The last I saw some 11 Democratic senators have called upon Al Franken to resign. I have already explained my opinion—which I see no reason to change—that he should not. (I do think that some kind of formal censure resolution by the Senate might be appropriate, following an ethics committee investigation.) I suspect that this stampede to scapegoat Franken has mixed motives, including an overzealous, politically misguided desire to prove that “we” are better than “them.” I sent the following message to my senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, and followed it up with one to my other senator, Schumer. I would urge all readers who agree with me to communicate similarly with your senators:
I’m very disappointed to learn that you have called upon Sen. Franken to resign. Yes, his misbehavior—long before he entered public service–does deserve to be condemned, but the call for resignation is out of proportion to the offense. It implies a failure to discriminate among the many forms and gradations of sexual misconduct. Surely you can acknowledge that what Franken did is in no way comparable to Conyers’s or Moore’s offenses. Franken is a fine senator. The bad that men and women do must be weighed against the good. Your judgment in this case shows a lack of balance.”
Word is that Franken is going to make an announcement tomorrow. I hope lots of people join me in sending him a short message: DON’T RESIGN.