When Saturday Night Live and Air America celeb Al Franken was finally declared the winner - by a whisker – of the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota, democrats achieved their “filibuster-proof majority.” (A few months later, of course, we surrendered that exalted status when we lost the Ted Kennedy seat in Massachusetts to republican Scott Brown).
Franken has been low-profiling this early phase of his political career. Maybe that’s smart. But compare him to recently elected Kentucky republican Rand Paul – who has already threatened to filibuster every bill until democrats agree to eviscerate the federal budget – and Al seems almost invisible.
So while we might be willing to cut some slack to Sen. Franken until he gets his legs, I’m curious why the outspoken comic / commentator turned legislator has been publicly mum on the crisis in his home state.
The Minnesota government shutdown is a pivotal standoff between democratic governor Mark Dayton and a republican-majority state legislature. The conflict has national implications with Dayton calling for a slight increase in taxes on the wealthy and his opponents refusing to give any ground on the issue.
I googled minnesota / shutdown / franken and couldn’t find any meaningful match. (I know, he’s probably working it behind the scenes.)
But the larger question is what happens to our side when we get elected? From our president on down, democrats seem to evaporate once they’re in power. As if Vermont Independent (socialist) Sen. Bernie Sanders is the only voice in congress telling it like it is.
Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton is holding on and Minnesota state employees are going broke.
Come on Al - at the very least – put in a kind word for those suffering workers.