At long last, the pressure grew too intense for Sen. Al Franken to ignore. After one allegation of sexual misconduct turned into two and then three and then began snowballing precipitously, Franken’s initial apologies and denials began to sound quite hollow. And for a party that is determined to show itself to be the beacon of “Believe all Women,” it was starting to look awfully strange for this proud pervert – this “giant of the Senate” – to keep his job amidst all of the accusations against him. This week, dozens of his fellow Democrats decided they’d heard enough and asked him to leave office.
Franken finally relented on Thursday and announced that he would resign by the end of the year.
In making his announcement, however, Franken remained indignant and defiant, insisting that he’d done nothing wrong. Because, you know, people resign their prominent political jobs all the time after doing nothing wrong…
“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” Franken said on the Senate floor on Thursday. “Others I remember very differently.”
He said that he would leave the Senate with his head held high. “I am proud that during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion of women,” he said. “And that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there is a different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”
Well, good. You just head back to Minnesota, sit in front of a mirror, and keep telling yourself that you’re a good person. Doggone it.
Franken said his resignation wasn’t about him, but rather about the people of his home state. On that, he was half right. This ISN’T about him; it’s about the Democratic Party reaching for that fabled high moral ground in the middle of the #MeToo phenomenon. Knowing that this Trump/Russia investigation is not going to take them to the promised land as they’d hoped, they are now trying out a new strategy. Hey, the Republicans nearly railroaded one of their favorite guys of all time with sexual impropriety claims…why can’t they do the same to Trump? But to do that, they have to shed themselves of some considerable baggage.
Franken knows the deal. He even alluded to it in his speech. “I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,” he said, “and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”
Make no mistake, this is a preview of the 2018 Midterms. Democrats are going to go to the “War on Women” well one more time, convinced that this time – THIS TIME – it will finally play in their favor. And if they have to sever ties with Franken, Conyers, and half a dozen bigtime Democrat donors to make their narrative stick, that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
Problem is, if forced to choose between the party with the “moral high ground” on sexual misconduct and the party that will actually do something to improve their lives, voters may not care as much about this issue as the Democrats believe.