Category: Al Franken
Posted: 07/22/08 16:37, Edited: 07/22/08 16:58
by Dave MindemanIf the voters of Minnesota would rather be represented by a hack, like Norm Coleman, than laugh off a few jokes that didn't work, then they should stop complaining about being stuck with professional politicians. And the real joke will be on them.
--Michael Kinsley, Slate.com
I have listened to a number of people grouse and complain about Al Franken's campaign. Unfortunately, a lot of them are Democrats who think Franken can't win. The Catch-22 in all of this is Al Franken could win
if those Democrats would look beyond this "culture of umbrage" (as Kinsley calls it), and support a candidate on the merits.
Democrats, by and large, don't like Norm Coleman. He is, by Garrison Keillor's definition, a hollow man. Not much substance. A professional politician in every bad sense of the word.
Al Franken, by contrast, exudes every progressive value that Democrats are looking for. He wants out of the Iraq War. He stands with working men and women. He upholds a woman's right to choose. He champions the middle class and promises to roll back the disastrous Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
So, why is the choice so difficult?
It would seem to be because Al Franken had a non-political and, in many ways, a very politically incorrect life before becoming a candidate. He was a comedian...a satirist. Not a common occupation in the Senate (although maybe we could use one). No, we have attorneys, business moguls, former prosecutors, and a lot of the wealthy social class. Not many people like Franken.
In the past, his language has been crude and sometimes shocking. But what exactly are we worried about, in that regard? Do we think that Franken can't meet the current standards of decorum in a stuffed shirt Senate? Are we afraid that he might drop the F-bomb on the Senate floor? (Really no need to worry, Cheney has already set that precedent).
Franken knows the difference between what he was and what he is campaigning to be. I think it is time that we, as Democrats, stop being gullible worrywarts and start analyzing what is best for the progressive agenda in November.
When you think about the future of Roe v Wade, who would you rather have representing us? Franken or Coleman?
When it comes to the hard work of moving our country into new environmental policy changes, who would you rather have in Washington? Franken or Coleman?
When it comes to the inevitable selection of new Supreme Court justices, who do you want representing Minnesota in that debate? Franken or Coleman?
It is an easy choice for me. And I think it was an easy choice for most Democrats as a whole until they allowed relentless Republican attacks to cloud their judgment.
We aren't electing the best comedian. And we aren't electing the best hockey promoter. We are electing a US Senator... a representative for Minnesota's best interests. We have had a 6 year window into how Norm Coleman plans to handle that job. I think you would agree that we have had enough of that. Al Franken has told us what he would do and I believe his fundamental principles are sound.
And I also think he will be a great United States Senator.