Al Franken Is Shrill

All Franken is in the American Constitution Society’s base and killing their doodz.

The speech is here, and can not be embedded.

Note to absolute morons- this is how you move the Overton window. Full-throated attacks on conservative nonsense from the left.

(via)

44 replies
  1. 1
    Ron says:

    That is just awesome. Al Franken is my hero.

  2. 2
    MMM says:

    Excellent speech.

    Damn, I wish he could be President. Maybe in a remake of the West Wing….

  3. 3
    rootless_e says:

    John you fool. The way to move the Overton window is to viciously attack Democrats for not making instant progressive soup.

    If Ernst Thalmann had followed your naive principles, Germany would never have become a workers paradise in the 1930s.

  4. 4
    demkat620 says:

    He has been a terrific Senator. Anybody have any approve/disapprove numbers on him?

  5. 5
    debit says:

    My senator. I love him so.

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    I think he’s in the Federalist Society’s base and killing all their doodz, cuz he’s got all their numbers and taking all their names.

  7. 7
    EZSmirkzz says:

    Doh! I thought it was the Ovaltine Window!

    sigh

  8. 8
    Sly says:

    If you want to get under the skin of a conservative judge or legal scholar you call them a Lochnerist, as it was probably the most nakedly activist decision of the 20th century. Even Bork had to walk back his beliefs on economic due process after that charge was leveled against him, because it is literally a death sentence for anyone who wants to be a Federal judge.

    While Franken often plays the neophyte when it comes to jurisprudence, he understands this. And it needs to be said more, and in a loud and accusatory tone, against the Federalist Society and its acolytes.

  9. 9
    Joey Maloney says:

    Wow. Great sinus-clearer. Every time I say “Senator Franken” it’s like having a happy ferret dancing in my pants.

  10. 10
    debit says:

    Thank you so much for this link. I’ve saved it and am putting it on my iphone to listen to again and again. I love this man.

  11. 11
    kay says:

    The worst part of Citizens isn’t federal elections. It’s state judicial elections, because the vast majority of Franken’s “ordinary people” end up in a state court.
    And voters don’t pay attention to state judicial elections. Frankly, it’s very difficult for average voters to really evaluate a state court candidate. They’d have to read decisions, or talk to lawyers. So they don’t evaluate. They rely on tv ads and endorsements of advocacy groups. I know this because I frequently volunteer for state court judicial races, and I talk to voters. I don’t even expect them to parse decisions. I think that’s a ridiculous amount of effort to ask of them.

    In 2006, pro-business groups were responsible for more than 90% of all spending by interest groups on television advertising in supreme court campaigns.

    This special interest spending has occurred in judicial elections despite the fact that approximately half the states previously banned or sharply restricted corporations from using treasury funds for campaign advocacy. None of these restrictions is permissible after Citizens United. The inevitable result will be increased corporate spending in judicial elections — and increased threats to independent and impartial courts.

    Business interests are repeat players in high stakes litigation, unlike an individual litigant. They have a strong incentive to pour money into judicial races, and tv ads are expensive.

    I suspect the real incentive for the Roberts Court to “answer a question that wasn’t asked” in Citizens was to reach state court judges.

    It will be interesting to see whether the liberals and conservatives who agree with the Citizens decision also agree that it effectively makes state judicial elections ridiculously skewed toward corporate interests, and support efforts underway to appoint rather than elect state court judges. Of course, that’s a trade-off, and a loss, in a sense, but we probably can’t elect state judges anymore, and continue to pretend that the process won’t be grossly weighted to moneyed interests, now. 39 states elect judges.

  12. 12
    kay says:

    And appointing state court judges effectively limits the pool of applicants, to big firm lawyers or former prosecutors or judges who were appointed to lower courts. I think it’s unlikely we’re going to get any former public defenders or in the trenches small firm or solo practice debtor’s defenders. Those lawyers run now, in state court races. They almost always lose, because they’re massively outspent, but at least they get a shot. Every once in a while we manage to get one in around the business juggernaut. Are they going to be appointed? Really? What are the odds that a criminal defense lawyer is going to be appointed?

    If you think the US Supreme Court is an elite club, wait until every state court judge is appointed.

    So that option has been taken away from us. We literally cannot compete now, those of us who worked really hard to get long-shot judges elected, so we probably have to admit that someone should appoint state court judges, and hang up this “elections” idea. I resent that.

  13. 13
    frankdawg says:

    @demkat620:
    Sadly he is a bit under 50% approval – unlike the empty suit that is MN sr. senator who is well above.

    We have had some great US Senators form MN. HHH, Mondale & Wellstone but recently we have had a parade of useless or evil – Rod Grams, Rudy Boshwitz (who was the father of the plaid shirt, rolled up sleeves BS campaign trick – he wrote a memo to other Rs on how to pull it off) Mark Dayton (spent a fortune to become Senator but had no idea why so he quit) Coleman, who claimed to be a “Wellstone Democrat” when it was popular but became Rove’s choice for R candidate & served his master well and Klobuchar who could not find a single Bush proposal to vote against from 06-08 & now is getting complaints from empty suits she is giving them a bad name.

