During a Tuesday appearance on CNN, Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen pointedly dodged questions over whether he would continue to push for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken – who was accused of groping a sleeping female soldier.
It seems, after the razor thin victory that Democrats won against Roy Moore in Alabama– with the help of loudly trumpeted assault allegations – there is no reason to boot Franken from his seat. Indeed, the chorus of voices calling for Franken to resign has been replaced with a saner, yet transparently and hypocritically self-serving, line of throught.
On Monday, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin described it as “atrocious” that the Democrats did so little to have Franken’s back. “The most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being—and then have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him? That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick,” Manchin said.
Whereas, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) mentioned in a private meeting with Franken that he deeply regretted calling out on Franken to resign. He added that he felt rushed and failed to make a proper judgment.
John Berman, the CNN host interviewing Van Hollen, rattled off a series of Democratic senators that had openly expressed their regrets for calling out on Franken to resign in connection to the seven sexual misconduct allegations that Al Franken has been the subject of.
“Where do you stand on that right now?” Berman questioned.
“Well, Al Franken made his decision. He announced his decision as you know. The Governor of Minnesota has now picked somebody to be the replacement and I have no indication from Al Franken that he plans to reconsider. so –” Van Hollen said; in efforts to dodge the question.
During the interview, Berman is seen asking Van Hollen several time for his thoughts on Franken’s resignation. However, Van Hollen, each time tackled the question by stating that is it something for Franken to discuss and deflected away from the question.
Berman seemed to be unimpressed by Van Hollen’s answers.
“It wasn’t a question for him when all, you know, these Democratic senators, the majority, lined up beforehand and said he should resign,” Berman pointed out. “That wasn’t a question for Franken then. That was a question for all of you, so I am asking now, do you think he should honor that?”
“I think he’s made his decision and that’s it,” Van Hollen responded.
“Look, well, it is. Let’s wait to hear from Al Franken, but I’ve heard nothing from Al Franken. I did not call on Al Franken to step aside,” Van Hollen added. “I said he should do the right thing under the circumstances and I do believe we need to strengthen our ethics committee process to make sure that the public has more confidence in that process.”
“Al Franken has made his announcement and I’ve seen no change at all,” he said.
Surprisingly enough, Van Hollen is not the only Democrats running away from having to offer clarity in the subject to Franken’s resignation. On Monday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) was seen avoiding, having to talk about whether Democrats were “foolish” to push Franken into resigning.
“My reaction to Senator Franken is he made a decision which he thought was best for his constituents and himself,” Cardin said. “He recognized that his behavior was wrong. He took full responsibility for it. He believed that a long ethics investigation would compromise his ability to represent his constituents and he made that judgment.”
“I think Senator Franken made the judgment he thought was right. Each individual senator takes responsibility—” Cardin was noted saying in response.
When asked the same question again, Cardin dodged the topic by stating, “You have to ask each member who made statements on their own behalf on Senator Franken. They have to take responsibility for their actions. Senator Franken took responsibilities for his actions.”