I just read the recent article in the New Yorker about Al Franken by Jane Mayer (July 29, 2019). It is a model of responsible journalism and lays the facts out admirably. He should clearly not have been forced to resign. It reminded me of when I met him in 2013 at George Soros’s wedding (though I had met him briefly a few years before at my gym in New York just after George W. Bush “won” the presidency for the second time). I told him my favorite Soros joke: “What is the difference between a Hungarian and a Romanian? They will both sell you their mother, but the Hungarian will deliver”. Franken said he thought it was a good joke. Now he has had his life destroyed.
Apropos of this post, I think you would enjoy this two-minute clip of a bit from Dave Chapelle’s new Netflix comedy special https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MZZ__5F_-A
Spot on! He is so right. Why this lust for personal destruction? Why this total lack of compassion?
Always liked Franken’s politics. Why he resigned from the Senate without a proper fight I don’t know. I guess it was just the hysteria of the moment. Yet in the hysteria of the previous moment, Trump, a known serial sexual harasser, was elected President.
I agree that it was quite unfair. I think he knew that if he had insisted on an investigation the Republicans would have thoroughly exploited the bad press. And at the time it was believed that there was about a 50-50 chance Democrats would take the House. I’m sure they would have anyway, but that was not knowable at the time. His forced resignation was of course unfair, but there is a certain utilitarian logic that reasonable people could defend at the time…
That utilitarian logic ignores questions of justice, to its discredit. Utilitarianism has a lot to answer for.
Agreed. But when to activate which model, in which contexts and with what consequences, is not necessarily so easy…
True, but we should never use utlitarianism as an excuse to do an individual a serious injustice.
Did you catch Trump’s recent comment about the possible advent of a new “civil war”, given the Democrat”s recent design to impeach? The wretched, ” Fox News Channel”, is all in for Trump—and Fox’s base of viewership is precisely Trump’s. It’s alarming how many people in this country turn on Fox in the morning and just leave it on all day. What make you of these recent developments? Talk of civil war, just now, is ofcourse completely alarmist, but a new order of antipathy between red states and blue states is indisputably at hand.
It was irresponsible to mention the possibility of civil war but not false: there is a real danger of something like this as impeachment proceeds. I see the whole “moronic inferno” as on the brink of collapse. I also see the same psychopathology at work in universities. American Psycho stalks the land.
Just a follow-up. If there is some sort of civil collapse in the country—but by no measure do I think it would be complete–Democrats themselves will have something to answer for. What a weak bunch of feckless fools. Where is any kind of fulsome push-back (nevermind the belated and weak-knee’d effort at impeachment)? Where is Obama in the push-back to Trump? Where Senate leader Chuck Schumer? Where the Clintons? House leader Pelosi has her heart in the right place, I think, but her “optics” (as they say in politics) are disastrous. As Johnson remarked of the vocation of Tories in his time, politics are just ” a means of rising in the world”. So, too, with respect to contemporary Democrats—-this is especially true of Joe Biden. You would be correct in sensing an intemperate tone in this Comment. Fucking migraines, you know—either that or it’s do to the relapse of my cat’s choice of urinary paradigm.
As a foreigner, I see a national pathology, which has many manifestations. I don’t think Americans know how other people view them.