HomeDemocratsAl Franken12/8 News Roundup – Nurses Back Call ForKeith Ellison To Fill Senate Vacancy, DNC Leaders Call For SuperDelegate Cuts & More
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Widely seen as a prospect for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Gillibrand’s moves against leading figures in her own party have positioned her to turn her focus to Republicans and make an aggressive case against Trump.

The short version: At the same time Gillibrand led the charge against sexual misconduct in her own party, Trump — accused of sexual assault himself — endorsed Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate facing allegations that he pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s.

Gillibrand’s aides insist there was no political calculation behind her moves. Instead they see the continuation of her years-long efforts to combat sexual assault in the military and on college campuses.

Still, they believe that Gillibrand’s moves allowed Democrats to move past questions about party members’ own behavior — shifting the focus back to Trump.



This is the perfect moment for Gillibrand to emerge as one of the leading voices in the Democratic Party, a perhaps fleeting window when gender seems to have trumped class or race as the animating principle in American political and cultural life. It is a moment she helped bring about, by seizing on the issue of sexual assault in the military, bringing victims up to Capitol Hill to share their stories publicly and challenging the Pentagon to hold itself accountable. But it is a moment, too, that is fraught, since it involves telling one-time allies like Franken and Bill Clinton that their time is up—Gillibrand was the first senator to call for Franken to step down on Wednesday, which he did 24 hours later—and forcing revered institutions like the military or your alma mater that they need to change their ways, and quickly.

Although she was a Blue Dog in Congress, and as recently as 2010 was speaking at a “No Labels” conference, citing her bipartisan work with then-Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), she is now firmly on the left side of her caucus, voting almost uniformly against Trump’s Cabinet appointees and emerging as one of the most anti-gun senators in the chamber—proof of a change of heart, or proof of how assiduously Gillibrand works to get where she wants to be. She is both someone who is known to wander around the Senate floor with notecards, counting where her colleagues are on her bills, and someone who volunteers to get to the bar early to hold down a table for drinks with the organizers after the recent Women’s Convention in Detroit. The little-known backbencher who walked out onto the national stage in Albany that afternoon is long gone, replaced by someone nearly leaping out of her chair and shouting when the conversation turns to sexual assault.

For Gillibrand, the outrage the country now feels about how men in high places have been abusing women is something she has been living with a long time. It was her long hours meeting alone with survivors of sexual assault and harassment in the military that led her to make the issue her defining cause, and her persuading of them to go public with the stories that helped create the space for other women to go public. It led her to focus on college campuses, and the NFL, and then Congress itself. She isn’t overly sanguine about where it leads. There have been waves of outrage about sexual assault before, with little result. The chances of a vote on her sexual assault in the military bill seem nil in the current Congress. Yes, the public is more aware today than in the past, but the president of the United States and the Republican National Committee lined up behind Roy Moore.

“We are having a reckoning,” she said. “I think it’s important.”

As for Trump, an opponent many believe she might end up facing in 2020?

“The president has his own stories of women who have come forward to say what he did to them was wrong,” she said. “I think the president should be held accountable for his crimes.”


Has Gillibrand actually changed her Blue Dog ways? If she’s another $hrill, I won’t vote for her–period!


I think she has, but she does have an Achilles heel with progressives with her ties to a Wall Street, which is standard procedure for NY pols. Not nearly as closely alligned as Schumer, and she appears to be increasingly voting against Wall Street interests. Lately she has been a pretty firm Bernie ally.


I’m not convinced yet but I will wait and see what she does and how she handles herself with future Berniecrat proposals.


I’ve always had a crush on her. I’ve voted for her throughout her career but something inside of me just doesn’t yet completely trust her.


Signed and commented. Thanks! :O)


Democrats Are Feigning Outrage At Islamophobia They Helped Create

Democrats, in general, do not care about the Muslim community. They care about feeling good about themselves, and they care about opposing Republicans, but if they actually cared about Muslim Americans they wouldn’t continually support politicians whose agendas necessitate the war propaganda which has created the frenzied Islamophobia that America is now steeped in.

I will keep saying this and saying this until I am blue in the face: people do not take seriously enough the influence of propaganda upon their lives. Americans are saturated in war propaganda in far more ways than they realize, from the news media they consume to the Pentagon-funded national anthem ceremonies at football games.


pb4: thanks for the link. Enjoyed the read. I don’t know how Caitlin does it. She has to be one tough cookie to endure all the FRightwingnut bots. Also, “corpses” for corporation. Great wordplay! 🙂


Thanks, orlbucfan!


Ditto PB

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