I watch this stuff on YouTube about Al Franken and I am sick to my stomach. Norm Coleman, a former Democrat who had the unusual luck to run against a retirement-age Walter Mondale in order to fill the seat vacated by the tragic death of Paul Wellstone, is busy digging up clips of Franken's old SNL and other satirical work in order to dirty him up for their Minnesota US Senate race.
Let's make one thing crystal clear. Paul Wellstone was a great man. His death stunned and saddened progressives around the world. I stood next to Paul at a fundraiser in Minneapolis two weeks prior to his plane crash. Paul's career was everything one could want to emulate in public service. He was smart, decent and brave. Paul could never be replaced. Ever.
But to fill that seat with a hack like Coleman? I can see states like Texas having not one but two hack Senators. People who never propose or cosponsor any significant legislation while in office. People like Hutchinson and Cornyn, who are the worst type of go-along-to-get-along lackey for the Bush administration. People who view their role as doing anything to preserve their own power and who never have an original or courageous idea while in office. But Minnesota?
Coleman becoming a US Senator from that great state was a travesty. Now the time has come to correct that mistake. Coleman, who makes Mitt Romney look like a visionary, is so far from the best that state has to offer, it is unbelievable to imagine that he is even in the running for reelection. An uninformed and weak-willed apologist for this awful administration is being challenged by one of the best progressive minds of his generation. I don't care how much ribald and salty humor he has dished out during is entertainment career. Judge Al Franken by what he stands as today: a searingly intelligent and abundantly caring son of Minnesota who has returned home to attempt to lend his voice to our nation's political discourse on the most formal of levels. No blogging. No books. No comedy sketches. Putting his career and his opinions on the line on behalf of serving the people of Minnesota.
And what does Coleman do? He trots out old SNL material to grade one of show business' most respected satirists and judge him as insensitive or inappropriate.
Voters of Minnesota, your choice could not be simpler. Coleman is a pathetic hack who will do as little as possible in a US Senate office other than cover his own ass and protect his power. Meanwhile, Al Franken is everything you could hope for in a candidate to represent your state in the world's most august deliberative body. Smart, caring, brave. That's the choice. Mitt Romney light. Or a return to someone special in the US Senate from the great state of Minnesota.