Senator Al Franken announced on December 7 that he would leave Congress sometime “in the coming weeks” after several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct and more than three dozen Democratic colleagues called for his resignation. Now, just a week and a half later, the Democrats’ disturbing “dirty secret” has come out. This is a real doozy.
After eight women came forward to accuse Sen. Franken of sexual misconduct, the former comedian was basically forced by members of his own party to resign from office before he was even given a chance to defend himself or participate in an ethics investigation.
Franken’s responses to the various allegations have varied — he’s outright denied one, claimed to have a different memory of others, and issued vague non-denials of others. And he had initially hoped to hold on to his seat as a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the allegations proceeded.
But a group of women Democratic senators — Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Mazie Hirono (HI), Claire McCaskill (MO), Maggie Hassan (NH), Patty Murray (WA), and Kamala Harris (CA) — dashed those hopes. The six came all came forward to call for Franken’s resignation Wednesday morning, within a matter of minutes of one another.
As the day went on, many other Democratic senators added their voices to the chorus — amounting to half the caucus by mid-afternoon. In response, Franken staffers put out word that he’d make an announcement about his political future on Thursday. And on Thursday, he confirmed that he’d step down. [Source: Vox]
It would seem that Franken’s forced resignation was a bit premature, but the Democrats went right ahead and crucified him publicly, acting as judge, jury, and executioner, making an example out of him.
Republicans predicted that they jumped the gun for one reason in particular; namely, so that they could use Franken as the means to justify their calls for members of the GOP to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.
Now, however, it appears that the Democrats deeply regret forcing Franken to resign, according to reports which surfaced first thing on Monday.
Senator Al Franken announced on December 7th that he would leave Congress sometime “in the coming weeks” after several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct and more than three dozen Democratic colleagues called for his resignation.
Now, Democrats are backtracking, rethinking their position on Franken, and some are even urging him to take back his resignation announcement.
A handful of Congressional Democrats say they regret urging Franken to resign and say they’ve made a huge mistake. [Source: The Federalist Papers Project]
So, what could have possibly happened in the span of a week and a half that would make the Democrats pull a complete one-eighty? Well, a very pivotal election took place in Alabama.
Taking the moral high ground by forcing Franken to resign was purely a political move by the Democrats. But, now that their candidate won in Alabama, they have no ability to claim that moral high ground. Essentially, they forced Franken to resign for nothing.
Why? Because Democrats aren’t interested in wiping out sexual abuse. They were interested in the political hay to be made by pretending to care about doing so. With [Roy] Moore out, that possibility is minimized. Now, Democrats could attempt to target President [Donald] Trump over allegations of sexual abuse, but that strategy has little credibility after Bill Clinton, and it has little capacity to motivate after Trump was elected despite the presence of sexual harassment and abuse allegations. Democrats know that’s going nowhere, so why bother using it as an attack line against Trump?
That’s particularly true given the fine line Democrats now have to walk between opposing Trump and appeasing their base with a counterproductive impeachment move against him. If Democrats continue with the line that alleged sexual abusers must go, they’ll be duty-bound to impeach him come 2018 if they take the House, and top Democrats know that such a strategy will backfire politically. So they’re preemptively walking back their call for sexual abusers and harassers to step down. [Source: The Daily Wire]
It appears that the Democrats’ “brilliant” political strategy has backfired spectacularly. They’ve ousted one of their top players, and for what? Now, anytime anyone accuses a Democrat of sexual misconduct, it will be grounds to demand their resignation, whether or not the claims are proven to be true.
Ironically, this is precisely the strategy Democrats tried to use against Republicans: accuse a candidate (Roy Moore) of sexual abuse and watch him fall from grace. But, that door swings both ways, and they are finding out the hard way that it doesn’t feel too good when it hits you on your own backside.