"I'm going to do my job and I'm going to go forward," he said. "I'm going to take responsibility. I'm going to be held accountable and I'm going to try to be productive in the way I speak about this."
When, Al? When?
"I have been reflecting on this," the two-term senator said. "I want to be a better man."
How, Al? How?
On Sunday Franken called the photo "inexcusable."
"I am ashamed of that photo," Franken said. "You know she didn't have any ability to consent. She had every right to feel violated by that photo."
It's not about Leeann Tweeden's rights here, Al. It's about you're still in denial.
We used to raise boys to be gentlemen. We used to acknowledge that all males have certain drives, which, unrestrained, lead to no good. We used to acknowledge that "son, someday, a woman is going to make herself available to you," and admonish our boys, "be a gentleman."
Gentlemen don't take advantage of ladies, even when we think it's being offered. Why? Because we could be wrong.
Gentlemen don't violate a lady's personal space, or put their hands in places hands should not go. Sometimes, gentlemen make off-color jokes, or give a pat. Even George H.W. Bush, who could have written a book on being a gentleman, has done that.
It's different with Al Franken and many of his generation (and later ones). Since the "sexual revolution," being a gentleman is out of style. Now it's okay to re-enact scenes from "Animal House" for yuks. But the proof that Franken really doesn't think there's anything wrong with a few buttock-grabs or playing around with giving Arianna Huffington the feels, or some groping of a sleeping model on a military flight for the camera, is that he still says it's unintentional.
Franken said he would "never intentionally do that." And he underscored that he has stood for pictures with thousands of people.
"I'm someone who, you know, hugs people," Franken said. "I've learned from these stories that in some of these encounters I have crossed the line for some women."
To Franken, who is no gentleman, it's "some women's" line. The line is not his, it's theirs. Franken isn't trying to uphold his own standards of behavior, he's putting the burden of setting the "line" on his victims. So if one woman's "line" is a bit too tight for him, oh well, "I'm a warm person . I hug people."
“Some women found my greeting or my embrace or hug for a photo inappropriate and I respect their feelings about that. … In recent days, I’ve been thinking about how that could happen and I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations. I feel terrible that women have felt bad and I’m very sorry for that.”
Translation: there's nothing wrong with me, it's these other people who have their lines set too tight.
This is the salient difference between Al Franken (and John Conyers) and Roy Moore: Moore denies the story the women are giving. We can either believe the women, or believe Moore--the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Franken can't deny what photographic evidence clearly shows. Conyers (illegally, it seems) paid cash to settle allegations.
I haven't heard Roy Moore say he's ashamed, or that he needs to be a better man. He considers himself a gentleman, or at least knows what that is. I am not saying I believe Moore--he may be a huge liar, but even his accusers say he mostly acted like a gentleman.
Al Franken is in denial; he has no idea what a gentleman is. So back to my original questions: When is Al Franken going to be accountable and to whom? How is he planning to be a "better man" when he doesn't even know what that means?
Until we start teaching boys what it means to have personal standards of conduct, and how to be a gentleman, and how to honor women (maybe Vice President Mike Pence can give lessons), we will have more and more Al Frankens living in denial.