Literacy in the AP and Minnesota's Senators

This just in from the AP:

"Democrat Al Franken is due in Washington this week to be sworn in on Tuesday. The seat he'll fill has been vacant for six months while Franken and Republican Norm Coleman dueled over a close November election.

"Franken joins Democrat Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota's Senate delegation. His win puts Minnesota in a unique category. The state now has more former living senators than any other."

I would think that older states would have more "former living senators" than a relatively young state like Minnesota. "Former living" does mean dead, doesn't it?

Most likely, the geniuses at AP meant "living former senators" and that group is pretty representative of the erratic nature of the Midwest's politics:

Anderson, Wendell R. (D-MN)
Dayton, Mark (D-MN)
Mondale, Walter (D-MN)
Boschwitz, Rudy (R-MN)
Durenberger, Dave (R-MN)
Grams, Rod (R-MN)
Barkley, Dean (I-MN)
Coleman, Norm (R-MN)

That list swings from radical, religious right-wingnut talkshow babblers, Rod Grams, to the posterboy for "liberal" by today's goofy standards, Walter Mondale. There are some middle-grounders in that list, but they are old school politicians with the traditional Minnesota long lifespan. Boschwitz is 79, Durenberger is 75, and Mondale is 81. Rod Grams is 61 going on 200. Grams is still pissed off about the American Revolution and thinks the king deserved more respect.

Of course, many lists don't include Dean Barkley, since he served a two-month appointment by Jesse Ventura after the death of Paul Wellstone (2002-2003) and barely warmed his office chair before being replaced by one-term Republican Norm Coleman.

Coleman now has the distinction of having been beaten in major state elections by a professional wrestler with one-term small town mayor experience and a professional comedian with no political experience. It appears that almost anyone running against Coleman has a pretty good chance of winning, as long as that opponent isn't a professional politician and the election isn't rigged. Coleman's two political "wins" came against established Democratic opponents, although his 2002 win (by 61,000 votes out of 2 million) was during the period when US elections were symbolic and democracy was put on hold while Bush, Cheney, and Rove packed their pockets with taxpayer money and threw out the Constitution in favor of the corporatocracy. Coleman "beat" Walter Mondale after the state's favorite candidate, Paul Wellstone, died in an airplane crash in northern Minnesota. More than a few Minnesotans suspect that Coleman, Rove, and Bush had some hand in Wellstone's death.

Before the Senate election, Coleman had come in third behind Jesse Ventura and Democrat Skip Humphrey. In normal times, that would be enough to finish a politician's career, but with the help of the RNC, Karl Rove, and the nationwide election fraud of the first decade in this century, Coleman made a "comeback." The price for his resurrection was Coleman's slavish obedience to the Rove and Bush agenda. Franken played against that record as a big part of his campaign advertising.

In Minnesota, like most states, Republicans are reeling from their hard-earned reputations for general purpose incompetnence and wide-ranging corruption and non-existent moral values. The current govenor, Pawlenty, has decided not to run for re-election, since he would probably be beaten by a stand-up comedian or a pro football player or a tasefully dressed transvestite if one chose to run. Pawlenty has so linked himself to Rove's "no new taxes on the rich" principles that practically everyone who can manage basic mathematics wants to see the bastard tossed to the wolves. So, he's campaigning nationally in the hopes that Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold, in the great tradition of corrupt corporations changing their names to protect the guilty) will return American elections to the low standards of 2000 and 2004. At worst, Pawlenty will run for President. Next worst, he'll be a Republican candidate for Senate.

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