Al Franken was a giant mistake.
How could such a monstrous mistake – a truly epochal mistake – happen?
Franken, to put it bluntly, is an idiot. There’s not much more to the equation. Sometimes we elect idiots as Congressman (witness Traficante). But Senator’s seats are usually reserved for the sane amongst us.
Look, here’s what happened. 75% of all the donations to the Franken campaign came from out of state. A full 25% came from Hollywood.
Franken was able to draw on an unusually large national donor-base, with roughly 3/4 of his donations coming from outside of Minnesota.
Franken’s entertainment industry connections have helped, with actor Tom Hanks, film director Rob Reiner and others among donors. One-fourth of the value of personal contributions to the Franken campaign has come from Californians — exceeding the total donations from Minnesotans. Beverly Hills ZIP codes alone account for 54 contributions.
The second thing that happened was the local media covered for him. When Norm Coleman ran ads showing the type of foul language Franken used on a continual basis, the local media started attacking Coleman – for using such nasty words in his commercials!
So now we have an idiot as Senator. Even the Democrats don’t like him.
Al Franken is working on some new material.
After arriving in the Senate in July after a bitterly contested recount, the former “Saturday Night Live” satirist immediately set out to prove that he was no court jester. He pursued Hillary Clinton’s expectations-defying model of bipartisan workhorse and convincingly assumed the role of diligent policy wonk.
But by so effectively suppressing the punch lines, Franken exposed an irascible, sometimes nasty side of his personality. In a chamber where goodwill helps a freshman rack up legislative achievements, that can be just as damaging.
Without humor to soften his acute observations, Franken’s naked sarcasm, short fuse and sense of showmanship ran amok, leading to public blowups with Republicans, private grievances among Democrats and attacks on senior Obama administration officials. Several sources at a private meeting last month said they heard Franken tell White House senior adviser David Axelrod that the president should apologize for his stupid campaign promise to televise health-care discussions.
Now, the Post tries to paint him as reformed, as making jokes again to win friends and influence people:
Breaking out the funny as political rehab? Franken’s aides call the notion risible. Any reappearance of the lawmaker’s comedic stylings — audibly yukking it up in Senate elevators, citing Mad magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy” in Judiciary Committee hearings, reprising his comedic role as a the “Duluth Answer Man” to win super-speed Web service from Google — is, they say, a result of his having grown comfortable in the Senate and having successfully built relationships with his colleagues. He’s been using humor to make friends all along, they say. And several allies in the Senate say they haven’t observed a change in Franken.
But at his heart, the man is an idiot. He is a jerk. I can’t stress this enough. I listened to him on Air America for years, and the guy is just a jerk.
Comedians as Senators? No.
Hollywood likes that kind of stuff.