Say What?

I generally agree with pretty much everything David Sirota says about Chris Matthews running for the Senate. Specifically, I agree with him that I hate people who think they are entitled to a Senate seat due to their celebrity, and I dislike people “parachuting” into places (like New York, for example) and claiming a Senate seat because they think it is theirs, and I agree with him that Matthews would be a terrible Senator, but this paragraph just cracked me up:

The difference between, say, a Chris Matthews moving to Philadelphia and running for the Senate and an Al Franken moving back to Minnesota and running for Senate, of course, is that Franken has clear convictions. Franken has never ever been about just getting Al Franken’s mug on television – he was a total die-hard progressive, and at points in his career, that progressivism undoubtedly made his media career harder.

Al Franken is a writer and an actor, and spent his entire adult life getting his “mug on television.” Take it away, IMDB:

# The Manchurian Candidate (2004) …. TV Commentator
# “Saturday Night Live” …. Various / … (61 episodes, 1975-2002)
… aka NBC’s Saturday Night (USA: first season title)
… aka SNL (USA: informal title)
… aka SNL 25 (USA: alternative title)
… aka Saturday Night (USA: second season title)
… aka Saturday Night Live ’80 (USA: sixth season title)
… aka The Best of Saturday Night Live (USA: rerun title)
– Al Gore/Phish (2002) TV episode (uncredited) …. Stuart Smalley
– Jerry Seinfeld/Annie Lennox (1992) TV episode …. Various
– John Goodman/Garth Brooks (1992) TV episode …. Various
– Roseanne & Tom Arnold/Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992) TV episode …. Various
– Macaulay Culkin/Tin Machine (1991) TV episode …. Various
(56 more)
# “Clerks” …. Mayor McCheese (1 episode, 2001)
… aka Clerks: The Cartoon (Australia)
… aka Clerks: Uncensored (USA: DVD title)
– Leonardo Is Caught in the Grip of an Outbreak of Randal’s Imagination and Patrick Swayze Either Does or Doesn’t Work in the New Pet Store (2001) TV episode (voice) …. Mayor McCheese

# “LateLine” …. Al Freundlich (17 episodes, 1998-1999)
– The Christian Guy (1999) TV episode …. Al Freundlich
– Karp’s Night Out (1999) TV episode …. Al Freundlich
– Svadharma (1999) TV episode …. Al Freundlich
– Kids ‘N’ Guns (1999) TV episode …. Al Freundlich
– The Minister of Television (1999) TV episode …. Al Freundlich
(12 more)
# “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998) TV mini-series …. Presidential Science Advisor Jerome Weisner
# “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” …. Al (1 episode, 1997)
– Sharon Meyers (1997) TV episode (voice) …. Al
# The Definite Maybe (1997) …. Vagabond
… aka No Money Down (USA: DVD title)
# “3rd Rock from the Sun” …. Frank Gansmiller (1 episode, 1996)
… aka 3rd Rock (USA: promotional abbreviation)
… aka Life As We Know It
– Dick the Vote (1996) TV episode …. Frank Gansmiller
# “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (1 episode, 1995)
– Episode dated 21 April 1995 (1995) TV episode
# Stuart Saves His Family (1995) …. Stuart Smalley
… aka Stuart Stupid – Eine Familie zum Kotzen (Germany)
# When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) (uncredited) …. Co-pilot
… aka To Have and to Hold

# One More Saturday Night (1986) …. Paul Flum
# Trading Places (1983) …. Baggage Handler #1
# Steve Martin’s Best Show Ever (1981) (TV)

# The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978) (TV) …. Decline’s Henchman
… aka All You Need Is Cash (USA)
# Tunnel Vision (1976) …. Al
… aka Tunnelvision

All laughs aside, I can’t think of anyone who wants Chris Matthews as a Senator.






83 replies
  1. 1
    BP IN MN says:

    In fairness to Sirota’s point, though, Franken has spent a lot of time pushing progressive values in his books and mocking blowhards like Matthews in the media. While he certainly has his flaws, he’s used the fact that his mug’s been on television to support candidates and cuases he believes in; Matthews has used the fact that his mugs been on TV to make himself a cause. I know which one I’d choose.

  2. 2
    Comrade Darkness says:

    I don’t get why either one of them thinks they would be happy sharing the stage with 100 other talent. Especially since it takes 24 years to rise above the status of extra.

  3. 3
    Flappy McScrotum says:

    If we have to import a celeb to run for office, can we get a better one then Tweety? How about Seth Green or Kevin Bacon? Is Jamie Kennedy doing anything? Or that guy from Poison?

  4. 4
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Although I’ve never really much liked Franken personally as I think He’s a bit of a Prima Dona, I did like his show on Air America and listened to it daily. And to those who also listened, they will remember the twice weekly slot for David Sirota where Al would sing that dumb song from the 70’s that sounded like "my sirota" give it up give it up, or some such. They are a pair made in Heaven. Silly and Sillier .

