in the US conflict today. Conversion is a religious concept, not a political or economic or “election system” paradigm. Whatever the US built, has been hijacked to evil purposes. How can Americans deny that the US is evil when they refuse to even kill off Hollywood and DC’s transgressions…

    Everybody is innocent because they can’t help it, right.

  29. Bill Says:

    Neo, all fair points.

    You wrote “You don’t convict people or condemn them or think them guilty merely because a story told about them is possibly true. That’s not my standard, and I don’t think it should be anyone else’s.

    It goes both ways.

    Lets turn this around. What you are suggesting is a conspiracy among several women to “take down” Roy Moore. There’s been plenty of condemning of Nelson, Corfman and the others, largely based on arguments from silence, even though he had a pattern of trolling underage girls. Not sure why any woman would want to come forward, ever, against a politician because she’s going to get dragged through the mud.

    Lots to say here but I’ll end with this. The Republican Party needs to de-Bannon itself and quit supporting Bannon-picked, awful candidates. Or keep losing these contests.

  30. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The danger to the soul – individually and societally -lays in the joining in with the lie.

    The Alt Right, Trum supporters, and potential Trum supporters are already adopting Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals as their new textbook on tactics and strategy. Irregardless of the detriments, hate, fear, and weakness has made humans cling to hero kings in the past and the present.

    Learning from the enemy, to beat the enemy, by being better Alinsky followers than the enemy. That sounds like a good idea, right. If you can’t beat the Soviets, become or ally with the Soviets, as FDR did.

  31. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The Republican Party needs to de-Bannon itself and quit supporting Bannon-picked, awful candidates. Or keep losing these contests.

    The human instinct to exile individuals that are outliers, while going with the masses and crowd to obtain victory and resources, is as predictable as it is sad.

    It is true of Bannon. It is true of pro or anti Milo, Alt or Ctrl, Republican or Democrat. Whether exceptional American or non exceptional foreigner, the same applies.

    Follow the band wagon to victory, there you will be rewarded by the world.

  32. Bob Says:

    Even your memory isn’t long enough. It was “Gerry Studds,” not “Gary Stubbs.” He was a Democrat congressman from Massachusetts who, along with Republican Daniel Crane from Illinois, was caught fooling around with an underage congressional page. But, whereas Daniel Crane was run out of town on a rail, Rep. Studds was celebrated because he came out as gay.

  33. Frog Says:

    Bill’s “Seems credible to me” is a sad and fundamentally unsound, even horrible way of thinking. Verdict before trial, right? A lie repeated often enough and loudly enough becomes the truth, right? Who needs facts when we already believe that X committed a crime?
    Try this on, Bill:
    Esse quam videre.

  34. BrianE Says:

    “Lots to say here but I’ll end with this. The Republican Party needs to de-Bannon itself and quit supporting Bannon-picked, awful candidates. Or keep losing these contests.” – Bill

    Here’s what Steve Bannon had to say about the Alabama election:

    Bannon said that had it not been for the Republican establishment throwing their weight against Moore in the wake of accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him, he would be comfortably ahead.

    “And let’s talk about who brought this on — the Republican establishment. This should be an absolute blowout except for what they did to Judge Moore, because they couldn’t stand being beaten in the first round,” he said.

    Moore beat establishment-backed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in the GOP primary despite being outspent 10-1. But in the wake of accusations of sexual impropriety, many establishment Republicans called for Moore to step down.

    Bannon said it was a sign of the contempt with which the GOP elite hold ordinary voters, noting that they crushed Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) unfairly because they thought Moore would be easier to beat.

    “They didn’t understand something – the populist nationalism of Mo Brooks – the conservatives are all going to back Judge Moore,” he said.

    I think Bannon would have preferred Mo Brooks, who would have easily defeated Jones. But the Republican establishment wanted Strange, because Brooks had stated he wouldn’t support McConnell as leader of the senate.

    So who is really to blame for this?

    Bannon didn’t endorse Moore until after the runoff election when Strange had finished ahead of Brooks, forcing the runoff election between Strange and Moore.

    As has been noted by commenters here from Alabama, Brooks would have been preferable to Strange, but the GOPe backed Strange who asked the legislature to drop an investigation of Governor Bentley, but later said he wasn’t a target of his investigation. Was this a quid pro quo situation?

    Bannon understands the destructive nature of our current “free” trade policy, which has led to an unrestrained globalism that is damaging to the country.

    Hiding beneath the veneer of “free” trade is an open borders globalism.

    This has led to the silly notion pervading our country that all cultures are equal. That there is nothing unique about our nation, worthy of protecting.

    I think it’s that recognition that has awakened the country.

