The Corner

Politics & Policy

Al Franken’s Farcical Resignation Speech

Al Franken’s resignation speech made no sense. If he is innocent as he claims (he says some of the allegations were untrue and he remembers the rest differently than his accusers) and if he is as confident that the Ethics Committee would vindicate him as he says, he shouldn’t be resigning. Indeed, a duly-elected senator wrongly accused owes it to himself and his constituents to fight on — lies and mis-remembered accounts shouldn’t chase anyone from the Senate. 

Franken tried to square the circle by saying that he couldn’t go through an ethics committee investigation and effectively serve Minnesotans at the same time. If this were true, every senator with an ethics claim against him would have to step aside. If this were true, Bob Menendez, who has been defending himself in a major criminal case for years, would have felt obligated to resign long ago.

A couple of things are going on here: 1) Democrats obviously want to clear the decks to get a clear line of fire on Roy Moore and Donald Trump, and Franken realizes he can’t stand in the way; 2) In the current environment in the Democratic party it is difficult to question the credibility of any accusers, so Franken would have just dug himself in a deeper hole by trying to defend himself (this is a dynamic that could lead to injustices); 3) Franken is pretty clearly not telling the truth in his denials, and that would have become even more obvious over time.

It’s true that what Franken is accused of isn’t as bad as what Roy Moore is accused of. But he’s a groper, who assumed he could get away with it because the women couldn’t or wouldn’t complain. This is a lousy thing. Surely, the state of Minnesota can come up with someone to occupy one of its two senate seats who hasn’t treated people this way and been dishonest about it.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More
Sports

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice. It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Completely Assimilated

Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas Senate candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn., last week: ... Read More
Elections

How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy

Robert Francis O’Rourke is white. If it’s any consolation, he’s very sorry about that. “Beto” has been running from his Irish ancestry for some time now. Long before the Left fell headlong into the logical termini of its triune fascination with race, power, and privilege, O’Rourke sensed that there ... Read More