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Let's read Al Franken's thoughtful Facebook post about Thanksgiving and family

Pictured: Franni and Al Franken in happier times -- election night, circa 2014, when Al won reelection handily and was eager to get back to work.

Pictured: Franni and Al Franken in happier times -- election night, circa 2014, when Al won reelection handily and was eager to get back to work. Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Make of Al Franken what you will, but let's at least acknowledge the former U.S. Senator has had a tough year.

He's doing some soul searching these days. Who isn't? (Actually, there are a few people who aren't doing any soul-searching. Ironically, they're the ones who need it most.)

Franken's penance for being (allegedly) handsy was giving up his seat... and right at the time he was at the height of his powers as a legislator and comedian. Bad timing for him, to have this scandal crop up and ruin his nascent career. That Franken's critics attacked him right as he was hounding a group of liars who have literally admitted to sexual assault and corruption (and then denied it!) was perhaps not a coincidence.

Fortunately he left the seat in good hands. Al is seemingly at peace with who replaced him as the junior U.S. Senator. Tina Smith is going to get things done. Watch out for her.

You're allowed to judge Al Franken any which way your head and heart takes you. But those close to him have stayed loyal, and that should probably inform your thinking. 

Below, please read Franken's heartbreaking piece about surrendering his power in a difficult moment, both for America and for Al's family.