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GOP's Public Enemy #1?

Posted Sunday, January 11, 2009, at 10:19 AM

Not the most popular fellow in the land
A piece on Yahoo this morning caught my eye about a former comedian turned politician in Minnesota named Al Franken. I suppose most folks are aware of the contested nature of the the Minnesota vote count for their newest US Senator, but if not, the gist of the matter is that Franken lost in the initial count, and after a recount of over 2.8 million total votes, he was declared the winner by just over 200votes. I've seen information saying 225 and 250 votes, but whatever the final count, it was an almost unbelievably slim margin.

What made the story most interesting to me was comments made by Republicans about Franken...

"I don't know if we've ever had an opponent who is so disliked by Republicans as Al Franken," said Minnesota Republican Party Chair Ron Carey. "It's one thing to lose to an honorable opponent, but Al Franken is not considered an honorable opponent by Minnesota Republicans."

Marty Seifert, the Republican leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives, said Franken's long record of antagonizing conservatives would make it difficult for him to connect with voters who supported Coleman."It's going to be hard for Franken to be very effective with any Republicans, in terms of having any credibility with us, just because he's been so nasty in the past," Seifert said. "He certainly has callous and very partisan behavior in the past that is beyond the pale."

I guess the Republicans didn't like the way Franken played the game.

You can read the whole story at...


I've seen Franken on SNL (Saturday Night Live) in the past, and never gave much thought about comments he made, and I certainly didn't follow the Minnesota Senate contest. What I have noticed lately in the news is cautions to parents and others that what you say can come back to haunt you on such places as Facebook and Myspace, so the comments Republicans made seem to substantiate it to me.

The comments made by Franken in the past certainly seem to have been divisive based on current feelings voiced towards him in Minnesota and elsewhere. Would Franken have been elected by a much wider margin if his rhetoric in the past had been toned down? I think it's hard to say definitively, but in a liberal leaning state like Minnesota, it seems likely to me that his past comments turned off his own support base to the point he barely won. It also seems obvious that Franken will have a hard time being effective, and certainly won't be able to "reach across the isle" for support from Republicans, even if he actually ever has a good idea of any kind.

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Gosh folks, all I wanted to say is that if I were the horse, in the picture, I would sue for defamation of character. Oh, Well.

I hope everyone out there is one of my family members, in Messiah, Jesus. Our crazy Society is getting a Prophetic look to it that is scary.

In Messiah, His Shalom, and sanity. Arley

-- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 10:40 PM

I just want to clarify something that was not clear in the initial post. It was asserted that Al Franken lost the initial election, and is only now ahead by a slim margin because of the recount. This is true, but I would just like to point out that the recount was automatic. That is, the margin of the initial victory was so small that Minnesota law required a recount. In fact, the initial margin of victory for Coleman was as small (if not smaller) than Franken's current lead. The only way the recount would have not taken place is if Franken conceded the election after losing by less than 200 in a state where millions of people voted. And if you think Franken SHOULD have conceded then, by the same logic Coleman should concede now.

Of course, Franken has made inflammatory comments about the right in the past, specifically about high profile media figures like Hannity, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh. This may make it harder for bi-partisan cooperation, especially with the popular republican view of him as an ass.

However, having read many of his books, I've found that much of what he says is true, though he says it in intentionally inflammatory and partisan ways. Of course, it could be argued that trenchant satire and comedy requires a sharper edge.

Of course his book "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" is always listed as a prime example of partisan bias. But upon reading the book, the reader should realize that the title is intended to be ironic, as Franken spends much of the book denouncing and disparaging the ad hominem attacks that Limbaugh himself makes on others.

-- Posted by jhat on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 9:52 AM

Stuart Smalley quote...

"I'm good enough...

I'm smart enough...

and doggone it, people like me"

I really couldn't believe that Al would run for the US Senate considering his past and radio program that I understand (though I never heard) was little more than a liberal tirade. Makes me glad I live in Nebraska!

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 7:07 PM

Brian - you know your point about name calling could be very well made regarding Al Franken, whose real name is Stuart Smalley.

After Rush Limbaugh wrote two best sellers, "See, I Told You So", and "The Way Things Ought To Be", Al Franken wrote an answer to Rush called, "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot."

In this tome of Frankens', he really never discussed issues, instead he spent the whole book in kind of a verbal assassination of Rush, his character and life.

There are allot of shady things going on in this Minnesota recount. My gut tells me ACORN is involved, and that means crooked voting and shenanigans. I don't think this fight is over yet. Hope you'll keep us abreast. Thanks

-- Posted by sameldridge on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 5:17 PM

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