Tears, hugs, and excuses: on the Senate floor during Al Franken’s resignation speech

Franken used his resignation to make himself the victim.

The moments that followed Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s resignation announcement, amid eight allegations of sexual harassment, were filled with sounds of mourning.

The slap of a comforting hand on his back. The rustle of a Well said handshake. The sniffle of a consolatory tear.

One by one, Democratic senators stood in line to give Franken a hug. Among them were several who had been part of a coordinated effort Wednesday to publicly call for his resignation — an effort that was ultimately successful. His staffers sat in a line wiping away tears.

The allegations against high-profile Democrats like Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Franken have created a moment of reckoning for the Democratic Party, which has long fought to position itself as the party of gender equality and women’s rights. Would Democrats take a stand against their own? Franken’s announcement was anticipated to be a breakthrough — a national flashpoint, where deep partisan ties would be put aside to hold even the most prominent progressive voices accountable.

But over the course of roughly 20 minutes, Franken, who did not apologize for his alleged actions, admit wrongdoing, or name a single one of his accusers, left the Senate floor somehow no longer the accused but the victim.

Franken made the case that he was the collateral damage in a cultural revolution to hold powerful men accountable for their actions — a force of change that he himself has championed as good. That is, until it came to him.

He said others have been accused of similar, if not worse, acts and have yet to be held accountable.

“I, of all people, am aware there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving, while a man who has bragged on tape about …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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