Monday, December 21, 2009

Al Franken is a big fat idiot

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) burnished his reputation as a comedian and made a bundle of money with his 1999 book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, which  The New York Times review called “dreadfully foul.” After he won win a Senate seat a year ago many hoped his manners would be nicer than his book.
So far not so much.
Franken was presiding over the Senate last Thursday when Senator Lieberman was giving a ten-minute speech on health care. Franken interrupted, saying Lieberman’s ten minutes were up. When Lieberman requested unanimous consent for “an additional moment” to finish his speech, Franken refused.
John McCain rose to say that he'd never in his twenty years in the Senate seen a senator denied an extra  minute or two to finish his remarks. saying it. “I don’t know what’s happening here in this body, but I think it’s wrong. It harms the comity of the senate.”
Franken’s rude behavior was matched Sunday by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) who blocked a similar request by Senator John Cornyn, (R-TX). When Cornyn protested, “I’m looking around — I don’t see any other senator waiting to speak,” Begich relented.
Franken isn’t the only guilty one, nor is all the rudeness Democratic—the Republicans have been giving about as good—or as bad—as they’ve been getting. But the bad behavior on both sides has already shattered the Senate’s reputation as the world’s greatest deliberative body, and is well on the way to ending its ability to do the people’s business.


Nameless Cynic said...

Given that this was a procedural issue, that all senators were cut off at the ten minute mark (for example, John Cornyn, earlier that same day), since Lieberman didn't think it was anything personal, what the hell are you talking about? Why are you babbling nonsense about this being some "rude" action of a freshman senator, when this is a simple matter of all senators being held to a simple timeline?

You even brought up Cornyn yourself - and, incidentally, there were people waiting behind Lieberman to speak. But even if Grampa McCain missed that exchange, since he had done the same thing himself, isn't that a little hypocritical on his part?

What's the deal here? Was it too good a story not to lie about?

Bob said...

The Senate has a long history of courtesy, including routinely allowing senators to run over their allotted time. McCain's hypocrisy doesn't excuse Franken's meanness.

I'm surprised you call me a liar--is that your way of disagreeing?

Nameless Cynic said...

Gee, let's see. You're making a big thing out of nothing. For purely partisa reasons. If you look at the video, it wasn't any kind of heated exchange. They were quite cordial. Even the wording is proscribed by tradition (except maybe Little Joe's "really?").

You say Franken's manners were bad. They weren't.

You say that Franken refused, implying that he did it specifically to spite Lieberman.

You say that Begich relented, implying that Franken should have, when Franken, the JUNIOR senator from... well, anyplace, really (least seniority of anybody in Congress, thanks to Coleman's less-than-polite idiocy), doing what he's told by the senior leadership.

"the Republicans have been giving about as good—or as bad—as they’ve been getting" - excuse me? The Party of No is way ahead in points there. We got inbred Confederate crackers shouting at the President that he's lying, we've got gibbering lunatics like Bachmann coming out and saying that Obama is setting up reeducation camps - what do you have? One polite exchange between two senators using parliamenary procedure?

Yes. You're lying. And you're spinning so hard I'm surprised you haven't corkscrewed into the floor.

Bob said...

Well, Nameless, I'm sorry that you're not more civil. Our country needs more civility. "Liar" is a particular harsh thing to call someone you disagree with.

Nameless Cynic said...

You are absolutely correct, sir. I apologize for pointing out where you might have been less than entirely honest in your take on this affair.

This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when reading your remarks regarding an entirely civil exchange on the Senate floor. While I disagree with your entire attempt to spin this into something of substance, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to you and your entie family for this lack of civility.