Keeping it Real

Love this:

You really wanna know why he lost?

He had fewer fucking votes.






118 replies
  1. 1
    SF Bay says:

    well, of course politico couldn’t figure that out.

  2. 2
    Mr Furious says:

    I know this whole exercise was a shot-term stall to keep Franken from being seated, but what was the long game?

    IF Coleman won an appeal at any leve, what was his best-case scenario? A re-do on the election? I suspect he’d get his ass handed to him in that situation….

  3. 3
    gbear says:

    Well yea, but besides that…

    also, the best comment I’ve seen so far regarding the Franken win is over at Wonkette:

    BREAKING: HARRY REID ANNOUNCES IT NOW TAKES 61 VOTES TO BREAK A FILIBUSTER

  4. 4

    @Mr Furious: If he won the appeal, then he would have been senator.

    Shorter John Cole: Loser.

    gbear, you jest, but would you be surprised if it turned out to be true?

  5. 5
    plus C says:

    My favorite part of the article:

    If Coleman had kept going after losing a unanimous ruling, it would appear that the Republican Party was delaying the inevitable seating of Franken for purely political purposes, risking further damage to his political career and a party still trying to recover from last year’s elections.

    Good thing they got out before that happened.

  6. 6
    Brian J says:

    When I’m not in one of my rage-induced tirades about how the world and everyone in it sucks, I try to…assume the best in people. Even in people that I probably wouldn’t like in real life, I try to think that they aren’t bad people, to be rather simple. I don’t know as much about him as a resident of Minnesota may, but from what I do know about Norm Coleman, he seems to embody the worst of all qualities that we associate with sleazy, corrupt, arrogant, self-interested political hacks. The fact that this turd of a formerly elected official is out on his ass is great. That his seat is being taken by Al Franken and is surely to burn the ass of every conservative who dislikes him is too sweet for words to describe.

  7. 7
    ronin122 says:

    Now I am naive and new to the whole political scene (well, with regards to reading what the MSM is saying regarding it), so I have likely no clue wtf I am saying. However, should not an article explaining why a candidate lost an election–and an incumbent at that–at least at one point or another point to reasons why that person was unpopular to a majority of voters while the other guy was preferred by a plurality (or majority, not in this case)? I mean what do I know, I just assume politicians lose because voters didn’t choose him for some tangible reason. Well I guess that’s why I’m not in the beltway. Silly me, Coleman lose because he got less votes? Haha I’m such a moron.

    By the way, I notice that whenever the “assholes” tag is used, I estimate 90% of the time–at least–it is accompanied by the “media” tag. Judging from this and well everything the last few years, it seems very fitting.

  8. 8

    @John Cole

    You really wanna know why he lost?
    He had fewer fucking votes.

    Oh sure, that’s what the lieberal media would like you to believe, but in reality the Minnesota Supremes voted against Norm Coleman because they were afraid that if they didn’t Obama would use his Evil Eye™ on them and make them have extra-marital affairs. And even if Coleman did have fewer votes it was probably because ACORN stole the election for Al Franken. WOLVERINES!

  9. 9
    ronin122 says:

    @gbear: Olbermann today said something when talking with Jonathan Alter to the effect of a hypothetical Congress can have 75 Dem senators and they’d still probably say it wasn’t enough to pass something. Didn’t say that they WOULD be like that out-right if that happened, but I feel we all would think of it this way: if the GOP died out, they’d still be trying to cave and capitulate to them in the sake of some “bipartisanship”.

  10. 10
    Brian J says:

    And even if Coleman did have fewer votes it was probably because ACORN stole the election for Al Franken

    One can only wonder why ACORN, which in the mind of conservatives seems as insidious and powerful as the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages but without the pomp and circumstance, allowed the Bush administration to ever take office. Hell, if it has such a hold over the elections, why do the Democrats ever lose?

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    I gotta be honest. I’ve had a metric ton of scotch and I’m playing Thriller so loud it scares even me. Not the volume, but that I am LOVING IT.

    Also, cancer takes more than one night, because I smoked two Lars Tetens that I have been saving for years.

    Also.

    Because.

  12. 12
    gbear says:

    @asiangrrlMN: It might as well be true. The magical unity factor of a 60 vote majority is a joke and everyone knows it.

    edit: what ronin122 said. also.

  13. 13
    West of the Cascades says:

    Cheap Argentinian malbec – $7.99 (mistress not included)
    Furminator at Amazon.com – $18.87 (including shipping)
    “He had fewer fucking votes” – priceless

  14. 14
    Mike P says:

    @John Cole:
    Best drunk comment from a blog host ever?

  15. 15
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Brian J:

    I try to…assume the best in people.

