Thursday, October 31, 2019

Emerging Pattern

Diversion- and this time it's not by Donald Trump personally.

To be fair, this was not Politico's intent in the article that

A stark generational divide among Democrats has emerged over what, if any, responsibility (Representative Katie) Hill should assume for the firestorm that led to her resignation this week, as well as whether the same standards would be applied to a male lawmaker. Some Democrats are also worried about the potential chilling effect on efforts to recruit younger candidates, particularly millennial women.

Getting it half right, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated "This doesn't happen to male members in the same way- revenge porn in this respect.... We're talking about a major crime.... being committed against her."

However, Ocasio-Cortez took office only this year (seems like almost a decade ago) and thus might not be fully ware of Al Franken, driven from office two years ago for having been accused of less, and probably having done less than what he was accused of.  It wasn't a case of revenge pornography- but Franken is a male, and that didn't stop Democratic leaders Pelosi and Schumer from encouraging him to take early retirement.  

Nonetheless, it has become clearer that Hill is less perpetrator than victim, as the congresswoman strongly implied. Salon reports

Jennifer Van Laar, a deputy managing editor at the conservative blog RedState, published a nude photo of Hill as part of a report alleging that Hill and a female campaign staffer were in a three-person relationship with her husband. The blog later alleged that Hill engaged in a relationship with a male congressional staffer.

Days later, Van Laar published another nude photo of Hill at The Daily Mail. Hill, who is openly bisexual and is in divorce proceedings with Kenneth Heslep, her husband of nine years, admitted that she had a relationship with the female campaign aide but denied the relationship with the congressional aide, which triggered a House ethics investigation.

Hill announced her resignation on Saturday after blaming her “abusive” estranged husband for the “smear campaign” against her and said it was perpetuated by her “Republican opponents.”

After publishing the photos and shortly before Hill’s resignation, Van Laar posted a tweet urging followers to “help us flip” Hill’s seat by backing Republican candidate Mike Garcia. In a later tweet, Van Laar promoted former Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., who lost to Hill in 2018, in hopes that he would run for the seat again.

George Padapoulos on October 29 declared his candidacy for Congress. However
Check it out- in November 2017 The Hill had noted

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone appeared to know there were sexual misconduct allegations involving Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) hours before they became public.

Stone has been banned from Twitter, but at 1 a.m. on Thursday morning an account connected to him tweeted a quote from the Republican political operative.

"Roger Stone says it's Al Franken's 'time in the barrel'. Franken next in long list of Democrats to be accused of 'grabby' behavior," read the tweet from Enter the Stone Zone.

QUOTE: Roger Stone says it's Al Franken's "time in the barrel". Franken next in long list of Democrats to be accused of "grabby" behavior.

— Enter The Stone Zone (@stonezonetweets) November 16, 2017
Enter the Stone Zone is an account that claims to share "political commentary" from Stone.

Hours later, Leeann Tweeden, a KABC-AM news anchor, accused Franken of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2006. Tweeden said the incidents occurred during a USO tour to entertain troops abroad. She also tweeted a photograph of Franken as evidence.

It's questionable whether Franken actually was groping her.  Yet, there are parallels with the Hill. In both cases, GOP activist(s) appear to have had advance notice of the accusation. In each, Democrats avoided defending their fellow Democrat. Both individuals, lacking strategic air cover from their own supporters, chose to resign.

And in neither incident there been more than a stray Democrat picking up on the likely Republican strategy behind it.  

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