I've been asked what I think of who will win the Coleman - Franken race; and while I'm trying to seduce a certain working class scholar into co-writing a longer more detailed post, I can write this one easy.
I think it leans Franken, and by God I hate Norm Coleman.
I am very judicious about who I hate. I didn't hate Bush, although he was awful. I didn't hate Cheney, although he came close, but it was more of a despising. Hate is something that is active, that you feed. And Norm, Norm I hate.
It began in the early 90s, when Norm was the conservative Democratic mayor of Saint Paul. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are both pretty Democratic - sorry, VERY Democratic. So if you're the fundamentalist free-market business community, you find yourself some nice pliable folks who claim that they are Democrats and get them elected. (This means you sell out the religious right but that's fine. The marketeers will sell out anyone.) This included people like Jackie Cherryholmes and to a certain extent Sharon Sayles Belton in Minneapolis, and people like Norm Coleman in Saint Paul. You can tell if you have a faux-Democrat if they defend the interests of 'the downtown business community'. So Norm decided that the first thing he would do, to show he knew the game, and knew who had the power, was prove his 'conservative' bonafides by picking on his employee unions.
AFSCME Clerical and Technical for the city - got into huge fights with them, played hardball. Norm was a 'no tax' Democrat (why do they exist?) and so the city was being starved and the unions had to go. And then, when our little workplace organized itself into AFSCME? Norm was not our friend. And when Arne Carlson, who was for gay rights and was for legalized abortion, but was still a marketeer, decided to contract out our work to Fargo, Norm stood by. Yeah, that was 150 good paying jobs leaving downtown Saint Paul, but so what. Norm was much more into getting his corporate buddies (Lawson Software) big subsidies for their offices.
Norm's clever. He pitched Saint Paul for the Twins baseball stadium. And then he switched and got state money for a hockey stadium. Smart.
It's sad. Norm, of course, was the former roadie for Ten Years After at Woodstock. Oh - you didn't know that? Yep, that was our Norm. Head of the SDS, a longhaired antiwar conniving ambitious amoral misogynistic hippie. Who went to work for the lame-ass Skip Humphrey (Son of Hubert. No charisma, dumber, way less of a leader.) as an Assistant Attorney General. Liberal Democrat. Then moved centrist, then ran for Mayor. Then 9/11 happened, and that changed everything. Norm switched parties! Then won as an incumbent Republican, and then... ...then Norm had someone call Tim Pawlenty and tell him not to run for
Norm the partyswitcher. The fact that he's cast like 10 votes in the last 6 years that weren't party line, and the fact that he used to be a Democrat, makes him a centrist somehow.
He is, actually. Norm Coleman is dedicated to a center point: himself and his political career. Norm loves the power, and he'll do or say just about anything to get it. He is IMMENSELY hypocritical. He filed an 11th hour baloney lawsuit against Franken, which he's done before (Sue 'em in the last days before the election! Throws mud in their eye!) and then someone does the same to him - someone NOT the Franken campaign - and Norm launches into an apocalyptic fit! "This is an eleventh hour phoney political stunt by the Franken Campaign. And they're attacking my wife!"
Attacking his wife. THAT he said with a straight face. There was a rumor that she had been greenscreened into one of his commercials, which was believable because Norm and his wife do not share their lives with each other. Personally, I think it's a huge sham, they're both fucking around, and Norm has a terrible reputation with women for being grabby and pushy. I read someone who was in an acting class with Norm's wife never knew she was the Senator's wife - because she never mentioned it. Odd.
Three other stories (available on request): how to piss Norm off, Norm and Paul Wellstone, Norm and Dick Cheney.