    Um… really? Have you talked to people?

  16. 16

    @gbear: Yeah, I know. It’s so sad that the fucking Blue Dawgs would rather further their own agendas than those of the Democratic Party. Sigh.

    Still. Senator Al Franken. Snicker. Yep. Still awesome.

    Night!

  17. 17
    Travis says:

    Sure, it’s kind of funny now. I’m happy Franken won; Coleman was always an empty suit. But we’re going to hear conspiracy stuff about Obama’s long fingers interfering with the MN supreme court or doing some type of scary nonsense that’s going to be so stupid you’re going to grind your teeth.

    I think it’s going to take two or three losing election cycles to really spank the stupid out of these people. I want an opposition party, just not an insane, conspiracy-minded one.

  18. 18
    gbear says:

    @Mike P:

    Best drunk comment from a blog host ever?

    Mighta been but minus points for referencing MJ. It’s just too soon.

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Yes. It is awesome. :)

  20. 20
    Cain says:

    @John Cole:

    I gotta be honest. I’ve had a metric ton of scotch and I’m playing Thriller so loud it scares even me. Not the volume, but that I am LOVING IT.

    Apparently vinyl copies of Thriller are going for about $1K on ebay. :)

    cain

  21. 21
    tammanycall says:

    Josh Green raised a good point: given their health, it’s likely very difficult for Kennedy and Byrd to get to the Senate floor to cast votes.

    http://politics.theatlantic.co....._no_58.php

  22. 22
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Thriller is an excellent song.

    Al Franken is a freak. He touched me. I did not invite this. He thought he was funny.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    I’ve moved on to my Dire Straits collection. I have every record they have ever made, and I have every album up til 1996, and that includes the Canadian presses. After that I just bought the CD’s. I think Mark Knopfler is one of the most under recognized musicians of the last thirty years. Romeo and Juliet may be the perfect song, and I don’t say that without recognizing that Elvis Costello and Lyle Lovett exist.

    But I have to be honest, I went through all the MJ albums, and I own a few, and whether you like the music or not (it is not my choice, per se), I can say one thing- there is a joy and a fun to a lot of it.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    Just Beat it already.

  25. 25
    Llelldorin says:

    @Travis:

    I think it’s going to take two or three losing election cycles to really spank the stupid out of these people. I want an opposition party, just not an insane, conspiracy-minded one.

    No. Absolutely not. You will never spank the stupid out of these people. Conspiracy theories about freaking FDR still have currency with these people, and he’s been dead for more than sixty years.

    If you want a sane opposition party, you have to destroy the Republicans root and branch, then fission the Democratic Party. Face it, we have enough wings to happily fill an entire parliamentary system. We could have Greens vs. Dems, or Dems vs. Blue Dogs, and either way you’d have two fundamentally sane positions in opposition.

    If you try it with the Republicans, you can spank them over and over again until the sun devours the Earth, and they’ll still be muttering insanely about the granite countertops of Islamofascist socialist communist welfare mothers who have been paid to have repeat abortions as a nefarious plot by Obama.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    Also, Dr. Parkinson declared “I’m not surprised to see you here…”

    Think about it.

  27. 27
    gbear says:

    @John Cole: John, Do you have the CD that Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris made together? I like that one a LOT more than the one by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. I have all those early records too (US issues anyway) up thru Brothers In Arms. Great stuff.

    Did you see the blues song that I left on the previous thread? Should go well with a metric ton of scotch.

  28. 28
    Ripley says:

    My vote for best Politico quote of the day…

    …ladies and gentlemen, Bill Kristol:

    “I’ve (for better or worse) moved in pretty well-educated circles in my life, and I’ve gone decades without ‘several’ people telling me they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

    The layers, the meta, the punchlines write themselves.

  29. 29
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I get the impression BOB occasionaly runs out of spoof ideas and just randomly copies and pastes unrelated lines from right wing web sites.

    Of course, I get that impression about how they write the right wing Web sites to begin with, so there’s that.

  30. 30
    Crusty Dem says:

    @John Cole:

    Clearly the Soros cash has arrived if you can afford a metric ton of Scotch. I’m sure you’ll claim you bought it with some sort of “teaching money”, but we all know better. Atrios used his on a mansion in Philly, Kos bought Alcatraz, and Yglesias, well, I think he bought a bike. Still, don’t forget to spread the love to your minions (such as they are).

  31. 31
    Allan says:

    Yes, today was a good day. Did you know that Republicans are sore losers and WATBs? I did not know that. But I found that out today. Live and learn…

  32. 32
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ronin122:

    I think that’s hard to do when the difference in votes Franken received was 312 out of over 2.4 million.

