I hate writing this, but Minnesota Senator Al Franken has no other choice but to resign in the wake of a second allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior towards a woman. Reported the Huff Post:
Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN in a report published on Monday that Franken “inappropriately touched her in 2010” while posing for a photograph at the Minnesota State Fair.
Menz said she was driven to speak out on what happened to her after local radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden revealed last week that Franken “kissed and groped her without her consent during a USO tour in December 2006.”
“I don’t want to paint my story in the same light as hers,” Menz said of Tweeden’s account, adding, “If someone sees that I said something, maybe it would give them the courage to say something too.”
Menz's husband, who was at the State Fair also corroborated the story.
Make no mistake about it, groping is a form of sexual assault and there should be no attempts to minimize Franken's behavior. While the former comedian has apologized again for his actions, the fact remains that he is guilty of using his fame and power to abuse women. It should be mentioned that Franken is not in the same league as the likes of Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein or Donald Trump, but he must be held accountable for his behavior and his position in the US Senate is no longer tenable. He is a serious liability for the Democrats, and as horrible as it is to accept, whatever good he may have done in office is no longer relevant. The uncovering of systematic sexual abuse in the corporate and political world is too important to protect any one person, and Franken gets no pass because of his previous good deeds.
This is not to say that Franken can't come back from this at a later date, but he has not paid a price for his crimes and he does not deserve to stay in office while others are being outed and removed from their jobs.
There are many on the left who are refusing to hold liberals accountable for their crimes, instead focusing on Republicans and their behavior. This is hugely hypocritical and allows the right to justify supporting the likes of Roy Moore and Donald Trump. If they do it, why not us? This is not the way to gain the moral high ground, and as long as people like Franken stay in office, the less leverage the left haves when it comes to ousting serious sexual predators like Moore and Trump.
Al Franken has done much good in Minnesota and has been a powerful voice in the resistance to the Trump administration. But his behavior towards women over the years is inexcusable and he should do the honorable thing and get out of the way before the scandal gets any worse. And as more stories of sexual assault pour out, one finds it hard to believe that there aren't more women with allegations of inappropriate behavior against him.