No resolution in Franken/Coleman contest till ’09

Posted on December 23, 2008


The Minnesota Canvassing Board has scheduled meetings through Jan. 5th, and they have signaled their work could spill over to Jan. 6th, the covening day for the Congress to which the unchosen Senator will be sent. According to a preliminary report, Al Franken has whittled away Norm Coleman’s initial 725 vote lead to now have a 47 vote lead in his favor. The entire recount process seems somewhat questionable, and there have been some glaring and troubling inconsistencies.  (Ann Coulter has some interesting perspective on past recount shenanigans.)

If the current projection holds, Al Franken will become Minnesota’s new Senator to serve out a 6-year term crafting the direction of our nation. That sentence should give you pause. Despite the decline of the so-called Republican brand, it still seems inconceivable to me that voters would knowingly choose a bitterly sarcastic, sometimes bordering on hateful, failed radio host to represent the interests of the state. Sure, this is the same state that elected Jesse Ventura governor, but he at least served as mayor for five years. Franken has no such record of public service, and no, the Stuart Smalley SNL skits do not qualify.

Everything I have seen, read, and heard about Franken – including his short temper, and including his high-school-level attempts at parody – convince me he has neither the temperament nor the gravitas to serve in the nation’s upper legislative body. This is a case where the letter trumps everything else – if Franken had an “R” following his name, would all of his past rhetoric and potty humor be shrugged away? No matter how bad Norm Coleman is perceived, it will still be a joke and embarassment if a D-list celebrity somehow finds enough votes to win.

If he indeed wins, I have absolutely no doubt that at some point Al Franken would launch into some lame venomous schtick masquerading as a poor attempt at hip humor on the floor of the United States Senate. In fact, I think he’ll try to utilize as much of his clunky humor and supposed satirical wit as he can. If he indeed wins, I strongly believe he’ll become an embarassment to the Democratic party. Right now, the Democrats want any Senator they can get to pad their legislative margins. I would advise them to be careful what they wish for.

Posted in: News, Politics