  33. 33
    ChrisB says:

    @John Cole:

    I gotta be honest. I’ve had a metric ton of scotch and I’m playing Thriller so loud it scares even me. Not the volume, but that I am LOVING IT.

    John, there’s only one thing to say: Don’t stop ’til you get enough.

    At least you’re not singing along to Joanna. :-)

  34. 34
    Little Dreamer says:

    @John Cole:

    because I smoked two Lars Tetens that I have been saving for years.

    Celebrating?

    Wish my day went half as well. I got a tentanus shot today and now I can barely lift my arm (oh, and I’m not even mentioning why I got a tentanus shot, so… there you go).

  35. 35
    iced chai says:

    Don’t forget that this, like everything else, is good news for Republicans:

    …some Republicans see an ironic silver lining – Democrats have nobody else to blame if their agenda falls short…

    and

    GOP strategists say it will solidify their argument heading into the 2010 elections that electing more Republicans would be a critical check on one-party dominance in Washington.

  36. 36
    iced chai says:

    Don’t forget that this, like everything else, is good news for Republicans:

    …some Republicans see an ironic silver lining – Democrats have nobody else to blame if their agenda falls short…

    and

    GOP strategists say it will solidify their argument heading into the 2010 elections that electing more Republicans would be a critical check on one-party dominance in Washington.

  37. 37
    Little Dreamer says:

    @John Cole:

    Romeo and Juliet may be the perfect song

    My favorite Dire Straits song.

    Oh gosh, you feel about Mark Knopfler exactly the way TZ does, so I guess you two have something in common again.

    I personally love Dire Straits.

  38. 38
    Mike P says:

    @John Cole:

    Knopfler’s guitar is instantly recognizable. He’s such a sick musician. “Romeo and Juliet” is pretty close to perfect, as is “Tunnel of Love”. I’ve always wanted to have a scene in a movie where I entered a bar, looking like some kind of hard boiled bad ass to “Sultans of Swing” though.

    I’m sure you’ve heard it, but Knopfler and Emmylou Harris’ record, All the Roadrunning, is fantastic. The title song and Donkey Town are just great for sitting on your porch with a nice drink in hand on a warm summer night.

  39. 39
    bago says:

    Tetanus shots aren’t THAT bad. Allergy shots are worse.

  40. 40
    JGabriel says:

    Politico:

    Indeed, as much as Coleman’s camp said that voters were being disenfranchised, his legal arguments failed to resonate the way similar arguments did in Bush v. Gore in 2000.

    They didn’t resonate then, either. Jackasses.

    That decision was so bad that the author (reportedly Scalia) didn’t sign it, and stated that it should never be used as precedent.

    .

  41. 41
    Calouste says:

    No Mark Knopfler collection is complete without this little gem btw.

    Which kind of exactly describes the current state of our esteemed host.

  42. 42
    JGabriel says:

    Ripley: Yes, I noticed that too. It was my favorite line also. Po’ Billy Kristol, always the last to know.

    .

  43. 43
    Little Dreamer says:

    @bago:

    Well, I’ve never had allergies and I haven’t had a tetanus shot in about thirty years (didn’t need one before now).

    My arm is in some serious pain.

  44. 44
    JGabriel says:

    Travis:

    I want an opposition party, just not an insane, conspiracy-minded one.

    I know how you feel, but …

    I’m coming to the conclusion that the two fundamentally opposing forces in American politics, instead of the left and the right, are the sane and the insane.

    I mean, it’s hard to think of a party that includes Heath Schuler, Ben Nelson, and Arlen Spector, as particularly lefty; and it’s equally difficult to think of a party that includes Jim DeMint, Mark Sanford, Michelle Bachmann, James Inhofe, and Sarah Palin, as representing any faction other than those who need prescriptions for Lithium.

    .

  45. 45
    Little Dreamer says:

    @JGabriel:

    it’s equally difficult to think of a party that includes Jim DeMint, Mark Sanford, Michelle Bachmann, James Inhofe, and Sarah Palin, as representing any faction other than those who need to be on Lithium.

    True dat!

  46. 46
    JGabriel says:

    Thomas Frank @ WSJ:

    A government that works, some conservatives fear, is dangerous stuff. It gives people ideas. Universal health care isn’t just a bad idea for their buddies in the insurance business; it’s a gateway drug to broader state involvement in the economy and hence a possible doomsday scenario for conservatism itself.

    I think Frank is right, but I’m not sure why conservatives believe this. Crazy-ass right-wing xenophobes still seem to win elections in Europe despite single-payer health care.

    Certainly, I’d like it if the conservatives were correct that health care will be so successful that it will kill off conservatism. Really can’t think of a better outcome. I just don’t see the evidence for it.

