Franken’s Resignation, And Dems' New 'Purity,' Is A Political Stunt

Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, in which he vowed to resign “in the coming weeks,” created more questions than it answered. 

Why didn’t Franken resign on the spot? Why didn’t he apologize or express even a little remorse for his actions? Why walk away from the seat if, as he said, he still thought the Senate ethics committee was the right venue to adjudicate his case? 

And what are we to make of this situation? Not to be cynical, but Democrats forcing Franken out is hardly a profile in political courage. In fact, it was an easy call. They lose nothing politically. They are not in power in Washington, D.C., and Mark Dayton, the Democratic governor of Minnesota, will appoint one of his own party — most likely Lt. Gov. Tina Smith — to the seat until a special election is held. 

In reality, this is nothing more than a political stunt designed to make the GOP look bad and to make Roy Moore, the Republican running for Senate from Alabama, the “hood ornament” of the GOP heading into the 2018 midterms, should Moore prevail in the Dec. 12 special election. 

This, and the forced resignation of octogenarian Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., represent Democrats’ attempt to clear out alleged bad actors so it can resurrect its “war on women” theme in coming campaigns — this time around the issue of sexual harassment. It won’t be easy — the dizzying pace of sexual harassment scandals has rocked both parties with no end in sight.

It also is an attempt to create a precedent that all politicians accused of sexual misconduct of any kind must resign, that, of course, Democrats want to apply to President Trump in the 2020 campaign or before.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at The Hill

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