Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Parents in Minnesota Shouldn't Have to Protect Their Kids From Campaign Literature

The race for one of Minnesota's seats in the Senate has become very heated. As some of you may know, Republican incumbent Norm Coleman is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Al Franken. Yes, that Al Franken, the former comedian, writer and actor for Saturday Night Live, and Air America host. In the primary and in the general election, Franken's challengers have tried to use his former career against him, but by and large these efforts have failed. It seems that Minnesota's voters are able to understand that what he wrote and said in his capacity as a comedian, even if vulgar or profane, really has nothing to do with how he would perform as a United States Senator. But in the closing days of the election, with polls showing that Franken has a narrow lead, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has stooped to a new low; so low, in fact, that Sen. Coleman apparently has tried to disavow the advertisement that his party mailed to voters:

What idiot thought that it was acceptable to create a comic book with images that would invite children to open and read about serious (non-)issues like pornography and rape? If Republicans want to talk about Franken's prior career, that is certainly fair game and (maybe) an appropriate subject. Whether you approve of Franken's humor or found his jokes to be funny is not the issue. Some may have enjoyed him as an entertainer; others, not so much. But to talk about these issues in a way that may force some Minnesota parents to answer difficult questions from their kids is just wrong. Plus it shows that Republicans still don't recognize that voters can distinguish between humor and reality and between a former profession and a current occupation.


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