Well, Why not?
In a further sign that our society is blurring the line between the media and reality, Al Franken has been declared the winner of last year's Minnesota Senate campaign by the Minnesota Supreme Court and will be sworn in soon as the 100th Senator. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about this. I mean, Norm Coleman always struck me as a serious wanker, and worse, he's a Republican. But a couple things bother me about this. Not least the fact that from my perusal of Blogistan, it seems to me that all Republicans and conservatives were quite convinced that Coleman's arguments were valid without really knowing what they were, and and all Democrats and progressives seemed to accept that Franken's arguments were true, without really knowing what they were. This constant wrangling and litigating over elections without giving much thought to who actually got the most votes and whether that should matter makes me worry that in the future the United States might end up dysfunctioning a lot like places like Honduras, in which all parties decide politics is a zero sum struggle for power, the rule of law be damned.
But in addition, there's the strange case of "Why Not Me?" the 2000 masterpiece of political parody documenting Franken's fictional rise as a candidate, election, and subsequent fall from grace in a storm of meth addiction and mental illness. It's a good indication of why I'm not a real blogger that I searched the condo this evening and was incapable of locating this book and finding a suitable excerpt. At this point I've given up. But one piece I remember was his sort of prescient bit about winning the fundraising battle by operating a 900 number that combined campaign information and phone sex. Now that's what I call social networking. Needless to say upon reading the book, which I highly recommend because it's laugh out loud funny, I said to myself, "well this guarantees that Al Franken will never run for political office."
Bearing in mind that this is the same state that once elected a professional wrestler as Governor, this is still prettyfar out there. But about that whole Jesse Ventura thing: I once asked my uncle, a longtime Minnesotan, about how Ventura managed to get elected, and he admitted that he'd voted for the wrestler himself. I asked him what the hell he was thinking. We were on the deck of a cruse ship in the Carribean, believe it or not, during what members of my family have since come to refer to as "the Titanic Incident." He balanced his Cuban cigar on the railing and took a sip of his Manhattan. Finally he said, "you don't understand who else was running."
In this case I think the same logic applies. Welcome Senator Franken. Why not?