July 1st, 2009
02:25 PM ET

Franken victory is not funny

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/30/franken.ruling/art.franken.cnn.jpg" caption="Minnesota's Supreme Court ruled Democrat Al Franken the winner in the state's U.S. Senate race."]

John Feehery
Special to CNN

The metric system is the kind of thing that you can expect from the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority Democrats now have in the United States Senate.

After the Watergate scandal in 1974, Democrats trounced Republicans in the mid-term elections, getting 61 seats in the Senate and 291 in the House.

In the Senate, they adjusted the rules to make it harder for Republicans to filibuster (reducing the magic number from 67 to 60 to invoke cloture, which ends debate). In the House, they passed all kinds of reforms to take power away from senior members and give it to junior members. And Congress mandated that the American people embrace the metric system.

The metric system idea never really caught on, and although the pain of Watergate afflicted Republicans for another two elections, they eventually pulled themselves out of their deep hole, with some good ideas and a charismatic leader, who promised to restore America to greatness.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Democrats • Republicans
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. RLWellman

    To those of you that think we need a larger Government, we don't! They control too much of our lives now. You think this is a cop out? Is this why everyone should just sit back and watch as they take more of our freedoms away?

    Maybe you don't mind if they control the temperature in your house, tell you what kind of car to buy, or what kind of light bulbs you can use, but I do! It wouldn't be as bad if they followed the same rules, but they don't!

    This new cap and trade bill, all 1600 pages of it. How many people do you know that read the whole thing. The second stimulus bill, how many people read all of it in the 12-hours it was made available to them. These bills are being signed without even being read and "WE" the people of the United States are allowing it to go on. This is where people are naive in believing the Government is here to help us!

    Do you think the Government needs to keep spending money that they don't have in the first place? Is this how you take care of your finances? If you are broke, do you just keep writing checks, give yourself a raise, and just keep on spending?

    The Government wants us to keep fighting along party lines and they are doing a great job at it. They do not want us to question what they are doing. They want everthing signed right now, saying there is no time to read it first. Do you think it's right to sign a bill without reading it? I don't! What are they hiding from us?

    July 2, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    The GOP realizes that they have been blown out of the water and need to regroup. However, they are still allowing Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, and Dick Cheney to speak for them – as long as these people are perceived to be the head of the GOP and the face of the GOP, then it will be an uphill battle to entice the voters back to their side. And if the GOP only fuss and whine about each and everything that Obama tries to do they are not going to improve their image that way either. Continued stress in the political arena like what the GOP served up during Clinton's term is not something I want to witness again and probably a lot of others don't either.

    The GOP needs to look at all Americans, and not at just the rich ones or the big business interests, and see what an everyday common voter is responsible for financially, etc. and then propose a working budget to take care of the country and those voters, giving them the items they need (even health care at a discounted rate) to survive and provide for their family. Prove that the GOP can be forward looking and all encompassing and then just maybe your voters will come back to you.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    After Jesse Ventura I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Somebody should test the water out there for mind altering drugs.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  4. Ruth Cherrick

    Just because some people disagree on the issues does not mean we have our heads up our butts RLWellman. If you don't like government that's your right.

    No matter what party any of us repersent or don't represent, don't pretend to think you know what we are or are not reading regarding the legislaton coming out of Congress. Is every bit of legislation that has come out of the current administration o.k.? No. But that dosen't mean you give up on making your representatives accountable. If Americans are naive, as you state, it is not because we don't understand Government and their power, rather it is because as citizens we do not become involved in the process of holding legislators, at all levels, accountable for what they do. Instead we are a bunch of pathetic voters and citizens as it relates to involving ourselves in how our country is governed.

    Just asking for less government is not helping the process. It's just another cop out. Does it take work to keep track of what's going on in government as well as with proposed legislation? Yes, and as citizens of this country it is our job!!

    You are right RLWellman, many of us don't like what went on in the past 8 years but do not assume that is the reason why we are involved today and speaking out on the Franken issue. I am involved, as many of my friends across the country, because we realize the changes that are needed in our governmental systems and are willing to work on the changes.

    We may not agree on every issue and how best to resolve it, but WE are the government and WE need to stay involved to maintain the democracy we all cherish.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  5. Linda B., Ga.

    CONGRATS AL! Now sue the pants off of the Minnesota Election Commission and everybody else in you (ahem!) fine state that held up the results.....

    July 1, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  6. RLWellman

    This just goes to show how naive America is becoming! America, get your heads out of your butts! You need to stop looking at party lines and read what is being passed.

    It is sickening to think that the bills that are signed into power are not even being read! They are being passed because they are Democratic written. Are you Democrats that naive to think the Government is there to help you?

    The Government wants more power....... That's over you and me! Please, take time and read what is being passed. You may not like what went on the last 8-years, but don't approve something blindly just because it was written by another party.

    The problem is, the Government is too big and powerful not only now, but has been. They don't represent us anymore, just their own interests. Please take time and question what is being signed before "all" of our freedoms are gone!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  7. Tim Gibson

    Minnesota just has a different pick from the totem pole of politics that I have not yet understood.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  8. Allen in Hartwell GA

    From some of the comments here I'd guess that most people haven't heard Senator Franken discuss serious subjects. You might be surprised. But, you probably aren't from Minnesota so what you think really doesn't matter, does it?

    July 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  9. Tracey - Boston

    Come on Ralph...

    He's good, smart enough and dog gone it, people like him!!

    July 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  10. Larry

    I guess Al will now get the same health care benefits that Obama touted in his campaign that we would ALL get if we don't have a health care plan.

    BTW is everybody allowed to go to the Mayo Clinic to receive the wonderful diagnostic services that Obama was citing in his town hall for the converted side show today?

    July 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Lampe

    I really don't think Republicans are squirming about Franken. If anything it just goes to prove my point. This year it doesn't matter who runs our country as along as it wasn't a Republican, so look what the people decided on a over-rated funny man.Just what Washington needs another court jester.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  12. Ruth

    I'm tired of hearing the republicans crying when things don't go their way. Al Franken is chosen by the people of his state and is that not the way we elect representatives in this country? Republicans are in trouble because they don't listen to the people and this is just another case of them wanting it their way, or no way!!

    July 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  13. Beverly

    it feels so good to have the republicans and right wing nut squirming in their pants at this new!! good luck Franken.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  14. Ralph

    Oh Great, Franken, a failed unfunny "comedian", and a failed left wing talk radio host, he should be a greeeeeaaaaaat Senator, he is clearly qualified (note the sarcasm). From your Democratic friend, have a swell day.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:33 pm |