Franken slaps Lieberman upside the head

You’ve gotta see this if you have not yet seen it.


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    December 18, 2009

    Aw, but you’re missing the part where McCain says he’s never seen anything like it in all his years in the Senate–despite having done the same thing to Mark Dayton.

  2. #2 James
    December 18, 2009

    I’d heard about this elsewhere, but hadn’t seen the video. From what I’d read, I expected Al to give some kind of loud, arrogant, insulting objection to Sen. Lieberman. But that’s not what this video shows. That was a very polite “slap upside the head.” Seemed very polite to me – very “Minnesotan”.

    It was funny that Al almost seemed apologetic that he had to cut Sen. Lieberman off, but he’d had his 10 minutes.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    December 18, 2009

    I might have this wrong, but I don’t think he did it to Mark Dayton. I think he did it to Robert Byrd and Mark Dayton was chair.

    In the present case, Franken was both chair and the objector. In the McCain case Dayton was chair, someone else, I think Byrd, was speaking (in opposition to funding Iraq or something) and when Byrd (or whoever) asked for time McCain objected.

    It is also the case that McCain is the only sitting Senator who has ever screamed at a private citizen who was being a volunteer witness before the Senate, speaking on behalf of veterans. He’s also the only sitting Senator who has screamed at constituents in the hallway outside of his office.

  4. #4 Joel
    December 18, 2009

    In any case, it’s nice to see someone tell Lieberman we really don’t care to hear any more of what you have to say.

  5. #5 The Science Pundit
    December 18, 2009

    It was funny that Al almost seemed apologetic that he had to cut Sen. Lieberman off, but he’d had his 10 minutes.

    What Franken did would normally be considered very brash for a freshman Senator, but he had instructions from Reid to cut short all Republican (or Independent from Connecticut, if you will) delay tactics–since they want to get this passed before the holidays. But when you consider what they did to Bernie Sanders’ single payer amendment, the Rethugs didn’t leave Reid with any other alternative.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    December 18, 2009

    What’s really funny is that Republicans keep making the same mistake. They don’t understand three things.

    1) Al Franken is five times smarter than the average Republican Senator;

    2) Al Franken is well versed in the politics and procedures. I assume he’s a good book learner, because it’s not all from experience, but he’s getting it down fast and obviously works hard; and

    3) Al Franken does not fear any of these people, even a little. Apparently.

    So there.

  7. #7 Sigmund
    December 18, 2009
  8. #8 NewEnglandBob
    December 18, 2009

    “…five times smarter than the average Republican Senator…”

    That isn’t hard to be: IQ of 10 or so is enough.

    I sent an email to one of my US senators today (No one answered his D.C. office phone) saying that the Democrats should just go ahead and let the Republicans filibuster on the Health Care bill and let the American people see what jerks the Republicans are as they block any senate work. If it is let to go on for a couple of weeks, it could be the end of the Republican party.

  9. #9 Joel
    December 18, 2009

    NewEnglandBob, I have no idea why the Democrats don’t do just that.

  10. #10 katydid13
    December 19, 2009

    NewEnglandBob and Joel the Dems don’t do that because at some point the Senate Rules were change to a filibuster doesn’t actually stop the business of the Senate from going forward and no one has to take the floor and talk or anything. So pretty much nothing happens that is visible except that piece of legislation dies.

    If they had to talk and it would stop business then I think you are right.

  11. #11 Caravelle
    December 20, 2009

    The problem with the filibuster is that while the filibusterers just need one guy talking non-stop, the filibusterees need to keep all their guys in the room to maintain a quorum or something. Which makes it even more inconvenient for them than for the filibustering senator.

  12. #12 DJ
    December 20, 2009

    I don’t know why, but I expected some actual physical slappage going on. 🙂