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 Post subject: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:13 pm 
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http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453905/al-franken-roy-moore-politics-virtue

I'd like to echo what the writer of this piece says. Really echo it. I'm sure someone here has some horror story about what a horrible person David French is based on some awful conservative thing he once wrote. I don't care. This piece is brilliant and true.

I'd also like to amplify.

Roy Moore was arguably unfit for office even before the numerous allegations against him became public. Now he is clearly unfit. And yet about half of Alabama's electorate is still ready to vote for him. Here we see the corrosive effects of extreme polarization. Politics has become existential for a lot of people. This is literally true -- or at least quasi-literally true -- people really feel like they cannot exist with enemy politicians in office. They threaten to leave the country when Trump is elected. They threaten to take their own state out of the country ( while ignoring the 14th amendment and the rights of everyone in that state that doesn't want US citizenship and Consitutional protections yanked out from under them. )

In that case of Roy Moore voters, I think they must feel that to vote for a Democrat is akin to cultural suicide. These voters feel their way of life and values are under direct assault unless they vote for Moore. Therefore the charges against Moore must be false, the product of a corrupt press out to get Moore. I sort of understand and sympathize with this point. I don't blame any conservative for being skeptical of the motives of the Washington Post and the NY Times. These papers clearly have a liberal agenda. But -- that doesn't make all the news they report false. The Post didn't create Moore's accusers out of nothing. They didn't force Moore to give a half-assed creepy denial on a friendly Fox News opinion show. Moore voters are either ignoring the truth or saying that it doesn't matter because the alternative is worse. Either way this is pathological thinking. This is the great danger of such deep polarization.

Are defenders of Bill Clinton any better? Probably. How much better? I'm not sure. Don't for a second think that liberals are immune to the same kind of pathological thinking. It happens. It has happened. It is happening.

What I think about Al Franken is that he wanted to humiliate Tweeden because she rejected his advances. Her story indicates as much. And the picture -- that infamous picture -- it proves it, to my mind. That picture is all about humiliation. The grope is bad enough, but the picture, the grin to camera -- that's a show of power. To degrade, to teach her humility -- how dare she reject the great comedian's advances?

But the picture no longer humiliates Tweeden. It exposes Franken. It also exposes anyone who defends his continuing role as a US Senator. Franken says he wants a ethics investigation. What is there to investigate? There is the picture. There is the person he tried to humiliate. He's unfit. Toss him out.

Finally, whatabout Trump? Well, I hope Trump's day of reckoning comes soon. Though I doubt it will.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:28 pm 
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Thanks for starting this thread, Faramond. I've been thinking similar thoughts. I've not yet read French piece. I don't have any pre-conceptions about him, not being familiar with his past writings, but I will try to read it with an open mind, not as something written by a "conservative" but rather as something written by a fellow human being concerned about some of the same things that I am concerned about.

Meanwhile, I agree with everything you wrote, particularly about Al Franken and the infamous picture. I was sick to my stomach when I saw that. The idea that anyone, let alone someone who shortly thereafter would become a person of significant political influence and power, would think that was appropriate or "funny" in any way is nauseating, and I agree with your assessment about the real motivation behind the picture. I though Franken should go as soon as I saw that, and I was not at all surprised at the news today that another woman has come forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching, this time after he already was a senator.

I'll try to come back and comment further once I've read French's piece.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:00 pm 
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IAWF.

Although, Faramond, I don't agree that defenders of Bill's are any better. Defending a man who has abused women when he is in an office of power is sickening. Why are they any better?

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:09 pm 
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I consider what French said to be obviously true. Like, so obviously true it shouldn't need saying. But it probably does.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:12 pm 
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oh god, I just saw that photo of Al Franken's - I want to go throw up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:25 pm 
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I agree with Faramond and with the linked article. Completely.

Seriously - both Faramond's words and the words in the linked-to article is well worth saying. And it should be said from all sides.

This is something that is way beyond conservative or liberal - it has to do with basic humanity. It is down close to the bedrock of being human, where the real important stuff is at, the stuff that makes us people that we all have in common, way deeper than the stuff that supposedly makes us conservative or liberal. A lot of people on both sides are guilty of dragging stuff across that boundary and into a place it doesn't belong, and I think this article is part of a discussion about putting that boundary back where it belongs. In my opinion being a decent human being has nothing to do with, and should have nothing to do with, being liberal or conservative. If it is made out to be, something is misfiled somewhere.

