Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

General Discussion

Showing Original Post only (View all)


(171,256 posts)
Tue Jan 2, 2018, 08:42 AM Jan 2018

Michael Tomasky: Senator Al Frankens Resignation Is Deeply Unfair [View all]

Senator Al Franken’s Resignation Is Deeply Unfair
As the senator is expected to officially resign Tuesday, many Minnesotans don’t believe he should have stepped down—and he never got a fair process with the harassment allegations.
Michael Tomasky
01.02.18 5:00 AM ET

Sometime today, Al Franken will resign his Senate seat. The Democrats are hoping for a banner year, and from all indicators it looks like they’ll have one, and I hope they do—if they take back one house, this horrid Trump/GOP agenda is done for.


For three weeks, I've been sitting around wondering why no pollster was asking Minnesota's voters. It was astonishing to me that no one bothered. That was apparently that, and we’d so easily moved on. But now, someone has polled it, and the PPP survey of 671 Minnesotans taken the two days after Christmas says precisely what I and a lot of other people expected it to say.

For starters, Minnesotans believe he should not have resigned by 50-42 percent. You may be thinking, “Well, that’s kinda close.” Yes, but it’s the only number that is close.

Should the ethics committee investigation have played out, or should he have resigned immediately? Complete investigation, 60-35. Should this have been up to Minnesota voters, or other senators in Washington? The former, 76-12. The only groups that really want to see Franken go are Republicans and Trump voters, and that’s presumably not because their gender-politics values were offended. Republicans backed the resignation by 71-19. Democrats said he should not resign by 71-22, and they were joined by independents, who said by 52-41 that Franken shouldn’t quit. Finally, the poll showed Franken with higher levels of support among women than men. Only 38 percent of women said Franken should resign, while 46 percent of men said so.

In other words, the only Minnesotans who wanted Franken to go are the people who (I think we can safely assume) wanted him out for partisan or ideological reasons: because he was, among Democratic senators, literally the single most effective questioner of Trump administration officials who came to testify before the Senate, because he exposed Jeff Sessions as a liar under deft examination, because he was going to be a major thorn in the Trump administration’s side for as long as it lasts. These Minnesotans don’t care how many buttocks he squeezed, or whether he squeezed one. They want a really smart and effective Democrat replaced by a hopefully less smart and effective one. And the Democrats did their work for them.

But that isn’t the main point. The main point is that Franken didn’t have a chance to defend himself. He has maintained publicly that he didn’t do most of the things he’s been accused of. Democrats are supposed to believe in things like a fair process and hearing both sides and letting a person defend himself. In this case, they did not. They will face, and deserve to face, very tough questions of their own, starting with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who started this Queen of Hearts-ish avalanche. She came in for a lot of heat on my Twitter feed, and elsewhere, I’ve noticed. And props to Pat Leahy for being the only Democrat to come forward and admit on the record that he was wrong to call for Franken’s resignation. It would help, a little, if more of them had the courage to do the same.


