Minnesota Democrat Al Franken announced his resignation from the Senate on Thursday after eight women came forward in recent weeks to accuse him of unwanted sexual advances.
His resignation comes less than 24 hours after more than 30 of his Democratic Senate colleagues called for him to step down from his seat. Naturally, many Republicans have also joined in the criticism of Franken, which is fine. But some conservatives are going after Franken at the same time as they support Roy Moore’s Senate run, even after allegations that he pursued girls as young as 14—which is not fine.
While plenty of national Republicans have conveniently fallen silent on Moore and been wary of coming out too strong against Franken, others, including our president, have wholeheartedly embraced the hypocrisy of backing Moore, an alleged pedophile, while calling for Franken’s head. Some even flip-flopped on Moore, veering from condemnation to open support in a matter of weeks.
Franken’s actions—and nonconsensual touching by anyone, elected official or not—are unequivocally wrong. But lobbying to eject one man from the Senate while championing another accused of sexual assault and predatory behavior with underage girls is an outrageous double standard.
Here the worst conservative offenders:
President Donald Trump
On Moore: After initially condemning Moore by saying, “no Senate seat is worth more than a child,” Conway has learned to love him. Here she is attacking his Democratic opponent Doug Jones during a late November appearance on Fox and Friends:
Doug Jones in Alabama? Folks, don’t be fooled. He’ll be a vote against tax cuts. He’s weak on crime, weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He’s terrible for property owners. And Doug Jones is a doctrinaire liberal, which is why he’s not saying anything and why the media are trying to boost him
Later, she doubled-down on her support for Moore, invoking Franken in the process:
I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through. And if the media were really concerned about all these allegations and that’s what this was truly about … Al Franken would be on the ash heap of bygone, half-funny comedians. He wouldn’t be here on Capitol Hill.
Cruz was among the first national Republican figures to endorse Moore—only to retract his endorsement after the allegations of sexual assault were made public. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Cruz from continuing to carry water for Moore while denouncing Franken in his very next breath:
On Moore: After previously calling for Moore to step aside, McConnell said this week: “I think we’re going to let the people of Alabama decide a week from Tuesday who they want to send to the Senate, and then we’ll address the matter appropriately.”
On Moore: “...recent events made me realize that if the GOP establishment is horrified at the notion of Judge Moore being elected, then by all means, let’s hope the wonderful people of Alabama make Judge Moore into Senator Moore!”
It’s down to the fact that as long as Al Franken is in the Senate, and Conyers is staying in office, why not have Roy Moore?
Following the resignations of both Franken and Conyers, however, Huckabee has yet to answer his own question.
The Republican Party
On Moore: The party’s fundraising arm, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, announced it was cutting off funds to Moore’s campaign. Then the Republican National Committee decided to re-open the cash spigot to the Moore campaign.
On Franken: “These allegations are disgusting and Democrats who took Sen. Franken’s campaign money need to take action,” National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Matt Gorman said in a statement. “Return his donations and do it immediately.”
On Moore: When asked by Fox and Friends’ anchor Brian Kilmeade to respond to President Trump’s endorsement of Moore in November, Bossie emphatically approved of his former boss’ decision, saying that “the people of Alabama get to vote.”
On Franken: In an interview with CNSNews.com, Bossie declared: “If Senator Franken does not resign, he should be expelled by his colleagues without delay.”