I’m having a hard time getting my arms around the recent allegations of sexual abuse towards nationally known politicians. I certainly support getting these out in the open, if only to make sure that this kind of behavior ends. What I’m struggling with is how to judge the seriousness of the charges.
For example, Senator Al Franken has admitted that this is him in this picture putting his hands on the breasts of Leeann Tweeden.
At the time, Franken was a comedian on a USO tour with Tweeden, obviously posing in this shot for comic effect. That does not change the fact that doing so without her consent was wrong.
But then I see this video of Tweeden introducing Robin Williams like this …
Was Williams offended by the leg hump and ass slap? Probably not, but with Williams gone, we will never know for sure. And what about this Tweeden behavior at a concert on another USO tour?
She sure does like those ass slaps. To me, that looks very playful and innocent, part of the act, but we will never know for sure since nobody knows who the hell the guitarist is.
I do not want to be an Al Franken apologist and a Leeann Tweeden shamer. That would be very wrong. He can defend himself and she shouldn’t have to. There are lots of liberals that point to Tweeden’s current conservative views and position as a Fox News contributor, and the claim is made that Franken was set-up. It is also said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the Franken-Tweeden picture says that he’s guilty of inappropriately touching her, period.
The struggle I am having is how to place these Franken charges in context with allegations of child molestation and pedophilia that have been made against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. With visual proof available, Franken had no choice but to ‘fess up and apologize, with the apology accepted by Tweeden. Moore has done no such thing. He denies all the allegations and refuses to apologize. I guess if I was accused of sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl and attempting to rape a 16 year old girl while I was in my 30’s, I would probably deny that, too. Thankfully, I have not been, but a man who is one election away from being a US Senator is accused of exactly that. And there’s plenty more stories of Moore’s general creepiness and love for young girls that he doesn’t deny. He even tells with fondness the story of how he met his much younger wife in his autobiography …
“Many years before, I had attended a dance recital at Gadsden State Junior College,” Roy Moore wrote. “I remembered one of the special dances performed by a young woman whose first and last names began with the letter ‘K.’ It was something I had never forgotten. Could that young woman have been Kayla Kisor? Anxious to meet her, I began with the line, ‘Haven’t we met somewhere before?'”
That doesn’t sound too creepy until you do the math. Moore said that dance recital was 8 years before he formally met his wife with that cheesy pick-up line when she was 23. Let’s see 23 – 8 = 15. What is a 30 year old, unmarried, grown ass man doing at a dance recital ogling young girls?
While even mainstream Republicans have gone on record to disavow Roy Moore and support his accusers, all the Donald Trump sexual abuse accusers stand on the sidelines with their stories being dismissed. Maybe if they knelt on the sidelines during the National Anthem, that would get Trump’s and everyone’s attention. Humor aside, their stories are compelling, from groping to actual rape of a minor. So how is one to rank these?
- The visual proof and admission of guilt of Al Franken’s sexual assault on a sleeping woman.
- Accusations of sexual assault of minors and teens of age against Roy Moore that have been denied, but seem to be supported by the community.
- Accusations of sexual assault of minors and adults against Donald Trump that have been denied.
I say we don’t rank them. I suggest we investigate all of them. If a crime was committed, prosecution should follow. If the statute of limitations has expired, we remove the accused from office if there was serious criminal behavior. I think I just got my arms around this issue, but in a non-sexual way.