Thinning the timber (
by Steve Timmer
Jan 9, 2018, 2:00 PM

Thinning the presidential timber

New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand led the charge to force my senator, Al Franken, to resign from the Senate.

Without giving him a chance to defend himself in a Senate ethics proceeding, which he requested.

In addition to Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and two senators that I particularly admired, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, each of whom considers themselves presidential timber, lined up to cast stones. Gillibrand and Booker, and probably the others, are campaigning and raising money on their moral probity and rectitude.

Forcing Franken to resign the way they did was both political cowardice and opportunism. But our friend Karma (not Kamala) can be mean sometimes, such as when a long-time and big-time funder of Democrats isn’t exactly on board with the move.

In a reprinted New York Times story, the Strib reports that Susie Thompkins Buell was considering withdrawing support from Democratic senators who supported Al’s ouster:

Buell said in a text message on Saturday that withdrawing support from the senators who called for his resignation was “an option” she was considering:

“In my gut they moved too fast,” she wrote. Franken “was never given his chance to tell his side of the story.”

“For me, this is dangerous and wrong,” she added. “I am a big believer in helping more women into the political system but this has given me an opportunity to rethink of how I can best help my party.”

As of the flag carrier Gillibrand, Buell said:

“As for Gillibrand, unfortunately, I believe she miscalculated and has shot herself in the foot,” she said. “I have supported her for many years. Will I going forward? To be determined.”

“Miscalculated” is a charitable word here. It’s a genteel translation of “fucked up.” Among other things, Gillibrand showed more fidelity to the mob than to due process.

Just the kind of person we want for president, right? In fact, does it remind you of anybody?

Buell is a Californian who is undoubtedly networked with other large donors from around California and the nation. Kamala Harris, the freshman senator who is already making the circuit in the Hamptons testing the presidential waters, is from California, too.

Buell has put the big stink on the whole group of senators, Gillibrand and Harris, especially. But really, though, to paraphrase some wags on Twitter, they put it on themselves.

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