On Thursday, President Trump, with characteristic taste and class, tweeted "The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2,3,4,5 & 6 while she sleeps?..." On the related issue of whether Senator Franken should resign, Bill Maher remarks (at 36:52 of the video below)
What I heard from people who were making this argument yesterday was "well, we have to get rid of Al Franken because otherwise it's a 'push.' They're goin to say Al Franken, we say Roy Moore" and this is what Democrats always do. They shrink from making the counter-argument. Instead of going there with "oh, well we can't use this, we're just going to go away, let him resign," make the counter-argument - do what I just did in the monologue, say he's not the Zodiac Killer, it's not the same thing.
No one is the Zodiac Killer in the spate of charges about sexual harassment and sexual assault. But there is someone who may be the Zodiac Killer of sexual impropriety and degeneracy. And as luck would have it- with all the cries, many justified, of outrage- he sits in the White House. Yes, Al Franken acted like, as Maher also put it Friday, a "child" and "d_ _ _," and yet less than a year ago we elected Donald Trump even though (or because)
During a court deposition, Ivana Trump—Donald's first wife and mother to Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka—accused the president of raping her in 1989. The private account was described in former Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III’s 1993 book, Lost Tycoon. It details the alleged "violent assault," in which Trump pulled out fistfuls of his ex-wife’s hair after receiving a painful operation on his scalp.
"He jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months," Hurt wrote. "Ivana is terrified.… According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidants, 'he raped me.'"
Ivana walked back her allegations against Trump after his lawyers insisted she write the following statement at the beginning of her book, according to The New York Times: "During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."
That alleged rape occurred the year before Mr. Trump
went to a party with Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire who was a notorious registered sex offender, and raped a 13-year-old girl that night in what was a "savage sexual attack," according to a lawsuit filed in June 2016 by "Jane Doe." The account was corroborated by a witness in the suit, who claimed to have watched as the child performed various sexual acts on Trump and Epstein even after the two were advised she was a minor.
"Immediately following this rape Defendant Trump threatened me that, were I ever to reveal any of the details of Defendant Trump’s sexual and physical abuse of me, my family and I would be physically harmed if not killed," Jane Doe wrote in the lawsuit, filed in New York.
The lawsuit was dropped in November 2016, just four days before the election, with Jane Doe's attorneys citing "numerous threats" against her.
Four years later, in 1993, Trump did not successfully pull off a rape, although
A former Trump business associate, Jill Harth, claimed in a 1997 lawsuit the New York real estate mogul “attempted rape” and groped her without her consent on various occasions. In the suit, Harth described a violent encounter at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, in which Trump allegedly threw her against the wall of one of his children’s bedrooms before lifting up her dress.
"It was a shocking thing to have him do this, because he knew I was with George [her partner], he knew they were in the next room," she recalled in an October 2016 interview with The Guardian. "How could he be doing this when I'm there for business?"
In the pre-election interview, Harth maintained her allegations against Trump despite having withdrawn her lawsuit against him after he settled a separate suit her partner filed over a business dispute.
Those are three rapes and/or attempted rapes Donald Trump is accused of, quite apart from the numerous other instances of sexual assault there is evidence he has committed (video below from 10/16). He has denied all of it because Donald Trump has denied everything at every time, save for appearing on the Access Hollywood tape because there is video seen by hundreds of millions of people across the USA alone.
That revelation (apparently inconsequential to loads of people) occurred approximately four months before he was elected President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation ever on planet Earth.
Referring to the Zodiac Killer, Maher made the plea for proportionality. Though God is in the details, politics is effectively done in sound bites, and I don't know how the Democratic Party would convey the concept without being (unjustly) accused of rationalizing or excusing the less serious behavior of the Minnesota senator and others.
Still, there is trouble ahead, whether for the Party, the culture, or both. If all offending behavior of a sexual nature is lumped together in an indecipherable Trump-Weinstein-Moore-Franken stew, "they all do it" becomes a handy excuse for an increasingly bored or confused public.