Monday, September 7, 2009

What Do You Mean "We", Paleface?

I have never liked Al Franken, not when he was on Saturday Night Live and not when he proclaimed Bill Clinton a great President. But I confess that he impressed me in this clip. He's better at dealing with crowds of constituents than Barack Obama, whom it embarrasses me even to imagine in a situation like this. I can't fault Franken for not dressing down the teabagger woman in the center, but I wish someone had asked her who she voted for.

"Are you gonna vote the way the people want?" she asks Franken. "The people who elected you? Are you gonna vote their voice, or are you gonna vote how Obama wants you to vote?" Which "people" does she have in mind, I wonder? Obama took Minnesota with 54.2% of the vote, to McCain's 44.0% (and Nader's 1.0% -- the SOB cost McCain the election!). It could at least be argued that how Obama wants Franken to vote might be "the way the people want," might be "their voice." Polls have shown consistently that Americans want a publicly funded health system, and support remains surprisingly strong despite the Right's lying propaganda campaign. If Franken votes "the way the people want" on health care, he probably won't give her any satisfaction.

On what ground does Ms. TeaParty claim that she speaks for "the people"? I don't think this is a trivial point. The Teabaggers are entitled to their opinions, but their side lost the election; they do not represent the American people at large and shouldn't be allowed to pretend that they do. "The people" rejected their candidate and their party quite decisively, not just for the White House but in Congress and at many other levels. I really think they should be challenged to justify their grandiose posturing.