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If Sen. Al Franken steps down, he shouldn't be alone

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Personally, I would like to see Franken step down so his example would increase pressure on Moore and others to treat sexual harassment as a serious offense, whether it is criminal or not.

Among those others is President Donald Trump, who unfortunately responded to Franken's infantile stunt in a typically infantile Trumpian tweet: "The Al Frankenstien (sic) picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words."

And he continued the tweet with even more crudeness: "Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?" Yuk, yuk.

Trump makes no mention the sexual harassment accusations that happen to have been made against him by multiple women.

Nor does he mention the accusations against his own Grand Old Party's albatross, Roy Moore.

With that in mind, one might think there hasn't been much progress since I called on President Bill Clinton to resign after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. He ignored such calls and, thanks to overreaching by impeachment-hungry Republicans, completed his second term with higher approval ratings for himself and his party than Congress had.

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But times have changed. Franken is only one of the latest political and show business stars to be caught up in charges of sexual harassment. The Harvey Weinstein scandal and online "#MeToo" campaigns have heightened awareness and sensitivities since the bad old days when Anita Hill had to defend her credibility in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings.

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said he believes the women regarding allegations against Moore, it marked how far we have come as a society. The sarcasm of Trump's tweets show how far we have to go.

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(E-mail Clarence Page at cpage@chicagotribune.com.)

(c) 2017 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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