    .

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    I clicked on that Politico link to see for myself that the article’s dateline was in fact yesterday, and not last November or maybe December. It makes me think that Politico is a bit overweighted in the staff department, if it’s padding its site with stuff like this.

  48. 48
    Jess Sane says:

    I personally love Dire Straits.
    Mark “little faggot with the earring and the makeup” Knopfler is quite the songwriter, isn’t he?

  49. 49
    Xenos says:

    @Jess Sane: Someone slept through class the day they discussed unreliable narrators in English 101.

  50. 50
    JGabriel says:

    Michael Scheuer on the Glenn Beck Show:

    The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States. […] Only Osama can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand a government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary.

    Remind me again why Krugman shouldn’t call GOPers “traitorous”. Because I’m having trouble coming up with a better word to describe such sentiments.

    They really do hate America.

    .

  51. 51
    ironranger says:

    @Ripley: I never thought Kristol could ever be the least bit amusing but this is a gem. I can think of several liberals along with me that have looked up mental disorders to try to find some explanation for bizarre, incoherent wingnut behavior.

  52. 52
    Tim says:

    Yeah, why don’t the Dem.s act just like the Rethug.s and vote lock step with the Exec. branch. It worked so well….

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    @JGabriel: Cripes. Scheuer might just as well have climbed up on the desk and screamed, “What in hell do I have to say to make you people stop taking this show seriously?!”

  54. 54
    harlana pepper says:

    @JGabriel: Bingo, my friend

  55. 55
    harlana pepper says:

    Y’all this is sweet. Two of my aging kitties apparently just figured out how to play with each other. That is, playing hide & seek and chasing each other up and down stairs in the morning. After all these years of me wishing they could entertain themselves now and then.

    I hope John has the decency to post a picture before one of them goes to Kitty Heaven. ((sigh)) –insert massive doses of guilt here–

  56. 56
    Jess Sane says:

    Top-ten radio isn’t English 101.

  57. 57
    harlana pepper says:

    Altho we can all agree Beck is not exactly on par with Paul Krugman, I’m not splitting hairs here since he gets shitloads more air time to spew his manic, paranoiac ramblings than Krugman does to speak dispassionately about economics, a subject, ironically and by contrast, he actually knows something about.

  58. 58
    harlana pepper says:

    @Jess Sane: heh heh

  59. 59

    Activist judges! ACORN! Teh Rainbow Mafia!

  60. 60
    A Mom Anon says:

    @JGabriel:

    They hate Americans,period. I’m not even sure they like the people in their own little club. I can’t blame them for that last part though,it must suck to have no real friendships and have to watch your back all the time. I’d like to know who they DO like,because that’s got to be a verrrry short list.

  61. 61
    AllenS says:

    It’s not that he had fewer votes, but it’s who counts the votes.

  62. 62
    Ash Can says:

    @A Mom Anon: People who are serious when they say things like this probably hate themselves first and foremost. This particular kind of batshit doesn’t come from a very pretty place.

  63. 63
    harlana pepper says:

    Wow, just watched the clip and that is indeed some serious fucking traitorous shit-spew, Beck nodding in total agreement. Despite the best efforts of GOS, nothing will be done, nothing will be said. For some reason, when Dems are in power, this is how it goes (albeit, seems to have gotten worse and scarier). I’ve given up trying to understand.

  64. 64
    harlana pepper says:

    @A Mom Anon: Think Beck’s show should just be renamed “The Hatred & Heart-gripping Fear Hour”

  65. 65
    harlana pepper says:

    They hate America because they lost power. I’ll never forget my former boss making the idiotic statement, day after Obama’s election, he was packing up and moving to Canada since we’re going to be a s o c i a l i s t nation now. I’m pretty sure he watched Beck. This is a guy with a JD and pretty solid experience. Just goes to show, advanced education does not a smart person make.

    (oh, crap, I used the ‘s’ word — what’s up with that and also, from what I understand, the other ‘s’ word thingies you wear on your feet)

  66. 66
    harlana pepper says:

    And, oh yeah, Franken, woohooo! (tap-a-tappity tap!)

  67. 67
    Ash Can says:

    @AllenS: And counts, and counts, and counts, and counts…but just the ones that are marked “Norm Coleman,” or might be marked “Norm Coleman,” or have a fly swatted on them that left a smudge by Coleman’s name, or would have been marked “Norm Coleman” if the voter were in a better mood that day, or…

  68. 68

    Now Norm can get on with the task of keeping himself out of jail for allegedly taking bribes and illegal campaign contributions.

