There are conflicting reports that, tomorrow, Senator Al Franken either will or will not resign his seat over allegations of sexual harassment.
Personally, I don’t like Al Franken. I think he’s a bit of a jerk. I don’t like a lot of his political positions. It would not bother me at all if he were no longer a United States Senator.
But not this way.
Senator Franken has been accused by a number of women – the number has grown in fits and starts to, I believe 7 – of various types of sexual harassment. They include groping. attempted kissing and, in one instance, an ill-conceived joke-photo in which he either grabbed or almost grabbed a sleeping woman’s breasts.
Is Franken accused of:
-Raping anyone? No.
-Attempting to rape anyone? No.
-Exposing himself? No.
-Trying to take off any of the women’s clothing against their will? No.
-Demanding some kind of quid pro quo (give me sex or I’ll……)? No.
-Is it acknowledged that he stopped when they resisted? Yes.
For the record, that doesn’t just describe Al Franken. It describes me as well.
-When I was dating, I didn’t rape or attempt to rape any woman. I did not expose myself to any woman, or any of the other things on that list.
-Did I try to kiss my dates and cop feels – or more, if they were receptive? Yes. Did I stop if they did not let me do so? Yes.
At this point I think I’m supposed to point out, with appropriate benevolence and poignancy, that although Franken may have acted boorishly, boorish behavior should not cause someone to be removed from elective office.
But I’m not going to do that. Because what I described (which covers most of what Franken is accused of) is not boorish behavior. It happens a million times every day, with guys “trying something” and only then knowing whether the “try” is welcomed or spurned.
Have we really gone so far down the path that this normal, everyday sexual behavior would disqualify a United States Senator from retaining his office?
It is absurdity on steroids.
To Senator Al Franken: do me a personal favor and stay on as senator. If anyone doesn’t like it, tell them to sign an affidavit swearing he/she never tried anything sexual with someone who then said no, And if any of them actually offer to sign such an affidavit, tell them for me that they’re full of crap.