  5. 5
    Nylund says:

    You gotta admit though, Chris Mathews could probably filibuster for days without even batting an eye.

    That being said, I really don’t want him in the senate. I can’t think of a single pieces of legislation I feel strongly about where I’ve thought, "if only we had Chris Mathews to help push that through…" The man seems to only have an interest in the show business side of politics, not the actual act of good governance.

  6. 6
    Mrs. Peel says:

    I can’t think of anyone who wants Chris Matthews as a Senator.

    Oh, come now. You can think of ONE person. I’ll give you a hint: His name is Chris Matthews. I’ll let you figure out his initials.

  7. 7
    reagankid says:

    There’s a great sarcastic line in "Get Smart" asking, if something happens to celebrities, where will the country get its political advice? I laughed out loud, and figured "Get Smart" would’ve gotten more press in the theater if that line had been left out. But I’m happy to watch Maxwell Smart take on Al Franken, Chris Matthews and any other liberal illuminati any day!

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    Like I said, I mostly agree with Sirota, but for what I excerpted. I also find the notion that calling Rush Limbaugh a big fat idiot may have hurt his career in Hollywood a touch funny.

  9. 9
    Mrs. Peel says:

    Chris Mathews could probably filibuster for days without even batting an eye.

    He could probably filibuster for days before he even realized he was filibustering.

  10. 10
    Josh Hueco says:

    Somewhat related…Greenwald had a great entry in Salon yesterday about how incestuous and insular our ruling political-media class has become.

  11. 11
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I agree with him that Matthews would be a terrible Senator, but this paragraph just cracked me up:

    What you say. He’d be a model of normality compared to David "Diaper King" Vitter. Jim "You can call them liberals, call them collectivists, or call them socialists; but don’t call them stupid" Demint and Tom "Lesbian Hunter" Coburn.

    i know their wingnuts but a nut is sill a nut.

  12. 12
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    I agree with him that Matthews would be a terrible Senator, but this paragraph just cracked me up:

    What you say. He’d be a model of normality compared to David "Diaper King" Vitter. Jim "You can call them liberals, call them collectivists, or call them socialists; but don’t call them stupid" Demint and Tom "Lesbian Hunter" Coburn.

    i know their wingnuts but a nut is sill a nut.

  13. 13
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    The Horror. I think wordpress ate my comment, sent it to spam hell.

  14. 14
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Mrs. Peel:

    He could probably filibuster for days before he even realized he was filibustering

    When he gets excited and starts yelling with spittle spray and answering his own questions, he needs a Seinfeld handler to shake him and holler," Newman, Newman".

  15. 15
    Julio says:

    I don’t want Chris Matthews as a Senator but I don’t see how you can really, at once, be just fine with Al Franken (possibly) parlaying his celebrity into a Minnesota Senate seat and then turn around and bad mouth Matthews for doing the same thing in Pennsylvania, based on the completely dubious notion that "Franken has never ever been about just getting Al Franken’s mug on television." Please. And the idea that Franken is a somehow different beast because he has "clear convictions" is equally dishonest and wrong-headed. It’s not as if the people of Pennsylvania wouldn’t get a chance to vet him and his amorphous convictions in both the Democratic primary and in the general election.

    And if you want to get into it, doesn’t the Matthews run make more sense than the Franken run, given that Matthews started out on the Hill as an aide and even tried (and failed) at a run for Congress in his pre-pundit days? And why does he say that Franken "moved back" to MN, while Matthews would be just moving to PA? Matthews is from PA.

    But whatever. He says he’s not running. I’ll take him at his word.

    Peace

  16. 16
    John O says:

    True enough, John, true enough.

    But I’ve read all of Al’s books, and I read a good, funny, very intelligent and compassionate man in them.

    "Celebrity" should neither qualify nor disqualify someone for elected office.

    OnT, having watched Matthews for years, I can say I don’t relish the idea of ol’ Chris being a Senator. That being said, I have to credit him for being sporadically sane, though often misogynist, at least when it comes to Hillary, but on balance you know what I think most about him?

    I think he gives a shit about his country, knows where the bodies are buried, and isn’t afraid to speak truth to power. Even if I don’t always agree with his version of "truth."

    We could do worse. You know, like we pretty much always have. Jesse Helms, anyone?

    I think it is a very common mistake amongst us commoners to think we know people’s true selves from their TV personas.

    You can get a feel, no doubt. Like you can from a series of blog posts. But neither are the full measure of a man/woman.

  17. 17
    John O says:

    Caveat: But neither are the full measure of a man/woman.

    Unless you are a rarely and uniquely gifted and prolific writer or speaker.

  18. 18
    John O says:

    From the brilliant and wonderful Heywood J.

    Exactly.

  19. 19
    MNPundit says:

    I can’t believe I missed that Sirota gem. HOLE-Y-SHIT. That is the reason I had to grit my teeth and vote Franken.