  69. 69
    AllenS says:

    So, Ash Can, are you saying that they had the recount, and they counted and counted and Coleman won?

  70. 70
    kay says:

    @Mr Furious:

    I think the “long game” was to hope Franken screwed up. Had a tantrum. Insisted on taking the seat. Some devastating statement of frustration and rage that would make him unsuitable, and it was only 312 votes. I think they were hoping for a rant that included profanity.

    I actually think the conventional wisdom that Franken is some crazy wild card is dead wrong. I just think it’s wrong-headed to assume an essentially self-employed comic is undisciplined.

    I bet the opposite is true. I bet he has to be self-disciplined, or he would have failed at that job.

  71. 71
    Xenos says:

    @Jess Sane:

    Top-ten radio isn’t English 101.

    And Mark Knopfler always speaks in a New Jersey accent and sings about his career as an appliance delivery man.

    /facepalm

  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:

    Good point, Kay, at comment 70. Hadn’t thought about that before.

    And I think you’re right on the self-discipline.

  73. 73
    kay says:

    The WSJ editorial says this election was stolen, due to the biased decisions of the individual members of canvassing boards, in “Franklin-leaning” precincts.

    They’re taking a bold and principled stand, at the WSJ. The hundreds of civic-minded individual Minnesotans who sit on county canvassing boards are now presumed guilty of perpetrating election fraud.

    That was brave.

    I wonder if the WSJ will offer editorial page space to any of those individuals who want to defend against the smear.

  74. 74
    kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I was thinking that comics sometimes don’t fare well, long-term. They seem to destroy themselves. Sad.

    Franken’s been around a long time, with no real personal drama or self-inflicted damage. He survived that profession. It’s probably self-discipline.

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    Not to mention he went to Harvard. Not as a legacy admission, but because he worked to get there. Graduating Harvard doesn’t mean you’re a genius, but just getting admitted without family ties to the school shows you’ll work hard.

  76. 76

    @kay:

    Al Franken, as of this race, is probably the best and most disciplined Democratic politician in the state of Minnesota, with the possible exceptions of Keith Ellison and Tim Walz.

    I’m trying to think of another pol locally who could do as well as he has — from picking the right people to making the right moves himself — and I just can’t. His legal team is, with the exception of David Lillehaug, largely from DC, but they knew and understood the local law better than Coleman’s people. Hell, they understood the goddamn rules of evidence better than Coleman’s team, and they didn’t try to pull sleazy-ass stunts like the most blatant witness-tampering in recent memory.

    Franken may well have got into the race to avenge Paul Wellstone, but he didn’t let his rage govern him — instead, he channeled it into effective, sustaining action. I’m impressed.

  77. 77

    @Jess Sane:

    It still features unreliable narrators. And it acknowledges the fact that people in the working classes (or any classes, really) aren’t as PC as we would like them to be. (Reminds me of the people freaking out over Huckleberry Finn, written in 1876, for its use of a word that wasn’t as freighted with negativity back then as it is now.)

  78. 78
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Only Osama can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand a government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary.

    Scheuer is a RINO. What America needs is a government that will protect Americans ineffectively, erratically, but with far more violence than necessary.

    Jeb! 2012

  79. 79

    @Elizabelle:
    Self-disciplined and very much aware of how his actions affect his public image. Not to mention a fundamentally decent guy.

    This is someone who’s been married to the same, non-starlet, woman for over thirty years. This is someone who’s been volunteering for USO tours since 1999 — he’s probably seen more of Iraq than Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld put together. This is someone whose campaign was ferociously well organized and who started the groundwork for it very early. This is someone who knows how to hire good people.

    I wish I could clone him.

  80. 80
    anonevent says:

    @JGabriel: I thought they were for smaller government?

  81. 81
    Morgan says:

    Re: comments about Franken being a comic and what that entails: he’s a satirist much more than a comic. That’s splitting hairs a bit, but the temperament required for satire compared to stand up is very different, and may have a lot to do with why he didn’t blow up in public the last few months, as some suggested the GOP was hoping for, or generally self-destruct, as kay suggested some comics due.

    I’ve met Franken and was at one of his very early campaign rallies (January 2008, I think?). To be honest, the guy’s a little boring when he’s not doing satire. His speech at the rally was pretty low key. He’s a very cool customer in general.

    Personally, I think we could have found a candidate who both could have beaten Coleman more easily (Franken got 300,000 fewer votes than Obama) and would have been a little more progressive than Al, but I’m happy that we finally have him as our senator and are rid of that asshat Norm.

    There’s talk of Norm being a major contender for the GOP slot to replace Pawlenty, which I think is pretty amusing. The guy’s lost elections to a wrestler and a comedian, and only won his one senate term because the guy he was running against died a month before the election and had to be replaced on short notice.

