The second in a multipart series of transmissions examining the state of morality in the sleazo civilization known as America the Beautiful.
A Pox on Both Our Houses
A whiff of fresh air briefly wafted through the fetid swamp we call Congress last week as an alleged sexual harasser threw himself on his sword.
In a farewell address that wasn’t his shining half-hour, the former honorable gentleman from Minnesota, Al Franken, apologized for some of the things he is accused of doing. Not all of them. You know, forcible kissing on USO tours, copping a feel while posing for smiling publicity shots. The usual.
What were we supposed to say—“Oh my God? Can’t believe it! Not Saint Al, the progressive?”
An ardent defender of women’s rights, who called the national reckoning on sexual harassment “an important moment…long overdue!” The Torquemada who courageously interrogated Attorney General Sessions, who seemed to have no recall of anything to do with the Russians! The Attorney General would have been right to ask his doctor if Prevagen —the brain enhancer made from jellyfish— was right for him.
The man who already was a dark horse candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2020? That Al Franken!
Frankly, I wasn’t that surprised. If you threw a rock into either house of Congress, it has been said, you’re bound to hit someone who has either sexually harassed or is thinking of inappropriate behavior in the work place. It didn’t matter if the target was a secretary, a file clerk, an interne, a page, lobbyists, or anybody with red hair.
The abusers are equal opportunity offenders.
If all those who were moved to do a Franken and allowed themselves to be carried off the field of dishonor on their shields, Congress wouldn’t have a quorum.
Not that anything much gets done these days. They can’t even pass the renewal for children’s health insurance, expired three months ago.
As cheering as was the removal of Franken might mean the start of a cleaning the house movement, the legislative branch is an Augean stable. Is there a Hercules in the Senate or House?
There have been 67 sex scandals in the House, Senate and the White House since 1900, according to a count by the Daily Caller. My favorite all-time predator swine over the years has been Sen. Robert Packwood of Oregon, who resigned after 29 women accused him of sexual abuse.
Of those currently serving, a leading nominee for predator of the year (2017) in my book is Rep. Blake Farenthold, the Republican from Texas, whose major legislative achievement has been hitting on red-haired women. He is as happy as a clam pursuing his hobby, even though he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim with his former communications director.
The House of Hypocrisy has an ethics committee which investigates cases with all due deliberate speed, as it was said in civil rights reform, with a docket so crowded most of the alleged perps will be buried by the time cases are resolved.
The late Senator Franken from “Saturday Night Live” did the right honorable thing by resigning, even though his departure was hastened by fellow Democrats who were coming to fetch him with flaming torches and pitchforks, for fear their righteous party of purity (Democrats) would be accused by the other purest party we have (Republicans) of “butwhatabouthim-isms’ (Bill Clinton).
Anybody guilty of sexual abuse should not be in public office in a God-fearing country like America the Great. Who else might fail this standard? Let me check. On my short list is President Seven More Years Trump.
A proponent of the four freedoms — life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and the freedom to grope any female because he is a star — the man who will be leading us into battle with North Korea, bite your tongue, the ignoranus finishing his first year of Making America Great Again, as promised, is within his rights to step down. “Job well done,” his farewell Tweet will read. (INSERT LAUGH TRACK HERE)
To be fair, I would like to add that despite the bad press on the women’s rights issue, Franken remains a viable 2020 possibility. If anything, his qualifications have been enhanced. The voters seem to like sexual abusers in politics, judging by the success of the groper-in-chief. Franken vs. Trump! What a morality play that would be on TV.
I always like to end these sermons on a positive note. Since I don’t have any, I will use somebody else’s.
The answer to our morality crisis, with a sleazoid president and a sleazocratic system of government, it has been suggested by advanced social theorist Richard Lingeman: “Bring back Puritanism, which has been unfairly transformed by the media into a negative. Along with cold showers.”
(To be continued)
Dec. 13, 2017