A note though: in the case of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski the affair was between two consensual adults ( based on Lewinski's statements, not Clinton's ). So there's that that makes it different from the disgusting Al Franken case, or the disgusting Roy Moore case, or all the other cases of rape and assault that are in the news now. Those were perpetrated by men abusing women. So on that note, Clinton did heave Lewinski under the bus as quick as he could, and that was disgusting behavior to exhibit and disgusting behavior to defend. He doesn't get a pass for how he handled the affair becoming public. But the affair itself was consensual.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:32 pm 
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With Lewinski, yes absolutely; but there were always allegations of shadier incidents before hers, and probably after too.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:06 pm 
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I object - The bloody President of the US, in a position of power has solicited a woman who works for him - *this* is institutional harrassment. As bad as Moore's, no. As bad as Trump's - no. But wrong is wrong. And that office *should* be held to a higher standard.

And I also agree that the _hyperbole_ surrounding the *other side* makes the polarization even worse. Remember how liberals reacted to Mitt Romney, John McCain? When you cry "wolf" all the time...

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:51 pm 
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Are we sure Franken groped the sleeping woman, or was he just posing the grope for the photo? It matters to me whether he actually touched her (I don't excuse the behavior either way, but in one case it's criminal behavior and in the other case it isn't).

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Inanna wrote:
I object - The bloody President of the US, in a position of power has solicited a woman who works for him

Wikipedia is not being helpful, but my memory from the time is that it was she who solicited him. Not that it was likely to have required much effort.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:27 pm 
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At least 24 Democratic senators have now called for Franken to resign (as has the Gov. of Minnesota, who would appoint his replacement), and he has scheduled an announcement for tomorrow. I can't imagine what he will say other than that he is resigning. But we'll see.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:18 pm 
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In the meantime the Republicans went back to supporting Roy Moore in Alabama. When asked if the President would rather see a child molester than a Democrat in Senate, Sanders hedged that those are different things. But that's the choice.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:46 pm 
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One Republican senator (Jeff Flake) is so repulsed by Roy Moore that he's made a $100 donation to his opponent's campaign fund!

Yes, there's the odd good one out there!

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... re-alabama

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:00 pm 
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32 Democratic senators have now called for Franken to resign, but no one knows whether that is what is announcement today will be. I sill can't imagine how he could not, but then we live in a time which a man who more than a dozen women have accused of sexual assault went on to be elected president of the U.S. and an accused pedophile is about to be elected as a Senator.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:02 pm 
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He resigned.

Being the party of values will probably just cost Democrats power - they will give up seats for filling in special elections, and I don't see Republicans giving up a seat like that should one of their own come under fire. I really can't see any of this sort of behavior costing a Republican his power in this climate - though perhaps working with a Democrat in any way, shape or form might do it.

PS: Of course, I'm glad that he resigned. Maybe I didn't make that clear. I don't want anyone preying on others making the laws in this country.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:23 pm 
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Hopefully a Democrat will replace his seat.

The less said about the majority of republicans attitude towards this issue, the better. Or Not.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:36 pm 
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Griffon64 wrote:
I don't want anyone preying on others making the laws in this country.

On the other hand, since he's a Democrat, he wasn't actually making any laws.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
On the other hand, since he's a Democrat, he wasn't actually making any laws.

Ouch! :rofl: Can't argue there, though.

Well, of course Democrats would hope that a Democrat would win this seat. I don't know what the base is like in that district so I can't comment. My point was just that this opens the door to a non-Democrat filling his seat, and I do not see Republicans opening any such door to power anywhere, at any cost.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:53 am 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Griffon64 wrote:
I don't want anyone preying on others making the laws in this country.

On the other hand, since he's a Democrat, he wasn't actually making any laws.

I can't find any errors in this post...

Speaking of Moore.

Quote:
In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” -- Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-p ... y,amp.html

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:31 am 
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Where are we, that this won’t end his political career?

I guess past the point where sexually assaulting teenagers could end your political career. If you’re in the right party.

I feel sick.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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