  20. 20
    Incertus says:

    I don’t know where Sirota is getting this notion of Franken as progressive hero. I distinctly remember Franken in the early days of his radio show describing himself as a moderate, DLC, free-trader kind of Democrat. Maybe he’s moved left during his Senate campaign, but he’s no Feingold or Boxer, that’s for damn sure. I suspect Sirota is seeing things as he wants to, rather than as they are.

  21. 21
    Mike says:

    Franken and Matthews are at least moving back to areas they have roots in. This is one degreee less carpetbaggery than Hillary, who first lived in New York only the year before the election.

    Then, of course, there’s Alan Keyes…

  22. 22
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    To be fair to Franken, he grew up in Minnesota and still had family there before he moved back. He attended the Kennedy School at Harvard and has been politically active -sometimes behind the scenes – for years, especially in the Democratic Party. He even started a PAC in 2005.

    And as far as doing things for personal glory, he’s gone on USO tours for years…Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq (7 times).

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    I think the real question most of you are having is how a Chris Matthews run for the Senate in PA would affect meEl Cid.

  24. 24

    How about a governator returning from the future to try and kill a woman who was going to vote for Gray Davis? Or a Representative that’s got you, babe? Or a Senator that tap-dances his way to Washington? Or a governor who plays a President? And didn’t Gofer make it to Congress?

    On the other hand, Sheila Kuehl, the woman who played Zelda Gilroy on "Dobie Gillis" is actually a pretty good state senator.

  25. 25
    Church Lady says:

    Well, look on the bright side – if he was elected, there would probably be some pretty classic moments on CSPAN.

  26. 26
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    And as far as doing things for personal glory, he’s gone on USO tours for years…Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq (7 times).

    That’s more experience than wingnut hero Ronnie Reagan. Whose previous claim to fame consisted of appearing in several blockbuster B movies with a Chimpanzee as leading man. I’d say Franken holds his own in the qualification department.

  27. 27
    mak says:

    If Matthews wins, does that mean that Arlen Specter is no longer our Senator?

    Good enough for me.

  28. 28
    mak says:

    Sorry, double clicked and can’t figure out how to delete.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  29. 29
    Comrade Kevin says:

    I’m surprised the name "Hillary Clinton" hasn’t been mentioned yet. She certainly "parachuted in" to New York to grab a Senate seat.

  30. 30
    Brian J says:

    It helps to separate the idea of Franken as an entertainer and Franken as an activist/commentator/possible politician. When he was fighting to get time on television, he was doing it to advance his career as an entertainer.

    Now, if Matthews wants to launch a political career, Pennsylvania seems to be the place to do it. He was born there, and while he has some connections to a state like California, that state doesn’t look to have a particularly vulnerable senator up for reelection. In other words, the timing looks to be right, and he isn’t just picking the state because of the opportunity, like Clinton did (and I don’t mean that as a criticism).

    If he wants to run, let him run. It’s up to the voters to decide if he’s an acceptable candidate. I don’t know if I’d ever feel up to going out of my way to make a case for him as a candidate, but then again, I can think of far worse choices for elected office.

  31. 31
    El Cid says:

    That’s more experience than wingnut hero Ronnie Reagan.

    Well, he was on the mission that liberated Bitburg.

  32. 32
    Mr. Tactful says:

    Mr. Cole is quite wrong about Franken. He and Franni are certainly committed progressives.

    I hope he loses so Roger Ailes can give him Colmes’ job.

  33. 33
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Bob In Pacifica:

    On the other hand, Sheila Kuehl, the woman who played Zelda Gilroy on "Dobie Gillis" is actually a pretty good state senator.

    That she is (or was, being termed out this time around). Of course she did go to Harvard Law post-Dobie.

  34. 34
    Brian J says:

    Then, of course, there’s Alan Keyes…

    I can still laugh at the thought of that clown’s mental gymnastics in trying to claim that he was invited by God to campaign in Illinois while Clinton didn’t get such an opening for New York, thus making her a carpetbagger. If by "God," you mean some random higher ups in the Illinois Republican party who picked him, then I guess he’s right.

  35. 35
    John Cole says:

    Mr. Cole is quite wrong about Franken. He and Franni are certainly committed progressives.

    How can I be wrong about something I never said?

  36. 36
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Mr. Tactful:

    And as far as doing things for personal glory, he’s gone on USO tours for years…Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq (7 times).

    If that happened, someone would need to give Hannity an indefinite Haldol drip for everyones safety.

    And you were wrong about that too, Mr. Cole. Not saying it is a thin excuse, because we all know you were a Republican.

  37. 37
    Ed Drone says:

    How can I be wrong about something I never said?

    Are you married? If so, the question is moot.

    Ed

  38. 38
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    I hope he loses so Roger Ailes can give him Colmes’ job

    If that happened, someone would need to give Hannity an indefinite Haldol drip for everyones safety.

    wrong quote

  39. 39
    DougJ says:

    I agree with him that I hate people

    I hate people too.

