The Washington establishment had been gleefully attacking Judge Roy Moore over unconfirmed allegations that date back almost 40 years. Then it was blindsided by the revelations of sexual impropriety by one of the establishment’s favorites, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota.
The allegations against Franken are much more recent than those aimed at Moore, and are at least partially confirmed by photographic evidence.
Did the Washington establishment declare Franken unfit to serve in the Senate, and demand his resignation? Of course not.
Some evaded the issue by calling for an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee, with Franken to be given a free pass for the time being. Others made excuses, found reason to doubt the allegations, or simply justified a double standard on the grounds that Franken’s liberal voting record requires that he be allowed to get away with such behavior. (Yes, that’s the same old reasoning used to defend Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, etc.) Perhaps the most ingenious solution to the Franken dilemma was concocted by Masha Gessen of The New Yorker, who suggested that Franken’s behavior can be forgiven because he only attacked women who did not work for him, and who could run away to safety.
It seems likely that the Franken scandal will not be the last to unfold on Capitol Hill. Already stories are breaking about Congressmen whose names are being withheld (so far), and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan has been openly identified. The media are said to be diligently searching out new stories, afraid of being scooped by their competitors.
It appears that Roy Moore, who has The Washington Post vouching for the fact that he has been squeaky clean for more than 30 years, could have one of the best reputations in Washington if he is elected.