Thursday, June 26, 2008

Norm Coleman's Petty Talking Points

I just had to shake my head in disbelief listening to Senator Coleman’s latest attack radio ad on WCCO radio one recent morning. The ad featured a small town, rural MN mayor taking umbrage to an alleged quote from Al Franken supposedly calling Norm Coleman’s assistance in establishing a rural health care facility as “small bore”.

The Mayor, no doubt at the prodding of the Coleman Campaign, feigns being deeply offended, interpreting Mr. Franken’s comment as somehow demeaning or belittling to the people of rural Minnesota..

The dictionary defines small-bore as:
1. Of, relating to, or being a firearm of small caliber.
2. Trivial or parochial in character:

In the context of politics, the New Republic uses the term as follows: “the petty talking points...and small-bore scandals that regularly intrude on campaigns”.

If one were to actually analyze Mr. Franken’s comment in context, the point he was trying to make is that rural Minnesotans need much more in terms of healthcare than a token clinic in one community. This in no way was meant to disparage the effect one clinic can have on that one community, but rather that all Minnesotans, rural and urban, deserve access to healthcare. The rest of the ad simply attempts to prey on knee-jerk prejudices attempting to label the native born Minnesotan, Mr. Franken as the carpetbagger when in fact it is actually Mr. Coleman, the native born New Yorker who is out of touch with Minnesota values.

Clearly, with all the important issues facing our state and nation, we deserve more from our sitting United States Senator than trivial talking points.

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