Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One More Word On Al Franken, or: Vengeance For Wellstone

A few years ago, I found Franken's second book in a bookstore. (His first book, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, had been a birthday present for me in high school.) I opened it to a random page and ended up reading the longest chapter in the book, which was on Norm Coleman's 2002 Senate victory.

The chapter read differently than any of his other writing. Franken was presenting an anguished account of how Coleman and the Republican Party had managed to turn Paul Wellstone's funeral into a media story for their benefit, and use that to win the election by 2%. The rest of the book was as lighthearted and funny as you'd expect from a comedian writing about politics, but the dominant emotions of this chapter were outrage and anguish and pain. Before reading the chapter, I didn't even know that Franken was from Minnesota, but it was clear to me afterwards that Franken had been watching the events of 2002 from a front-row seat and that they were driving him crazy.

I imagine that the desire to undo what happened six years ago was a big part of what drove him to run for Senate this time around. Now that he's going to be the next Senator from Minnesota, I'm not only very happy that he won, but very happy for him.
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