  40. 40

    I’d tell my PA relatives to vote for Chris Matthews over the far-left Snarlin’ Arlen. But, of course, we all know that, if Specter were foolish enough to attempt to run for re-election, he would be obliterated by Pat Toomey, because small government and de-regulation have never been more vital than they are now. America is going to want to drown government in the bathtub by 2010, and Pat Toomey is the man to push it through.

    As such, I won’t have to worry about instructing them to vote for a far-left idiot that goes on drinking binges with Christopher Hitchens, just so that I can play in part in ousting the Five RINOs in the Senate. There are four other senators that I can encourage him to run against. The other four RINOs, Olympia Snowe (who votes D more than she does R), Susan Collins (who is Olympia Snowe lite, or an OSINO), Richard Lugar (who has connections to a man who has connections to a known terrorist), and George Voinovich (who called Obama a Socialist in an attempt to hide his own Socialistic tendencies) are all keeping our Republican Party from going sharply to the Right.

    Chris Matthews, being a far-left blowhard, would have no problem receiving support from ignorant liberals, as well as conservatives eager to see him crash and burn, against these Senators. More than anyone else, Chris Matthews will be able to spark firestorms that give Correct-Wingers a massive extinguisher, which they will be able to use to suppress Matthews’ penis envy.

    As for Al Franken, I am divided. On the one hand, he should just concede the election to Norm Coleman, even though Coleman is also somewhat of a RINO. On the other hand, he would also be good at making Democrats look stupid, although not as well as Matthews would. I would suspect that Al Franken could not name what bill was the predecessor of NCLB (Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 1965), because the fact is that he’s that much of an ignorant blowhard.

    Hopefully, this event will cause the executives of MSNBC to repent for allowing a bunch of opportunistic liberals to take over their channel. They had something going with Buchanan and Scarborough, but they had to blow it all.

  41. 41
    Talk Left Lost says:

    "Franken has never ever been about just getting Al Franken’s mug on television"

    That’s hilarious coming from a media whore like Sirota.

  42. 42
    Mr. Tactful says:

    @John Cole:

    You did a whole blog entry about how you usually agree with Sirota, then quoted him to show us what point on which you disagreed. Then, to show how Sirota is still wrong, you block-quoted a ton of Franken’s media career.

    You’re right, you didn’t say exactly what I said you did. Nevertheless, I and others took your post as meaning that Franken is both a media whore AND is not especially dedicated, due to your peculiar method.

    Perhaps you simply suck at quoting.

  43. 43
    McDuff says:

    Does the commenter at number 38 live in the same universe as the rest of us.

    Anyway, couple of things. First, the quote was:

    Franken has never ever been about just getting Al Franken’s mug on television

    (Emphasis added)

    I think it’s important to note that if you’re an actor, you take acting work. Part of that does involve getting your mug out there, but so what? To denigrate Franken for doing his job takes away from the point, which is that he hasn’t solely concentrated on his 9-to-5 and has been politically active alongside it. Aside from "actors are attention-seeking scum" I’m not sure what the point of the IMDB dump was.

    Still, I think the same would probably apply to Tweety. He’s a political commentator – you could argue that he hasn’t paid much attention but I don’t think you could argue he doesn’t have a passion for the subject of sorts. He’s certainly no more of a hack than most of the current incumbents. You can certainly argue that he shouldn’t be allowed to simply move into a Senate seat and that someone more likely to represent the district should get the job, but for the millionaires club that is the Senate that ship has entirely sailed, I feel.

    Which brings me onto this peculiar theme that’s running all through the comment thread, which is that if you make your living-cum-fortune selling tiles or motor vehicles, or through being a lawyer or a smart investor, that you can translate that wealth, rolodex and name recognition into a Senate run and that’s all fine, but that if you sell books or movies or tv shows that such a move is just awful and tasteless and a sign that you’ve got an overabundance of political self-importance, as if that latter wasn’t pretty much the definition of a politician. I just don’t see why it’s worse for an actor to become a politician than it is for a plumber or an investment banker to become one. What’s the big deal with it?

  44. 44
    oh really says:

    All laughs aside, I can’t think of anyone who wants Chris Matthews as a Senator.

    If there’s anyone out there who (doesn’t live in PA and who) has a spouse or roommate who watches Hardball every time it’s on…I’ll bet that person might desperately want Matthews to be a Senator. Of course there are other, less ridiculous, ways of accomplishing the same thing, but they mostly involve felonies or reliance on chance events with extremely low probabilities.

    Best case scenario? Matthews quits his TV job to run for the Senate, gets humiliated in the primary, and can’t get another job in television because 1) no one wants a failed Senatorial wannbe and 2) his replacement, a circus clown with two heads and fish scales covering his entire body…except on his tail, proves to be both more popular and less of a freak than Tweety.

