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    Categories 2018 MidtermsPolitics

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.

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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.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (7)

  • The loss of Franken is lethal for Democrats. He was the only politician, of either party, who had intelligence, courage, wit, and the ability to think on his feet. (Is there such a thing as a "quadfecta"?) And what were the charges? That he kissed women?? Omigod, no!!

    Do the Democrats really think there are any more women voters out there to be had? Is it wise to become even more "politically correct"? Will anybody remember next year? Will anybody care?

    More circular fire squad. Democrats this time.

  • 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.

    Are you sure that the Democrats didn't dump Al Franken because he is an incompetent boob? As far as the Democrats getting the high road if Roy Moore is elected, what can I say, you are COCO FOR COCO-PUFFS!!!?

    Up and until the justice system prosecutes and jails Bill Bubba Clinton aka THE GREAT FORNICATOR, you are dreaming. The moral high ground, Democrats, they are lower and slimier than a bucket full of worms and snakes.?

    • I think you're right that the rush to judgment on Franken was due to wanting to pander to women in advance of the Alabama vote. Even Newt condemned it.

      On the other hand, Trump's rush to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel was for the same reason. Exit polls showed that many evangelicals said that's why they voted for Moore.

      Both parties play games like this, to the detriment of our country.

  • Great Post Nate. You're funny. So, the Democrats have all of a sudden found morality?

    The party of B Clinton? The party that elected a president who disgraced the white house more than anyone is all of a sudden pure.

    Are you serious? Had Hillary won the EC do you really think that the Harvey, Franken, Conyers, etc., allegations would have been exposed? Please remember what she'd said about Bill's accusers before answering.

  • I am concerned about major changes that are made for petty political expediency.

    Franken was the Democrats' brightest star, but they extinguished it so they could help win the Alabama seat, by appearing more priggish than the opposition.

    Meanwhile, while it may have come about at any time, I think Trump's recognition of Jerusalem was a baldfaced play for the evangelical vote in Alabama.

    That sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I've been watching politics for more than a half century, and such disgusting behavior is standard operating procedure.

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