After numerous calls for resignation by more than half of his Democratic colleagues, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota announced his resignation today. However, instead of simply apologizing to the women that he has allegedly harassed, Al Franken used his speech to attack President Trump and Roy Moore.
Al Franken has tried to portray himself as an activist who cares about women’s rights. However, his speech focused only on how he felt and not about the women who were embarrassed and belittled by his actions towards them. Instead of the image of a supposed activist, Al Franken better fits into the image of an entitled politician and celebrity that got caught in the act and is now bitter.
He states, “I of all 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.” He then continues his speech by denying that he has committed any wrong action, essentially trying to discredit the feelings and statements of his accusers.
Quite simply, Al Franken’s speech reeks of hypocrisy.
Similar to how President Trump was caught on tape admitting to sexually harassing and groping women, Al Franken was caught in a picture groping a woman while she slept, unable to protect herself. Similar to how Roy Moore continues to discredit his accusers, Al Franken does the same with his denials. There is nothing that separates Al Franken and his actions from that of President Trump and Roy Moore. In fact, Al Franken’s response to his accusers is markedly similar to other politicians and celebrities that have been recently exposed. He continually mentions how he does not remember the events or how his memory is different from the other women. He also mentions how his actions were just received differently, fundamentally placing the blame on his accusers for having the nerve to feel uncomfortable with his inappropriate actions.
Another issue with Al Franken’s speech is the fake moral high ground that he tries to express. He presents his resignation as an act of doing the right thing, however, it is impossible for him to have any sort of moral authority over President Trump or Roy Moore while he continues to diminish the voices of his accusers.
Al Franken needs to take a good look in the mirror and come to terms with his wrongdoing.