I heard the entire statement on radio as I was driving home from band practice, but Hotair hits the low points: If Moore Wins And Franken Un-Resigns, Will Senate Democrats Back Him Up?
I think Franken’s play in his “resignation” speech was fiendishly clever. He’s quitting, yeah — but not for a few weeks, coincidentally after Alabama and Senate Republicans will have rendered their verdicts on Roy Moore. He was careful this morning not to admit to any wrongdoing, merely saying that he’d lost the confidence of his colleagues and therefore had to go. Imagine now that Moore wins and, as expected, McConnell’s caucus immediately starts hemming and hawing about whether he should be expelled. Some Republicans will deflect by insisting that the ethics committee should look into the allegations against Moore but many more will chime in on a soon-to-be common refrain that “the people have spoken.” The GOP will have rubber-stamped a senator accused of much worse than the departing Franken is accused of.With that in mind, listen to Franken:
Despite their momentary ardor for cleansing Congress of creeps, rank-and-file Democrats won’t like that one bit. Why does their guy have to go when the Republicans’ guy doesn’t? He’s confessed to nothing, even in the course of resigning. Congressional Democrats will be leery too, having set a relatively low bar for disqualifying misconduct in making an example of Franken. No violent assaults, no examples of workplace harassment, some groping which Franken himself insists was innocent contact, and no process for determining the credibility of the allegations. Some Dems will inevitably be accused of worse than what Franken has been accused, possibly in the next few weeks before he’s left the chamber, and the party will have no choice but to push them out too to honor the Franken precedent.
So if all of Franken's accusers can all be liars, or "misremberers", can all of Moore's?
It happened at a Media Matters party during the first Obama inauguration. It was a great time to be a Democrat. Not only had we just elected the first African American president of the United States, but Franken’s race had triggered a recount, leaving lefties giddy that we would soon have a supermajority in the Senate.Althouse:
This was my first inauguration. I’d never been in the proverbial room where it happens. My experience with government at that point was being a ward of the court in foster care. Noting that I had an interest in politics and in grandstanding—at 14, I ran a scorched-earth campaign to make the entire group home I lived in recycle—my foster dad set up an internship for me at the district office of Representative George Miller. The summer before my senior year of high school, as an intern, I answered calls, thumbed through the congressional record and misalphabetized his constituent files. It was a great experience and, at the time, the closest I’d been to power.
D.C. was decked out and packed in for the inauguration of a young and popular new president. The town was buzzing with optimism, and one of the many events on our list was a swanky Media Matters party with Democratic notables everywhere. Then I saw Al Franken. I only bug celebrities for pictures when it’ll make my foster mom happy. She loves Franken, so I asked to get a picture with him. We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.
I’d been married for two years at the time; I don’t let my husband touch me like that in public because I believe it diminishes me as a professional woman. Al Franken’s familiarity was inappropriate and unwanted. It was also quick; he knew exactly what he was doing.
. . .We'll never forget that Trump said "I just start kissing them... I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it." Here, we see Franken taking that arrogance far beyond what Trump said. If we assume for — the purpose of analysis‚ that the new allegation is true:
1. In place of a presumption of consent — "they let you do it" — Franken claims a right. He contends that because of his status as "an entertainer" he gets to do it whether she wants it or not.
2. Franken actually does it, even when confronted with active non-consent. Trump was only talking — outside of the earshot of any woman — about what he supposedly does. Who knows what he actually does? But even in the bragging context, the woman consents. Trump's joke is her susceptibility to star power.
3. Franken seems to get off on the forcible intrusion on the woman. Trump seems to delight in the fact that women want him. Those are entirely different sexual orientations! Franken is the one on the rapist spectrum.
4. Trump said you needed to be a star to have special access. Franken claimed access based on status as an "entertainer." That's more self-effacing and maybe he thought it was sort of cute and funny. But self-deprecation attached to forcing himself on the other person puts him in a very dark place, and makes me want to say those often-mocked feminist words: That's not funny.