    Franken is a menche, a leader, smart, articulate and he wants to do whats right for MN & the country. But MN sent Batshit Bachman to Congress so Al’s numbers are not what they should be,

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    Note to absolute morons- this is how you move the Overton window. Full-throated attacks on conservative nonsense from the left.

    Yes, yes, a zillion times yes!

    What is so freakin’ hard about calling idiocy, idiocy? Any “comity of the Senate” crap passed its sell by date a long time ago on the Republican side. Quit falling for it!

  15. 15
    YellowJournalism says:

    My favorite part is him calling out the ridiculousness of describing the position of court justice as being like an umpire calling plays. It’s a terrible analogy that ignores the complicated nature of the position. In fact, I bristle at those types of analogies because they’re usually incorrect or the people who use them stick to them so tightly that reduce complex issues into overly simplistic black and white concepts. (In the comments on a previously linked piece, a person said the umpire analogy was correct because a judge should stick to the basic rules set down by the creators of the game, just like a judge should adhere to the founding father’s basic principals in the Constitution.)

    It’s just like when I read on a blog the other day about how our president should be a CEO, not a professor. The president should not be a CEO, a professor, a baseball coach, or your damned daddy; he should be the President of the United States and all the complicated mess that that entails.

  16. 16
    Adam Collyer says:

    This is a terrific speech. I know that Senator Franken’s working hard for the people of Minnesota, but it’d be helpful for him to be placed on the front lines. People like him and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are excellent representatives for the Democratic Party. Clear, concise, and straightforward.

  17. 17
    RalfW says:

    I agree with Adam – I look forward to Franken becoming a more visible voice for Democrats. Amy K? Not so much. I’ve met with her staff on several issues, and she’s as slippery as a buttered noodle.

    The contrast is quite something – Franken already strikes one as the elder statesman of this pairing.

    Now, the recent past, meh. The Coleman-Dayton years were just a terrible time for Minnesota’s delegation – a right-winger and a scattered, sad, waffle. So things are looking up (except in the House 6th…)

  18. 18
    kwAwk says:

    I’m sure that this makes me a moron, but I’d say most of the criticism that has been thrown at Obama is that he has been most unwilling to make full throated attacks on Republican propaganda which would move the Overton window.

    It seems like they even admitted this after the Healthcare Debate, where the villagers, or at least the Democratic ones admitted that they allowed too many Republican lies to be unchallenged.

  19. 19
    Chris G. says:

    Voting for Al Franken is the best vote I’ve ever cast for Senator.

  20. 20
    Triscula says:

    Dang it! The link isn’t working for me. It goes to the site but says “page not found”. Is there another place to view the speech? Maybe the senator’s web site?

  21. 21
    kilo says:

    Wow, they chucked that down the memory hole pretty quickly…. anybody have another link to the video? That one’s 404.

  22. 22
    Allison W. says:

    @MMM:

    Uhm, we already have a president who can take down bs when he needs to. I wish more Dems in congress were more outspoken like Franken — those are the guys that need to step up their rhetoric and back the president more often.

    And I’d really like to know why Franken isn’t on tv more often? Is it a seniority thing?

  23. 23
    efroh says:

    kilo: http://www.acslaw.org/node/16381

    Listening to Franken makes me want to move to Minnesota, just so he can be my Senator.

  24. 24
    Uloborus says:

    @Allison W.:
    Presumably it’s the same reason KwAwK above doesn’t know about Obama busting GOP lies right, left, and center. The national news media seems utterly uninterested in reporting these things.

  25. 25

    […] Meanwhile, elsewhere in Minnesoda news, Al Franken speaks (via John Cole): […]

  26. 26
    Nick says:

    @kwAwk:

    I’d say most of the criticism that has been thrown at Obama is that he has been most unwilling to make full throated attacks on Republican propaganda which would move the Overton window.

    I see you missed this morming’s Presidential address…

    …and the President’s hundreds of town halls…

    not surprised really, nobody actually reported on either.

    It seems like they even admitted this after the Healthcare Debate, where the villagers, or at least the Democratic ones admitted that they allowed too many Republican lies to be unchallenged.

    Gee, I wonder who’s job it is to challenge lies from our government? In college as a journaism major, I once said the Democratic Party…turned out I was wrong.

  27. 27
    Nick says:

    @Allison W.: It’s a TV producers whose paychecks are signed by big corporations don’t want him on TV thing.

  28. 28
    Shade Tail says:

    It was already posted a few posts above, but the video of the speech was moved from Mr. Cole’s link to this one.

  29. 29
    Brachiator says:

    All Franken is in the American Constitution Society’s base and killing their doodz.

    Great video (and transcript). I particularly liked how Franken quoted Justice Souter’s reminder that at the end of the day, a court decision affects some human being, and is not just an exercise in legalism.