  82. 82
    kay says:

    @Morgan:

    That’s probably true, satirist rather than comic.

    I only listened to Franken on AirAmerica once. He did a long sort of primer on Social Security. It was a little dull, but I listened to the whole thing. I’ve never heard anyone bother to lay it all out before, the premise for the program, the history, the efforts at “reform”, then down to the specific provisions of the program. It was not at all flashy but absolutely informative.

  83. 83

    I think it is wonderful simply because of the fact that Rush Limbaugh now has to refer to the man who wrote a book called “Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot” as Senator Franken. Priceless.

  84. 84

    Meanwhile, Arnold S. is refusing to allow another fifteen bucks to car registrations and the state of Cali is broken. The feds are threatening to seize California State parks if Arnold tries to close them.

    My state is a mess because we’ve got a Republican governor and 33% Republican legislators.

  85. 85

    To be fair, it was just the headline of the Politico article that sucked. It should have been titled, “Why Norm Finally Gave Up,” because that’s what the article was largely about.

  86. 86
    DAS says:

    A government that works, some conservatives fear, is dangerous stuff. It gives people ideas. Universal health care isn’t just a bad idea for their buddies in the insurance business; it’s a gateway drug to broader state involvement in the economy and hence a possible doomsday scenario for conservatism itself. – Thomas Frank as quoted by JGabriel

    To the extent which this is true, how come making government work is not a top priority for Democrats? If I were Pres. Obama and keen to be a transformative politician, reining in and professionalizing local and state governments, making government offices (DMV, Social Security, Passport acceptance at the Post-Office) run efficiently and with good “customer service”, etc. would be one of the top items on my agenda. After all, if people are to trust government to deliver health care, they first have to see government be able to accept a passport application without having to wait in line for 2 hours.

    And Obama not only should understand the problem at a ground level (having been a community organizer and seeing what rough and tumble corrupt politics looks like in Chicago) but he also has the perfect opportunity to turn things around (c.f. folk etymologies about the Chinese characters for “crisis” or whatever): he can use stimulus money, and the strings one can put on money, as a carrot to fix government: e.g. you (state politician) get to brag you brought in stimulus money if and only if you clean up your act and the acts of your colleagues.

  87. 87
    steve s says:

    @Brian J:

    Brian J
    When I’m not in one of my rage-induced tirades about how the world and everyone in it sucks, I try to…assume the best in people.

    Some of my older relatives gradually became people who simultaneously started complaining about everything and everyone all the time, and wondering why no one comes to visit them anymore.

    Do not turn into them.

  88. 88
    steve s says:

    @ronin122:

    Now I am naive and new to the whole political scene (well, with regards to reading what the MSM is saying regarding it), so I have likely no clue wtf I am saying. However, should not an article explaining why a candidate lost an election—and an incumbent at that—at least at one point or another point to reasons why that person was unpopular to a majority of voters while the other guy was preferred by a plurality (or majority, not in this case)? I mean what do I know, I just assume politicians lose because voters didn’t choose him for some tangible reason. Well I guess that’s why I’m not in the beltway. Silly me, Coleman lose because he got less votes? Haha I’m such a moron.

    Given the number of votes cast, the disputed ballots, the absentees, etc, it’s impossible to say with certainty who won the Minnesota election. He and Franken each got essentially 42% of the votes. So I don’t think there’s much of a narrative to be found in why Coleman was particularly unliked this time around; I’d say the relevant narrative is that republicans in general are on the wane for a variety of reasons.

  89. 89
    Evinfuilt says:

    @JGabriel:
    That is the most insane thing I’ve ever read. That gentleman was in charge of capturing Bin Laden, and now he wants him to attack us to save us from Obama, since Obama isn’t torturing enough people to save us from Osama.

  90. 90
    AllenS says:

    So, DAS, you think that Obama understands government because he was a community organizer? You think that he knows how to use stimulus money to use as a carrot to fix the government? Interesting, that. I’m almost to my 63 year of life, and I’m getting Social Security. Are you aware that myself and 50+ million recipients got an extra $250 in February. Do you know how much money that is? Please, tell me where that money came from.

  91. 91

    Why is the focus on Franken winning instead of why did Coleman lose ?

    Why is no one asking why did 63,209 McCain supporters decide that they did not want Coleman to have a second term ? Apparently many outside of Minnesota did not know that Coleman voted for TARP which sealed his fate with many fiscal conservatives … after supporting SCHIP, immigration, and climate change legislation … plus opposing drilling in ANWR.

