Before he was an inconsequential U.S. senator representing Minnesota, Democrat Al Franken was an unfunny comedian with bit parts on “Saturday Night Live.”
One of his shticks was to proclaim the 1980s as the “Al Franken Decade.”
While that gambit utterly failed to pan out, Franken later reinvented himself, somehow, as a political activist. He supported the Iraq war at its inception in 2003. Then, when the war didn’t go well, he fiercely criticized it.
In 2008, when he just barely won his current Senate seat, Franken took a strongly anti-war position that was essentially identical to the one then held by then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, according to MinnPost.
Now, as Franken runs for a second Senate term and as the Obama administration bombs areas in Iraq and Syria held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS, also called ISIL), Franken has suddenly become a hardline warmonger.
As Politico notes, the senator’s current foreign policy positions are vastly different from the ones he took in 2008 when he enthusiastically insisted that the United States must withdraw from Iraq.
Two weeks ago, Franken, who in August 2008 demanded that Congress rescind $7.1 billion committed to the reconstruction of Iraq, voted yes on a Senate resolution to arm various Syrian rebel groups.
In early September, Franken wrote a stern letter to Attorney General Eric Holder criticizing the Obama administration for its lack of a strategy to deal with ISIS and its failure to stop the militant organization from recruiting American citizens for its would-be Middle Eastern caliphate.
“I was troubled by the President’s recent suggestion that the Administration has not yet developed a comprehensive strategy to address the growing threat of ISIL’s activities in Syria,” Franken wrote.
“The Justice Department should focus its resources and efforts in places where terrorism recruitment efforts may be happening at higher rates, such as Minnesota,” the Minnesota senator also said. “In addition, the Justice Department should coordinate with the State Department and the Homeland Security Department to prevent Americans from traveling abroad to join forces with ISIL.”
Franken’s 2014 Senate election opponent, Mike McFadden, called the letter to Holder “a day late and a dollar short,” according to ABC News.
“Talk is cheap,” the Republican said. “Minnesota kids continue to be recruited. There has not been any policy put in place to stop this.”
Minnesota has given America several homegrown terrorists in recent years. Two of them, Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar, attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School in the suburbs of the Twin Cities — at the same time. After high school, both Kastigar and McCain shared the same address for a short time and were close friends. (RELATED: JIHADI HIGH: This High School Has Now Produced Two Dead American Terrorists)
In 2011, Franken, who became depressed after writing and starring in the utter commercial flop “Stuart Saves His Family” ($6.3 million budget; $911,310 box office), also voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorized the indefinite detention — with no due process — of American citizens deemed terrorists.