When Lindsay Menz accused Al Franken of grabbing her bottom while a photo was being taken of them, I figured he was probably toast. Politicians have their pictures taken with thousands of people, approximately half of whom are women. Grabbing a woman’s rear probably isn’t something a politician does only once.
It appears now that the dam has burst, as two liberal supporters of Franken have told the Huffington Post that he touched them while a photo was being taken in the same manner that he allegedly grabbed Ms. Menz. My guess is that more are yet to come.
Franken didn’t deny the allegations:
In a statement to HuffPost, Franken said, “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”
He shouldn’t have to remember those events to know whether he makes a practice of grabbing women’s buttocks while having his picture taken with them.
I found this aspect of HuffPo’s report sad:
The second woman told several people ― including one of the reporters for this story, Zachary Roth ― about the incident some years ago, but didn’t want it reported then. She said she didn’t tell anyone at the time of the incident because inappropriate behavior from men was not that unusual to her or her friends.
Several other factors also left her feeling powerless.
“I felt like I didn’t have a voice,” she said. “This man had all of the power, all of the authority. In addition, he is a white man and I am a woman of color. I was 21 years old. And I was afraid that he would use all of those privileges to discredit me, to make me feel even smaller than I already felt.”
So the bullsh*t about “privilege” that this woman no doubt was taught in college helped to dissuade her from standing up to Franken. That is truly unfortunate, and not only this woman, but probably quite a few others, suffered as a result.
What will happen next? The Democrats will probably sit tight for a little while to see how many more women emerge from the weeds. But they won’t wait long. Franken will be forced out well before next November’s election, which is to say, while Minnesota still has a Democratic governor to appoint a replacement. But they probably won’t cut it close. Most likely, he will be gone within a couple of weeks, especially if more accusers come forward.