Al Franken exceeding expectations

Salon has a nice review of our senator from Minnesota, Al Franken (quick, who’s the other one?*). He really has been doing well, working hard, mostly coming down on the side of goodness and reason, and he’s also a darn nice fella in person — he’s even visited our quiet rural backwater a few times.

We could use a few more like Franken in congress.

*No, it’s not Michele Bachmann. It’s Amy Klobuchar, the woman politician from Minnesota who always gets unfairly overshadowed by the kook from the 6th congressional district. We have two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, I’ll have you know.


  1. Aliasalpha says

    As I recall, most of the politicians reactions to him running initially was words to the effect of “what is a comedian going to do in politics?” seems that the answer is “your job and a fuck of a lot better than you do it”

  2. chigau (I don't like this eternal 'nym thing, either) says

    I never particularly liked Franken as a comedian.
    I sure like him now.

  3. kenbakermn says

    I met him once, briefly. He is a nice guy. Last fall when I was getting my freshman daughter moved into her dorm along with hundreds of others, Franken was walking around talking to people. A photographer was following him around and later sent us a couple of nice pictures.
    Anyway my wife and daughter and I spoke with him for a couple of minutes. At one point he asked “are you going to cry when your daughter leaves?” I said “no, I’m going to cry when the tuition bill comes.” The photographer muttered “hey, another comedian.”

  4. gussnarp says

    I get the impression that Franken is one of the sharpest and most honest guys in Washington, regardless of the fact that I mostly support his politics. It probably has something to do with the fact that he’s really beholden to no one. I think career politicians make bad policy. Not always, not universally. Certainly knowing the game is useful, but they all study law and political science. Which is basically how to craft sneaky legal language and how to get elected, nothing about what makes good policy. And the need to get reelected because you need the job tends to lead to corruption. Al may not have the perfect background on paper, but he’s smart, cares about the issues, and learns about them. We need more outsiders who are smart and really care about policy, not job security for themselves, in Washington.

  5. says

    We have two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, I’ll have you know.

    And also 5 out of 8 of the current representatives. As a former resident of the 4th district, it annoys me a bit that Bachmann gets so much press as opposed to Betty McCollum.

  6. hatchetfish when it's not at home says

    I’d be much happier about him if he ever met an asinine copyright/DRM/patent, or in general IP-related, law he didn’t like. It seems that in that regard, Hollywood has finally found another Sonny Bono.

  7. qwerty says

    And, if you are in Washington DC for a vacation, go to breakfast with Al. Always held on Wednesday mornings.

    I went on September 21, 2011. After spending the previous night celebrating its demise, I had to go thank the senator for his support.

    Prior to becoming a senator, he also use to do USO tours which I also thanked him for doing. (As a Vietnam Vet I can appreciate his willingness to entertain in a war zone.) He used to do a great bit in which he’d say the commander of the base was the gayest man he ever met. And he’d get great applause for it.

  8. qwerty says

    By “its demise”, I meant the end of don’t ask, don’t tell.

    Another comment that should have been throughly previewed prior to posting.

  9. loopyj says

    PZ – Were you trying to sound dumb by saying ‘woman politician’? The correct nomenclature is ‘female politician’ if you’re referring to gender. The intuition that most people have is that it’s offensive to refer to women as females* instead of women, but grammatically, woman doesn’t modify a noun – it is a noun. Easy way to figure it out: If you wouldn’t use ‘man’ to indicate gender, you don’t use woman, e.g. man doctor, man police officer, man lawyer, man scientist, man actor, man professor, man chess player, man construction worker, man hairdresser, man nurse, man postal carrier.

    *The usage of female as an adjective in cases where male isn’t used because it’s assumed or in discourse where ‘men and females’ is used instead of ‘men and women,’ is offensive.

  10. Eric O says

    I was really disappointed when Al Franken came out in favour of the NSA spying on innocent people without a warrant.

    Otherwise, he’s okay, I guess. Still better than most Democrats.

  11. laurentweppe says

    As I recall, most of the politicians reactions to him running initially was words to the effect of “what is a comedian going to do in politics?”

    I’ll shamessly plagiarize an evangelist blogger and tell you that to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable is the vocation of preachers, journalists, comedians, and left-wing politicians

  12. DLC says

    Franken was a better comedy writer than standup. A goodly number of story ideas or sketches you see on SCTV or SNL came from his brain. He’s much better than the other possibility for his seat when he was elected.

  13. says

    He’s one of the few politicians I’ve ever made a dollar contribution to.
    They keep calling for more, but I told them two days ago he lost me over the NSA issue.

    (watch someone call me a “one-issue-voter” now.)

  14. Tomaz79 says

    Hey, Amy Klobuchar! She’s slovenian on her father’s side, I remember the coverage she got here in Slovenia when she got elected. Way to go!

  15. lymie says

    You are so lucky! And as to “just a comedian”, huh, it really takes brains to be consistently funny. Franken did go to Harvard, after all, not a bad school.

    And how many senators can do this:

    If the link doesn’t show up, go to youtube and search for Franken Jagger