    I also just love how Franken put originalism into its proper historical context. He certainly did his homework.

    @frankdawg:

    Sadly he is a bit under 50% approval – unlike the empty suit that is MN sr. senator who is well above.

    What is it that the people of Minnesota are unhappy with, with respect to Franken? I certainly don’t get it.

  30. 30
    Chris G. says:

    @Allison W.: Franken is acutely aware of his “celebrity politician” status and trying to counter that by sticking to local media for the first few years of his term.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @kwAwk:

    It seems like they even admitted this after the Healthcare Debate, where the villagers, or at least the Democratic ones admitted that they allowed too many Republican lies to be unchallenged.

    I certainly don’t want to sound shrill, because God forbid, but it wasn’t only lies from the Right that Democrats were fighting, in the health care debate.
    As I recall, people were supposedly going to federal prison for not purchasing health insurance, and all of a sudden every single person who had insurance was subject to the proposed excise tax.
    Liberals, incredibly to me, were arguing for retaining massive tax breaks for insurance companies by the end, they has so tied themselves into rhetorical knots, they ended up sounding like insurance company reps, on excise taxes.
    Ordinary insurance provisions, like higher rates for older people, or smokers, were portrayed by the Left as new and somehow nefarious, although the legislation made those higher risk categories that have always existed more affordable, not less.
    The hysteria on health care, and the lies, didn’t just come from the Right. There was misinformation and selective reading going on all across the board.

  32. 32
    kwAwk says:

    @Nick:

    I think it comes down to the fact that Obama has been too flexible. Its hard to discern where his true beliefs are and what he is really fighting for. For those of us who pay attention if we look really hard we can see a slow evolution of making progress on things we on the left care about, but to a casual observer and to the activist Ieftie I can see where Obama’s actions seem reactionary and not proactive (bad cliche I know).

    He really is the most conservative President we’ve had in a long long time in the non-political sense of the word.

  33. 33
    monkeyboy says:

    This is his speech at YouTube, though it is only 8:29 long so some of the end may have been cut.

  34. 34
    monkeyboy says:

    The full version of his speech can be found on this page.

  35. 35
    Phoebe says:

    I’m happy I contributed to his campaign, even though I don’t live in MN. And all my former imaginary friends over at TNR were making fun of him, like he was a joke candidate.

  36. 36
    Gracchus Babeuf says:

    Note to absolute morons- this is how you move the Overton window. Full-throated attacks on conservative nonsense from the left.

    Wait, so you’re giving us permission to criticize Obama when he’s being conservative? Well hot dog, we do agree!

  37. 37
    bjkeefe says:

    Maybe too late, but for anyone just getting to this thread, it appears that the ACS has reposted the video of the Franken speech here:

    http://www.acslaw.org/node/16381

  38. 38
    gbear says:

    @demkat620:

    Anybody have any approve/disapprove numbers on him?

    He is one of my senators and I am 1000% happy about it.

    Norm Coleman is a forgotten man.

  39. 39
    russell says:

    I freaking love Al Franken. Thanks for passing along the link.

    Note to absolute morons- this is how you move the Overton window.

    Thanks for the tip.

  40. 40
    frankdawg says:

    @Brachiator:

    Remember Batshit Bachman is from MN so not everyone here is all that bright. We have had a couple of truly horrible Governors after a pasty white Dem-turned-Republican & the driver for all of that is the conventional wisdom that all Dems want to do is raise taxes. The Catholic church has a very strong grip in some areas so of course liberals love abortion is a common myth too. And finally, an overlooked but important factor is an ass by the name of Tom Barnard. Tommy has the most listened to local radio show in the country and is paid very well for that. So much so that he is a millionaire & has become very concerned that taxes not go up. He is a great example of a glibertarian. He didn’t like the Democrat Coleman but absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with the Republican Colman. He regularly attacks – using half truths & outright lies Franken & other Dems.

  41. 41
    Beth in VA says:

    Thanks for this! What an excellent speech by Al Franken!

  42. 42
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @frankdawg: Where did you get the under fifty percent thing? Please, I gotta know because I just adore Senator Franken. He has exceeded my expectations (I wasn’t thrilled with his campaign), and he makes me proud that I voted for him.

    I agree, however, that we have this really weird streak of conservatism in MN that results in Republican governors more often than not (at least in the last twenty years).

    This speech was amazing. I want more like that.

  43. 43
    A posteriori says:

    […] h/t […]

  44. 44
    frankdawg says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    From Survey USA
    * Klobuchar: 64/31
    * Franken: 49/44
    * Pawlenty: 45/52.

    and Rasmussen Reports poll for the Startrib:
    The poll found that 41 percent of Minnesota voters think Franken is doing a good or excellent job, while 31 percent say he is doing his job poorly and 23 percent give him a mark of fair. Asked the same of Minnesota’s other senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar, she scores 56 percent excellent or good, 19 percent poor and 23 percent fair.

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