  45. 45
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Sixty of our current Senators have law degrees while lawyers make up less than 1% of the population so that august body isn’t exactly representative of the population anyway. Bring on the entertainers, plumbers, seal clubbers, and anyone else who cares to run. No matter what they did before being elected, their focus will immediately shift to being re-elected – just like all of their colleagues.

  46. 46
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Does the commenter at number 38 live in the same universe as the rest of us.

    No.

  47. 47
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:
    Let’s not be so harsh. Who would argue against the Republicans "going sharply to the Right"? It worked out so well for them in the last election. The necessity for them to replace the RINO’s identified by Selective Screwdriver with Real Republicans like the high-minded Saxby Chambliss, the brilliant and insightful Jon Kyl, the wide-stanced Larry Craig, or the dynamic Mel Martinez can’t be denied.

  48. 48
    Steve The Other Plumber says:

    It’s only OK for celebrities to run for office if they are Republicans.

  49. 49
    J. says:

    Oh, I can think of one: Keith Olbermann. ; )

  50. 50
    Ash Can says:

    Objective Whatshisname’s post up there is perfectly positioned to illustrate why, barring some nasty brain trauma, I simply cannot empathise with right-wingnuts. I read the Sirota passage John excerpts and think, "that’s just dumb." I read Objective’s post and see, in contrast, incoherent flailing based on…aw hell, I have no fucking idea where that shit’s coming from. David Sirota may be seeing what he wants to see, but at least he makes it sound sane.

  51. 51
    Marshall says:

    I don’t see why celebrity or a TV career should be disqualifying. Let them run. Of course, whether or not they should be elected is a different matter.

  52. 52
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    Objective Scrota and his compadres have reached the robotic Richard Simmons stage of political analysis. The "far-left" label is thrown out like a Times Square leaflet, the RINO hating becomes laughable (Voinovich the socialist), and, to attack the intelligence of a possible senator, one cites…the, um, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965– a real benchmark of political knowledge (I’m sure Palin knows it by heart). Pretty soon they’re going to start citing Sara Teasdale and singing Mary Had a Little Lamb.
    One just has to pray these guys can control the GOP for the next decade or two.

  53. 53
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Dennis – SGMM:

    With people like Rotating Scrotum driving the right, you know that they have crossed into an alternate universe. Yes, I do hope that the rest of the lunatic fringe wingnuts head over and join them as they lead the way into irrelevance.

    I am feeling like my english is broken as I read it…lol! I have been working on a huge Python project and whenever I dive out of it and start typing like this I find my sentence structure has gone kablooey. No wonder coders are hard to understand, they write in english like they code.

    Back to code…

    /wipes bleary eyes, downs coffee & stubs cig.

  54. 54
    mellowjohn says:

    to paraphrase john wayne, "objective scrutator, you are a lulu."
    (extra points awarded for naming the movie.)

  55. 55
    roalca says:

    You are misinterpreting Sirota. They could have their "mug on television" in equal amounts (or Franken could have done so even more often), and his claim that Franken had convictions and Matthews did not could still be true, even if you don’t agree with that. You don’t address that. I gather that Matthews is closer to a "pure" celebrity in Sirota’s mind, in that he has done no work in building any sort of Democratic credentials, consistent or otherwise, and arguably even been destructive too Democratic causes. In that, Sirota figures, Matthew’s has demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice building Democratic credentials in favor of being on TV, whereas Franken has not. Thus Sirota’s argument is that Franken had is "mug on TV" and paid his dues as well, where as Matthews has sacrificed the latter for the former.

    To me however, this is a fairly fine distinction because being a Dem activist doesn’t entirely constitute paying one’s dues. So I put them in the same broad category. But within this category of celebrities who I’d prefer did not run for office, I do agree with Sirota (and it seems indisputable) that Matthews has done even less beyond his show to position himself for a Senate seat.

  56. 56
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    No wonder coders are hard to understand, they write in english like they code.

    That characteristic provided me with years of gainful employment doing software documentation (Manuals, in-program Help, etc.). It was really fun when I worked in a shop where all but one of the coders were recent Russian emigres.

  57. 57
    Jon H says:

    John wrote: "Like I said, I mostly agree with Sirota, but for what I excerpted. "

    On the other hand, Matthews spends more time on camera in six months than Franken has in his whole career.

  58. 58
    dan says:

    If anyone is interested, here’s Chris Matthew’s IMDB page:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1236777/

    Includes "Dave", "The West Wing", "Swing Vote", "Man of the Year", and, of course, "2007 Miss America Pagent", among others.

    Noted without comment.

  59. 59
    Jon H says:

    I still want Franken to win, and wear the satellite uplink helmet on the Senate floor.

  60. 60
    El Tiburon says:

    Wow, so Franken got his mug on TV a lot, your little IMBD lists prove it, therefore Sirota’s point is moot.

    Good job.

