Michael Gerson
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WASHINGTON -- One problem with a political landslide of the kind that Republicans now contemplate in November is that it may also sweep into office various ideologues who become embarrassments -- candidates such as J.D. Hayworth and Rand Paul. Democrats are familiar with this possibility, because they have Sen. Al Franken.

In the months since his election, the author of "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot," who has referred to opponents as "human filth," who once accused Ronald Reagan of supporting the torture and rape of nuns, has tried to control his bile addiction, at least in public. Speaking last week to the American Constitution Society, he relapsed.

Most of the traditional elements of a Franken rant were employed against Chief Justice John Roberts and conservatives on the Supreme Court. The attack on motives: The "Roberts court has consistently and intentionally protected and promoted the interests of the powerful over those of individual Americans." The silly hyperbole: "What individual rights are so basic and so important that they should be protected above a corporation's right to profit? And their preferred answer is: None. Zero." The sloppy, libelous mixed metaphor: The Roberts court is putting not a "thumb" but "a fist with brass knuckles" on the "scale" of justice. Franken was clearly summoning all his remaining resources of senatorial dignity not to say something like Roberts is a "lying liar who lies along with this lying lackeys for his lying corporate lying masters."

You would never suspect from Franken's speech that the Roberts court, in key cases, has sided with employees that allege discrimination and against corporations. It is never enough for Franken's opponents to be misguided or mistaken; they must want women to be sexually harassed in underpaid jobs while their children die of lead poisoning.

Glenn Beck
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Michael Gerson

Michael Gerson writes a twice-weekly column for The Post on issues that include politics, global health, development, religion and foreign policy. Michael Gerson is the author of the book "Heroic Conservatism" and a contributor to Newsweek magazine.
 
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