FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Tears of a Clown

by JOHN WALSH

Last Friday, June 17, was not a good day for the Al Franken radio show. Al was “down,” sounding like he was on the verge of tears, not such a good disposition for a comic. It seems his listeners had let loose on him when he proclaimed that he “agreed with Bush” on the question of withdrawal from Iraq. That is, Franken does not support the Murtha proposal to depart posthaste and call it “redeployment”; in fact Franken does not support any timetable for withdrawal at all. The emails and phone calls apparently poured in after this most explicit declaration yet of his long-held position. Here is the email I sent after hearing him say, in the course of declaring himself a disciple of Bush, that his radio program was the site of genuine “debate” about what to do in Iraq:

Dear Al,

Today you did not tell the truth about the War on Iraq. You have never had a real debate on your program about immediate withdrawal, which is the position of over 70% of the Dem Party – although not that of the moneyed Dem Establishment (e.g., Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid) to which you seem to be very much in thrall. (By the way, this shows that the Democratic Party is not democratic (small “d”).)

You were pro-war before the war and now you remain pro-war. Do you know how that strikes the ear when you talk about your children who, like the Bush kids, do not go to fight whereas other less privileged kids, one of them the daughter of friends of mine, do?

Why you take this manifestly absurd position is unclear. You are a smart guy, even though you went to Harvard (joke). So what is up? Is it ambition for public office that leads you to take the Establishment position? Or is it loyalty to Israel? I do not know your position on Israel; but you have never, to my knowledge, discussed the oppression and plight of the Palestinians.

Along those lines you have never had a discussion of the Mearscheimer and Walt paper, and you must be familiar with it.

So by omission you lie. And hence I have to stick with my piece in CounterPunch.com, from about a year back, “Al Franken is a Big Fat Phony.”

Perhaps some day you will catch up to Randi Rhodes who, after years of hanging up on callers who advocated immediate withdrawal from Iraq, has finally come around. And she is finally talking about Third Parties without the pressure of which the Dems will never change.

jw

p.s. Why not have on Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com or Kevin Zeese or Ralph Nader to discuss the anti war position? Or have two of them. You and Richard Perle or your frequent guest, Norm Ornstein, or some other reactionary from AEI could take the other side.

In fact there was apparently such a furor from many others that Franken opened up the phones, something he rarely does now, and he took all of three (3!) calls. The final one came from a retired military guy in Minnesota who made it clear he was for getting out of Iraq pronto and told Franken that he was disappointed in him. The caller also noted that he had two friends, both conservatives, a retired policeman and a firefighter, who did not vote in the last election but would have voted for Kerry had he been against the war. That was the final call. Franken went back to his guest list of minor celebrities and Democratic Party hacks.

Why was Franken shaken by all this? Does he see a threat to his run for Senate in Minnesota? Does he perhaps have some twinge of guilt over the hundreds of thousands killed or maimed in Iraq while he calls for fighting on, with his own kids, who are of military age, nice and safe? Maybe his hypocrisy was too much for him to bear for a few minutes with the barrage coming at him. But he was soon back on track – like Luisa in the Fantastiks.

Franken reaches a lot of people and so he has a lot of responsibility. He must be counted as one voice shoring up support for the war especially among Democrats. It is time for antiwar groups in Minnesota to look for a candidate to run against Franken for Senate in 2008. It would be pathetic to reward his complicity in the war effort with a seat in the U.S. Senate.

JOHN WALSH can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com.

Lest his comments above on Randi Rhodes be misconstrued, she still has a long way to go.

 

 

 

 

Prof. John V. Walsh, MD, can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com. He usually does not include his title in a little bio like this, but in this case the political essay above involved a bit about science.   can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail