I will not now, nor ever, make excuses for the behavior that got Senator Al Franken ostracized by his own party. That’s not to say that in my seemingly interminable and stupid youth I didn’t make insensitive comments of a sexual nature to women. At my age and where I am in my life, it makes no sense to deny what I once was as opposed to who I am now. Watching Franken’s resignation speech from the Senate floor made me realize that I have lot in common with him; clowns who try their hardest to do right by humanity now, even if they didn’t always behave perfectly in the past.
Still, Franken fucked-up, 10 years ago or more, in some fashion. He did make women feel uncomfortable sexually, and while you, or I might feel that makes him wrong but not someone who has to quit their job over…the truth is, he’ll be gone soon. And it’s not like Franken is Superman. It’s not like he’s a perfect martyr. Still, I know that the scale of offense has been completely and utterly destroyed now, and anyone who thinks this will make the GOP reconsider their support of Donald Trump or Roy Moore doesn’t get how that party has operated for the last few decades, but I do.
I came from the GOP. I deprogammed from their cult like I did from Christianity. In the end, I found a group of people willing to pay lip service to their moral superiority but turn a blind eye to their president’s lies about Iraq and his gross incompetency, doing things that would have gotten a Democrat impeached. They will talk a big, pious game about family values, and then you’ll come to find out they’re all Hasterts and Gingriches and Moores and Trumps.
“They go low, we go high” got us NOWHERE last year. You don’t have to be defensive of Franken’s ALLEGED actions in order to stop being a doe eyed optimist about this. Republicans, the elected ones, do not now nor will they ever care about being hypocrites on issues of morality and ethics. No better example is in the dichotomy between how Roy Moore, a self-evident sexual predator of teenage girls by Republicans and Franken by Democrats. After a couple of weeks of, “Oh, Roy should drop out because that’s wrong,” they’ve moved onto the Jesus Forgives and So Do We phase of Republican Politics.
I say it again — there will be no moment of reckoning for the GOP with Moore. Maybe they’ll elect him and then throw him out of the Senate. So what? They will still have cravenly used a pedophile to advance their agenda, just as they’re using a racist conspiracy theorist with tiny hands to advance their agenda from the Oval Office.
Without a doubt, Democrats are trying to be the “better people” right now. They’re trying to do what Republicans don’t do, and for that, sure let’s commend them. But let’s also be rilly rilly rilly rill, shall we? So fucking what?
What will the Democrats gain from this, other than smug satisfaction and back slapping?
I predict — nothing. Why? Because no Republican faithful is going to switch allegiances over this, that’s why. Maybe you’ll pick up some independents here or there, but ultimately this is an act of sacrifice to score a goal on their own team. Perhaps if we lived in a world where Trump and Moore resigned first, this would make sense, but pretending that Franken’s alleged misdeeds even remotely rise to those of those two morons’ documented transgressions is to stupid. Literally stupid.
Nuance is a thing, and it matters. But not to Democrats who want to APPEAR to be better people. Not to Democrats who think some tidal wave of new support will come their way. It was obvious from his resignation speech that Franken is a flawed but ultimately good person. Our nation’s history is littered with men like that who ultimately still did the right thing the majority of the time.
Even on his way out the door, Mr. Franken spoke of the importance of honoring and respecting women like no Republican has in decades. He spoke about hearing women out, not shaming them into silence. He gave remarks about gender equality that rang like a bell in the night against a din of pussy grabbing and pedophilia.
So, congrats, I guess, Democrats? You did your thing. You won the “We’re more better” award for the day. But I don’t think it’s going to move the needle for you, no matter how “right” it may have been.
Senator Al Franken was a good Senator. He was a damn good one. He stood up to Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions with courage and wit. I cannot and will not justify his actions that didn’t befit the Senator he was, long before he was a Senator, but I can say that compared to men from our country’s past like Nathan Bedford Forrest, George Wallace, Jefferson Davis, Strom Thurmond, and Denny Hastert, Franken is a fucking saint.
Goodnight America, wake me up when you’ve gotten your goddamned senses back, would you? And Google “Pyrrhic Victory” while you’re at it.