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Please Franken Don’t Hurt ‘Em

Manu Raju, who’s really dominated the Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) beat this year, has a darkly entertaining story about Republicans who are angry their votes against his amendment prohibiting federal contracts with companies that force their employees to go through internal arbitration are being spun as pro-rape. So they want Franken to apologize.

Given the nuance of the debate, Republicans argue that Franken should make it clear that GOP senators don’t support assault or rape — especially since the amendment deals only with civil claims, making it possible for alleged rapists to be prosecuted criminally.

“I think it would be helpful for Sen. Franken to come forward and say, ‘I’m not suggesting that anybody who votes for my amendment is indifferent to crimes against women or anybody else,’” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who voted against the amendment. “What’s going on politically with the amendment Sen. Franken can’t control, but I think it would be helpful for him personally to just let the rest of us know that’s the views of others — not him.”

I imagine this will happen around the same time Republicans apologize for distorting Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2003 and 2004 war votes as being “against the troops.” Or when Republicans make it clear that, say, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was not voting to support prostitution when she voted against a ban on ACORN funding, etc., etc. This is how politics works.

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