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Today, on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol, US Senator Al Franken held a press conference to declare his intention to seek a second term as Minnesota's junior Senator.  Sen. Franken spent his entire first term in a lengthy court battle with The Party of "No".  With his wife Fran at his side, he addressed a large crowd of press, supporters and curious onlookers who seemed surprised to learn that Minnesota actually has two US Senators.

(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly)

Excerpts of Sen. Franken's prepared remarks are published here with permission:

"Hello everyone and thank you for being here.  It seems almost like yesterday when I ran for my first term as a US Senator.  However, as we know - yesterday, I was in court fighting to dismiss or disprove ridiculous charges of vote fraud or procedural delay tactics that were being mounted by ex-Senator Coleman.  Which is also what I did the day before yesterday...and the day before that...and so on.

Now that time has marched on and The Party of No is sitting on a 9% approval rating, they have thrown in the towel.  Their strategy was to waste a Democratic Senator's first term in court proceedings.  Well, they succeeded.  Not only has my first term been eliminated, but we celebrated some important milestones in my absence from doing the job you elected me to do:

  • HD TV  replaced Analog across the country

  • Iran had a questionable election and mass riots

  • North Korea launched missiles and detonated nuclear testing

  • An economic stimulus package was passed

  • Guantanamo's torture prison was ordered closed

  • 3 states legalized same-sex marriage

  • Honduras had a military coup

  • US military forces left Iraq

  • George W Bush actually started to look good (when compared to Glenn Beck, Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh)

Six years ago, I was a newcomer to politics, as you all know.  Thanks to the tireless string of appeals and objections raised by ex-Senator Coleman, I am still brand new.  I have not served a day in office.  You can thank the party of 'fiscal responsibility' for wasting your tax dollars and squandering my time.  While I was in court defending what you had elected me to do, absolutely nothing was being done by my office on your behalf.

So, now it is time to turn our sights forward..."

Senator Franken went on to say that he is looking forward to actually seeing his desk in his office in Washington D.C.

Reactions from the media were mixed and predictable.

Radio personality Rush Limbaugh fumed with outrage as only he can.  Limbaugh got into an argument with a caller who directly challenged Mr. Limbaugh's assertion that Al Franken is black.  The caller later issued a public statement in order to 'clear the air' about any disagreement he may have had with Limbaugh.  After apologizing for disagreeing with Rush Limbaugh, the caller said that the way to win back Minnesota's Senate seat is to hate more non-whites and all gays and women.

Rep. John Boener (R-Ohio) funneled money from funds that were gifted to him by private donors in Fortune 100 companies, into the filming of PSA's that involved the Congressman sicking dogs after Senator Franken.

Bill O'Reilly announced that Senator Franken was a killer, capable of "real Nazi stuff".  Several times in his evening tirade, Mr. O'Reilly referred to Senator Franken as 'Senator Killer', which he later denied.

So, a new chapter begins for the voters of Minnesota and it is anybody's guess as to how it will turn out.  Will they elect another Democratic Senator only to see his term wasted by the dying remnants of Plantation and slave owners?  Perhaps Minnesota will simply give up on the idea of two Senators or simply forget completely that they are entitled to that number of representatives in the upper house.

Minnesota is not known for trendsetting, but they may be the test bed for a new GOP strategy - one that no longer seeks a majority through the polling place.  Instead, they may simply try to negate their opponents' victories and make the positions of elected Democrats irrelevent.  It is a bold plan, unprincipled and unscrupulous and it is tailor-made for a party that seeks to combine religious intolerance with military brutality under the banner of morality.  In all honesty, if the GOP can't make this happen - no one can.


Originally posted to the national gadfly on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 11:41 PM PDT.

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