[guest post by Dana]
This morning, facing political pressure from his own party, Sen. Al Franken announced from the Senate floor that he will be resigning his Senate seat:
“I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate”
It’s interesting that his resignation is not going to be effectively immediately, like John Conyers. It’s a bit clever, given that in a few weeks time the special election will have taken place in Alabama. This allows time to see whether Republican Roy Moore, who faces serious allegations of sexual misconduct (including that involving a minor) and has the full support of the President of the United States, steps down. After all, if he doesn’t, what would actually compel Franken to follow through with his resignation?
Franken, who remained unapologetic and without contrition in his announcement, also noted this:
“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,”
There is a heated battle taking place between the major political parties as Democrats and Republicans valiantly struggle to claim the moral high ground. The problem, of course, is that both sides have sunk to new lows in the mucky cesspool of tribal politics, thus making it virtually impossible for either party to be covered in anything other than hypocritical scum. Until this week, when a cynical calculation was made to jump up a rung on the ladder of principles and try to force the hand of Republicans, Democrats circled the wagons for Al Franken and cited legacy and iconic status as a justification for keeping John Conyers on board. At the same time, Republicans have not only been defending Roy Moore from serious allegations involving a minor, but disgustingly continue to support him even when they believe the allegations are true. Today, on the left side of the aisle, Conyers is no longer in office and Franken has announced his upcoming resignation. On the right side of the aisle, Moore is being supported by a Republican president who also faces allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as being supported by substantial numbers of Republicans in Alabama. Given this, exactly who gets to make a claim to the moral high ground now? Unless Moore steps down, certainly not Republicans. Unfortunately, Republicans sacrificed their principles in November, 2016.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)