Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Al Franken: Best Hope for the Ninety Nine Percent

Mad Dog never thought Al Franken was all that funny. He could make you laugh, and some of his Saturday Night Characters were droll enough--the correspondent who carried his own satellite dish on his back into the field, but was always groaning in pain under its weight, the self esteem guru whose refrain, spoken into a mirror, "You're good enough, and dog gone it, people like you"--were funny one time, but they often got beaten into the ground. 

His radio talk show, launched to counter Rush Limbaugh fell flat. He simply could not contain his rage and he was reduced to calling Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly big fat idiots, which, while true, was not funny.

But, as a Senator, he has restrained his rage and consciously striven to be not comic, and hearing him on NPR this morning, talking about the efforts of Comcast, Verizon and other big corporations to carve out a "fast lane" of internet traffic, leaving the hoi polloi to wallow in a slow lane, Mad Dog felt a certain hope rising.

This is a man who has grown. With Barney Frank gone, Franken might actually fill that gap. And that is a big gap to fill.

When Democrats are inviting speakers to spot light, Franken should be the go to guy, and he would hold his own with Chris Christie, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and all the rest of that sorry lot. 

Mad Dog continues to yearn for an answer to right wing talk radio, beyond Jon Stewart and Colbert (RIP).  He still thinks a puppet lampoon a la "Spitting Image" would be ideal for the internet and he thinks a radio show should be carefully crafted to galvanize progressive opinion.

But, for now, in the absence of an embrace from the Democratic party for his schemes to shape public opinion, without funding or support from Mr. Soros, or the MacArthur foundation, Mad Dog will simply hope Mr. Franken can provide some relief.

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