Dear Senator Franken:
I have read your “full statement” as printed in the Pioneer Press responding to multiple sexual harassment and abuse complaints.
Senator Franken’s full statement:
“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many. Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that. I’ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations. I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again. And let me say again to Minnesotans that I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”
Your statement is another attempt to defend your actions, while offering excuses for your inexcusable behavior choices. You did not “hug” these women…you groped them. This is not a warm heart issue, but a warm wandering hands issue. There is never anything appropriate about any greeting or hug that ends with uninvited hands on a woman’s butt cheek, breasts or anywhere else on her person. This is not about “some” women’s perceptions of “encounters” with you. It is about your abusive actions.
Please, please let this be photo-shopped.
After having posed for that picture where you are feeling up the breasts of a sleeping woman, it is time to ask yourself if you really can continue to be a respected and effective member of the United States Senate. For example, should the people from Alabama elect Judge Roy Moore to the United State Senate, and the sexual abuse accusations against him prove true, would you accept a statement mirroring your own from him? I would hope it would be rejected. However, as an a adult male who, only two short years before running for the U.S. Senate, abandoned all common sense and the moral high ground for a quick laugh at the expense of a sleeping woman, you have forever forfeited any right to question anyone’s maturity, sense of judgment or to condemn others regarding sexual harassment and abuse of women.
It seems that you are a bit like Scarlett O’Hara, in the movie, “Gone With the Wind.” In the scene where Rhett Butler finds her drunk and feigning grief over the death of her second husband. Scarlett didn’t fool him for a second. She didn’t care a wit that her actions resulted her husband’s death, but cared a whole lot about what was going to become of her. Rhett sums up Scarlet’s performance by telling her, “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.
After so much dishonor, any redemption of your reputation lies not in a legally-approved public relations statement, but in doing the honorable thing. It is time to take complete responsibility for your actions and set a powerful example for other sexual harassers and abusers to follow by actually putting the welfare of your victims before personal ambition.
Senator, you have been caught with your hands on the “cookie jar”, and it is time to pay the piper. Resign!