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Jewish World Review
July 2, 2009
/ 10 Tamuz 5769
The Sen. Al Franken Blue Ball
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ended months of
vote fraud and other assorted acts of skulduggery to pronounce Al Franken
winner of the state's 2008 senatorial race over Republican Norm Coleman. The
process was unseemly, and it is conceivable that the court's justices merely
acted out of civic pride. They did not want Minnesota's U.S. Senate races to
attain the sort of notoriety attached to aldermanic elections in Chicago or
presidential elections in Iran.
Franken is an admitted clown. As such, he will be the only
admitted clown in the United States Senate, though he will be seated with
such clownish figures as Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Harry Reid. Perhaps his
desk will be near that vacated recently by Sen. Larry Craig, the
lavatorian-conservative now thankfully retired, perhaps to found an
intellectual journal for his lavatorian movement. A good title might be
Upon hearing of the court's decision, Franken joked that he was
"thrilled and honored by the faith that Minnesotans have placed in" him.
That is not a very funny joke, but Franken is not funny. By "Minnesotans,"
he probably is attempting irony in referring to his supporters on vote
canvassing boards in several left-leaning counties, who turned up a
sufficient number of thitherto-uncounted votes to give him the edge.
In the Nov. 4 election, Coleman won by 725 votes. After a
recount, he still won by 215. Then Franken's "Minnesotans" got busy
canvassing. They demanded that votes once disqualified in their counties be
counted. They found thousands of absentee ballots previously rejected for
such indelicacies as fabricated addresses. Coleman cried foul and asked that
one statewide standard be applied to all recounts. However, he got nowhere
with this plea for equal protection of the law, and in the meantime,
Franken's larcenous operatives picked up 1,350 more absentee votes, some
bearing the names of pop singers. Ultimately, Franken's team managed a
312-vote victory from the 2.9 million votes cast.
The Wall Street Journal was not alone in its judgment that "Mr.
Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election." The
Journal reminded Republicans that this is not the first time in recent
elections that Democrats overturned an apparent defeat by sending swarms of
lawyers and operatives into a state to find once-discredited ballots and
claim victory. They practiced the same trickery in 2004 in the state of
Washington's gubernatorial race, wherein the winning Republican mysteriously
came in second after a third "recount."
In the aftermath of the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision,
Franken deadpanned, "I won by 312 votes." He went on to josh, "So I really
have to earn the trust of the people ... of Minnesota and let them know
not just by my saying so but by my actions that I'm going to be working
for every Minnesotan" another humorless joke. What work he will do he did
not say. Possibly, he will sweep the floors of the Capitol or pick up litter
on its lawn. His service in government has been nil. Yet how much service in
government has our president had? Increasingly, the Democratic Party is the
party of personalities, though Franken's personality is markedly weird.
He was weird on "Saturday Night Live" in the 1970s, on which he
popularized a goofball character named Stuart Smalley, a self-help guru who
repeated over and again, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it,
people like me!" The audience laughed. Using lines not a lot more
sophisticated, he campaigned for the Senate. My guess is that the Stuart
Smalley character is the essential Al Franken, a weirdo.
I experienced his weirdness firsthand when I appeared as his
guest on a talk show he hosted for Air America, the liberals' feeble effort
to create an alternative to conservative talk radio. At the time, he was an
impassioned opponent of the 1990s "Clinton haters" so impassioned, in
fact, that he could have been called a "Clinton lover." Apparently aware of
The American Spectator's role in exposing poor Bill Clinton, Franken asked
me how I had passed the 1990s, obviously expecting me to boast of my crimes.
I stepped around his loaded question, and with my trademark self-deprecating
wit (reminiscent, I am told, of JFK), I rolled a handball across the desk
from my microphone to his, saying merely that I played a lot of handball
during Clinton's years of public embarrassment.
Franken went ballistic. "What is this," he said, holding the
little blue ball in his hands and seething. I moved on to other subjects,
and not surprisingly, he lost control of the show. After I departed, he
remained visibly perturbed. In fact, three hours later, a friend of mine
observed him leaving the studio with the ball still in his hand as he
snarled about it and my insouciance toward him. Do you remember the
controversy created by liberals with their unsubstantiated allegations of
U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's temper? My prediction is that Franken will not
get through his Senate term without anger management counseling, and the
liberals will cover for him.
From a review of his simple-minded utterances on the campaign
trail with regard to issues, it is apparent that he is not a consistent
thinker. He will disappoint the liberals. If they can keep him angry with
Republicans, they will have his vote. But if he calms down, anything might
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© 2008, Creators Syndicate