    There was an acknowledgment by some MN-GOP conservatives that Franken would be no worse than RINO Coleman.

    Franken was a flawed candidate, but Coleman lost because he did not hold McCain voters.

    Franken’s challenge was largely because of image and his lack of public service experience. Franken has very good relationships with many rank-and-file Democrats, but the Independent voters were skeptical.

    IF there had been a run-off without IP Candidate Barkley, there is no idea who would have won.

  92. 92
    steve s says:

    @JGabriel:

    I’m coming to the conclusion that the two fundamentally opposing forces in American politics, instead of the left and the right, are the sane and the insane.
    I mean, it’s hard to think of a party that includes Heath Schuler, Ben Nelson, and Arlen Spector, as particularly lefty; and it’s equally difficult to think of a party that includes Jim DeMint, Mark Sanford, Michelle Bachmann, James Inhofe, and Sarah Palin, as representing any faction other than those who need prescriptions for Lithium.

    I’m starting to feel like this too. I’m not sure, it could just be that we’re noticing things differently, paying attention in ways and through frames that we didn’t used to, but it really seems like this is happening. Hence the list I regularly post about the various idiotic things you have to believe to be a GOPer.

    Here’s what I’m tentatively concluding. As the famous old William F. Buckley quote suggests, there always were nuts on the right. But the Northeastern establishment types (Eisenhauer, George H.W. Bush, etc) largely controlled the party. With the advent of talk radio and the internet, power devolved to the wackos, and now the party’s controlled by the Sean Hannitys, Limbaughs Gingriches, etc. While it looks like the GOP has recently been filled with whackos, in truth the wackos just moved from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat.

    Now, the shocking thing to me is that the wackos actually haven’t driven away many people. McCain got the same share of the white vote that Reagan got in the 80’s. But the demographics are changing, and the white vote which was 88% under Reagan is now down to 75% or so. The exception is that the wackos have repulsed Latinos, the largest growing demographic group, and they can’t win elections now until something changes.

  93. 93
    jennifer says:

    Yes, kind of like the 3 million extra votes in Iran…oops voting in the US is not corruptible, as it is overseas.

    But wait it was in 2000- which is it?

    When I vote from now on, I am going to place my ballot in the trunk of the county clerk- to cut out the middle man.

  94. 94
    steve s says:

    The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States. […] Only Osama can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand a government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary.

    Thief: “See, that’s why I stole that car, your honor. It was the only chance for the dealership. Only by my stealing the car would the dealer demand a police force that could protect it effectively.”
    Judge: “You’re an R-Tard.”

  95. 95
    CynDee says:

    @ Everybody: I’m sure you have noticed how many, many, many of Sandford and Coleman’s ilk often show up in photos looking just like

    a: pouting two-year olds or

    b. early teens caught doing something they shouldn’t and too bewildered to sort through their list of excuses fast enough to save their bacon. Explaining into next week . . .

    @ John Cole: You’re cute (but still mature and intellectual) when you’re loopy.

  96. 96
    hork says:

    “Any time Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points, they almost always win.”
    -Doug Collins

  97. 97
    les says:

    I think Mark Knopfler is one of the most under recognized musicians of the last thirty years.

    sayeth the estimable Mr. Cole. Another step up in the blogger pantheon.

    One of the best guitarists around; his album with Chet Atkins is understated genius, and a boatload of fun. Knopfler always seems to find excellent people to play with–Dire Straits was an amazingly tight, driving band.

  98. 98
    Svensker says:

    @John Cole:

    I think Mark Knopfler is one of the most under recognized musicians of the last thirty years.

    This.

    I was living in L.A. when Dire Straits’ first record came out. They got booked at a small club before anyone realized they were going to have a huge hit with “Sultans of Swing”. So there I am in a 100-person club listening to this incredible guitar. Unflippin’ believable. Loved Knopfler ever since.

  99. 99
    Trail-Mix says:

    No…it couldn’t have been that there were more votes than voters in Minnesota:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/j.....ltz-shrugs

    And I am sure that ACORN had nothing to do with it at all:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,449334,00.html

    “With ACORN filing more than 43,000 registration forms this year, 75 percent of all new registrations in the state, Minnesota was facing vote fraud problems even before the election. Even a small percentage of those registrations resulting in fraudulent votes could tip this election.”

    It seems that only in Minnesota and Iran the one accused of fraud gains votes in a recount:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200.....us_iran_22

  100. 100
    Mr Furious says:

    No responses from John +metric ton, so we have to assume he passed out…

    While I love Knopfler and Emmylou infinitely more individually than Plant and Krauss, I prefer the sum of the latter parts.

    Making Movies is my favorite Dire Straits. That and the debut album are two of the most underrated albums of all time. “Les Boys” is the only weak link between the two.