    Is that the extent of your research into Franken? IMBD? Really? Man, did you git your resirching skillz from Malkin?

    I listened to Al Franken for 2-3 years on Air America and trust me, he is very politically astute and is a solid progressive. There are certain issues where I take issue, but to imply that because his "mug" has been on the TV a lot equates him to Matthews is absurd.

    You know, for all the good points you make, sometimes you really let some turds drop. It is very obvious you don’t like Al Franken, perhaps a residual hangover from your conservative days.

    But do us a favor, when you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep it to yourself.

  61. 61
    John Cole says:

    @El Tiburon: Wow. Who would have guessed it. Sirota fan bois.

    I listened to Al Franken for 2-3 years on Air America and trust me, he is very politically astute and is a solid progressive. There are certain issues where I take issue, but to imply that because his “mug” has been on the TV a lot equates him to Matthews is absurd.

    Alright, foolio-show me where I said Franken was NOT a progressive? Show me where I said he “equates” to Matthews. Have fun. Take your time.

    The last couple of weeks has proven one thing conclusively to me- there is a wing of the left that is every bit as batshit insane, obnoxious, and stupid as the right. The thing that keeps me sane is that the Democrats aren’t putting you idiots in charge of Justice.

  62. 62
    DrDave says:

    The last couple of weeks has proven one thing conclusively to me- there is a wing of the left that is every bit as batshit insane, obnoxious, and stupid as the right.

    This only became apparent to you in the past couple of weeks?

    I live in PA. I would like Sestak to challenge Specter for that Senate seat. But then, having smart, competent people in government is important to me.

    Chris is just jealous that his brother got to run for Lt. Governor. He needs to get over it.

  63. 63

    "Does the commenter at number 38 live in the same universe as the rest of us."

    I guess not, since he’s stuck in a funhouse.

    "Let’s not be so harsh. Who would argue against the Republicans "going sharply to the Right"? It worked out so well for them in the last election. The necessity for them to replace the RINO’s identified by Selective Screwdriver with Real Republicans like the high-minded Saxby Chambliss, the brilliant and insightful Jon Kyl, the wide-stanced Larry Craig, or the dynamic Mel Martinez can’t be denied."

    Jon Kyl was named as one of the ten most successful Senators by TIME, and Saxby Chambliss has Islamofascist identifying skills that are completely unparalleled, but I’m afraid I have to take issue with the other two. Mel Martinez is retiring, and Larry Craig is a saboteur that needs to be sent to Guantanamo. It was the Moderate Republicans, like Lincoln Chafee, who were crushed in their re-election bid.

    Anyone want to explain why all of these RINOs, except from Specter, the two Maine Senators, and Michael Castle are gone? They lost because if someone wants a New Deal liberal, they’ll pick the real deal, not some Republican impersonator.

    "Objective Whatshisname’s post up there is perfectly positioned to illustrate why, barring some nasty brain trauma, I simply cannot empathise with right-wingnuts. I read the Sirota passage John excerpts and think, "that’s just dumb." I read Objective’s post and see, in contrast, incoherent flailing based on…aw hell, I have no fucking idea where that shit’s coming from. David Sirota may be seeing what he wants to see, but at least he makes it sound sane."

    Long story short: Chris Matthews would destroy the Democrat Party, Arlen Specter would destroy the Republican Party, Pat Toomey would elevate the Republican Party. Al Franken would *probably* destroy the Democrat Party, Norm Coleman has a slight chance of destroying the Republican Party.

    "The "far-left" label is thrown out like a Times Square leaflet,"

    We throw it out like your kind throws out ‘wingnut’, hypocrite.

    "RINO hating becomes laughable (Voinovich the socialist)"

    Go read Nate Silver’s website. He sees Voinovich as an easy vote for much of Osama’s Socialist plans.

    "to attack the intelligence of a possible senator, one cites…the, um, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965—a real benchmark of political knowledge (I’m sure Palin knows it by heart)."

    I’m sure Sarah Palin does, since she launched her political career in a PTA boardroom. Why do you hate knowledge about the ESEA, when it is the forerunner to NCLB, which is a good start for privatizing schools? Shouldn’t people know about the history of NCLB if they are running for office?

    You see, that’s why America hates liberals. You people revel in ignorance, and the only reason you guys won is because Diebold, who makes the only honest voting machine, wasn’t able to install its machines in enough voting locations.

    "Sara Teasdale and singing Mary Had a Little Lamb."

    Sara Teasdale had the same love fantasies that liberals do, and Mary Had a Little Lamb contains overt Satanism in the lyrics.

    "to paraphrase john wayne, "objective scrutator, you are a lulu.""

    John Wayne hated people like you, you know, and he would support kicking Arlen Specter out on the street.

  64. 64
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    He was in Tunnel Vision?

    Heck, that ought to be a disqualifier all by itself.

  65. 65
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    The thing that keeps me sane is that the Democrats aren’t putting you idiots in charge of Justice.

