Yesterday, we learned that Kirsten Gillibrand had withdrawn from the presidential race. As a publication, LR Net is neutral on that fact. We’ll support whatever candidate emerges from the primaries to oppose Trump in 2020.


I am personally delighted that she has taken her ball and her bat and gone home. She was one of the very few Democratic candidates whom I actively and seriously disliked. And the reason? Al Franken.

Gillibrand was one of the leaders…maybe the leader…in the effort to get him out of  Congress. More, she made it very clear that she regarded this as a positive thing, even congratulating herself on her “courage” for having done so. But, now, with every passing day, it becomes more and more uncertain that Franken was guilty of anything particularly terrible. The evidence against him gets shakier by the moment, and even other Congressmen/women are expressing regret at his public burning. (See this fascinating article in the New Yorker, The Case Of Al Franken, by Jane Mayer.)

Frankly, in retrospect, it looks like Gillibrand eagerly assisted in the destruction of a fellow Democrat’s career and life, and did so chiefly that she could build a name for her and gain supporters in the #MeToo era. In the process, she may have wounded an innocent man, possibility hurt the #MeToo movement she exploited, and very definitely hurt Democrats and Progressives by removing a Left vote at a time when we needed every Left vote we could get.

In short, good-by Gillibrand, please don’t come back soon…

You’ve done enough damage, already.