197 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Al Franken was the most effective senator in fighting the trump admin JI7 Jan 2018 #1
+1 disndat Jan 2018 #4
GOP public enemy #1 aeromanKC Jan 2018 #27
News Just In disndat Jan 2018 #39
Link to that bullshit statement? nt Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #59
I dunno about MSNBC talking about this Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #69
That has nothing to do with what the poster stated. Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #70
??? Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #80
The poster was bullshitting. Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #89
I never said I was corroborating Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #116
So, I ask someone to prove a bullshit statement, Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #140
You seem upset Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #151
It is 100% unrelated from what the post I responded to claimed. Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #153
For sure. Alice11111 Jan 2018 #177
Yes, he was. zentrum Jan 2018 #158
Actually Franken voted with Trump 25% of the time. Trumpocalypse Jan 2018 #186
Good essay that asks a vital question: Demit Jan 2018 #2
So now we're in a box where Democrats will never let the process play out. enough Jan 2018 #6
All you have to do is accuse and get the Democrat to apologize... brooklynite Jan 2018 #20
I suspect we're in a box Bettie Jan 2018 #86
Agree. It's zentrum Jan 2018 #160
Complete hit job. How did Roger Stone know about the Tweeden story a day before it broke? VOX Jan 2018 #3
Yes Tipperary Jan 2018 #5
Courage would be good. mountain grammy Jan 2018 #7
makes ya wonder if any of those senators are on our side or not questionseverything Jan 2018 #122
Yeah, I kind of felt that disgust too. PatrickforO Jan 2018 #124
As soon as I hear the phrase "zero tolerance", PatSeg Jan 2018 #8
Same here. Owl Jan 2018 #11
I totally agree. THe Me Too movement is a double edged sword for progressives. And I have Amaryllis Jan 2018 #161
The bolded part is not actually true oberliner Jan 2018 #9
Bullshit ollie10 Jan 2018 #10
Well said! MoonRiver Jan 2018 #12
Do you think his statements were wise? oberliner Jan 2018 #16
He asked for and deserved due process, i.e. an Ethics Committee investigation. MoonRiver Jan 2018 #21
The Senate Ethics Committee is a terrible place for sexual harassment investigations oberliner Jan 2018 #44
So, instead of trying to improve the process, we should just railroad people out of office? MoonRiver Jan 2018 #50
I don't think he was railroaded out of office oberliner Jan 2018 #57
I think we fundamentally disagree on this issue. But that's ok. MoonRiver Jan 2018 #58
Top marks to you for even trying to respond. OnDoutside Jan 2018 #71
Thanks. I feel pretty passionately about this. MoonRiver Jan 2018 #72
Many of us feel the same. Scratch that actually.... OnDoutside Jan 2018 #74
I agree, and will leave it at that. MoonRiver Jan 2018 #76
Senator Al Franken Admits He Crossed a Line in Light of New Allegations (Nov 24) oberliner Jan 2018 #14
I make of that statement that Franken is a good person who got railroaded by Gillibrand ollie10 Jan 2018 #23
I agree with you. True Blue American Jan 2018 #34
The Senate Ethics Committee is BS oberliner Jan 2018 #47
So the choice you give us is railroad someone without any sort of hearing? ollie10 Jan 2018 #85
Or he could have not resigned oberliner Jan 2018 #90
Because of the Gillebrand lynch mob, he had little choice..... ollie10 Jan 2018 #94
I don't agree with your characterization of Gillibrand oberliner Jan 2018 #95
wow....just wow! ollie10 Jan 2018 #96
I respectfully disagree with your continued maligning of Gillibrand oberliner Jan 2018 #99
It seems to me the one who was maligned was Franken.... ollie10 Jan 2018 #119
I would not vote for Gillibrand True Blue American Jan 2018 #180
She is better than Trump but...nominate her and Trump will win ollie10 Jan 2018 #185
Which would have cued up you and a few other posters here Denzil_DC Jan 2018 #100
Maybe so oberliner Jan 2018 #104
So that must make Franken guilty in your book Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2018 #113
I don't know if he is guilty or not oberliner Jan 2018 #114
Tina Dupuy Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2018 #118
Point taken oberliner Jan 2018 #181
He is not. Since the Dems didn't give him an investigation, Alice11111 Jan 2018 #178
What do I make of that statement? Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #67
all very well said (since I agree with you completely :) ! ) renate Jan 2018 #82
Your points are taken oberliner Jan 2018 #92
That's fair and I do agree that the question of Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #121
If you hug me without consent, then it is sexual harrassment. Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #97
