(From the often enjoyable GIN AND TACOS DOT COM)
It was a banner year for assholes. It would take one gigantic cocksucker to claw his or her way over the likes of Hank Paulson, Liddy Dole, Ted Stevens, Rod Blagojevich, “Hot Karl” Rove, Joe the Plumber, both Clintons, and more political strategists, campaign managers, and pundits than we can count. Is there any person out there who feels able to answer the call, to remove the Excalibur Dildo from the stone and become its master?
The chair recognizes the Senator from Minnesota.
Norm Coleman spent 2008 with his hands wrapped around Dignity’s throat, eventually forcing its head underwater until the bubbles stopped rising. For a man who once lost a gubernatorial race to the pro wrestler who carried the minigun in Predator, it is practically inconceivable that he could go downhill from there. Like a 16th Century explorer, Coleman decided that the only way to find out if an elected official’s career could get any worse was to provision some wooden ships, crew them with a few hundred stout men, and set sail for the edge of the map.
Coleman, widely recognized to be one of the most humorless puds on the planet (and one who looks strangely like the offspring of John Kerry and a yardstick), decided that the way to compete with comedian and former SNL writer Al Franken was to out-funny him with cute campaign ads. Rather than striking a serious tone to make Franken look like an amateurish joke candidate, Coleman managed to make himself look like the amateur. In a thousand years scientists may understand how a United States Senator managed to look rinky-dink in a race against a smug comedian, but for the moment we remain baffled.
Among his many ads attempting to be funny, the pièce de résistance of Coleman’s idiocy was one entitled “Why Not?” The ad features three actors playing dipshit slobs in bowling shirts (you know, the condescending caricature of how six-figure DC political consultants see “average voters”) discussing Franken’s many failings in a ridiculously affected and overdone “Superfans” accent. That’s how we dress and how we talk! The commercial ends with the alpha-Grabowski suggesting that they run for Senate themselves…why not? They’re just as qualified as Franken!!! It’s not the most offensive ad you’ll ever see, but it sets a new mark for inanity which may not soon be equalled.
Coleman’s campaign is perfectly represented in his ads, a mixture of mouth-frothing attacks and attempts at humor which appear to have been conceived, approved, and executed by a council of stroke patients. One commercial break might feature “Angry Al“, painting Franken as an unstable, profane lunatic while the next break would bring the cloying Leave it to Beaver comedy of “Got It,” which may be the first ad to close with an image of the candidate hunching over a garbage can. In a remarkable synthesis of the two styles, Coleman sunk to new depths in “Excuses“, in which an 8 year-old girl clutching a teddy bear hurls insults at Franken before closing with a “My dog ate it” joke. A sampling of Coleman’s advertisements leave open the very serious question of whether or not he has ever met another human being.
Running the kind of campaign that makes Americans hate politics so goddamn much, one that simultaneously insults their intelligence and bombards them with vile rhetoric, is nothing new. It’s certainly not enough to win a nondescript political figure the CotY. However, what Coleman did after Election Day elevated him from mere ass clown to the rarefied air of the legitimate cocksucker.
Let’s say you play a basketball game and at the end of four quarters the score is tied. Do we play overtime or does one team simply demand that the other concede defeat? If you’re Norm Coleman, and perhaps only if you’re Norm Coleman, the latter is the correct choice. Faced with an almost incomprehensibly close outcome on Election Eve, Coleman simply declared victory even though Minnesota law mandates an automatic recount in the unlikely event of a race this close. He indignantly demanded that his opponent waive “his right” to a recount to - get this - to save the taxpayers the cost of re-counting the ballots. Those fiscal conservatives! Note well that it isn’t the candidate’s “right” that produces recounts; it’s the voters’ right and the state’s right and responsibility to make sure that we figure out who actually won the goddamn election. Semantics, of course.
Once the recount got underway Coleman really reached into his bag of Asshole, instantly transforming from a nondescript, robotic putz into the incarnation of Nixonian paranoia coupled with right-wing Talk Radio fury. When Franken gained votes in the recount Coleman’s leeches helpfully noted that it was producing “improbable shifts that are overwhelmingly accruing to the benefit of Al Franken.” The Secretary of State is a Democrat, proving indisputably and for all time that the process is overwhelmingly slanted to Franken’s benefit. Campaign lawyer and professional jagoff Fritz Knaak knoted that the integrity of the process had been “breached” and that “the supercharged environment we’re in leads us to suspect everything.” Nixon would be proud. Knaak and Coleman concocted one baseless charge after another, including the infamous “ballots in the car” story that led Bill O’Reilly to confidently claim “the fix is in” long after Knaak, Coleman, and Gov. Pawlenty admitted that it was not true.
