Monday, July 22, 2019

Remember Sen. Al Franken?

No, I haven't read it yet.  I was never convinced he should have resigned, and the arguments raised about "believing the women" have always been a short-circuit, to me, to jump from accusation to conviction without even the bother of a kangaroo court.  And this time, we have Twitter to decide the really important issues!
That's the one that directed me to this, and some of the responses are classic "men deserve it because accusations!" stuff.  Which is nothing more than concluding that if someone, anyone, is accused of an infraction, either social or criminal, they are guilty, end of discussion.  That's an old problem, but arguing that in some cases you are righting old wrongs, doesn't fix it.  Two wrongs, as my mother insisted in my childhood, don't make a right.
Of course, the simple narrative is always preferable to the complicated reality, and punishment is always preferred over consideration of complexity.  Or, as Lucy once said after she punched Linus in the middle of an attempt at mediation:  "I had to hit him quick.  He was beginning to make sense!"
Aside from Jane Mayer taking bows for her article (it's her Twitter feed, after all), this is a good point to contemplate:
So what does "guilty" mean?  And how pure is our purity test for who is allowed in the sandbox?  This, for example, is the kind of thing Twitter loves:

Which is true, but does that mean Al Franken is guilty?  Of what?  Being male?  Being accused?  Being a Senator? Being "geeky"?

Inquiring minds want to know!

1 comment:

  1. His big mistake was working with a right winger. I wouldn't have.

    Al Franken should never have resigned without insisting on the investigation being completed.
    I read the piece and found myself too angry to write about it. Considering what someone like Jim Jordan is credibly accused of by multiple people in the wrestling program he worked in, it's especially clear that this kind of thing is only going to be used against Democrats. The least Democrats should do for their fellow office holders is to insist on due process. That's as much a legal right as any other legal right there is. Including for victims to be heard and taken seriously. Taking them seriously is part of due process, not a short circuiting of it.