As John noted last week, Al Franken, the Senate’s Diaper Dandy, made his initial mark in that body by berating T. Boone Pickens when the billionaire addressed Senate Democrats on energy policy as their invited guest. Franken was upset with Pickens for helping to finance the Swiftvet ads during the 2004 presidential campaign.
John pointed out that Franken’s attack on Pickens was not only rude but wrong. So why did he pick this fight?
The answer may lie in Franken’s shocking performance on the Michael Medved show in February 2005. At that time, the unstable former comedian had the opportunity to debate John O’Neill, the leader of the Swift Vets For Truth and author of Unfit for Command. Instead of engaging O’Neill, Franken demanded to know why Medved had not served in the military. And, according to one witness:
During the microphone check, Al Franken was cursing Michael, calling veteran John O’Neill a disgrace… He didn’t think anyone in radio land would hear I suppose, but forgot that the blogger was in the studio … Franken even threw down his headphones before the show began, and Michael reasoned with him and persuaded him to sit down again. Within 30 seconds we came on the air … After Franken threw down his chair and stomped off pouting, Michael continued talking with Swift Vet John O’Neill …
So perhaps Franken wanted to have the debate he ducked in 2005, this time with the less knowledgeable Pickens.
Franken’s book “The Truth (with jokes)” is almost as pathetic on the subject as his Medved appearance (or maybe more so, considering that it is a set piece, not a debate). At some point in his rambling section on the Swiftvets, he asserts that “the mainstream press debunk[ed] each and every charge made by John O’Neill and his swarm of lying vermin (the Swift Boat Veterans).” As demonstrated here, however, a series of these charges stand unrebutted and in some cases admitted.
Franken was once capable of being funny and he’s still capable of becoming angry. But he has never shown himself capable of reasoned argument. The confrontation with Pickens won’t be the last time this fool embarrasses himself and his party.
Via our friend Laura Armstrong.