Al Franken was always an idiot. We knew that when we elected him, but there he was, eleven years ago, being an idiot, which was, at the time, his life’s occupation. The photo below was staged by him because he thought it would be funny. I never thought Franken was very funny (except maybe as Stuart Smiley, that one time with Michael Jordan, on SNL), and this stunt sure wasn’t funny, but we didn’t know about it because the victim didn’t tell us until the recent feeding frenzy. Yes, I said that. It doesn’t help, either, that the lady he victimized is a Trump supporter (and voted for Trump). It makes one wonder, back in the dim recesses of one’s head. Still, as a Senator Franken, while not very funny, has done a very good job, he has apologized for his moronic “joke” (again, done when his profession was not Senator but idiot), and I do not think we would gain much if he were to resign his Senate seat. Oh sure, the GOP would gain a great deal, and I don’t think it’s even remotely worth that. So that’s out of the way. But wait, it gets worse, so save the death threats til the end.
Franken’s idiocy (it was his profession, remember? Ya’ll used to think he was funny. I didn’t) was eleven years ago, and we learn of it in the wake of the rather disturbing accusations which have recently been lodged against GOP Senatorial candidate Roy Moore, who, it seems, not only dated under-aged girls and women much younger than himself, 40 years ago, in Alabama, but also may have forced his attentions on some of them (short of rape, but that is hardly the point). Like Senator Mitch McConnell, “I believe the women,” and this decades-old behavior is concerning.
For the record, 40 and, yes, 50 years ago I did similar things myself, in Maryland, which is not considered “The Dirty South” but it most certainly is the South, and while I didn’t force my attentions on anyone — ever (and I don’t care how sanctimonious or self-righteous that may sound, I didn’t, was not raised that way, and have no respect for anyone who does it or ever did it — it was never okay by me), I did date girls who were “under-age.” Like, say, sometimes some of us in our early 20’s would date a 17 year old girl. Yes, may God have mercy on my soul, I did that more than a few times, always with their parents’ knowledge and in some cases because of their parents’ encouragement.
It was strange times here, back in the day, I guess.
But I never — not once — forced my attentions on any girl or any woman. Ever. In any context. Period. True, I didn’t know (none of us did, because the “rules” were different then, I guess) I was Being Roy Moore by dating girls younger than me (even though the age of consent here was, back then, 16. It may still be. I have had no reason to check in at least 47 years). Again, save the hate mail and death threats til the end, okay?
Then there were those women who were more than a decade younger than me, when they and I were legal adults. Yes, I did that. Sweet Jesus, I did. One, when I was in my 60s, was 17 years my junior (I’d noticed it was harder to find women to date by then — at least women who had a pulse).
And some of you know, of course, that my current and forevermore partner in crime is even younger (by more than two decades) than I. She is a grown-ass middle aged woman and I am a deviated prevert, I guess. We make it work, though. Sure when I was in my 20s she was just being born, and that would have been awkward. Okay, that’s not even funny. But I have heard people making those comparisons regarding our Dear Leader, who is 24 years older than his wife, and how that means when he was 41 she was 17 and ewwww! Well yes, of course, ewww! That would have been pretty damned Moore-like. But he didn’t do that (so far as we know, so far). Of course in his 60s and now 70s he seems to think about it a lot, and how he wished he could date his daughter, who is considerably younger than him and married, though a legally grown-ass woman — now. But even so, incestuous fantasizing creeps me out more than Moore. I mean, there are countless photos of #NotMyPresident with his daughter (even in her teens) on his lap, enjoying his drooly attentions, and since the election he’s been snapped with his hands on her in places that one ought not touch one’s daughter (or so it seems to me). You know, like this:
I could provide more, but I just threw up in my mouth, so that’s all you get.
So then: Al Franken was, up until at least eleven years ago, an asshole, and he has made what strikes me as a sincere and comprehensive apology. We could crucify him to make an example for other Democrats in Congress, but again, to what advantage? Besides, there’s always Gary Hart, Anthony Weiner, and more I can’t pull up right now, because actually there are a lot of them. Hart “only” fooled around on his wife. Weiner got a little more weird, almost as weird as Louis CK, who is, need I remind you, not a politician (and not likely to become one, now). We just seem to forget about Democrats who do that stuff. Especially when we like them a lot. Hint hint. Wink.
