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writing for godot

Franken’s Perfect, Defiant Taunt to Trump: ‘I’ll Resign if You Do’

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Written by Robert S. Becker   
Sunday, 19 November 2017 06:07

Right now, few equate Sen. Al Franken’s one-time sexual nastiness towards a fellow performer with boastful serial abusers like Trump, let alone vile “careerists” like Cosby, Weinstein, Ailes or Roy Moore, years in the making. These sexual predators leverage blatant position and/or celebrity power to assault multiple victims — bully them into silence, then unapologetically, hypocritically stonewall when exposed.


Unlike Franken's miscue, a career of strategic degradations against innocent women raise profound character questions: how psychologically sick are those who live to abuse  —  and don’t such obsessions feed other sins (lying, bullying, malevolence, dominance, and zero empathy)? Unlike Franken, these creeps exhibit nothing less than SAS, or Sex Abusers Syndrome. Franken apparently harassed one woman one time, then, when accused, instantly validated the complaint and cleanly apologized. He clearly separates his character from sex abusers by doing what they never do: validating another’s experience, accepting responsibility, then inviting a formal ethnics inquiry.

If public opinion can’t distinguish Franken’s overall life behavior from serial predators (Trump has a dozen accusers, Moore 9 so far but closing), then this nation descends to knee-jerk tribalism that mocks justice and morality. Indeed, you can spot a shameless abuser by how quickly they indict all their victims as bad faith liars, spurred solely by evil conspirators out to get them. In Moore’s case, the “culprits” are the Washington Post, Democrats and establishment Republicans — none of whom had anything to do with the truth of these women’s reports.

Further cues:  chronic abusers loudly double down with phony righteousness (as if incapable of wrongdoing) and thus they never, ever apologize. Moore is typical, defying countless reports by weakly asserting his sainthood as a good Christian.  Why, he can  barely imagine even harboring such evil intentions, let alone acting on them. Yup, though not Catholic, behold Saint Roy or Saint Donald ready to sue every victim for damages to him!

Trump the Chump

Transparent hypocrisy is especially laughable with Trump, who not only boasted about grabbing women’s genitals but smirked to Howard Stern about leering at undressed teen contestants (having free reign over his own beauty contests). There is no greater irony imaginable than when Trump, the most accused, nationally-elected abuser of women, impugns Franken, at worst guilty of 1/12th (or less) of Trump sleaziness. As Ivanka Trump said this week, with irony-free tunnel vision, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” Trump even joked, creepiness incarnate, that he could imagine dating his own hot daughter. 

I can’t yet imagine Franken being forced to resign, especially since his wrongdoing long preceded his Senate election. Yet, if pressure were to mount on Franken, or more accusers surface, I have a one win-win idea: Senator, why not fall on your sword and offer to resign only if Trump does?  That personal sacrifice would certainly liberate us from by far our worst president, daily redefining what a defective, low-class White House truly means. Because the contrite Franken still can claim moral distinctions, he’d be taking the high ground against the unscrupulous, unprincipled Trumps, saying, “You have 12 accusers. I have one. Though there’s no moral equivalence, I still make the offer.” 

And if this ploy doesn’t work, and time allows, Franken can try the same ultimatum on Roy Moore if by chance he wins his December election. Quitting early would certainly save Moore the humiliation of Senate expulsion, with a dozen GOP senators already against him and other women accusers likely to emerge.  When the staid majority leader McConnell declares Moore unfit, in advance, declaring he believes the victims’ parade of testimony, your senate career kicks off in the deepest trouble.

Finally, if none of these challenges work, and Franken looks to lose his seat, he has one more chance. He can offer to resign if Sean Hannity apologizes for uninhibited fake news, resigns from FOX News, and agrees not to do fake journalism for five years. Okay, this one is far-fetched, but it would clarify who’s willing to stand honestly by one’s values vs. low-lifes who’ll prostitute themselves for fame, money and power.

Franken Finishes His Term

Of course, it’s still unlikely the Senate will force out a senator whose wrongdoing preceded his tenure, nor one ever indicted or convicted of a crime. Women are already coming forward to support Franken’s decency and respectful treatment. That disgraceful legacies from Bill Clinton surface is not surprising but far more relevant to the Trump, Ailes, and Moore sleaze than anything linked to Franken.  Doesn't another place in Hell exist for sex hunters skilled at picking off the most vulnerable women (over whom they hold power), then going into full attack mode, with mockery, threats and/or actual contact.

There is of course good news, whatever happens to the players.  Sexual abuse and harassment are now conspicuous national topics, with spirited discussions likely to spawn greater moral and cultural awareness and thresholds. That also guarantees that wrongdoing by sex cave men like Trump return to center stage. On top of the president's other gross failures, countless scandals and indictable crimes, what if  media renewal of his predatory sex crimes upped his high disapproval numbers a good five or eight points?  When that tops 70%, then many more Republicans will race for the exits, deciding Trump is the greatest political albatross in modern times, both next year and in 2020.  That would be intensely poetic, if not political and moral justice of the highest order.  And voting adults need as much of that as we can secure.

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