Saturday, October 24, 2009

This Week In Franken - Smart And Incisive Edition

I'd love it if congress had more people like Al Franken kicking around. Earlier this month we saw his amendment to the military appropriations bill pass, which was both a really strong statement on important current events and an action that will actually change behavior (as opposed to the statement of condemnation votes, or whatever they're called, when Congress gets together and votes that someone should apologize for somethingorother, which seems like a tremendous waste of time and taxpayer dollars considering all the shit there is to fix around here).

And now we've got Al getting cute... and smart, and true, and relevant... with opponents of public health care.

We don't often get to hear our congresspeople talking like that. Maybe it's because civility is standard practice when you've been in DC for long enough. But maybe it's because many of the people we elect to the House and Senate just aren't that bright, or, you know, bright about things that aren't helpful to making America a better place.

Of course, the most extreme example I can think of is former Senator Ted Stevens, who has served for Alaksa since 1968. No shit! Forty years in the senate! He delivered this speech in opposition to network neutrality (raise your hands in the comments if you don't know about it - that's it's whole own SERIES of blog posts)...

I'm not saying that everyone should know all there is to know about the internet. I do think, though, that the people with the power to decide on the laws governing the single most important technology of our lifetime ought to know a bit about it, or defer to those who do.

And I think the same logic can be applied to the health care debate. I'm not a health care expert. And the people running and profiting from private health insurance in America should have a say in how we move forward as a country, sure. They're certainly experts. But they shouldn't be the only experts, and the fight should go to the smartest people who have the best interests of the largest number of people in mind.

Maybe I'm suckered in to Al Franken's whole thing because he's being clever and cute during his time in congress, and because he happens to share my viewpoint on many of these issues. And my perspective is skewed by the fact that the Daily Show, for entertainment reasons, always picks the dumbest and most ridiculous moments from the floor of the House and Senate to share with their audience.


But I think we need to see more Frankens out there. Intelligent people who show up to work with the information necessary to make good decisions for the American people. And a little sting and humor in the rhetoric certainly wouldn't hurt.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A little sting and humor helps the medicine go down, in the most delicious way.