Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A quick thought on Sen. Smalley

For a while, I was wondering why conservatives were so angry at Al Franken finally winning the Minnesota Senate election. I mean, it always sucks to lose, and this gives Democrats 60, which is worse, but I haven't heard of libs freaking out when Fred Thompson won a Senate seat. At some point, though, I realized that it's because Franken is outspoken and passionate, which are two qualities that conservatives really loathe in anyone who isn't a conservative (though they're highly prized amongst conservatives). It's the same reason why the right is so obsessed with minor, tinpot dictator wannabes like Ahmadinejad and Chavez. The former has little actual power, while the latter does have power over a country that is only significant for having some oil. But the right's hatred of these figures--including Franken, who has been hilariously compared to them by the right--only proves my longtime point that modern-day movement conservatism is basically based off of deep insecurity about our global standing and about the right's place in the country in particular. Going after the loudmouths that don't pose a real threat to you is a sure sign that your position is weaker than you let on. A lot of rightist activists simply don't believe that anyone could be a good-faith opponent of your policies, like Franken (but not so much Ahmadi and Chavez, admittedly).

In any event, here's an interesting article about Franken. I get a sort of Prince Hal/Henry V feel from him, as if he played up some of the silliness in his act in order to make the transformation to serious figure all the more compelling. I understand the right's attacks on him, but I hope for their sake that they aren't underestimating him. They tried that with Obama last year, I seem to recall.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.