Sunday, July 5, 2009

Al the Policy Wonk.

I used to be a fan of Al Franken. I enjoyed his "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them", his appearances on talk shows and even listened to his Air America show once in a while. (Air America is a good breeeding ground for intelligent commentary. If you haven't seen Rachel Maddow before, do so now) I liked his well-researched, intelligent and angry comedy. I did not think he had a real chance to win the Senate seat in Minnesota, but am quite pleased that he did win it. I would've preferred a clear, ealry decision on election day and not a month long battle through the courts, but hey. Anyway, I'm looking forward to his input in the Senate, and am not suprised at all by this comment from Paul Krugman:

Second, Al Franken’s dirty secret is that … he’s a big policy wonk.

I used to go on Franken’s radio show, all ready to be jocular — and what he wanted to talk about was the arithmetic of Social Security, or the structure of Medicare Part D.

In fact, the only elected official I know who’s wonkier than Al Franken is Rush Holt, my congressman — and he used to be the assistant director of Princeton’s plasma physics lab. (The campaign’s bumper stickers read, “My Congressman IS a rocket scientist.”)

So what will Franken do to the level of Senate discourse? He’ll raise it.

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