Franken is out.
His resignation is a big loss for liberals. He was a good senator, he was a sharp critic of Republican sleaze, he was hard-working and attentive to his constituents. I would have happily kept electing him for term after term. I liked him personally.
However, it would also be a loss if he hadn’t resigned. How effective could he be at criticizing sleaze with this black mark hanging over his head? How well could he continue to do his job while under a pointless investigation that the Republicans, as is their wont, would never allow to come to a conclusion? His offenses were real offenses that needed to be addressed, even if they weren’t as severe as those of Borris Miles (a Democrat in the Texas Legislature), or nowhere near the repellent behavior of Roy Moore or Donald Trump. It’s all got to be cleaned up and out.
There is one way to turn this into a positive gain, though. The Democrats have to wake up and walk the walk, and be strong in demanding ethical, responsible behavior from their representatives. Not only would it make for better government, but it would be a pragmatic step toward strengthening their electoral coalition. Let the Republicans have the bigots and racists and Nazis; Democrats should do right by women. I know who I’d rather have on my side.
And while they’re at it, take pride in being the party of minorities and immigrants and the oppressed. Build a platform for the emerging demographics in this country.
And while I’m dreaming, could the Democrats be the party of labor again? If we want to improve the economy, having a party that actually supported unions would be a phenomenal development. This would build an unstoppable base.
Nah, these are the Democrats. They’ll find a way to fuck it up, probably by continuing to pander to the elite donor class, just like the Republicans.