Al Franken must be livid. After all, the failed screenwriter and former senator found himself chased out of office for far less serious allegations. He was accused of merely groping a few unsuspecting – and in one case, sleeping – women. Despite Good Feminist Gloria Steinem’s 90s declaration that Bill Clinton got a pass for one free grope from progressives, the DNC got their folks in line to force Franken’s resignation as allegation after allegation of lewd, forceful behavior unfolded.
Yet somehow, Keith Ellison has dodged the bullet of some serious allegations of domestic abuse without so much as spilling his tea. For over 48 hours, the DNC remained silent as their Deputy Chair continued to campaign in the primary race for Minnesota’s Attorney General. The allegations, which went viral over the weekend, began with Austin Monahan, the son of Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, posting on Facebook that he had unearthed a video of Ellison berating and violently dragging his mother, Karen, off a bed. Karen confirmed the allegations, in a trickle of tweets and then a storm of statements by Sunday, and by Monday…crickets.
Neither Tom Perez, the DNC chair who narrowly beat out the more intersectional and left-wing Ellison in the 2016 race to replace the disgraced Donna Brazile, nor Nancy Pelosi so much as sighed in concern for Karen Monahan. No pithy declarations that they take domestic abuse allegations seriously or even that they are conducting an investigation. It’s not as though the Democrat doyens could drag Monahan’s image through the mud, yet alone a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park. Monahan is a picture-perfect progressive, having dedicated years of service to the Sierra Club and Green For All and openly appearing as Ellison’s girlfriend throughout months of social media pictures.
Monahan has no obvious motive, political or otherwise, to smear Ellison unfairly. She has her son willing to corroborate her version of events (and one can assume, a son she wouldn’t implicate without good reason). And above all, she has allegations that, beyond their obvious criminal offenses, include a continued pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse that are independently deplorable, much less in someone running to lead as an entire state’s chief legal officer.
Despite this, the DNC held their tongues for over 48 hours, waiting until an hour before the polls of Ellison’s primary closed to boldly – and bravely! – assert, ‘These allegations recently came to light and we are reviewing them. All allegations of domestic abuse are disturbing and should be taken seriously.’ Feminist heroes!
Ellison won his primary by 30 points. When asked by a local Minnesota station what he would say to Monahan if he could – a hardball if I’ve ever heard one – Ellison said, ‘I would say: we loved each other, we don’t have to destroy each other.’
Fear not! Ellison’s former competitor and current DNC boss Tom Perez has no problem doing that for him. Perez, who hasn’t saved a breath on blasting those nasty Republicans for their sexist/hetero/cis patriarchies waited until Wednesday evening to directly address the fact that a credible and credentialed progressive woman is accusing Ellison of physically and emotionally abusing her in a relationship. Unlike in the Franken case, Perez has a handle of this situation. So long as the media, save for CNN’s KFILE, NPR, and a few other right-leaning news sites, remains delightfully dumb on the issue: ‘Ellison DENIES Questionably Timed Abuse Allegations,’ so the headlines go thus far. Perez wouldn’t have to do much work, but if he did, all he’d say is that while the DNC takes the allegations very, very seriously, ‘I mean, he won his election yesterday, so I certainly talked to him to congratulate him.’
After all, Ellison knows his intersectionality as the nation’s first Black Muslim congressman has cast him a left-wing insurance policy that extends far past his peers accused of the same horrifying crimes. He just has to wait it out and hope that Kristen Gillibrand doesn’t find a backbone before November. Then, the coast will be cleared for any other progressive who’d rather have a free hit than a free grope.