  35. Bill Says:

    Frog:*”Bill’s “Seems credible to me” is a sad and fundamentally unsound, even horrible way of thinking. Verdict before trial, right?”

    An election is not a court trial. How many times does this need to be said? You can vote against someone if you have qualms a bit their character. You don’t have to prove it in court.

    Taking Neo’s admonitions above into account, if this is such a slam-dunk conspiracy against Moore he should be able to unmask it.

    I’m ex-GOP so take this as you want, but Republican hypocrisy about “jumping to conclusions” and “being fair” is breathtaking. I didn’t vote for him, but the idiocy around things like Obama’s birth certificate and all the unproven allegations that most GOPers accept without any qualms about O or HRC (who I also DIDN’T VOTE FOR) makes the 500 benefits of the doubt you people give to people like DJT and Roy Moore a bit hard to balance.

    There are plenty of bad people in both parties.

  36. neo-neocon Says:


    Your naivete is showing.

    I’m not suggesting a conspiracy of “several women” to take Moore down. I’m suggesting a political tactic by which the opposition (on the left in particular) conspires to find people willing to take Moore down. And if you don’t believe that sort of thing occurs, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn and several other things I’d like to sell you.

    There are two women we’re talking about, by the way. The others merely seem to be alleging that he dated them with their mothers’ permission when they were of age but young. So what? What happens is that the operatives follow rumors, spread the word about what they’re looking for, find the women. They already knew their were rumors about the dating of the legal-aged teens (rumors I believe are true), and they start with that and then spread the word around that they’re looking for people who can say even more than that. The women’s motives are varied, but fame is a potent one, actually. Politics could be another (saying you’re a Trump voter doesn’t make it so). Still another is this (Lisa Bloom is Allred’s daughter, by the way, and I have read—don’t have time to find the source now—that this is a tactic of Allred’s as well):

    A well-known women’s rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews.

    California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill.

    Women who do this sort of thing have often have led chaotic and troubled lives (sometimes they have also made multiple accusations against different people), and they have plenty of reason to need financial help.

  37. neo-neocon Says:


    Once again you show your ignorance of the way things work in the legal sense. You previously said Moore could take the accusers to court to prove his innocence. I pointed out how difficult—well nigh impossible—that would be, even if he were 100% innocent.

    Now you say that if there’s a conspiracy he should be able to unmask it. Oh, really? Do you really think it’s that easy? Do you really think—once again—that if a person can’t prove his/her innocence, he/she is guilty?

    And no, your proof doesn’t have to rise to the level of courtroom proof to believe someone is probably guilty. But “credible” accusations doesn’t cut it and shouldn’t cut it. “Persuasive” accusations would be better. What “persuades” you sure doesn’t persuade me. I would not want you anywhere near a jury that was trying me of anything.

  38. neo-neocon Says:


    You might think I’m picking on you. It’s not personal, but this sort of rush to judgment has always made me angry. I think it reflects sloppy thinking, among other problems. If that sounds harsh, sorry, but I’ve seen it too many times and I’ve seen it destroy people.

    Not just in the political arena by any means. I’m thinking of people such as the Ramseys.

  39. Mac Says:

    Neo to Bill above: “By the way, you are using the word “pedophile” incorrectly.”

    Thank you. This has really been driving me crazy. Infuriating me, I should say. Even if everything every accuser said about Moore is true, it would not make him a “pedophile.” Democrats have been having a lot of fun sticking this label on Moore, and the misuse of it goes beyond the injustice done to Moore.

    I’ve begun to wonder if I’m alone, or nearly alone, in thinking that there is a huge, huge difference between being sexually attracted to a 6-year-old and a 14-year-old, i.e. between pre- and post-pubescence. Seems to me that the former is a perversion and the latter is not.

    I thought this was an obvious fact that we all pretty much agreed on until the Catholic sex abuse scandals, when “pedophile” was applied to men who were attracted to teen-agers. I had an exchange on Facebook with someone who, in the process of applying “pedophile” to Moore, asserted that there was no fundamental difference. I bowed out because there seemed to be nothing left to say.

  40. neo-neocon Says:


    There are people who care about getting the details right even when they are trying to make a point and take care not to overstate the case.

    There are people who don’t care enough about the details and often don’t even realize their errors.

    There are also people who purposely misrepresent the details in order to make their case.

    I believe Bill is in the second category.

  41. Bill Says:

    “You might think I’m picking on you. It’s not personal, but this sort of rush to judgment has always made me angry. I think it reflects sloppy thinking, among other problems. If that sounds harsh, sorry, but I’ve seen it too many times and I’ve seen it destroy people.”

