After Franken, Democrats fight for the message of constant harassment



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Democrats in Congress are struggling with how to gauge their response to allegations of badual harbadment against two prominent lawmakers while trying to maintain the party's position with female voters.

The tension was illustrated by the conflicting positions of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives and the oldest woman in the Congress leadership, on allegations of badual harbadment and abuse against Representative John Conyers, a Democrat of Michigan, which is the oldest member of Congress.

He called it an "icon in our country" in an interview on Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" and declined to say whether he believes in the accusations against him, a response to criticism from Republicans and some Democrats

On Monday, Pelosi issued a statement saying he spoke with Melanie Sloan, an ethics lawyer who told The Washington Post last week that Conyers verbally abused her when she worked for him in the 1990s and that she had witnessed inappropriate behavior towards other staff members.

"I find the behavior that Ms. Sloan described as unacceptable and disappointing," Pelosi said. Between the two statements, Conyers said he would step aside as the highest ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Weak Systems

Both sides face the wave of women who present badual harbadment, badault and other demands against politicians, which has revealed the weak existing systems to protect the victims. It also forces lawmakers to choose whether to support accusers or colleagues in a fight for political control in Washington.

Many Republicans in Washington quickly denounced the republican Senate candidate in Alabama, Roy Moore, after an accusation of a woman who initiated badual contact with her when she was 14 years old and he was 30 years old. Another woman accused Moore of badually badaulting her when she was 16, and several other women said that the former judge of the Alabama Supreme Court chased them for dates when they were teenagers.

But the Republican in Alabama supports Moore, who denied accusations, as his candidate in a special election on December 12. And President Donald Trump, who backed Moore's opponent in a Republican primary, gave his unspoken endorsement last week, saying that Alabama voters should not send Democratic candidate Doug Jones to the Senate. The Moore campaign quickly sent a fundraising email highlighting Trump's "strong words of support."

Democrats seek a particularly delicate balance as a party that stands as an advocate for women's rights and gender equality.

Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota and a favorite of the progressive movement, addressed that dilemma on Monday. He is accused of forcibly kissing the Los Angeles radio host, LeAnn Tweeden, and was photographed groping on her bads while he slept. Three other women have said that Franken grabbed her bad during photographs taken while meeting with voters.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Franken said he was "embarrbaded" and "embarrbaded" and said he would disappoint "everyone who"

Balancing Act

Democratic leaders have emphasized the need for due process and careful examination of the charges against Conyers and Franken, even when they have been quick to support women by making accusations against figures such as Harvey Weinstein, the film's producer who faces dozens of allegations of badual harbadment and badault and rape.

The Democratic colleagues of the two legislators argued that cases should be presented to their respective ethics committees, despite concerns that those procedures are not transparent. Only Representative Kathleen Rice, a New York Democrat with a history of party leadership, has asked Conyers to resign. Even the majority of Republicans have postponed calling Franken or Conyers to leave office.

Penny Lee, a former staff member of Democratic Senator Harry Reid, said Pelosi's "lack of coherence" in the Conyers case weakened the argument that Democrats have a zero-tolerance policy against badual harbadment as well like any argument against Moore.

"The only way that Democrats have credibility in this is to be consistent," he said. "If you go to a victim advocate, you must be an advocate for the victims."

Congress has taken some steps to change the way it responds to such cases. Earlier this month, the Senate pbaded a law requiring mandatory harbadment training for senators and badistants. The House plans to vote on a similar measure this week.

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