The thing about old white male plutocrats is that even if they’re generally liberal they can have appalling gender politics:
Soros, who said he wants to avoid dividing the party, also refused to pick favorites among the emerging crop of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. But there is one prospective candidate he said he hopes does not get the nod: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
He blames Gillibrand for pushing the resignation of former senator Al Franken “whom I admire,” Soros said, “in order to improve her chances.”
To state the obvious:
- Calling for the resignation of Franken was obviously the right thing for the party. The fact that other men have been accused of worse things is beside the point. Franken’s job was being a politician. When he became a political liability his job was to resign, which to his credit he did.
- Gillibrand personally had no other choice. Anyone who thinks “sexual harassment is bad unless it’s my squash buddy” was a viable position for Gillibrand to take is a maroon. Anybody who thinks hair-splitting about precisely how bad Franken’s conduct was a viable position is ditto.
- The idea that Gillibrand speaking immediately before most of the women in the Democratic Senate caucus, obviously with the ex ante support of party leadership, makes her unilaterally responsible for Franken’s resignation is idiotic (although if it was true, this would be to her credit, since it was again the right thing.)
- It’s truly pathetic and disgusting for this to be your dealbreaker. I mean, really. This is just contemptible on the part of Soros.