Zephyr Teachout gets it right!

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2017

Recommends end to stampedes:
Zephyr Teachout gets it right in today's New York Times.

She isn't sure that Franken should quit. She recommends an end to stampedes.

More specifically, she recommends that we reconnect with a pair of old friends. She names these old friends at the start of her column:
TEACHOUT (12/12/17): I care passionately about #MeToo. Women are routinely demeaned, dismissed, discouraged and assaulted. Too many women’s careers are stymied or ended because of harassment and abuse. In politics, where I have worked much of my adult life, this behavior is rampant.

I also believe in zero tolerance. And yet, a lot of women I know—myself included—were left with a sense that something went wrong last week with the effective ouster of Al Franken from the United States Senate. He resigned after a groundswell of his own Democratic colleagues called for him to step down.

Zero tolerance should go hand in hand with two other things: due process and proportionality. As citizens, we need a way to make sense of accusations that does not depend only on what we read or see in the news or on social media.

Due process means a fair, full investigation, with a chance for the accused to respond.
And proportionality means that while all forms of inappropriate sexual behavior should be addressed, the response should be based on the nature of the transgressions.
Teachout speaks on behalf of a pair of old friends—due process and proportionality. She even describes what those friendships entail. Essentially, she's suggesting that we stop the stampedes.

Teachout says she was troubled by "the effective ouster of Al Franken from the United States Senate" last week. We think that ouster had the feel of a stampede.

Having said that, let us also say this—it isn't clear that Franken would gain from a resort to due process. It's possible that he chose to resign because he knows that other charges would arise if he remained on the scene.

Teachout makes the same general point. "With time, and the existing ethics procedures, things are likely to emerge that will surprise us all," she writes. "New facts may put Senator Franken in a better light, or a far worse one, and we should be open to both."

Would an ethics hearing help or hurt Franken? We have no way of knowing. We do know an apparent bum's rush when we apparently see one, and we thought we apparently saw such a stampede last week.

According to future anthropologists, our struggling species was never really equipped to understand the virtues of due process and proportionality. Despite this gloomy assessment, Teachout says we should call these old friends again.

Pointless though such an effort might be, we think she got it right.

17 comments:

  1. Franken knows that a Republican ethics investigation would turn into a complete referendum on the 1970s. Every SNL cast and crew member would have to hire an attorney, and the committee would spend three years pondering whether or not pot was a a drug and if Chevy Chase really did or did not grope Elaine Newman twice.

    Or was it three times? In other words, it would instantly turn into a complete circus. So he did the only possible thing given the current hysteria.

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    1. Lorraine?

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    2. You're right. Wrong show, wrong decade.

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  2. Tsk. Sadly, she internalized patriarchal norms, I'm afraid.

    Otherwise, why in the world would she sympathize with a specimen of white male privilege, not to mention a lousy comedian?

    She must be denounced, shamed, and purged from the lib-zombie community.

    #MeTooForever!

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    1. "lousy comedian"
      Republican, Establishment-elites have no sense of humor (or history, or economics, or....).

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    2. Guess Roy Moore was the next sinner to go down.

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    3. No worries! Zombie triumph is just as hilarious as zombie outrage.

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    4. No worries! Your repetitive, boring cant is just as sleep-inducing as it always was.

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  3. Bernie called for Franken’s resignation.

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  4. "Due process means a fair, full investigation, with a chance for the accused to respond."

    Roy Moore will have plenty of time to respond now.

    Sorry, Bob. Better luck next time.

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    1. If you want due process for guys like Moore you need to extend statutes of limitation. He can escape prosecution but not accusations unless he wants to file a libel/slander suit and have a day in court. The nature of these crimes is that the victims do not report them. But Moore isn’t the victim here.

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    2. Moore did threaten the Washington Post with a lawsuit. Wonder how that's going?

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    3. "Roy Moore will have plenty of time to respond now."

      That may be, but I'll bet many Republicans are quietly happy about the upset.

      They won't have to deal with the 2-ring circus that would be Trump AND Moore.

      Also, Bannon's (and Mercer's) insurgency against the "mainstream" (as if there is such a thing)GOP was temporarily derailed by the Jones victory.

      As for Judge Roy, maybe Trump can find something for him in DC.

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    4. "He can escape prosecution but not accusations unless he wants to file a libel/slander suit and have a day in court."

      I actually do think he should sue Allred and Co.

      Better yet, go after MSNBC for falsely libeling him as a "child molester." That's not protected speech, even for a public figure. And it is demonstrably false even if the charges against him are true.

      Why did they keep calling him this? Or, "pedophile"? What satisfaction did it give them, and why?

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    5. You're dreaming. Moore's not going to open himself up to cross-examination, where he'll be exposed for who he actually is (and not what his campaign tried to paint him as).
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      "Why did they keep calling him this? Or, "pedophile"? What satisfaction did it give them, and why?"

      You'll have to ask the "Democrat" Party.

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    6. Anonymous @ 11:45 AMDecember 13, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      You have to forgive @10:36 - he thinks Gavin McInnis is a genius prophet.

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    7. "... I'll bet many Republicans are quietly happy about the upset."

      Moore isn't racist enough for them.

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