Don’t get me wrong, Democrats have been my party for my entire life and probably will continue to be so unless something drastic changes in the GOP’s regard to income inequality, abortion, healthcare, always taking the side of the powerful, corporate donations, and especially environmental issues. Still, asking Democrats to plan and execute a successful election strategy is a lot like asking a liberal arts major to file your tax returns.
Somewhere in their convoluted logic in pressuring Al Franken to resign (over n-o-t-h-i-n-g!) they seem to think “Well, if we pressure Franken to resign, that’ll make the GOP do the same thing to Roy Moore!” And then I’m presuming they lit a crack pipe, smoked it, and passed out on a bean bag chair or particularly nasty futon.
I mean, come on, if anyone screams “sexual predator” it’s Al Franken, only the mildest cast member of “Saturday Night Live” ever created in what I’m assuming required a freak bolt of lightening striking an NPR host, a fuzzy sweater, and a box of “sensible glasses’s frames at affordable prices.” But because a washed-up “actress”/Hooters calendar model didn’t like kissing him in a sketch they performed for USO troops (of all fucking places, even Franken’s “sex scandals” take place in a charity capacity, that’s what a mensch this guy is), he’s the senate equivalent of Harvey Weinstein. Oh, and don’t forget the “smoking gun” of some troops goading him into pretend squeezing her boobs for a picture perhaps meant for a reboot of “Mad Magazine.” I mean, what a scandal! If only this were 1957 and I gave a shit…
Meanwhile, Roy Moore molested or had sex with a gaggle of girls in their early teens, and several eye witnesses in Gadsden (where Moore is from and not far from my hometown, hooray! Notoriety!) say Moore was so shameless in his pursuit of young girls, that they literally banned him from the Gadsden mall. Let’s see…a visual gag and a skit on a USO tour vs. being banned from a public space for essentially wearing a trenchcoat to a school yard….hmmm, “Alabama Liberal, are you sure these aren’t exactly the same thing?” FUCKING YES!
You would think Democrats had learned their lesson getting rid of most of their other “male stars under 70” (an increasingly sparse category) like Mr. Huma Abedin (Anthony Weiner), the toughest Wall Street critic around Elliot Spitzer, former presidential candidate Gary Hart, and especially the last deep-South Southern senator/VP nominee/Presidential candidate/haircut-model John Edwards, airbrushed out of the party forever for having an affair that resulted in a child. I mean, gee, where does he think he is, a place that has religious freedom and doesn’t practice Sharia law?
Now, Democrats are even retroactively saying Bill Clinton should’ve resigned over the costliest blowjob in human history. [Unless I’m not totally well-versed in my ancient Romans, and the sacking of Rome was because a guard was getting a blowjob instead of watching the gates.] That’s right, Democrats are so anguished over the one time they didn’t immediately tar, feather, and run a sexually active male out of the party, they’re still torn up about it 20 years later.
And it’s already been said that plenty of potential 2020 nominees shouldn’t even consider running over allegations that’ve been made over the years, like Al Gore’s penchant for “happy” massages or Gavin Newsome’s rumored affairs or Joe Biden merely presiding over the senate hearings of Anita Hill in an unfavorable way. That’s how bad it’s gotten, not being nicer to a sexual harassment victim 30 years ago is as bad as if you did it yourself. I’m just glad we’re focused on important issues like Al Gore’s massages instead of seriously considering the founder of the internet, the biggest anti-Iraq War voice in 2002/03, and the tireless champion against climate crisis. Thank God, our priorities are straight, even as we repeatedly scream at the rightwing for being uptight moral scolds denying people their right to privacy and sexual freedom. [Don’t forget, Roy Moore initially got famous over ramming the Ten Commandments down people’s throats and denying gay couples the right to marry. Yuk yuk, what a card.]
I was completely on board with national people finally giving a shit about Roy Moore because they started out with the hypocrisy angle. How could this Kris-tian demagogue commit so many wrongs in his personal life while bullying gay couples and atheists? It was yet the latest example of how the religious really are no different from the non-religious, and it’s just a matter of how high your tolerance for fantasy is.
But that has instead spiraled into a convoluted strategy for the Democrats to—once again—showcase how much better they are than the Republicans. And for the American public to—once again—not give a shit. Did Democrats not learn that voters really and truly don’t care about this in the age of Trump? For a year, it was “Trump’s a racist, a sexist, an Islamophobe, a Xenophobe, and a raging misogynist!” And Trump voters said “Does he have bad qualities too?”
Does it make sense to ask a sitting senator and name-brand Democrat to resign in the hopes that it might, somehow, one day, kinda, sorta pressure Alabama Republicans on the other side of the country to give a shit about Roy Moore’s indiscretions and maybe vote for Doug Jones (who is great, and people should vote for him), who could easily be voted out next cycle or whenever Kay Ivey feels like calling another special election? Democrats are squeezing the bird in the hand to death in hopes that’ll make the bird in the bush see how great a person they are, but it’ll most likely backfire and be seen by Alabama voters as yet another attempt by fellow Americans to shame them or manipulate their election results. We’re so paranoid of people manipulating this race, lots of Republicans voted for Roy Moore simply because Luther Strange was Mitch McConnell’s pick. Republican voters are being driven more by ideology than the personal character of the politicians they’re electing. And I don’t think it would be a bad idea at all for Democrats to adopt at least a little of that attitude. No man is perfect, but it turns out you just might need a few to put together a successful political coalition.