Like all people who go too far in politics, Coleman’s party eventually turned on him. Gov. Pawlenty took to the talk shows defending the integrity of the recount and rebuking Coleman for “throwing gasoline on the fire” of the Talk Radio histrionics. One of Minnesota’s most prominent right-leaning newspapers editorialized: "It’s hard to believe we’re writing this, but it’s clear that Franken - known for his over-the-top humor and partisan antics - is the one acting with class in this serious situation. Voters, indeed, deserve to know the outcome of a recount. It’s not up to those who may or may not be the winner."
With Franken in the lead Coleman did exactly as we would expect by taking his fight to court. While the merits of his legal argument are outside of my jurisdiction, the fact remains that the courts’ rulings in Coleman’s favor have not put him back in the lead. He will continue to drag the race out into 2009, making it likely that Congress will be sworn in before the outcome is known in Minnesota.
What a year, Norm. What? There’s MORE? Yeah, apparently this fucker is as corrupt as a cheap hard drive.
CREW named him one of the most corrupt men in Congress after it was revealed that he lived rent-free in Washington on the tab of a Republican consultant who has been paid almost $2 million from Coleman’s PAC and, in a completely unrelated hiring decision, who hired Coleman’s wife as a “consultant” to the tune of $101,000. Not salacious enough for you? Well, now the FBI is on Coleman like glue over allegations and hard evidence that an Iranian millionaire (I’m not making this up) from Bloomington, MN named Nasser Kazeminy used an offshore oil drilling company called Deep Marine Technology to funnel $75,000 to Coleman through Hays Insurance, a company whose employees consist of…Coleman’s wife (who, I shit you not, invented and markets something called the “Blo & Go“). The Deep Marine CEO and shareholders blew the whistle, telling the FBI that no insurance or services were rendered by Hays. Coincidentally, and much to the delight of the wealthy investor behind a drilling company called Deep Marine Technology, Coleman introduced a bill in the Senate on June 12 calling for more offshore drilling in US waters.
Norm Coleman, holy shit. You are one enormous cocksucker. You managed to excel at being lame, condescending, dirty, hysterical, paranoid, and crooked all in the span of a few months. Most people (Blagojevich for example) can only handle one at a time. And Norm, if you think that I am about to make a joke based on the phrase “handle more than one at a time” in an essay about how much wang you suck, well, unlike your campaign ads I tend to work a bit harder than that for comedy. Congratulations, 2008 CotY Norm Coleman. May your trip home from Washington and, eventually, into Federal prison be a smooth one.
No seriously, Republicans, nominate a conservationist+isolationist who favors a decentralized, demilitarized federal government and I'll vote for that guy in a heartbeat. Coleman in no way deviates from the typical flags n' fetuses dumb-fuckery, wherein the world is policed (ironically following the proud traditions of the Democrats) by an increasingly mercenarized armed forces who create black holes in our wallets and literal holes in imploded, malformed skulls of hundreds of thousands of Communists!!11 Latin America and/or Terrists!!11 in the Middle East (most people we bomb are/or at least were originally nationalists who didn't care to participate in some shitty US-driven global culture.)
But, yea. Minnesotan senators.
(I almost always vote third party, but really, unironically fuck that Dean "hurr... I'm a straight shooter" Barkley guy, and fuck him hard. He can find another privatized prison complex to lobby for during the next four years, so I'm sure he'll be OK!)
Franken gon' win. And he'll just follow the democratic party line across the board. Which will be very... whatever. His probable victory's not spearheaded by mass voting fraud or a hard turn towards liberal-bourgeois values *shrudder*, but what is hopefully a semi-tangible repudiation of the aforementioned.
I used to see the guy on my old college campus on a surprisingly frequent basis (OK, twice) when he was campaigning. It was a small school, and I would often be on foot running errands for professors whom I TA'd for during odd times when most students were in class. I'd be schlepping some crap around, and probably looking like crap as well, and it would be eerily isolated outside.
A casually well dressed man in the distance. Faculty maybe? No. I'd recognize a member of the faculty. A shortish guy, taking stubby, measured steps. Oh... that hair. Kind of a tamed Jew-fro. I can dig it. Yeah, dude looks like he's killing some time. Checking out the buildings. Having himself a Diet Coke. Probably a visitor--a dad?
Oh man. That was today. He's on campus. Its Franken. Yeah, its gotta be Franken. Hahahaha, just walking along. Zip up jacket to efface pentagram on t-shirt? Nah. He's good enough and smart enough ect. ect. ect. I usually at least smile a drop a friendly, Minnesotan-esque "howdy" to folks I don't know. What do I say to SNL' s own Stuart Smalley? Eye contact range. Its clearly a good idea to affect some overcompensatory smile on my face. I just feel like it is. Approaching salutation range. What's a good thing to say in this situation? Bear your grin man! Bear it! You can almost touch him now. There's nobody around. Just you, and Al Franken. Break the silence.
"WHY HELLO THERE, MR. AL FRANKEN!"
Keep walking. Keep walking, and keep it very casual.
He lowers his eyes to look under his glasses. Gives a half-smile, and does that "sup" thing where you raise one eyebrow (I could never do that).