    Yes, But, they have the Supreme Netroots Internecine Tribunal (S.N.I.T) and as we know, it’s only a short jump from that lofty perch to Rulers of the Universe.

  66. 66
    El Tiburon says:

    Okay coolio, show me where I said you said he wasn’t a progressive. I never said it.

    I very clearly said you were, in a round-about way, comparing Franken to Matthews.

    Otherwise why would you list the IMBD stats other than to prove Franken is just another celebrity like Matthews?

    And of course, always fall back on the "batshit insane" refrain and personal attacks when someone calls you out. Pure Limbaugh101.

    So am I right? Do you not like Franken? Is he an obnoxious liberal?

  67. 67
    Qwerty says:

    Franken has never ever been about just getting Al Franken’s mug on television

    Sirota uses the word "just" here for a reason. Sirota is clearly saying Franken has tried to get his own "mug on television", but that its not the only thing he is about. Cole reads the sentence incorrectly as "Franken has never ever been about getting Al Franken’s mug on television". (minus the "just").

    Ok Cole, go ahead, call me a crazy, batshit insane, left-wing kook now for pointing this out.

  68. 68

    @Objective Scrutator:John Wayne hated people like you, you know, and he would support kicking Arlen Specter out on the street.

    Jayzus, I put on cowboy duds to shoot real bullets in competition and have actual real callouses and don’t think anything like "Duke."

    As for the silliness of an argument about getting one’s face on TV, I’m all about getting my nail apron on jobsites. That keeps me breathing so I can do my Democratic Party work. I didn’t have any idea that a dedication to my trade disqualified me from running to be a US Rep. I did believe that it gave me an inside insight to the blue collar world. One wonders if Matthews wouldn’t have reason to think that doing political commentary and what ever research involved doesn’t give him some reason to run.

    I don’t live in PA and have no dog in such a fight, other than Matthews would be an improvement over anybody the Republicans show any sign of running.

    I’m leaving in minutes for a State Central Committee meeting 350 miles from here so that’s it.

  69. 69

    John, here in Minnesota I have easily been Franken’s #1 blogger/critic on the left, both at my old blog, Norwegianity, and my current blog. Of the three candidates who ran for the Democratic nomination, Al was my last choice.

    But he is a serious candidate and he is for real. All the bullshit stems from the cult of celebrity stuff. The biggest offenders? A-List bloggers. Not you, but Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller and Markos have a lot to answer for with their INSANELY premature endorsement over thirteen months before the actual Minnesota primary.

    They legitimized the early money to Al, and they destroyed the ability of Minnesotans to pick their own nominee by driving our best candidate out of the race, and by exploiting the DFL’s truly idiotic party endorsement system that allows less than one percent of MN Dems to pick the party’s candidate (this can be reversed by the voters on primary day, but with a September primary there is enormous pressure for the other candidates to "abide" by the endorsement).

    Norm Coleman was low hanging fruit but because a couple of big name bloggers liked Al’s book, they decided to push Al’s candidacy on us. They did so without consulting with a single MN blogger. Not one. They just up and picked a candidate for us.

    This can NEVER happen again. The netroots must respect each state’s selection process, and hold off on their donations until after the primary is over.

    And yes, Al probably would have gotten the nomination anyhow given his star power, but a more vigorously contested process would have been to his benefit. The DFLers let him skate on his personal stuff and then the Republicans clobbered us with an avalanche of negative ads which Al responded to in kind. Because it was hands down the most expensive Senate race in the country, Minnesotans had to endure wall to wall negative ads.

    Yes, I think Al Franken is a real politician.

  70. 70
    John Cole says:

    I very clearly said you were, in a round-about way, comparing Franken to Matthews.

    In other words, it was so round-about that an objective reader would conclude, as the author of this post has, that I never compared them at all regarding their politics.

    Otherwise why would you list the IMBD stats other than to prove Franken is just another celebrity like Matthews?

    THEY. ARE. BOTH. MEDIA. CELEBRITIES. Quit being silly. You don’t know Al Franken because he is a progressive hero, you know Al Franken because he is a writer/actor, became famous, and then parlayed some of his fame into advocating his beliefs.

    If you want to argue whose politics I am probably more closely aligned with right now, I would probably go with Franken. But that doesn’t get past the point that it is silly of Sirota and others to pretend that there was some motivation for Franken that was nobler than Matthews. They both work in the media. They are both celebrities.

    I really do not see what the problem here is- Matthews is an idiot, and people should support a better candidate in the primaries, but his celebrity neither entitles him nor disqualifies him for a Senate run.

  71. 71
    Ash Can says:

    Like I was saying…

  72. 72
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Objective Scrutator:

    I guess not, since he’s stuck in a funhouse.

    You, my friend, are THEE star.

  73. 73
    El Tiburon says:

    Do you have a reading disorder? I never said you were comparing their politics. You were comparing Franken to Matthews vis-a-vis the cult of celebrity status.

