Patterico's Pontifications

12/7/2017

Republican Congressman Resigns

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Republican Trent Franks announced his resignation, effective Jan. 31. Here is a portion of his statement:

Given the nature of numerous allegations and reports across America in recent weeks, I want to first make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.

My wife and I have long struggled with infertility. We experienced three miscarriages.

We pursued adoption on more than one occasion only to have the adoptive mothers in each case change their mind prior to giving birth.

A wonderful and loving lady, to whom we will be forever grateful, acted as a gestational surrogate for our twins and was able to carry them successfully to live birth. The process by which they were conceived was a pro-life approach that did not discard or throw away any embryos.

My son and daughter are unspeakable gifts of God that have brought us our greatest earthly happiness in the 37 years we have been married.

When our twins were approximately 3 years old, we made a second attempt with a second surrogate who was also not genetically related to the child. Sadly, that pregnancy also resulted in miscarriage.

We continued to have a desire to have at least one additional sibling, for which our children had made repeated requests.

Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.

I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable. I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.

We are in an unusual moment in history – there is collective focus on a very important problem of justice and sexual impropriety. It is so important that we get this right for everyone, especially for victims.

But in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation. Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of January 31st, 2018. It is with the greatest sadness, that for the sake of the causes I deeply love, I must now step back from the battle I have spent over three decades fighting. I hope my resignation will remain distinct from the great gains we have made. My time in Congress serving my constituents, America and the Constitution is and will remain one of God’s greatest gift to me in life.

Apparently, Franks had been the subject of rumors for a number of years:

One Arizona Republican said there had been rumors of inappropriate behavior. The Republican said the congressman had apparently been making plans to run for Senate in 2012, but abruptly canceled those plans.

“There’s been rumors swirling around him for years, at least in 2012,” the Republican said. “And if this turns out to be true, there won’t be that many people who are surprised.”

Given the very personal nature of the statement, my thoughts are with Mrs. Franks and their Franks’ adult children. This can’t be easy for them.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Sen. Al Franken Announces His Upcoming Resignation

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

This morning, facing political pressure from his own party, Sen. Al Franken announced from the Senate floor that he will be resigning his Senate seat:

“I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate”

It’s interesting that his resignation is not going to be effectively immediately, like John Conyers. It’s a bit clever, given that in a few weeks time the special election will have taken place in Alabama. This allows time to see whether Republican Roy Moore, who faces serious allegations of sexual misconduct (including that involving a minor) and has the full support of the President of the United States, steps down. After all, if he doesn’t, what would actually compel Franken to follow through with his resignation?

Franken, who remained unapologetic and without contrition in his announcement, also noted this:

“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,”

There is a heated battle taking place between the major political parties as Democrats and Republicans valiantly struggle to claim the moral high ground. The problem, of course, is that both sides have sunk to new lows in the mucky cesspool of tribal politics, thus making it virtually impossible for either party to be covered in anything other than hypocritical scum. Until this week, when a cynical calculation was made to jump up a rung on the ladder of principles and try to force the hand of Republicans, Democrats circled the wagons for Al Franken and cited legacy and iconic status as a justification for keeping John Conyers on board. At the same time, Republicans have not only been defending Roy Moore from serious allegations involving a minor, but disgustingly continue to support him even when they believe the allegations are true. Today, on the left side of the aisle, Conyers is no longer in office and Franken has announced his upcoming resignation. On the right side of the aisle, Moore is being supported by a Republican president who also faces allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as being supported by substantial numbers of Republicans in Alabama. Given this, exactly who gets to make a claim to the moral high ground now? Unless Moore steps down, certainly not Republicans. Unfortunately, Republicans sacrificed their principles in November, 2016.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

MSNBC Re-Hires Sam Seder; Mike Cernovich Hardest Hit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

I summarized this saga a couple of days ago. In 2009, there was a national debate about the crimes of Roman Polanski after he was arrested in Switzerland and efforts were made to extradite him to the U.S. to face justice. In a disgusting display, many in the Hollywood elite rallied around Polanski. Lefty Sam Seder, a former Air America host and MSNBC yakker, wrote a bitingly satirical tweet attacking Polanski’s defenders, who seemed to care more about Polanski’s talents as a director than his rape of a 13-year-old. Seder’s tweet read: “Dont care re Polanski, but i hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/ a great sense of mise en scene.” Recently, alt right nutcase Mike Cernovich dug up the old tweet and willfully misinterpreted it as support for Polanski. Cernovich drummed up fauxtrage from his cynical supporters, and got Seder fired from his MSNBC gig.

Now, Seder has been rehired:

Progressive radio and television personality Sam Seder will be offered his MSNBC contributor job back and plans to accept, according to multiple MSNBC sources.

Seder and MSNBC were set to part ways when his contributor contract expired next year, with reports indicating the departure had to do with a 2009 tweet from Seder surfaced by the far-right provocateur Mike Cernovich. After initially caving in to right-wing internet outrage over the tweet, MSNBC reversed its decision to not renew Seder’s contract.

. . . .

“Sometimes you just get one wrong,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement to The Intercept, “and that’s what happened here. We made our initial decision for the right reasons — because we don’t consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about. But we’ve heard the feedback, and we understand the point Sam was trying to make in that tweet was actually in line with our values, even though the language was not. Sam will be welcome on our air going forward.”

Good. Seder is an unrepentant lefty, and I probably disagree with him on something between 90 to 99.999 percent of the things he says and believes. Nevertheless, his firing was disgraceful, and I’m very pleased to see that he has been re-hired.

Tom Kludt and Oliver Darcy, in a story written before Seder’s reinstatement, discuss the background in detail and explain how Cernovich’s absurd gloating helped MSNBC to reverse its decision:

After the news broke, Cernovich was triumphant.

“Thank you to everybody who emailed MSNBC,” Cernovich said in a video he posted on Twitter. “Thank you to all of you. You’re heroes. You’re heroes because you emailed MSNBC and you let them know about the tweet. You let them know the people will be heard.”

Elsewhere, MSNBC was pilloried for the decision, as critics pointed out that Seder was not actually excusing or making light of rape, but was in fact mocking Polanski’s defenders.

. . . .

An MSNBC executive who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said there had been considerable deliberation over the decision to cut ties with Seder, and that the network was unsettled by the celebratory reaction from certain segments of the right-wing.

The episode did have one positive effect in that it reminded many (and revealed to others) the past comments of someone who made light of rape. That person turned out to be Mike Cernovich, whose comments included such delightful turns of phrase as “Who cares about breast cancer and rape? Not me” and “Over 50% of women have rape fantasies.” These quotes and others are collected in all their glorious and non-exculpating context here:

If you’re looking to get upset about someone not taking rape seriously, your best target is not Sam Seder. It’s Mike Cernovich.

Congratulations to Seder for getting back his job so he can make the airwaves annoying again with wrongheaded political opinions. I won’t be watching, but I’ll sleep a little better knowing that Mike Cernovich lost.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

If you want to help Patterico win more than Mike Cernovich, don’t forget the Amazon widget on the sidebar for your holiday shopping needs. I’ll be mentioning it here more often this month because it was gone for a while and some folks may have gotten out of the habit of using it. So get back in the habit!


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1663 secs.