A majority of Senate Democrats called for Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign as allegations of sexual misconduct against the Minnesota lawmaker multiplied. Meanwhile, Senators were split on the Alabama Senate campaign of Roy Moore. (Dec. 6)
The phrase turned out to be a shameless pander that produced misguided legal changes and miscarriages of justice.
From Hollywood to media to the business world, the abusive, powerful men who once managed to evade accountability for their actions are finally receiving their due. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to appreciate this righteous reversal of fortunes.
This national outing of unscrupulous males has lent some legitimacy to an often-stated Democratic ideal. For years, prominent Democrats have advocated that women who allege abuse should enjoy not just sympathy but even reflexive deference from society. Unfortunately for Democrats, they can make almost no political use of this moment. They’ve demonstrated quite plainly they never meant a word of it.
As of this writing, six women have alleged that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., took uninvited liberties with their bodies. After a handful of those accusers went public, Franken took a week off only to reappear chastened and defiant, ready to fight Republicans with the gusto of a man with something to prove. This display seems to have been good enough for the senator’s colleagues.
Despite making waves by saying Bill Clinton should have resigned after Monica Lewinsky came forward, albeit 16 years after he left office and a year after his political utility had been entirely spent, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. cannot muster an opinion on Franken’s future. She’s in good company; her fellow Senate Democrats appear equally indifferent to his fate.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned Tuesday under pressure. But when he was first accused of sexual improprieties by multiple women, revealing a settled claim with a former staffer to the tune of $27,000, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi couldn’t bring herself to “believe” the alleged victims.