Senator Al Franken resigns and suggests Trump should too

 First published December 9, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Instead of taking responsibility for treating women like pieces of produce, Sen. Al Franken blamed his resignation from the United States Senate on President Trump, GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, and the Republican Party.

“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; and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls, campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said in a speech from the Senate floor.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for a trip to Salt Lake City, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Mr. Franken should know that if Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is elected, the Senate Ethics committee can conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by several women, and vote to expel him from the Senate.

Instead of pointing the finger at Trump, who’s had no sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him, Franken should ask how former President Bill Clinton got elected and remained in the Oval Office after having numerous extramarital affairs and engaging in a lurid affair with White House intern Monica Lewinksy.

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting then President Bill Clinton at a White House Christmas party on Dec. 16, 1996, submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judiciary committee Sept. 21, 1998.

In the most recent allegation against Franken, levelled by an unnamed — but vetted — accuser who spoke to Politico.com, after Franken unsuccessfully tried to force a kiss, following a taping of his radio show, he reportedly told her it was his “right as an entertainer.”

This statement, not unlike the observation made by then-entertainer Donald Trump, when he told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush that women will let you grab them by the (bleep), when you’re a star.

Why did Franken resign if he was “confident that the Ethics committee would agree” that he did nothing wrong? Could it be Franken resigned because he got exposed, like fellow Democrat legislator representative John Conyers?

After serving 52 years in Congress (a poster boy for term limits), Conyers literally was caught with his pants down. Accusers claim Conyers regularly walked around his House office in his underwear. It was also revealed that Conyers used tax money to settle a sexual harassment claim from a staffer.

At least eight women levelled allegations against Franken and there’s a demeaning 2006 photo of Franken appearing to grope the breasts of KABC radio host Leeann Tweeden. Another woman alleges Franken tried to give her “a wet, open-mouthed kiss” after a 2006 taping of his radio show.

While Franken was campaigning for the US Senate from 2007-2008, two women claimed he grabbed their buttocks; and one alleges that Franken asked her to join him in a bathroom, presumably for more wanton groping. Finally, Lindsay Menz accused Senator Franken of grabbing her buttocks as she they both posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently,” Franken protested.

Perhaps Franken mistook these women’s buttocks for cantaloupes.

Now that he will have plenty of time to reflect on his bad behaviour, perhaps he should sit down in front of the mirror, and conjure Saturday Night Live alter ego Stuart Smalley. But beware Al, he might not give you that daily affirmation you seek.

“Enough is enough,” declared New York Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who may be angling for a 2020 presidential run.

After first dragging their feet in demanding that Conyers and Franken resign, now Democrats in Congress are backing a zero tolerance for sexual harassment from their colleagues. I think Democrats’ full-throated reaction is more about political expediency — to save the face of the party. There’s oozing irony in the fact that the Democrats nominated Hillary, a woman who remained married to a notorious predator, while campaigning as a champion of women’s rights. The hypocrisy in that speaks for itself.

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