Team Stephanie, pay attention!
My admiration for Senator Al Franken is on record. Dan Richardt's disdain for the junior Senator from Minnesota is predictable.
But the red half of Red Blue & Purple gets Franken wrong in his predictable post on Franken's pow wow praise of Pelosi and South Dakota's lone Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Richardt calls Franken an "idiot" for aligning the Democratic Congresswoman with the Democratic Speaker of the House instead of the Republican House Minority Leader.
In an amazing departure from form, Mr. Richardt actually provides a hyperlink to support his Republican regurgitations: "According to Rasmussen, Pelosi has a 35% approval rating," he bleats.
So nice of Dan to provide a hyperlink... that disproves his own thesis. The same May 2010 Rasmussen poll that pegs Pelosi's nationwide approval at 35% finds Minority Leader John Boehner's approval at 23%. Republican owned and operated Rasmussen buries this finding under the methodology statement, the paragraph that usually signals, "Juicy stuff done, nothing more to see here, move along!" But it's there. Pelosi is more popular than Senate leaders Reid and McConnell, too.
Saying Pelosi is the most popular of Congressional leaders is kind of like saying she's the least squishy turd in the dog yard, but hey, numbers are numbers. Franken's statement set up a choice: do you want someone who would vote with Pelosi or with Boehner? That's a false dilemma—I want someone who votes like Dennis Kucinich! But posed with Franken's choice, a candidate would be silly to align herself with the guy with 23% approval instead of the gal with 35% approval.
So let's make a deal, Republicans. You guys roll in John Boehner to campaign for Kristi Noem. We'll roll in Nancy Pelosi herself to make the case for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Looking at the numbers, not to mention good Democratic policies versus Republican obstructionism, I'll bet we'd win.
Senator Franken's statement Saturday was not a blunder or a gaffe. Franken stated the obvious—Dems tend to vote with Dems. Franken also stated something bolder: you don't have to let the Republicans control the narrative. You can point to the facts, the numbers, and the votes and stand up for Dems, even in South Dakota.
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