Friday, February 5, 2010

Dog Gone It, Al Franken Is Mad Enough

Now we know who the one Democratic Senator who really expressed his frustration on Wednesday. Politico has it from five separate sources who were "in the room" that Senator Al Franken lit into David Axelrod over the lack of leadership from the White House on health care.   Dog gone it:
A Democratic source said that Franken directed his criticism solely at Axelrod.

“It was all about leadership and health care and what the plan was going to be,” the source said.

Franken — a comedian turned liberal talk show host — vowed to keep a relatively low profile when he arrived in the Senate over the summer after a protracted legal battle with former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman. But he has developed a reputation among his colleagues as one of the more aggressive personalities on the Hill.
Jeepers, who could have seen that coming?  Franken wasn't alone in his anger and frustration but he evidently was the most vocal about his concerns.  It seems a little pep talk from the President triggered the incident though he wasn't the direct recipient of the tongue lashing:
Democratic senators are frustrated that the White House hasn’t done more to win over the public on health care reform and other aspects of its ambitious agenda — and angry that, in the wake of Scott Brown’s win in the Massachusetts Senate race, the White House hasn’t done more to chart a course for getting a health care bill to the president’s desk.

In his public session with the senators Wednesday, Obama urged them to “finish the job” on health care but did not lay out a path for doing so. That uncertainty appeared to trigger Franken’s anger, and the sources in the room said he laid out his concerns much more directly than any senator did in the earlier public session.
 I don't know why they would be waiting for the former Senator from Illinois to direct them on the path forward to health care.  Did he have any legislative accomplishments when he was there or was that just an inconvenient little pit stop on the path to the White House?  Perhaps Chris "tingly legs" Matthews remembers a few of Obama's legislative accomplishments:  Oh that's right, there weren't any.   Pretty fitting outcome that he should have no significant legislative accomplishments as President, in my humble opinion.

The left wing punditry and blogging heads have been busy with post mortems on health care.  While there is blame to go around, much of it is directed at the Senate and this line in particular caught my attention:
There's no getting around it. As SEIU President Andy Stern said recently, Senate Democrats "had a chance, a gift, from the American people--60 votes, so they could, for the first time in their life, debate any single issue they chose to debate. And they squandered it."
Here is what they all seem to miss, the American people didn't give them 60 votes.  I happen to know lots of conservatives who voted for Arlen Specter when he ran as a Republican.  We'll probably never know the actual vote count in Minnesota but the Democrats outmaneuvered Republicans legally so they seated Senator Franken as a result.  If they squandered their super majority it was because they got it on the cheap and didn't care whether the American people thought it was deserved.   Now they are left to point fingers and cringe when their Senator Franken gets a  little aggressive with them behind closed doors.  Dog gone it, seems like every dog does have it's day after all.
More at Memeorandum
Another Black Conservative  writes:
I hate to be the one to say, I told you so, but when Franken was sworn in, I knew he would be trouble for the Dems. Reap what you sow guys, reap what you sow.

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