    The argument is not that they are both media celebrities. Duh. The argument is that Matthews wants to be a Senator for the sake of celebrity. Whereas Franken wants to for his ideological beliefs. This was Sirota’s point. This is the point you disagreed with.

    This is the point I called you out on. This is the point you keep evading. To you Franken = Matthews. You say this because you know ZERO about Al Franken except he must be some "batshit, insane obnoxious" liberal.

    Since you refuse to answer the question, I’ll assume that you don’t like Al Franken. to which the follow-up would be: why not?

  74. 74
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I’ll assume that you don’t like Al Franken. to which the follow-up would be: why not?

    No, the follow-up would be. WHO THE FUCK CARES?

  75. 75
    John Cole says:

    The argument is not that they are both media celebrities. Duh. The argument is that Matthews wants to be a Senator for the sake of celebrity. Whereas Franken wants to for his ideological beliefs. This was Sirota’s point. This is the point you disagreed with.

    If that is Sirota’s point, it is even nuttier than I first thought. What is inside my head right now, you mind readers? What are the winning lottery numbers tomorrow?

    You have no idea why Matthews wants to be in the Senate. I think he would be a terrible Senator, I think he thinks his celebrity will help him coast to a Senate seat, and I hope he does not win, but I am not going to sit here and give a Fristian analysis of WHY he wants to be in the Senate, and I will continue to laugh at yours. Lemme guess- you thought Terri Schiavo wanted to live.

  76. 76
    Phoebe says:

    I think Matthews wants to do things, and that’s why he wants to be a Senator. He’s more of a celebrity now than he would be as a Senator. I’m not Frist, and can’t read anyone’s mind, but that’s my impression of Matthews.

    Celebrities have an unfair name recognition advantage over non-celebs [Hillary Clinton again as perfect example], but that doesn’t mean they should be precluded from public service if they can do some good. And whether Matthews or Franken can or will do some good is a different subject completely.

  77. 77
    El Tiburon says:

    You have no idea why Matthews wants to be in the Senate.

    I.NEVER.SAID.I.DID. Do you just read what you want to read? We are arguing DAVID SIROTA’S points here, not mine. You know, Sirota, the guy YOU said you "Generally agree" with?

    I will continue to laugh at yours. Lemme guess- you thought Terri Schiavo wanted to live.

    Laugh at what? I am arguing Sirota’s points, not mine. Seems like you’re having fun arguing with yourself. You have yet to address any one of my issues. I take it because you are conservative at heart you won’t address my issues because you can’t. That’s why you do Hannity-esque things like call me "foolio" "batshit insane, obnoxious" and now bring Terri Schiavo into it.

    So once again, back to the MAIN POINT that you have refused to address: You don’t like Al Franken, you know nothing about Al Franken, you did the IBMD list to try and prove that Franken is nothing but an ass-clown like Matthews. You got called out on it, you respond by personal and childish attacks while changing the subject and accusing me of saying things I never did.

    But save your typing, here’s your response: "Oh you poor little ‘tard, I guess now you’ll tell me what’s in my refrigerator, no it’s not $90,000! HA HA HA!"

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    You don’t like Al Franken, you know nothing about Al Franken, you did the IBMD list to try and prove that Franken is nothing but an ass-clown like Matthews.

    ?

    You are a really silly person.

  79. 79
    myiq2xu says:

    That’s why you do Hannity-esque things like call me "foolio" "batshit insane, obnoxious" and now bring Terri Schiavo into it.

    Are you outsourcing your trolls from other planets now?

  80. 80
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    to try and prove that Franken is nothing but an ass-clown like

    We call them comedians in the Funhouse. A place where dying comes easy, but funny is hard.

  81. 81
    El Tiburon says:

    My prediction:

    But save your typing, here’s your response: "Oh you poor little ‘tard, I guess now you’ll tell me what’s in my refrigerator, no it’s not $90,000! HA HA HA

    Your response:

    You are a really silly person.

    The person who called me Foolio thinks I’m the silly person.

    Do you want to give a hint as to why you dislike Al Franken?

  82. 82
    mmc says:

    A bit off topic: the other point that separates them is that Al has been back in Minn for several years while Chris would move to PA to be eligible.

    It was cheesy when Cheney switched his residency to his vacation home to be eligible for VP, when Hilary moved to NY or when Liddy Dole moved to NC and it would be cheesy for Matthews.

  83. 83
    mere mortal says:

    and I dislike people “parachuting” into places (like New York, for example) and claiming a Senate seat because they think it is theirs

    Ignorant or dishonest, either way, your post was completely useless, Mr. Cole.

    From Wikipedia: Christopher Matthews, born December 17, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    He lived there until he "parachuted" to college, and then "parachuted" into grad school, then the Peace Corps, after which he did another "parachuting" back into the United States.

    Perhaps he should run for Senate in Washington DC?

Comments are closed.