Bring in the clowns

Friend Bob wants to know why Al Franken so quickly made it to the prestigious Senate Judiciary  Committee. Why not appoint Jack Benny or W.C. Fields?

I have no answer, Bob. A seat on the  committee is one of the most sought-after plums (especially for lawyers, which Franken is not), so the question needs to be taken seriously.
How did all the lawyers in the Senate react when Franken jumped ahead
of them as they waited

al_franken.jpg

Al Franken

patiently in line for a seat to open up? Will
Franken get Ted Kennedy's seat? Will anyone in the media bother to ask?

Was it a cynical move to showcase Franken with the highly publicized
confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor coming up? (Why anyone would
want to showcase Franken is another question altogether.) Bob, liberals
mockingly asked the same kind of question when an actor(!) was
elected president. "Have we sunk so low that we need to have an actor
as president?" they demanded. Turned out the actor, Ronald Reagan, did a pretty decent
job of winning the Cold War and pulling us out of a recession that was
bigger than today's. Maybe Franken can do half as good. What do you
think?

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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