Al Franken has been declared the Senator-elect from Minnesota. Franken, whose previous contributions to the political arena have included such thoughtful books as Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, will now be the 60th Democrat in the Senate. If possible, he will tilt the chamber further to the left.
It will be interesting to see how he gets along with colleagues across the aisle. It was only a couple of years ago that he wrote, “Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks.” I’m not seeing a lot of bi-partisanship there.
Hopefully he’s given up violence as a means of controlling free speech. Back in 2004, he body-slammed a demonstrator at a Howard Dean rally. He justified his actions by saying, “I’m neutral in this race but I’m for freedom of speech, which means people should be able to assemble and speak without being shouted down.” Apparently that means people who assemble and agree with the man on the stump. After all, he didn’t say people should be free to assemble and speak without being knocked down. It’s a good thing he’s in the quieter Senate rather than in the more robust House of Representatives. There should be less opportunity for body slamming the opposition.
I agree with most pundits that being the filibuster-breaking 60th senator is not going to be significant. Filibustering is not a frequent tactic. What is significant is that the President has another ideological comrade in the Senate.