Earlier this month, the embattled Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) announced that he would resign amid a growing whirlwind of sexual misconduct claims. For the most part, Franken maintained that he was innocent, yet with even members of his own party calling for his resignation he had little option but to step down.
Announcing his departure on the Senate floor, Franken said, “I am aware there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving when a man who has bragged on tape sits in the oval office.” He also talked about himself as being a “champion for women” and said, “Some of the allegations against me are simply not true.”
Of course, some of the evidence that these women’s claims are indeed true is pretty compelling. A photographer snapped a photo of Franken touching the breasts of a female comedian through her flak jacket while she was asleep. The same woman said that Franken also forcibly kissed her during a rehearsal.
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies,” Franken said when the accusation went public. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
On Wednesday, though, twelve different Democratic Senators called for Franken’s resignation. This comes after most in the party seemed as if they would overlook Franken’s actions and marks a pretty sudden and significant change in their approach to the situation.
So, why did the Dems turn on Franken so suddenly? It wasn’t as if any new, more damning evidence came out – Franken has been combating the same sexual misconduct claims for over a month now. While there is some degree of speculation involved with saying those on the left have ulterior motives in throwing Franken under the bus (and, to be clear, he deserved it and it was the right thing to do) there are certainly a few ways the Dems stand to gain by doing so.
For one, ousting Sen. Al Franken as well as Sen. John Conyers (who also recently resigned amid sexual misconduct claims) allows the Democrats to – at least in their minds and the minds of their supporters – regain the moral high ground at a time when the Republican party has chosen to continue to support Roy Moore in spite of the allegations against him.
Beyond gaining the moral high ground, though, ousting two of their own may give the Democrats more leverage to go after Roy Moore and, ultimately, a much bigger prize – President Donald Trump.
Franken’s words about being forced to resign while Trump still sits in the oval office were not without meaning. It’s hardly a secret that the ultimate goal of the Democratic party today is to get Trump out of the White House. If doing that requires that they sacrifice a couple of their own in the Senate, then it’s a small price to pay.
Of course, there is no quid pro quo to political resignations. Just because Al Franken and John Conyers resigned in no way means that Roy Moore and/or Donald Trump will be forced to do the same. What it does have the potential to do, though, is change public sentiment, and public sentiment is a powerful thing – especially with the 2018 midterms right around the corner and the 2020 Presidential election coming up soon after that.
We will have to wait and see if the Dems’ sudden decision to turn on Al Franken and John Conyers works out in their favor — if that is even the reason behind it at all. For now, there are two special elections upcoming to fill the seats that Franken and Conyers left behind, one of which is in a state that Trump won in 2016. With that said, there’s a real possibility that ousting Franken and Conyer could cost Democrats one or more Senate seats without allowing them to make any headway at all going after Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, both Conyer and Franken were clearly guilty of conduct that is unacceptable for anyone, much less a US senator. Ulterior motives or not, it’s good to see them go.
~ Conservative Zone