The resignation of Minnesota Senator Al Franken would not change what happened to Leeann Tweeden, the woman he groped, nor would it reduce the culture of using power to sexually harass, asserts Masha Gessen of The New Yorker. His groping of her, while deeply inappropriate, was not the kind of abuse of power that Harvey Weinstein engaged in. The film producer used his influence to get women to engage in sexual acts with him and remain silent, fearing for their careers. Powerful people using their status to subdue others is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. Often this violence can be purely verbal. Franken’s crime was less profound. His resignation would not tackle this much bigger issue.
In the face of Republicans pointing fingers, it has become tempting for Democrats to rally around Senator Al Franken and defend him. Yet there are no excuses for what he did. To work towards a world in which these kinds of sexual harassment and abuses no longer take place, Franken must resign, argues David Perry of CNN. It is hard to watch or agree with Republicans as they hypocritically target the Senator for his innapropriate groping of Leeann Tweeden, given that they have long ignored sexual harassment allegations about their own. Getting Franken to resign will likely not make the GOP change its stance on President Trump or Roy Moore. Still, it is the right thing to do. He did what he did and must be held accountable for it.