Friends tell their friends the truth so brace yourselves. For the record I have stated publicly several times- in this space and in others- that in my view the winning 2020 Democratic ticket is Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris. I still hold strong to that position even though they both shot air-balls last year when they didn’t even have to shoot the ball at all. And I have gone even further than that- pressing the point that the Democrats need to shift hard in the direction of running women candidates for as many seats up and down the ballot as possible in 2018 and 2020 to establish a new normal of women holding the positions of greatest power and influence for the good of the nation and our evolving culture.
So I am as inoculated as a man can be against charges of sexism. With that being said, I’m a man before anything else and I’m going to put mine on the table here and now because that is what is needed.
Democratic ladies of the United States Senate, this message is for you. It is time for you to grow some balls. The move to force out Al Franken was a punk move and reflects the weakness that the very men you REALLY need to take down expect of you. You can do better than this- and you have to do better than this with a crucial election cycle approaching. Stakes are too high right now for you to pull a panic move and act like the irrational hysterical stereotypes that you have been fighting against all of your professional lives. And worst of all, you let yourselves be bullied by conservative media outlets and fringe elements on your own side when you were supposed to be leading and showing them how to solve difficult problems the right way.
Any child can be upset by a situation and just wish it would go away. But it takes wisdom, vision and resolve to size up that problem and take it down responsibly and permanently. Running Al Franken out of the Senate without a proper investigation reflected the former approach rather than the latter and I am disappointed as hell that y’all went out like that. And I’m concerned about how you’ll respond WHEN something like this comes up again before the election.
What in the hell does it mean to have a “due process” system at all if you just jump straight to the end result as soon as the case starts to look bad and you are eager for closure? You couldn’t see the extreme risk that you were running by setting that kind of a president.
What if the next accused is not from a state with a Democratic governor who would surely appoint somebody you approve of? What if the next accused is not from a reliably blue state that might flip in the next election cycle? And to put a really sharp point on it, what if it is your husband, son, father, or dear friend next time? How will you justify not calling for mob justice then?
The consequences of your lack of vision could be devastating to the entire nation. And it was all because you didn’t want to sit next to him anymore in the Senate mess hall for lunch? You ladies should have just done your damned work fighting against that damned tax cut bill. That is where your attention and priorities should have been. Because Al Franken grabbing ass didn’t cost your constituents one thin dime but Trump repealing the state and local tax deduction will cost them big.
Since you were so hell bent on applying a higher standard for people who hold office then include yourselves and calm yourselves down next time and let the process play out completely and reach its natural conclusion. That political tantrum is beneath you if you want to be the party in power.
Al Franken was a good Senator and a proven asset in the trenches. Damn near all of you pointed that out at one time or another.
But when it came out that he had been inappropriately handsy with women in social situations you bugged out like he was Jack The Ripper. He apologized profusely, REQUESTED that the Senate Ethics Committee investigate him for misconduct, and threw himself on the mercy of the court of public opinion. Despite all of that, you gave him up for human sacrifice in the Capitol Rotunda- all so you could make a show of your purity in a vain and foolish attempt to attack Roy Moore and Donald Trump. Or even worse, to prove how pure you were to the people back home.
I don’t give a damn how sexist and patronizing this sounds: Ladies, you did not think this through and you can’t afford to take mental short cuts again. You set up an impossible judgment standard to hold yourselves to and your political opponents have proven they don’t give a damn about. Roy Moore almost won in Alabama and Trump remains unbowed so your high tech lynching of Al Franken did not change anything. Donald Trump is going nowhere that the voters don’t send him in 2020. And he is going to win the same women who voted for him in 2016- because those women are protecting their tribe and they would rather do that than roll with you. That is reality. Deal with it.
Since you are all high level government officials I’m sure your life exposure has made you familiar with The Pottery Barn Rule. Colin Powell referenced it a lot when discussing American intervention in the affairs of other countries. It simply states, “if you break it, you buy it.” So it applies to you in this situation: By forcing Al Franken out, you broke the system you had in place- the one that he voluntarily submitted to. So you own every bit of the fall-out that comes with it and it will probably be seismic. You could end up losing that Senate seat in Minnesota. Then what? You will reinvigorate a dying and disgraceful presidency.
The ONLY way for you to get a win out of this now is for every last Democratic woman in the Senate to win re-election and to personally deliver more women to election victories in their home state than are there now.
And Senators Warren and Harris have to be your next general election nominees- nobody else on the scene is up for the fight against this nihilist president. So yes, a complete take-over is the only way to win now. Only a route erases this mistake because Republicans will play this against you from now until rapture. But if you’ve got the balls for this fight you’ll be alright. We all know you are on the right side of history.
It’s your time, ladies. You’ve got the horn and now you have to blow it.