COMMENTARY | Al Franken, the former comedian and current United States Senator from the great state of Minnesota, has decided to designate both Sarah Palin and the Koch brothers as enemies of the people for wanting him back in the private sector.
“Sarah Palin is now involved in the race – she just endorsed the Republican who, according to the Koch-affiliated poll, is only three points down,” Franken declared in a fund raising memo.
Palin has endorsed State Sen. Julianne Ortman who is currently competing for the Republican nomination to face Franken in the November elections.
Franken went on to bemoan the influence of money in politics thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision that lifted some campaign contribution limits before asking his supporters for money.
Franken’s lumping together of David and Charles Koch, two libertarian minded billionaire philanthropists, with Palin, a working class social conservative, as enemies of the people is interesting on a number of levels. The one thing that the Koch brothers have in common with Palin in this context is their desire to give Franken the royal order of the boot from the Senate.
Franken is particularly vulnerable due to the fact that he won his seat in 2008 over Norm Coleman under suspicious circumstances by just a few hundred votes in a recount that seemed shady at the time. While Minnesota is a left leaning state, which has spawned such liberal icons as Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone, it has been known to elect outside the box as well. From the before mentioned conventional conservative Coleman to the mad, bad Jesse Ventura, the state has been able to break out of the liberal lockstep mode from time to time.
Franken is also vulnerable for the same reason that a lot of his fellow Democrats are in peril. Life in the United States is kind of dire for too many Americans. They are eager to punish the ruling party for it, which means that Franken may well be back to making bad jokes in the private sector this time next year instead of being one in the Senate.