Sen. Al Franken, who until two weeks ago was one of the Democratic Party's brightest stars, is now fighting for political survival amid mounting allegations that he committed sexual abuse and a solidifying resolve within his party to take a hard line on any such transgressions.
The senator from Minnesota's problems were compounded Thursday by a move by top Democrats to force out another lawmaker showed a growing eagerness to immunize the party on an issue that is turning into a social movement.
In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and her three deputies called on Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.), the longest-serving member of Congress, to resign in the face of accusations that he mistreated female aides for more than two decades. "Zero tolerance means consequences for everyone," Pelosi said.
If she decides to challenge President Trump in 2020, Warren will have to relitigate a controversy that first ignited in 2012.
When President Donald Trump casually invoked "Pocahontas" during a ceremony honoring Native Americans on Monday, Washington's political class swiftly went into its familiar and usually unfulfilling ritual of trying to decipher his deeper intentions.
Was he attempting to purposefully distract media coverage away from the White House's skirmish with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Was he simply reaching for cheap levity among a group he was largely unfamiliar with?
Or did he view it as an irresistible opportunity to strike at a reoccurring political nemesis who he views as a gathering threat to his re-election prospects in 2020? read more
During an interview on Andy Cohen's satellite radio show Radio Andy, actress Melissa Gilbert claimed that director Oliver Stone sexually harassed her during an audition for his 1991 film The Doors.
At first, Gilbert told her story without naming any names. She kept the accusations very anonymous saying that she was humiliated during an audition because she had "embarrassed him in a social situation." Gilbert ended up running out of the room crying.
"I'm actually sitting here telling you this story, afraid to say his name, because I'm worried about backlash," she said in the interview. After being reluctant she eventually said, "Oh f*** it! It was Oliver Stone, and it was The Doors."
Gilbert says the role she was auditioning for was the Meg Ryan's character. She goes into detail about the scene she had him read -- a scene he said he wrote especially for her. read more
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not "succumb to [his] sexual advances."
Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic. read more
In the longstanding liberal narrative about Bill Clinton and his scandals, the one pushed by Clinton courtiers and ratified in media coverage of his post-presidency, our 42nd president was only guilty of being a horndog, his affairs were nobody's business but his family's, and oral sex with Monica Lewinsky was a small thing that should never have put his presidency in peril.
That narrative could not survive the current wave of outrage over male sexual misconduct.
So now a new one may be forming for the age of Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. Liberals might be willing to concede that the Lewinsky affair was a pretty big deal morally, a clear abuse of sexual power, for which Clinton probably should have been pressured to resign.
It may be that the conservatives of the 1990s were simply right about Clinton, that once he failed to resign he really deserved to be impeached. read more