I will try not to point out the irony of Mitch McConnell asking for an Ethics probe into the allegations against Al Franken within half an hour of them surfacing when he spent three days saying, “troubling, if true” where it concerned Roy Moore’s pedophilia allegations, but you know what?
“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter,” McConnell said in a statement. “I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable—in the workplace or anywhere else.”
It’s not just good that McConnell is calling for an investigation into Al Franken, because it deserves to be investigated (and Franken’s apology was clearly insufficient), but because it suggests, at least, that McConnell will act with the same haste when other Senators and Congressman are accused.
And they will be accused.
Also, good for Democrats Tim Kaine, Claire McKaskill, and Kristen Gillibrand for rising above party here and acting in the best interests of women.
Re Al Franken: I’m shocked and concerned. The behavior described is completely unacceptable. Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) November 16, 2017
GILLIBRAND says Franken’s response was not sufficient. Calls for investigation.— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) November 16, 2017
Tim Kaine on Franken: "the behavior is unacceptable." Said an ethics investigation "has merit."— James Arkin (@JamesArkin) November 16, 2017
And I know, I know: If you’re going to call for an Ethics probe of Franken, then one should be called for Trump, who has 17 accusers. And that should happen, but establishing this precedent means — or at least, I think it means — that the default in Congress going ahead will be to believe the women regardless of political affiliation.
That’s a small victory, and one that will hopefully lead to bigger ones.
Also, the bloodbath in the 2018 midterms may not just be among Republicans, but men, as well. The Virginia State House may be a sign of what’s to come: A wave of female Democrats who are sick and tired of putting up with this shit.