    I’m against rushes to judgment as well. But it’s funny that the term you used to describe me (“naive”) is one that often comes to mind when I hear the pronouncements of members of my former party, as I mentioned above. Democrats don’t have the market cornered on slander, or sexual abuse, or any number of things that are now shared by the Republican party. Republican partisans and tribalists are not exactly known for their restraint in rushing to judgment. Have you noticed?

    Regarding the potential conspiracy I mentioned above. Of course people will do all sorts of things for various reasons. But the motive has to be reasonable. So, my point is, were the women who were featured in the WaPo article telling the truth? Were they lying and motivated by fame? If so, how’s that working out for them? How’s the “fame” that sexual abuse accusers receive in our culture, even today? In many cases their names get dragged through the mud.

    Were they paid money? OK, now we’re getting into something that is definitely provable and would go a long way toward establishing that Moore did not sexually assault these minor girls. If I were Moore and I were innocent (and also, like Moore, had $$$ and didn’t have a full time job) you can bet I would be trying to find out the truth, the motives, everything. I’d be bringing everything I had to this effort.

    Think what you want to of me. The comment about not being qualified to serve on a jury is uncalled for. In fact, it sucks. You don’t know me. I’m responding to the current GOP because I care about integrity. Not because I don’t have any. It’s really jarring, to be brutally honest, to be lectured on integrity by people who support Donald Trump. Sexual charges aside, Roy Moore is not qualified (speaking of qualification) to serve in the Senate and I’m glad the good people of Alabama recognized that. I feel similarly about DJT, but of course that’s another story. I’m tired of giving these guys the benefit of the doubt.

  42. neo-neocon Says:


    My comment about not wanting you on a jury was based not on knowing YOU, but on reading your comments here. It is simply true—I wouldn’t want you on such a jury because in this thread you’ve demonstrated a lack of attention to detail and a rush to judgment.

    It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Doesn’t even mean I’m right about how you would act on a jury. But the evidence for it is in this thread.

  43. BrianE Says:


    Doesn’t it bother you that the yearbook was never given to a neutral party to analyze whether the signature was Judge Moore’s or if anything had been added to the yearbook entry before the election?

    Since we’re all about the truth, that physical evidence could have gone a long way answering questions about he woman’s credibility.

    But Allred played games– saying it would be released to the ethics committee if he was elected, which should have raised huge red flags to anyone following the story.

    Now that the election is over, what do you suppose is the chance the yearbook will be given to a neutral professional to analyze and determine if its real?

    I would rate the chance at 0.1%.

  44. BrianE Says:

    I’m curious why you think he wasn’t qualified to be a senator, leaving aside the accusations of sexual assault by the two women.

  45. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Matt_SE Says:
    December 18th, 2017 at 8:56 pm
    This just redoubles my disgust at the gullible AL GOP voters who stayed home and let this happen.

    Selected, not elected. It almost doesn’t matter what Americans think, because all of this is a smoke screen propaganda designed to mask the zombie votes.

    Even Trum was perceptive enough to publicly proclaim it: write ins.

    Americans have fallen often enough for the Deep State propaganda, that perceiving the Leftist alliance’s propaganda isn’t even going to do anything productive. Red vs Blue, it’s just red vs blue.

    Which is not to say that both sides are the same, just that you all are puppets of the puppets that are the puppets of even more puppets: Deep State.

  46. Ymar Sakar Says:

    You don’t know me. I’m responding to the current GOP because I care about integrity. Not because I don’t have any. It’s really jarring, to be brutally honest, to be lectured on integrity by people who support Donald Trump.

    It should ease your conscience B, that I have never supported Trum. He is not my king or messiah. People can pretend to elect whatever politician they believe is good, but I’m not going to jump on the band wagon due to fear of defeat or the Leftist alliance.

    You, by a mirror reflection, don’t know much about the Leftist alliance or human nature, which is a critical problem when analyzing Leftist propaganda and Alinsky character assassinated profiles. My above comment thus still stands.

    Why complain about others judging you when you have judged others. Bible lately?

  47. AesopFan Says:

    AesopFan Says:
    December 18th, 2017 at 11:33 pm
    * *
    Sorry, wrong thread.
    But it is a good story nonetheless.

  48. Gordon Says:


    I think you’re right about Franken. I’m a Minnesota conservative, and I’ve watched him for years. He wants to be a senator. That’s dignified and powerful. He could, after resigning, be a lobbyist, or just a fundraiser. He’s really, really good at the money game, because he knows everyone in Hollywood. He got Ben Stein to give him money!

    But it’s easier, and more fun, to do it from a seat in the senate. It is the most exclusive club. And he really, really doesn’t want to face Franny every night in shame. If he can unresign, he can claim victory, and just say it was all a conspiracy triggered by a bad joke.

    He would not be reelected. He’s incumbent, but has never been wildly popular in Minnesota.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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