The Atlantic

I Believe Franken’s Accusers Because He Groped Me, Too

The Democratic Party needs to stand with women who have been harassed—and not defend the politicians who abused them.
Source: Dia Dipasupil / Getty / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

In mid-November, a Los Angeles radio host named Leeann Tweeden stepped forward to claim that Senator Al Franken had shoved his tongue down her throat under the pretext of a rehearsal for a sketch he’d written. The coup de grace was a photograph of a sleeping Tweeden and the now-senator pretending to grab her boobs for the camera.

There was an instant cognitive dissonance with Democrats on Twitter. People like Franken. Democrats need Franken. See, the accuser had been on Sean Hannity’s show. She must therefore be a right-winger. She could have been put up to this, they speculated. Roger Stone had tweeted that the “touchy” Franken was about to be exposed six hours before the story dropped. That’s fishy, they surmised. They all sounded paranoid, irrational, and conspiratorial. But that’s how we all sound these days.

I assumed Franken would step down later that day. Tweeden’s story rang true to me. I’d told myself I was the only one. I’d been groped by Franken in 2009.

It happened at a Media Matters during the first Obama inauguration. It was a great time to be a Democrat. Not only had we just elected the first African American president of the United States, but Franken’s race had triggered a recount, leaving lefties giddy that we

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