Democrats Prepare to Run Against Sexual Harassment in 2018
The secondary headline would involve Republicans being on a bad footing when trying to counter that line of attack. You can almost feel a tectonic shift going on as we witness the ground falling out from under countless men of power who were once ignored and/or excused for their behavior towards female subordinates. From the media titans like Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, and Charlie Rose, to the elected officials like Al Franken, John Conyers, and Trent Franks. The #MeToo movement has taken down many powerful men, and the six I listed above are just a small fraction of the total.
In particular, we’ll focus on the political world, where 2018 is shaping up to be a year when Democrats decide on a mission, and think they have a wide open opportunity to execute it. It started with the resignation of Democratic Congressman John Conyers, and continued this week as Senate Democrats worked to push Al Franken, of Minnesota, out the Senate door as well.
At this point, the Democratic Party is looking more and more like the “clean” party moving into 2018. Sure, there are still issues to be addressed, but even some prominent Democrats are now pondering publicly over the actions of former President Bill Clinton and the treatment endured by his accusers back during his presidency. Some Democrats even say in hindsight that President Clinton should have resigned.
Business Insider reports on how this sets up the field for the 2018 midterms. As you can guess, the ultimate target is President Trump, but Democrats will need several House victories before they can win the championship:
As Democrats roll out their new zero-tolerance position on sexual misconduct, the party is positioning itself to attack the GOP’s record of protecting alleged sexual predators, chief among them embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, in their ranks.
Political strategists and commentators say the Democrats’ relatively swift dismissal of Franken is a politically strategic and well-timed move, given the Tuesday special election in Alabama.
As the former Republican governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, said on Fox News on Tuesday, “As long as Al Franken is in the Senate, as long as you’ve got Conyers and others who are staying in office, then why not have Roy Moore?”
Democrats have stripped the GOP of its ability to point fingers at the Democrats in defending politicians like Moore, President Donald Trump, and Rep. Blake Fahrenthold, a Texas Republican who paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint brought by a female staffer. And the unified move took some Republicans by surprise.
The Democratic Party is now almost counting on a Roy Moore victory in Alabama. In fact, they need it to happen in order to strengthen their position. Sure, there was some news today that one of the Moore accusers was playing fast and loose with the inscription in her yearbook, but that little change doesn’t erase Moore’s other accusers or the ability of Democrats to capitalize on it.
Some conservative commentators are seeing the warning signs in electing someone like Moore:
Ben Shapiro, a prominent conservative commentator who has called on Moore to withdraw his candidacy, tweeted on Wednesday, “Democrats are going to dump Franken now in order to seize the moral high ground on Moore,” and added that Democrats can both “be playing a cynical game with Franken resignation in order to use Moore as a club against GOP” and making the ethically correct decision at the same time.
Democrats claim that calling for Franken’s head wasn’t political, but rather was the “right thing to do.” Well, I’m tossing the flag on that one for several reasons. Franken hails from Minnesota, and will eventually be replaced by the sitting Democratic Governor. There is no chance in losing the seat to Republicans. Had Franken come from a Trump-voting state, like South Dakota, Democrats wouldn’t have been so quick to toss him overboard for fear of losing a seat when every vote counts for them in the Senate. Franken was outed at the wrong time in Democratic Party history, and his sacrifice is a minor concession to serve larger party goals in 2018.
So where does this map end?
If all goes as planned in 2018, for Democrats, they will take control of the House, and then use that control as perch from which to launch sexual harassment investigations against President Trump. A committee will be formed and any woman who has ever made an allegation against Donald Trump will be called to testify. On those grounds, the House will then work toward impeachment. Call me crazy if you want, or disagree, but the groundwork is being laid day by day. Roy Moore’s election is one piece of the chess match which starts on Tuesday.
Filed in: 2018 Midterms Tagged in: Conyers Franke harassment metoo midterm elections Moore republicans