Franken ‘regrets’ his decision, but so what?

Former Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was the subject of a profile in the New Yorker magazine last week. In it, Franken reflected on the accusations that led him to resign his Senate seat in December 2017. He said he “absolutely” regrets resigning when he did.

Why is that? Is he saying he was not guilty? Did he simply succumb to unwarranted political pressure? Why?

Franken had been accused of unwanted kissing and touching, especially by talk radio host Leann Tweeden. This was in 2006, before Franken was elected to the Senate. There was also a photo of Franken jokingly reaching for her breasts as she slept on a transport plane.

This was at the height of the #MeToo movement, when women in the entertainment business and elsewhere were tearing the lid off the shameful practice of male exploitation and abuse.

Before any kind of ethics hearing could be held in the Senate, Franken was strongly encouraged to resign by people in his own party. Franken did so.

Now he regrets it? If he wanted to stay, why didn’t he fight, if he felt he was being judged unfairly? Is there a broader point to be learned here, namely about accusations being enough to bring someone down? Franken could have stayed in the Senate and let voters decide his fate at the next election. He chose not to.

Now he gives an interview saying he regrets it. What is the point? Is he planning a comeback? If not, he seems pretty whiny. The choices were all his.


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