The GOP is running this ad online, lamenting the fact that the Democrats now have the sixtieth Senate vote in the form of Al Franken. "It's finally here, with 60 Senators, the Democrats have total control." And thus, the logic goes, you can blame them for everything, because there will be "NO DEBATE", not even where negotiating with terrorists! I mean, should anybody want to start doing that! No senator, Democratic or otherwise, has made that suggestion, but now HOW WILL BRAVE MITCH MCCONNELL FILIBUSTER IT? Why, he can't! He can only stand by, helplessly, as the Democratic Senate majority passes the Let's Set Kentucky On Fire Act of 2009.
Anyway, it just goes to show, no one is more naively optimistic about Democratic Party discipline than Republicans. But here's an astute catch from Dave Weigel at the Washington Independent: you see that gesture that Al Franken is making, over and over again, that makes him look angry? Turns out, it's all just part of a bit he does while telling a story about the late former Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone.
Weigel notes that "Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) repeatedly used the video in ads to make Franken look like a madman." And Coleman lost! And now the National Republican Senatorial Committee is basically doing the same thing. It's all a part of the same awesome strategy that's helped the GOP achieve nearly 40 votes in the U.S. Senate.
I'll point out again, for the 100th time, that the NRSC could have made the point they are trying to make without including this distortion that was readily caught out by people on the internet.
UPDATE: Greg Sargent has a statement from the NRSC about this ad, in which spokesperson Brian Walsh makes the "tongue-in-cheek" suggestion that they use a photo of Franken wearing diapers, instead. It's a bizarre suggestion, given that the photo in question is just ONE MORE EXAMPLE of a well-reported fake. It's weird. It's like Brian Walsh is saying, "My heart wants to make a legitimate critique of the Democratic Party's Senate majority, but body says no, let's act like we're disingenuous fakes who have no idea what the internet is."