So when my mom hugs me without consent Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #120
If you hug someone against their will, it is indeed Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #139
Affectionate does not equal Sexual Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #149
There is nuance... Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #155
Dude really? Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #156
Parents also kiss their children, which is not sexual. Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #159
You're ignoring that they asked Franken to pose with them. People usually put an arm... brush Jan 2018 #165
No it isn't and your claim is offensive to those who are victims of sexual harassment. kcr Jan 2018 #150
So it's OK to hug someone without their permission? nt Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #152
It's not the convention to ask permission for hugs because they aren't sexual in nature. kcr Jan 2018 #187
Unwanted touching is unwanted touching. Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2018 #194
He is not obviously in the wrong. Fuck that. Waist hugging is now sexual assault? brush Jan 2018 #163
What do you make that since he announced his resignation, no further accusations have been made? still_one Jan 2018 #79
I don't know what to make of that oberliner Jan 2018 #91
Of course there was. When a group of prominent Senate Democrats comes out publically still_one Jan 2018 #98
They all said he had the right to an investigation oberliner Jan 2018 #101
You are making an excuse for them. They MADE IT PUBLIC, to pressure him to resign, it is that still_one Jan 2018 #108
These are well-respected Democratic Senators who deserve the benefit of the doubt oberliner Jan 2018 #141
Sorry for the vulgarity, but that is bullshit. They were wrong on this, just as those Democratic still_one Jan 2018 #145
I am not saying that whatever they do must be right oberliner Jan 2018 #182
Ah, not quite. I work as a contracted consultant. haele Jan 2018 #138
Franken absolutely could've continued and could've been effective oberliner Jan 2018 #142
Just that Al is too nice, they counted on it. Kimchijeon Jan 2018 #103
Yeah, he can't work with THESE democrats wellst0nev0ter Jan 2018 #164
What I get from that statement is that Al is a hugger LoveMyCali Jan 2018 #123
That's a misreading of his apology ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #13
I posted the statement above oberliner Jan 2018 #15
How would YOU dispute anonymous accusations from strangers from 10 years ago? Demit Jan 2018 #24
A few things that should be able to be said definitively oberliner Jan 2018 #51
You forget the photo session with Arianna Huffington. Demit Jan 2018 #78
This reply is a good illustration of the Gillibrand Rule mn9driver Jan 2018 #26
I don't think you are being fair to Gillibrand oberliner Jan 2018 #53
"I crossed a line for some women" ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #29
I understand what you are saying oberliner Jan 2018 #55
we'll never know the facts ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #66
Points taken oberliner Jan 2018 #93
cheers. We definitely agree on that ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #102
Why didn't Al just wait for ethics investgation? RiverStone Jan 2018 #81
The only thing I can think of, the only thing that makes any sense at all ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #87
Agree. Unfortunately, this was exactly what I thought too RiverStone Jan 2018 #125
Maybe because unlike many of his colleagues Egnever Jan 2018 #188
Would you work with people who openly betray you wellst0nev0ter Jan 2018 #166
It would be difficult, but if I felt the penalty far exceeded the crime RiverStone Jan 2018 #174
That assumes he feels it worth fighting for Egnever Jan 2018 #189
Al was facing a large contingent of colleagues lined up against him summer_in_TX Jan 2018 #176
No it isn't actually true Progressive dog Jan 2018 #38
He DID publicly challenge most of the accusations Ghost Owl Jan 2018 #61
No, he didn't oberliner Jan 2018 #65
You are making... tonedevil Jan 2018 #128
Absolutely not oberliner Jan 2018 #143
Dupuy accused Franken of squeezing her waist wellst0nev0ter Jan 2018 #168
Thank you ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #88
He was being his nice guy self WyLoochka Jan 2018 #175
... Lucinda Jan 2018 #17
Great. Cary Jan 2018 #18
What victory are you sighing about? Demit Jan 2018 #33
You are so negative Cary Jan 2018 #35
Everything that Democrats do is by defintion right, and must be praised. Crunchy Frog Jan 2018 #63
Oh noes, Crunchy Frog, I fear you are "droning on!" Demit Jan 2018 #83
Yes. Gillibrand and Co. are good Crunchy Frog Jan 2018 #62
There is a great deal of anger and disgust about this among solid Democratic Party voters mn9driver Jan 2018 #19
I couldn't agree more with all that you've written. ProfessorPlum Jan 2018 #32