    If vinyl Thrillers are going for $$$ on Ebay, I’m going to have to jump into the car and break into my parent’s basement. It’s only a shitty Columbia record club pressing, but my record of Thriller should be in perfect condition—I bought everything on vinyl and immediately transferred to cassette.

  101. 101
    canuckistani says:

    My favourite Mark Knopfler disc was always the soundtrack to Local Hero. It probably helps that I love the film too.

  102. 102
    El Cruzado says:

    Hey, thanks for the Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris heads up. I can’t believe I missed that one.

    As for making the parts of government that interact with people work better as suggested upthread, it does happen. It’s not like Obama (or Clinton before him) can wave their hand and make civil servants work harder and with a smile, but after a while actually wanting to make government work shows at that level, especially when starting from such a low standard as W left us with. Policies are put in place that keep those foot soldiers happy and attempts are made to improve service. Eventually movement is seen in the right direction.

    Government is a large beast and as such it takes time and effort to nudge it in the right direction (screwing it up, however, tends to happen a lot faster).

  103. 103
    Joey Maloney says:

    I agree that people dismiss Franken as “just a comic” at their peril. I watched his press conference yesterday and he looked like it was physically painful to resist snarking at some of the straight lines the press threw him. It hurt him, but resist he did.

    That’s self-discipline for you. I am so looking forward to seeing him in J-com hearings.

  104. 104
    Seanly says:

    Once again, John hits the nail on the head.

    At least Coleman had the decency to concede at this point. Looks like we might get Franken in to the Senate in time to help with universal coverage & a public option.

  105. 105
    LD50 says:

    @Trail-Mix:

    Hey everybody! A new wingnut, complete with ACORN conspiracy theories! They’re not just a legend!

  106. 106
    sparky says:

    @Trail-Mix: trolls-ville!
    ya gotta do better than that, dude. seriously.

  107. 107
    LD50 says:

    @sparky: Check out his blog. I do believe he’s serious.

  108. 108
    Daddy Love says:

    We went through something similar in Washington in 2004. You should all understand that nothing, not strict and scrupulous adherence to state election law, not bi-partisan witnessed and aproved recounts, not careful judicial review of recount results, not successive appeals as opportunities to raise relevant issues, NOTHING will ever convince the Right that whatever it is that they want to believe is not true.

  109. 109
    Daddy Love says:

    It is easy to gain votes in a recount. And because these days Republicans ALWAYS yell fraud, it is actually pretty common for someone accused of fraud to gain votes in a recount.

  110. 110
    Jim-Bob says:

    Seems like Republicans will do ANYTHING to win an election… except, you know, get more votes than the other guy…

  111. 111
    bayville says:

    Shockingly, WSJ commends Coleman.
    The lede is a classic:

    The Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of last year’s disputed Senate race, and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman’s gracious concession at least spares the state any further legal combat . The unfortunate lesson is that you don’t need to win the vote on Election Day as long as your lawyers are creative enough to have enough new or disqualified ballots counted after the fact.

  112. 112
    Jim-Bob says:

    BOB@

    It’s your fault for wearing such a short skirt that night.

  113. 113

    Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

  114. 114
    Jim-Bob says:

    Harlana@

    Harlana: I know it’s only six hours, but has Sen. Craig returned your call?

  115. 115

    @John Cole:

    Knopfler is god on the guitar AFAIC.

  116. 116

    Coleman’s essential contention was that the MN election system is so riddled with inconsistencies that a fair election is impossible.

    However, Coleman previously won election under that system. He found none of these glaring faults in that situation. In fact, it was the Republicans in the MN Legislature that defeated all attempts to more clearly delineate things and correct the problems that Norm presented.

    The votes that Coleman wanted counted in his “count every vote” narrative were votes that most Republicans would have screamed in rage over were they for Franken. They were largely votes in which the person had failed to register, or in which the witness for the vote was admittedly forged or missing.

    The absentee ballot wasn’t “deceptive” in any way, unlike the “butterfly ballot”. These were people who failed to follow the clear instructions and, in some cases that were presented in the trial, simply felt that the required steps were ‘stupid’.

    I would just add that the media figures putting down Minnesota with snide remarks are not helping the Republican cause here, and Coleman’s name being associated with those remarks won’t be a plus for his career chances here.

  117. 117
    drillfork says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    Walz may be disciplined, but like most of our Dems here in Minny, he flat sucks.

    http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=817

    So says this resident of his district…

  118. 118
    Trail-Mix says:

    @ Those who cannot handle a person who make a statement and provides sources which they cannot refute so they hurl insults.

    Grow up!

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