Franken's "Implode-O-Rama"

Scott Bensing

6/5/2008 5:26:38 PM - Scott Bensing

The United States Senate is known as the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” A group of men and women charged with writing laws and debating foreign and domestic policy. Conspicuously absent from Article One of the Constitution; authoring pornography.

Al Franken has made a career of insulting and belittling people who disagree with him, and now is attempting to dismiss any criticism by saying his work was satire. Satire may have a place in civilized society, pornography and hate speech do not. Those are strong words, but a review of Franken’s past commentary justifies their usage.

First, there is Franken’s 2000 article for Playboy entitled “Porn-o-Rama,” a column so crass and vile that Democrat Members of Congress, including Reps. McCollum, Ellison and Walz publicly condemned it. Rep. McCollum even went so far as to say:

"As a woman, a mother, a former teacher, and an elected official, I find this material completely unacceptable," McCollum said of Franken's piece, published in 2000 under the headline "Porn-O-Rama!"

Franken, in typical fashion, made no apologies nor did he directly address these justifiable concerns. Instead, he dismissed the Congresswoman for not being a “supporter.”

The condemnation continued in a recent column from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In the Star Tribune, columnist Katherine Kersten points out Franken’s Playboy column was emailed to her, but was immediately caught by her email filters. Kersten discussed why Franken’s column was flagged by her email filters.

“In his Playboy romp, Franken fantasized about oral sex delivered by a machine, as well as sex with combinations of females who fit the Playboy view of women as big-breasted automatons, panting at the prospect of servicing the likes of Franken. That's why they call it fantasy, I guess.”

She goes on to wonder…

“…how many DFL officials will be able to pull Porn-O-Rama through their Internet filters and read it before the party endorses its candidate for U.S. Senate this weekend.

And…

…“whether folks like Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Attorney General Lori Swanson, whose …campaigns took money in 2006 from Franken's so-called Midwest Values PAC (yes, you read that right) will feel compelled to return those bucks on truth-in-advertising grounds.”

But Franken’s sick sense of humor does not stop with his now infamous column. Common decency does not allow me to include any of the highly inappropriate and hate filled comments aimed by Franken over the course of his career at women, minorities and homosexuals - comments Franken either believes or finds funny.

Oddly enough, Al Gore has chosen to inject himself into this campaign, even though Franken’s perverse humor has offended the former Vice President and his wife, Tipper, in the past. Following a dinner in 1996 in which Franken told a joke about then-Speaker Gingrich and his daughter, the Gores voiced their displeasure with Franken’s so-called humor:

‘You may not think these things are important, but when standards begin to decline and disintegrate, then you have a rise in speech that is uncivil, of hate speech, of speech that is harmful to whole groups of Americans,’ [Tipper] Gore said. ‘It’s important to maintain a certain standard of civil discourse. The only way to really do that is to talk about it so people realize that a line has been crossed, and someone has said something too hurtful.’” 

We expect that our elected officials can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. Unfortunately, Franken falls well short of this standard, as his remarks demean and disgust and cannot be considered anything more than derogatory commentary by a crass individual.

On the flip side of Franken is Sen. Norm Coleman, a man with a history of public service and working across party lines to achieve results for his constituents. In the U.S. Senate where men and women of different views must work together to solve America’s problems you have to ask yourself, how would Al Franken’s vitriol help the citizens of Minnesota and the United States?

These questions continue to be asked by voters and columnists, but not answered by Franken. Worse, they follow Franken’s previously unexplained problems including: failure to pay worker’s compensation insurance in New York, failure to pay business taxes in California and failure to pay taxes in 17 states over a four year period.

Is this the type of change national Democrats want for Washington – crass and divisive characters who refuse to compromise?

Asking yourself this and weighing all of Franken’s problems, the choice is clear, the choice is Norm Coleman.