Well stated dalton99a Jan 2018 #36
K&R. dchill Jan 2018 #22
Our party will be forever weaker with his departure and absence. NurseJackie Jan 2018 #25
This expresses my feelings exactly. This issue will not go away for me. Honeycombe8 Jan 2018 #28
Yes disndat Jan 2018 #45
Unfortunately, Warren was one of those calling for Franken's ouster. nt Honeycombe8 Jan 2018 #46
Zephyr slammed disndat Jan 2018 #60
"The main point is that Franken didnt have a chance to defend himself." - sure he did. PoliticAverse Jan 2018 #30
People who are saying he made a choice are being disingenuous in the extreme. Demit Jan 2018 #40
He said he made a choice and gave the reason for it. You are basically saying he was lying. n /t PoliticAverse Jan 2018 #49
Oh, FFS. I understand politician-speak, even if you don't. Demit Jan 2018 #84
Exactly. When the leader of the party tells you to go, you have no choice. Honeycombe8 Jan 2018 #54
because the majority of Dem Caucus had rejected him delisen Jan 2018 #109
Gillibrand not only True Blue American Jan 2018 #31
She has every potential to be another Lieberman dalton99a Jan 2018 #37
is anybody else saying this: Chipper Chat Jan 2018 #48
That's only because it's BS. OnDoutside Jan 2018 #73
I will never vote for her in a primary Bettie Jan 2018 #117
She's an opportunistic hypocrite. I'd rather have one Franken than ten Gillibrands in the Senate lunamagica Jan 2018 #126
Another glass is whine SCantiGOP Jan 2018 #41
IMV, this is the most disturbing and harmful event of 2017. ananda Jan 2018 #42
On scant credible evidence his 35 so-called colleagues publicly denounced him and declared him unfit dalton99a Jan 2018 #52
Ranks right up there with the appointment of... 3catwoman3 Jan 2018 #64
as long as dems let 1500 radio stations decide what is and isn't acceptable things certainot Jan 2018 #43
Franken chose not to stick around for that fair process Progressive dog Jan 2018 #56
Utter nonsense Taraman Jan 2018 #68
How you interpreted what I wrote is utter nonsense Progressive dog Jan 2018 #171
If Gillibrand decides to run for President we need to remind Democrats about the Franken fiasco. jalan48 Jan 2018 #75
No, we don't oberliner Jan 2018 #105
No thanks. She would lose and we can't afford that. jalan48 Jan 2018 #106
Post 75 said actions have consequences SCantiGOP Jan 2018 #107
If her judgment -- and sensitivities -- AND commitment to due process RandomAccess Jan 2018 #112
Kamala Harris called on Franken to resign, as did Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders oberliner Jan 2018 #135
+1 onenote Jan 2018 #144
She's an opportunistic hypocrite lunamagica Jan 2018 #127
+1000 (nt) scarletwoman Jan 2018 #162
This message was self-deleted by its author oberliner Jan 2018 #184
Nope wellst0nev0ter Jan 2018 #169
No remind will be necessary. Raster Jan 2018 #133
The consequence of this action will be what exactly? oberliner Jan 2018 #183
The end of her political advancement Egnever Jan 2018 #190
It was a hit job. Greybnk48 Jan 2018 #77
We are in the fight for our country & the dems decided to take the moral high ground, CrispyQ Jan 2018 #110
John Phillips and Roger Stone riverwalker Jan 2018 #111
And don't forget disndat Jan 2018 #136
Still smells, still a set-up, still wrong cp Jan 2018 #115
++++ heaven05 Jan 2018 #129
Reid would never have let Dems in the Senate get so egregiously rolled. stuffmatters Jan 2018 #130
SHAME on the DUers who supported this bullisht Skittles Jan 2018 #131
And the Senators ....does anyone know which Dem Senators did NOT join the mobbing? stuffmatters Jan 2018 #134
Im still too disgusted by the whole Democrat attack on Al Franken BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2018 #132
Its beyond unfair. NCTraveler Jan 2018 #137
Sure he did! tavernier Jan 2018 #147
Good point. Certainly made me think twice about ever voting for Kirsten Gillibrand. calimary Jan 2018 #148
Pretty sure you wont be stuck with her. tavernier Jan 2018 #173
When you are a senator that isnt defending yourself. NCTraveler Jan 2018 #154
Franken did ask for True Blue American Jan 2018 #179
So the me too movement was bullshit Egnever Jan 2018 #192
Franken Was Removed For a Reason-Kompromat Played a Central Role dlk Jan 2018 #146
Deeply unfair and zentrum Jan 2018 #157
I will never get over what was done to Franken. scarletwoman Jan 2018 #167
+1000 dflprincess Jan 2018 #170
Talk about bad optics flamingdem Jan 2018 #172
Franken had a chance to defend himself. He chose not to. Orsino Jan 2018 #191
Do explain how Egnever Jan 2018 #193
That he doesn't feel the job important enough to fight for is a mark against his innocence. Orsino Jan 2018 #195
How is it a mark against his innocence? Egnever Jan 2018 #196
I haven't seen a sign that the GOP ever intends to open the harrassment can of worms. Orsino Jan 2018 #197
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Michael Tomasky: Senato...