Then there is my best old ex friend Ray. Actually Ray was never my best friend, but he was a loyal one, which, it shall become clear, was a lot like having a glob of bubble gum loyally stuck to one’s shoe. Ray had issues. I really feel bad bringing this up, especially since he’s not even alive, let alone in public office, but there is such a parallel between Ray and Roy (Moore) that it needs to be pointed out that back when I was not ever, even once, forcing my attentions on women or girls my age or younger, Ray was. All the time. He couldn’t seem to resist it. Ray was, in this respect, as with Roy Moore, a creep. He was constantly pestering, suggesting, groping, and fairly often (and this is important) getting his ass beat. By boyfriends or just friends of those girls — and women — he glommed on to in such unsavory, unwanted ways. I mean, he got his ass beat! On a number of occasions. He got chewed out, too, and reviled, and ridiculed — by guys, mostly, although I can think of at least one young lady who did him grievous bodily harm as well. Later on he lost two jobs because he sexually harassed women in the work place. It didn’t matter. He just blundered along, falling deeper into some kind of personal void, until at age 48 he finally found someone who agreed to marry him. Fourteen years later, bogged down by cataracts, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, he died. Just…died.
Well, unlike Al Franken, ol’ Ray, ol’ Roy, and ol’ Don have something in common. That is to say, there was/is something more wrong with them. But Ray doesn’t count as much, because he was neither president, nor a Senator, nor a dog catcher. But Roy Moore wants to be a Senator and he has served (dubiously) on the Alabama Supreme Court, and Donald J. Trump is…mysteriously…president of these United States. And they both have the same basic thing wrong with them: They hate everyone who does not look and think like them (and when I say “look like them” I realize no one on Earth could look like Donald Trump). They hate foreigners. They hate immigrants. They hate, in particular, “Mexicans” (which to them and their supporters means anyone from anywhere between Texas and Antarctica). They hate people of color. They hate Muslims. They hate Jews (yes, they do, in their respective heart of hearts). They hate LGBTQ people collectively. They hate Democrats, they hate free thinkers, they hate the free press (or what’s left of it), and Free Masons. They hate. Big league. And they don’t fret over letting it show.
Moore also is a demented sort of theocrat, one who makes up his theology as he goes along, just as he makes up his laws and the Constitution (He once stated that taking a knee during the National Anthem was criminal because it’s a law that one must stand at attention during that blasted song with one’s hand over one’s heart. “It’s in the Constitution” he said, even.
Moore and Trump are flagrant bigots, misogynists, racists, white nationalists, an both regularly misrepresent facts and invoke the name of the Almighty to substantiate their random statements.
Neither one qualifies as a Christian, yet they are Christians of convenience, the worst possible sort of Christians, the sort that conducted the Crusades and inquisitions.
Yeah, Ray didn’t care much for the same groups of people these guys hate — but Ray never made it to public office or even the age of 63.
While misogyny runs rampant in our country — as does racism (most men have benefited from their being men, and all white people, both men and women have benefited from being White), some people are far worse than others. Some are politicians and at the same time racists, bigots, fascists, misogynists, perverts and mountebanks.
We mustn’t narrow our standards to just one (misogyny). At the moment we seem to be on the verge of doing just that, and consequently we are not talking about the other things that are manifestly and critically wrong with them — and especially Roy Moore, who is clearly guilty of far more than only having manhandled young women in his misspent youth. Maybe we can use that to keep him out of office, but it might be seemly to bring up that other shit, too, because a whole lot of politicians have misogynistic histories, but not all of those are the sorts of monsters we risk loosing upon the world — and ourselves.
And if we are going to make sexual offenses our standard, then we are forgetting someone deserving of some unwanted attention now, which in the past ran off him like water off a duck’s back.
You know who I mean.
But that would be blasphemy.