Trump pot mocks Franken kettle

President Donald Trump has mocked Senator Al Franken after revelations of sexual harassment.

Trump wading into this has raised a few eyebrows given revelations and accusations involving him and harassment. And Franken has at least admitted bad behaviour, Trump attacked rather than acknowledged wrongdoing.

the exposure of Trump’s misconduct during last year’s presidential election campaign was a significant step towards the flood of revelations and accusations over the last month, started with the crash and burning of Harvey Weinstein.

NY Times: In Mocking Franken Over Claims of Sexual Misconduct, Trump Joins a Debate He Started

Last fall, Donald J. Trump inadvertently touched off a national conversation about sexual harassment when a recording of him boasting about groping women was made public at the same time a succession of women came forward to assert that groping was something he did more than talk about.

A year later, after a wave of harassment claims against powerful men in entertainment, politics, the arts and the news media, the discussion has come full circle with President Trump criticizing the latest politician exposed for sexual misconduct even as he continues to deny any of the accusations against him.

In this case, Mr. Trump focused his Twitter-fueled mockery on a Democratic senator while largely avoiding a similar condemnation of a Republican Senate candidate facing far more allegations. The turn in the political dialogue threatened to transform a moment of cleansing debate about sexual harassment into another weapon in the war between the political parties, led by the president himself.

Indeed, Republicans on Friday were more than happy to talk about Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, who apologized this week after a radio newscaster said he forcibly kissed her and posed for a photograph a decade ago appearing to fondle her breasts while she was sleeping.

Democrats, for their part, sought to keep the focus on Roy S. Moore, the Republican candidate in Alabama who has been accused of unwanted sexual conduct by multiple women going back even further, including one who was 14 at the time.

It has embarrassed both Democrats and Republicans, with both being guilty of partisan attacks while turning a blind eye to their own transgressors.

But the notion that Mr. Trump himself would weigh in given his own history of crude talk about women and the multiple allegations against him surprised many in Washington who thought he could not surprise them anymore. A typical politician with Mr. Trump’s history would stay far away from discussing someone else’s behavior lest it dredge his own back into the spotlight.

But as Mr. Trump has shown repeatedly during his 10-month presidency, he is rarely deterred by conventional political wisdom even as he leaves it to his staff to fend off the cries of hypocrisy.

White House aides labored on Friday to distinguish Mr. Trump’s case from those of others, arguing that the president’s conduct was not at issue because he won the election last year after voters had a chance to evaluate both the claims against him and his denials.

That’s typical of the excuse making for their own, something that has more than tacitly approved of and enabled ongoing sexual harassment going back at least fifty five years to the abuses of President Kennedy.

“This was covered pretty extensively during the campaign,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary. “We addressed that then. The American people, I think, spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.”

She added that Mr. Trump still maintained that the more than a dozen women who have said that he kissed or groped them against their will were all lying. And she acknowledged no double standard in the president chastising others for sexual misconduct.

“Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn’t,” she said. “I think that’s a very clear distinction.”

Yes, it is a clear distinction. Franken has admitted what he did was wrong, happening in an area that allowed it.

Of course Hillary Clinton has waded in to this.

But Democrats saw the distinction differently. Hillary Clinton said Mr. Franken’s apology and call for an ethics committee investigation “is the kind of accountability I’m talking about — I don’t hear that from Roy Moore or Donald Trump.”

Speaking with Rita Cosby on WABC Radio, Mrs. Clinton added, “Look at the contrast between Al Franken, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump, who have done neither.”

There’s a high degree of irony there given that tacl of apology and accountability of her husband, Bill.

For her own part, the sexual harassment conversation has been uncomfortable for Mrs. Clinton as well. Conservatives defending Mr. Moore point to various allegations made against Bill Clinton when he was president, including sexual assault, and even some liberals said they should rethink their defense of the 42nd president.

On Franken versus Ttrump she has a valid point.

But the condemning of opponents alongside defending of their own politicians by both Democrats and Republicans is evidence of a morally corrupt political system in the United States.

Trump’s denials, now alongside his mocking of Franken, looks distinctly like a socially corrupt president. The worst rot, whether it be Kennedy, Clinton (Bill) or Trump, is clearly at the top.

Accusations and trials in public by media are far from ideal, and will be manifestly unfair to some.

But this rot has been allowed to continue for a long time, and actions outside the old way of doing things (blind eyes and under-carpet sweeping) needed something drastic and unconventional to break the cycle of harassment and abuse.

And apart from the nonsense of “the president’s conduct was not at issue because he won the election last year after voters had a chance to evaluate both the claims against him and his denials”:

RCP average Trump approval:

  • Disapprove 56.9%
  • Approve 38.4%

The US voters did choose a president with a highly suspect past, but that was over an opponent with her own suspect past plus the known poor sexual behaviour of her husband. That’s not a strong position from which one can claim the moral high ground.

There is evidence at least of Trump having an appalling attitude to women in the past. The pot should start by addressing that adequately.

11 Comments

    • Conspiratoor

       /  November 19, 2017

      At least he got to test out a bunch of handshakes during his first six months in office and now he’s got a grip that can hang on for nearly 60 seconds!

    • Corky

       /  November 19, 2017

      But of course, Lurchy. Righties like to have fun. It’s just they don’t spill their guts in public like Lefties. They like privacy. And would rather be thought of as hypocrites rather then confirmed as one like this poor chap.

      Bottom line: Righties always have more fun because they put themselves first rather than wasting a lifetime trying to help people who show little gratitude. Righties know there are no dummy runs in life.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 19, 2017

        That ‘grope’ didn’t look as if he was actually touching her; nobody could sleep through having their boobs groped. He’s turning and looking at the person with the camera. It’s a joke in poor taste, but it’s not an assault. I wouldn’t find it funny, but I wouldn’t make a hoohah eleven years later, either.

        • David

           /  November 19, 2017

          Correct, it was not in any way assault. The media is currently blurring the lines between everything from actual rape, to an off hand comment that ‘offends’.

          • It is quite offensive, especially when a photo of it is published online.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 19, 2017

            No, but it wasn’t very funny-unless they were on those terms, of course and it would be considered funny by the person. It’s intrusive-but hardly an assault. It makes him look stupid and her look prissy.

  1. David

     /  November 19, 2017

    The Democrats are currently throwing the Clintons under the bus and all of a sudden the liberal left are acknowledging the women who Clinton allegedly raped while he was AG, Hilary was donkey deep in scaring the women into shutting up and helped negotiate the 800k hush money that was paid to one of his victims.
    One can certainly understand Trump getting into the hypocrite Franken, but you have to give a nod to the Republican who defunded and are talking of not confirming Roy Moore if he wins, they were pretty quick in condeming him.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 19, 2017

    Franken is a long-time serial Trump abuser. No wonder Trump is enjoying schadenfreude.

    • Gezza

       /  November 19, 2017

      With a bit of luck it’ll rebound on Trump. They don’t come any more abusive than him.