America is listening now. And while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) made headlines last week when she said Clinton should have resigned the presidency, no Democrat that prominent has said that Franken should step down. Gillibrand’s comment was certainly controversial, but it’s easier to criticize a 71-year-old former president whose career — even as a supporter of his wife’s campaigns — is over than it is to pass judgment on a sitting senator whose future still matters for his party.
If Franken resigns, some of Democrats’ fears will probably come true. Whether or not Roy Moore makes it into the Senate, Republicans may be slower than Democrats to root out harassers in their ranks. Since Democrats and Republicans almost certainly commit harassment at equal rates, Democrats may find themselves ousted more frequently than Republicans if the party ends up being more willing to root them out. Democratic lawmakers may be forced to resign their posts in red states, only to be replaced with Republicans by Republican governors. Right-wing media may even use false allegations of sexual misconduct to try to bring down left-wing politicians, as Brian Beutler worries at Crooked Media.
These are all possibilities. Here’s what will definitely happen if Al Franken resigns: a man who has now been accused of harassment by two women — and who has been photographed apparently harassing one of them — will no longer be in the Senate.