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Al Franken: So Far, He's Resolving This The Right Way...So Far

Category: Society
Posted: 11/17/17 15:30

by Dave Mindeman

When the news about Al Franken and his sexual harassment charges broke, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Surely, not Al. OMG, he has been a leader on women's issues ever since he came to the Senate - both on women's rights and reproductive rights.

Leeann Tweeden's open letter was compelling and kind of gut wrenching. And then, the awful photo came and I thought - No, Al, that's not OK and not funny. What the hell were you thinking?

Then all the reactions came. They came fast and swift. Democrats and Republicans. A number of people immediately called for resignation.

And even though I have been a hard core supporter of Al Franken from the beginning, I could not say that those resignation calls were wrong. His voice would now be questioned. His actions even more so.

My first reaction was to put what I could find out, out there. And then watch the reactions from the people in the political sphere. Of course, the Republicans put forward the hypocrisy of it all (and it was hard to disagree); and the liberal Democratic response was much the same (which in these cases was actually a good thing). As we move forward on the explosion of sexual harassment charges, it has to be taken out of the partisan bubble and, as many have said, we need to listen to the women.

Yeah, gentleman, we do not get any final say on this. We are all, all of us, guilty as charged. The societal norms regarding men is not right. It is completely and totally wrong and we need to fix that. Yes, there is a lot about this problem that we are brought up with - it is what we are taught. But it is NOT in our DNA. We can do better. Each generation needs to fix what it can. But the first thing to do is listen to how women are affected.

Unlike many of the current charges in regards to other people, Al responded a little different. He, as many would, hedged on the facts...just a little at first. But he came to the proper conclusion - if Leeann Tweeden was offended then he was wrong.

And Leeann, for her part, was willing to listen. She felt that Al's apology was real and she didn't feel that Al Franken should resign - but for her own emotional well being, she had to say something. She has been very fair to Franken - more than most would be willing to do.

But she gets the final say on this. We should take our cues from her. And to her credit, she seems willing to forgive.

In addition, Franken is doing his part. He started slow but thought it through and issued a personal apology directly to Leeann, which she graciously read on the view.

"Dear Leeann, I want to apologize to you personally," Tweeden read aloud for the audience. "I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, but that doesn't matter. There's no excuse and I understand why you could feel violated by that photo. I remember that rehearsal differently, but what's important is that [sic] the impact it had on you and you felt violated by my actions, and for that I apologize. I have tremendous respect for your work for the USO and I am ashamed that my actions ruined that experience for you. I am so sorry. Sincerely, Al Franken."

Now this may be OK for this incident....but we all know that when something like this is made public, there are often other problems ready to surface. So we will have to reserve judgment on the final conclusion for a later time.

For now, it seems to me that Al Franken resolved this the right way.
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