“You let a clown into the club and the clubhouse becomes a circus.”
Limbaugh was referring to comedian turned Senator Al Franken. Franken broke Senate traditions Thursday by not allowing Senator Joe Lieberman to finish his speech on health care, even though Lieberman only wanted an additional minute or two of time. The move visibly surprised Lieberman and greatly upset Senator John McCain and others.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and his panel covered the story and it helps to watch the video instead of just reading the exchange.
Lieberman: I wonder if I could ask unanimous consent for just an additonal moment.
Franken: Um, in my capacity as Senator from Minnesota, I object.
Lieberman: Really? Oh okay…I don’t take it personally.
McCain: I’ve been around here 20 some years. First time I’ve ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks. And I must say that uh, I don’t know what’s happening here in this body, but I think it’s wrong…I tell ya I’ve never seen a member denied an extra minute or two like the chair just did…I don’t like it and I think it harms the comity of the Senate.”
Reportedly, Franken was following orders by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid when he cut off Lieberman’s speech. Reid is claiming that Franken’s action was not personal against Lieberman, but it was just a way to keep the debate moving so that health care reform can be passed by Christmas. However, few honestly doubt that this wasn’t deeply personal. Lieberman has slowed down a rush to socialized health care and many Democrats are furious with him.
“This was very personal…In fact it was intended to be personal…There’s an awful lot of boiling resentment against Joe Lieberman” – David Gergen
Leave it to the clown Senator Al Franken to make things personal. Certainly Reid asked Franken to speed up this process, but it was Franken’s choice to treat Lieberman with complete disrespect. Franken is famous for his rudeness toward anyone he disagrees with. He famously told Karl Rove to his face that he hates him and has called conservatives “liars” among other things. As Discoverthenetworks.org points out,
According to Franken, Republicans “hurt black people and help rich people, who tend, again generally, to be white.” The Republican Party, he elaborates, is the ideological dwelling place of “Southern bigots.”
Franken has now turned his sights of disdain on Lieberman. It was okay for Franken to be a clown on Saturday Night Live or Air America, but now he is a US Senator. If the clown insists on wearing the red nose and sitting on whoopee cushions then it’s time for him to step down.
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