Most weddings are planned with less fanfare. Despite complaints of railroading by his fellow Democrats in the Senate and encouragement from them to stand his ground, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken will formally leave the Senate on Jan. 2, 2018.
His replacement, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who was appointed a week after Franken grudgingly announced he would step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct, will serve until a special election can be held next year to complete Franken’s term, which ends in 2020.
Although Franken went out kicking and screaming, grumbling that “a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,” the name that will be most associated with his ouster is Roy Moore. The calls for Franken to step down came at a time when it appeared that Moore, despite his own accusers of sexual misconduct, might pull out a victory for a vacant Senate seat from Alabama.
Democratic lawmakers from the top down saw calling for Franken’s head a calculated gamble that they were willing to take. That way, they could cynically claim the moral high ground in the event Moore did win, and call immediately for his own resignation.
As it turns out, Moore lost his election and Democrats lost their bet.
Adios, Smalley. I’d say, “We hardly knew ye,” but for my money, we knew ye more than I’d care to remember.
By the way, for those who thought the once and forever “Saturday Night Live” cast member might try to salvage a shred of what dignity he has left, think again:
I’m taking to the Senate floor to give the first of what will be a series of final speeches, this one focused on my work to improve education on behalf of Minnesotans and all Americans. https://t.co/X06tvNgCfe
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) December 20, 2017