It looks like Republicans have a new “bogeyman,” said Benjamin Sarlin in The Daily Beast. Al Franken, a Hollywood liberal, is on the verge of claiming a Minnesota U.S. Senate seat from Norm Coleman after a tense recount. The Democratic comedian’s confrontational brand of politics run directly counter to the civility preached by incoming President Barack Obama, so Franken is the perfect right-wing punching bag.
The real reason for the right to hate Franken, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, is that he didn’t win fair and square. He went into the recount down by 215 votes, and came out up by 225—out of nearly 3 million cast—thanks to “the machinations of Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and a meek Canvassing Board.” If Franken’s illegitimate victory stands, he’ll be “a tainted and undeserving senator.”
Franken won’t necessarily be a senator, said Chris Cillizza and Paul Kane in The Washington Post, even if the Canvassing Board names him the winner when it meets on Monday. Coleman's pending legal challenge over 654 allegedly wrongly rejected absentee ballots from pro-Coleman territory will be decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court. And Coleman can challenge the election result even if the court rules against him, so this race could be a long way from being over.