Al Franken’s non-denial and petulant, whining resignation speech (in which he implied that his female victims were lying) is drawing fire from Republicans.
But not only Republicans.
The influential liberal page-turner Vox has dedicated a front-page editorial to trashing the sleazy departing Democrat, who did everything an accused politician should NOT do.
Vox is calling it a “master class” in how to act like a guilty weasel in the face of sexual misconduct charges.
A few excerpts:
Franken did not take that chance. He did not apologize. Instead, he gave advice on running for office, focused on his own struggles rather than those of survivors, and seemed to take back the apologies he had already offered. In his speech, Franken squandered an opportunity to do good, and instead offered a master class in what not to do when accused of sexual misconduct.
As of Wednesday, eight women had publicly reported that Franken groped, kissed, or tried to kiss them without their consent. Several said he grabbed their butts or breasts during photo ops. Franken has specifically denied at least one of the allegations, and has responded less clearly, or not at all, to others, ABC News reports.
Either way, he has never offered the women who came forward the first thing they deserve: a clear explanation of what, if anything, he believes he did wrong and what, if anything, he is committed to changing.
He had an opportunity, in his own speech, to contribute to that change. If he was in any way sincere in his previous apology, he could have been clear about his previous actions, expressed remorse, and explained what he would do differently. Instead, he talked about his own feelings, saying, “This has been a tough few weeks for me.” He offered his advice for those running for office, as though he were still a role model, cautioning that “there are a lot of long hours and late nights and hard lessons. And there is no guarantee that all your work and sacrifice will ever pay off.”
And most importantly, by offering a vague denial of the reports by his accusers, he encouraged voters to doubt and shame them. He gave ammunition to those who believe their accounts are part of a right-wing plot, and to the many who still think women who report harassment are vindictive harpies seeking to harm men.
Remember, Democrats aren’t merely unpopular among conservatives. Honest liberals are starting to hate them too.