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Senator Al Franken of Minnesota to Resign

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) December 8, 2017: The allegations of sexual misconduct made against Bill Clinton, himself a sex addict who admired the sex addict President John F. Kennedy, strike me as far more serious than the allegations of sexual misconduct made against the celebrity playboy Donald Trump. But I recognize that certain people may not agree with me about this estimate of the allegations made against each man.

In any event, Bill Clinton was given a pass by the feminists such as Gloria Steinem, in part because Bill Clinton favored certain feminist measures, and in part because his feminist wife Hillary Rodham Clinton fiercely stood by her man -- just like the song says -- thereby compromising feminist orthodoxy about shunning sex addicts for the alleged misogyny of their sex addiction.

The self-styled feminist provocateur Camille Paglia characterizes the current dominant feminist orthodoxy as sex phobic. As a feminist alternative, she advocates a pro-sex orientation. In my estimate, the zealotry of the sex-phobic feminists needs to be resisted in favor of a pro-sex orientation. Despite the fact that I admire Camille Paglia's efforts to promote a pro-sex feminism, I suspect that pro-sex feminism will never evoke the kind of zealotry that sex-phobic feminism has evoked. Perhaps this is a good thing.

But then in the 2016 presidential election, the playboy Trump was the Republican Party's presidential candidate, and the compromised feminist Hillary was the Democratic Party's candidate. During the campaign, the playboy Trump accused Hillary of enabling Bill's sexual misconduct over the years. After all, Hillary did not divorce Bill despite his wayward ways. Perhaps she still loves him. Love is a funny thing.

For her part, the compromised feminist Hillary deplored the playboy Trump's misogyny with all the righteousness of a typical sex-phobic feminist. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the widespread news coverage of the celebrity playboy Trump's boasting years ago to Billy Bush about grabbing women by the p***y seemed to outrage Democrats.

Your guess is as good as mine as to whether Trump grabbed any woman by the p***y. Thus far, no woman has come forward claiming that he did this to her. Nevertheless, my guess is that he probably did this more than once to celebrity groupies. However, if my guess is correct, the celebrity groupies involved are not likely to come forward publicly because they let him do this. In any event, the possible role of celebrity groupies being involved in Trump's boasts to Billy Bush is not something sex-phobic feminists are likely to discuss.

But Trump emerged as the electoral victor, despite his boasting to Billy Bush. Trump's unexpected electoral victory outraged many women. Their outrage about his unexpected electoral victory prompted certain women to make public allegations against particular prominent and powerful men who had abused their positions of power over women to force them into unwanted sexual behavior. At times, the allegations have included allegations of rape.

Now, the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Bill Clinton strike me as being far more serious than the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Senator Al Franken of Minnesota.

In addition, the allegations of sexual misconduct made against the celebrity playboy Trump strike me as being far more serious than the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Senator Franken.

The allegations of sexual misconduct during photo-ops with Al Franken strike me as being roughly equivalent to the similar allegations during photo-ops with George H. W. Bush. For the record, I do not condone the alleged behavior during photo-ops of Franken or Bush.

But many of Senator Franken's Democratic colleagues in the Senate urged him to resign due to the allegations made against him, and he did announce on December 7, 2017, that he will resign in the near future. In my estimate, he made the right decision under the circumstances.

Now, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York was among the Democratic women leading the charge in the Senate against sexual harassment. She had the good sense to claim that former President Bill Clinton should have resigned.

For his part, however, Bill Clinton has maintained to this day that his impeachment by the House of Representatives was not fair to him. He has not yet come out and said, "I should have resigned."

Nor has Hillary come out and said, "Bill should have resigned."

Nor has Senator Gillibrand come out and said, "Hillary was ineffective in denouncing Trump's misogyny because she had enable her own husband's philandering."

Figuratively speaking, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota has been cast by his Democratic colleagues in the Senate in the role of the sacrificial lamb -- sacrificed presumably for the common good of other Democratic Senators.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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