Everything that’s wrong with Al Franken….

….And everything that’s wrong with modern liberal political discourse is summed up in these two beautiful paragraphs that Michael Gerson wrote about Al Franken (emphasis mine):

Our popular culture, of course, violates even these expansive boundaries of tastelessness with regularity. We laugh at comedies featuring the C-word, and at cartoons of foul-mouthed third-graders. In the cause of relevance and realism, our common life is already decorated with excrement. Why should political discourse be any different?

For at least one reason: Because vulgarity is often the opposite of civility. This is not, of course, always true. I know a brilliant and large-hearted academic with roots in south Philly who uses the F-word with the frequency of “like” or “and.” But the vulgarity of “The Jerry Springer Show” or misogynous rap music — the cultural equivalents of Franken’s political “satire” — generally expresses contempt and cruelty. Franken is not content to disagree with Karl Rove; he calls him “human filth.” He is not satisfied to criticize Ari Fleischer; Franken terms him a “chimp.” The objects of Franken’s humor — including political opponents and women — are not merely mocked but dehumanized. His trashiness is also nastiness. Rather than lampooning the emptiness and viciousness of our political discourse — a proper role for satire — Franken has powerfully reinforced those failures.

Regardless of where you stand politically, in terms of our country’s ethos of respect for our fellow man, those highlighted sentences are stand-alone reasons not to vote for Al Franken.

By the way, out of curiosity, are any of you Minnesota voters?  That is, am I writing this post with an eye to anyone who can take a stand in Minnesota?

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  • benning

    I’m a Floida voter. Sorry.

    Franken is not now, nor has he ever been, very funny. Barely humorous, actually, in a High School Sophomore kind of way. Franken’s brand of humor is akin to that of the kids who still think “Poopies” is a funny thing to say.

    Well, okay, “Poopies” is funny. But Al Franken ain’t!

  • Mike Devx

    What Michael Gerson wrote is so perfectly accomplished! I couldn’t agree more.

    No further comments. Book, in all of your recent posts, I really can’t see anything worth adding. You’ve wrapped them all up in a way that there’s nothing to say but “Hurrah! I completely agree!”

  • Mike Devx

    One thing I could add: I find the viciousness of most commentary on the Web to be beyond belief. The anonymity and facelessness of it seems to allow us to behave at our very worst, and too often that is exactly what level most of us sink to.

    Again, that is why Book’s commentary and all the commenters here at Book’s blog are so wonderful and refreshing. It is an oasis from the worthless hatefulness, viciousness, and diatribes that consume so many other blogs.

    How much do you want to bet that Franken is not nearly so vicious in person as he is on the Net where everything is faceless? And that, my friends, is the sign of a coward.

  • Gringo

    I wonder what Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame has to say about fellow Minnesotan humorist Al Franken. While Keillor can be snarky- compare the % of Bush put downs to Democrat put downs- he is neither nasty nor vicious. Maybe Norwegian Bachelor Farmers would beg to differ.

    In fairness, Garrison did have some pretty good Clinton jokes. Such as different versions of the chicken crossing the road jokes. Hemingway: The chicken crossed the road. To die. alone. Clinton: To the best of my knowledge, that chicken did not engage in road-crossing behavior.

    While I enjoyed PHC, I stopped listening to it when I got tired of the reruns of shows I had heard in the last year. If you are going to do reruns, do them from 10-20 years ago, so that they will seem new. PHC said there was some copyright reason or whatever for doing so.

    Re Franken: this is just an intensification of the “Bush is stupid” meme, which is simply a replay from a half century ago: ” Ike is stupid, Adlai is intellectual.”

  • Zhombre

    I contributed small amounts of money to Norm Coleman the first time he was elected to the Senate from MN and have sent small amounts this time too now that he faces Franken. One need not be a resident of MN to donate. I will consider an absolute travesty if a buffoon like Franken defeats Coleman and takes a seat in the United States Senate. I can’t believe the voters of Minnesota could be such dupes as to elect this untalented slob. The hell with them all if they do.

  • Danny Lemieux

    It isn’t that Franken and his crowd are funny – only they believe they are. What they need is waaaaay serious counseling and medication.

    I lived in Minnesota many years. Minnesotans tend to be very nice if somewhat Liberal/Left befuddled people who live in a very protected progressive bubble that keeps them safely quarantined from the real world.

    I have a hard time believing that they would put up with an Al Franken. O ja sure, eh….it would not be “Minnesota Nice”, dontchaknow.

  • Zhombre

    My apologies, Book, for politicking but I urge people to support Coleman:


  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    You’re not politicking, Z. I know nothing bad about Coleman and nothing good about Franken. It’s pretty clear to me who should win.