The party had two options: hold its own harassers accountable, or set itself up for moral — and political — failure.

The Democratic Party was on the verge of failing a moral and political test. Then its women stepped in.

On Wednesday, several women Democratic senators called on Twitter for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign in the face of allegations of repeated sexual misconduct. A few male colleagues, and Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, joined them shortly thereafter. The tweet swarm came a day after Rep. John Conyers’ (D-MI) resignation, ostensibly for health reasons, as new allegations continued to come up about his own record of harassment.

The allegations against Conyers and Franken had both come out in the past few weeks, as part of a cascade of sexual-harassment and assault victims coming forward to share stories of long-past harassment by powerful men. For the most part, the men who have been revealed as repeat harassers in media and entertainment have been fired. But those in politics are showing more resistance — while some Republican state legislators have resigned after allegations of sexual involvement with teenage boys, and Republican Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) announced last week he would not seek re-election as stories surfaced of him harassing a constituent, other politicians were trying to stick it out.

With a group of women Senators calling on Franken — a member of their own caucus — to resign, though, Democrats are beginning to make it clear that they will hold their own accountable.

Months from now, this moment is going to seem inevitable. For years, the Democratic Party has positioned itself as the defender of gender equality and women’s rights against Republican attacks — of course it would take the problem in its own midst at least as seriously as any other Read More Here