'Al Franken, a satirist known for his biting political humor, is headed to the U.S. Senate, the survivor of an epic legal struggle that opponent Norm Coleman finally conceded he couldn't win.' [Strib link]
IOW: Sensible adults agree: As a comedian, Al Franken went too far.
During the intraDFL contest last year, I enjoyed exposing people claiming to be offended by Franken who, upon the gentlest cross-examination, admitted they weren't offended a bit. They'd published 'I'm offended by Al Franken' but then tell me that saying I'm offended by Al Franken is a universally-understood elite-mediaspeak shorthand for I might be able to respect a person who claimed to be offended by Al Franken, even though I'm not. So when they'd publish I'm offended by Al Franken and then tell me that in fact they weren't--by their lights, I was being a hyperliteralist nag.
That Strib writer [ironically--five writers blended into one, third person, objective POV] might alternatively be asserting a bold, ultraconservative dogmatism--but you know that worldview could never be accepted in such a paper. Or could 'the writer' be offering an intimacy-building 'comic roast' 'dig' 'at' Franken, perhaps hinting--with deniability--at the oddity, that the generally DFL-preferring paper had endorsed Coleman over Franken?
And spare a thought for those of us for whom biting contains no pejorative, will you?
Conceding defeat outside his St. Paul home shortly after the court ruling, Coleman sidestepped questions about whether he would turn his attention to running for governor in 2010. "We'll talk about the future in short order," he said.
How could he have said we'll in that answer? Norm of course means that 'in supreme public-spiritedness and ego-transcendence', he 'works as a coequal with the team members' who serve at his pleasure. Coleman is suggesting that--when electing him--the public is gaining access to a true group brain. Coleman leaks his chilling, corporatist consciousness gambit liberally:
Asked when he would talk about his plans, he replied, "Soon. I presume sometime -- we'll get through July 4 -- sometime next week, I presume, I'll be talking a little bit about what the future is." [Star Tribune] And what talisman will Coleman be employing, in this ceremony?
But seriously--when A-List State Politician says that to WurzerCentral, it's time that politician sought a new profession.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Yesterday a large crowd gathered at Minnesota's capitol to--as the newspaper of record put it--honor those who served in the Vietnam War. The event website describes it similarly: Minnesota Honors Vietnam Era Veterans.
But if you attended the event, you'd soon notice that it did not seek to honor all those who served in Vietnam. One side was quite underrepresented, in fact. In his speech, Gov. Tim Pawlenty made clear he accepts that the US intervention in Indochina was noble--and that America owes no apology to the people of Vietnam. Pawlenty revisited the preferred storyline concerning ''60s America's assault on the honor of the Vietnam vet,' supplying the predicted--if deluded--never again.
Might it be possible, in 2009, to thank America's Vietnam veterans for their service, while acknowledging the war wasn't just--and that US deaths in the Vietnam War constituted less than 1.5% of the total?
Gov. Tim Pawlenty isn't taking an honest look at history. He's not saying, The war killed more than two million Vietnamese civilians, but it was worth it. He's airbrushing the two million right out of the picture. It's disgusting.
The event program listed a similarly one-sided, amnesiac program at the Minnesota History Center. So our claptrap infestation on this topic--led by the McCarthyite right--is also embraced by Democrats, intellectuals and the news media.
For next year, I propose we think up some way of honoring all Vietnam veterans--and include the winning side among our speakers. To the dustbin with Gov. Pawlenty's dishonorable historical amnesia! Let's make clear we're aware America inflicted vastly more suffering on their side than they did on ours.
So yes--we should thank our veterans. But our moral imagination should make room for the two million Vietnamese civilians who were killed during our Vietnamese mistake. And that we're sorry about that.
Posted by Gavin Sullivan at 7:40 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
While surfing today I found Paul Demko's Paulsen Vulnerable piece--and was taken aback that the Minnesota Independent would steal my photograph of then-candidate Erik Paulsen pressing the flesh in Coon Rapids on 2008's Independence Day.
In his May 29 article, Demko writes:
So far the race hasn’t drawn any takers. Madia says he doesn’t expect to make another run for the seat. “I felt like I had a good crack at in 2008 and I came up short,” he says. “We should give somebody else a chance.”
Posted by Gavin Sullivan at 8:09 PM