Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sore loser

Hey, Spot! We haven't heard from you for a while. You're not sore about Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's loss in his race for the DFL endorsement for the U.S. Senate are you?

Moi? Of course not, grasshopper.

Are you sure? You seem kind of, well, sullen.

Okay, maybe a little.

A little? Looks like a major funk to me.

All right. You're right. Spot's got to blow off a little steam.

Just let it out, Spot; that's what you always tell us to do.

The DFL just took a pass on the most authentic candidate since Paul Wellstone. Authentic is the word that Spot heard last weekend over and over to describe Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. Instead, the DFL chose a candidate who insures that the campaign will not be about the war in Iraq, military spending, health care, the environment, education, tax equity, campaign finance, or any of the other issues on which Jack has spoken so directly and so well.

No, instead we'll have a debate about whether Al Franken is a humorist, a satirist, a misogynist, or just a potty mouth. Or maybe whether his jokes about gays and lesbians were appropriate. Al Franken: a softball right over the plate, belt high.

There were two principal points in Al's speech to the convention before the vote was taken.

The first was pay no attention to the man on the screen or in print for thirty years; he's not who I really am. Okay Al, maybe so, but we're and you're going to spend most of the energy on the campaign proving that. Maybe we can find some dirt on Norm; then we'll have a real mud wrestling match! Al was a good wrestler; maybe he'll win.

The second was I can raise a humongous amount of money. That will probably be Al's political epitaph: He Raised a Lot of Money, May He Rest in Peace.

Money raising is the Franken supporters' mantra; it is their way of saying electable. But, in the last two cycles, Democrats chose the electable John Kerry and the electable Mike Hatch. and it's a recipe for selecting the candidate who's the most meaningless and uninspiring to everybody, perhaps especially the swing voters who are willing to look at a candidate from either party who impresses and inspires them.

This weekend, Spot asked several Franken supporters to name a single policy position of Al's they liked better than Jack's. Most couldn't, and they all came back to the "he'll raise a humongous amount of money" line.

Look way into the future (Spot hopes), boys and girls, and imagine the funerals of Al and Jack. Al, well he raised a lot of money; Jack's life was monument to peace and economic and social justice. Spot imagines that the eulogies will be quite different.

Not that some of Al's fawning sycophants haven't tried to justify Al on a policy basis. Take for example one of the sniggering claque of Franken bloggers, Aaron Landry, who posted a pre-convention paean to Al. Aaron says that Al is better on the environment, but doesn't say why except to note that the famous Minnesotan Al Gore endorsed Al Franken, and health care by noting that both Jack and Al think that a single payer system is best.

But our confused friend Aaron emits his biggest gas cloud when he writes about Jack's position on Iraq. Jack says the occupation is not doing any good, the numbers of internally-displaced persons continues to grow, and all we're doing is arming all the parties to whatever civil conflict lies ahead for Iraq. Jack wants to withdraw.

Aaron finds this position "truly frightening" and keens about a humanitarian crisis. This, of course, is exactly how war supporters want you to react to justify keeping at least some troops in Iraq indefinitely.

It becomes apparent, though, that Aaron's real fear is that the Democrats will be blamed for anything that happens in the aftermath of our departure. What a heroic little fellow our Aaron is! To illustrate his position, he posts one of Spot's videos of Jack responding to a question about that very thing.

The funny thing is, though, when Spot posted a comment with a link to some of Spot's writing on this issue, by way of refutation, little Aaron deleted the comment because Spot is a pseudonym.

You mean little Aaron used your video and then wouldn't let you comment on it? That's kind of chickenshit, isn't it, Spotty?

Mind your tongue, grasshopper, but you, boys and girls, will have to decide if the grasshopper's characterization is accurate.

And now, grasshopper, we will speak of this no more.

Unless provoked.

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