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When #MeToo Got It Wrong: The Al Franken Controversy, One Year Later

David Burke
13 min readDec 18, 2018

It’s been a year since former Senator Al Franken resigned amidst accusations of sexual misconduct, but the controversy over Democrats’ treatment of Franken remains. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who led the charge against Franken, has lost supporters over her handling of the situation. Those who support Gillibrand, however, argue that Democrats were smart to push Franken out. The passage of time hasn’t made the Franken episode any less polarizing, perhaps because for many, it still feels unresolved.

Since there was no meaningful investigation into the accusations against Franken, the necessary conversation was cut short. The accusations were made, one after another, and within a matter of weeks one of the most beloved and effective Democratic senators was gone. By the time people spoke up on Franken’s behalf, it was already too late.

To this day, I still believe the way Democrats turned on Franken was unjustified. So even though it may not be smart or popular to defend him, I’m going to do it anyway. The accusations against Franken were questionable. The dominant narrative that he engaged in a “troubling pattern of behavior” was false. And the way Gillibrand and her colleagues rushed to force Franken out — when only 34 percent of women polled in Minnesota thought he should resign — was alarming. The…

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David Burke

aka “The Logical Liberal.” Activist and attorney trying to improve our political system — www.thelogicalliberal.com. Founder of www.citizenstakeaction.org.