Franken to the Dog
After thinking about Franken for a while, I'm not really sure if I'm extremely disappointed in him or if I believe he is brilliant. For those who weren't present, Al did his typical political ramble-- while not terribly organized, he spoke what appeared to be honestly and emotionally, breaking down to tears in talking about his USO tours, the troops (being no older than his audience), and Paul Wellstone. But he was asked a very pointed and real question about how to stop the partisian bickering in the current political environment. His answer was that he tries to do it through humor (to show the ludicrious positions people are taking--e.g. our partner in the war on terror is Kazakhstan, where the regime boils people. Boils
them.), but that Democrats have to fight back. "We can't sit there and just take it when they call us unpatriotic."
In principle, he's right-- doing nothing is letting Joe McCarthy be the wolf and the rest of the country his sheep. But whether that helps or worsens the partisianship occurring in the political sphere is up for grabs. Seems to me that approach would only heighten tensions and further force our politicians to one and or the other of the political spectrum, thereby alienating the majority of the population and the policies that would be good for the most of us.
He also blamed the partisian on the right (wrong?). He noted that on September 12, 2001, whatever Bush wanted this population would have followed him and done. He further pointed out that with a balanced Congress/White House during the Clinton years there was a balanced budget, decrease in poverty, increase in GDP; while during the Bush years without that balance all of the above had reversed course. Meanwhile, the party in power continues to blame the minority for stopping what it has the power to do otherwise.
The two things he said that I found commendable is that politicians need to be honest (as opposed to say anything to get elected while being in the pockets of corporations) and that Democrats will win on values. He told a story about Mother Theresa in making that claim, pulling down each finger in his hand as he said, "For---the---least---of------------us".
I hope he's right.
In sadder news, we just got the call from home. Scooter, my family's miniature Schnauzer, is not eating, vomited and used her kennel as her toilet, and continued to lay in it. She is not well, and the time has come to let her go. It's really too bad-- she was an amazing dog. Fun, friendly, and loyal, she loved laying next to your leg while you sat on the couch. If you moved over a few inches, she'd shift again so she'd continue to stay warm by your leg, then scowl at you if you awoke her from her sleep. As she aged she was terrorized by the younger Rosie, my parents' new miniature schnauzer, as Scooter was so used to her domain without pressure or presence of any other creature. Whereas Rosie wanted to play and jump and bark, Scooter just wanted to rest. I personally hadn't seen her as happy as I had when Sophie and Rosie were playing, letting Scooter lay in peace sleeping next to me.
Thank You Scooter.