Witty Barney Frank, Meet Senator Al Franken

An article by Michael Powell awards the contested Minnesota Senate seat to Al Franken and revels in the anti-Republican wit of liberal Rep. Barney Frank.

"The Wits of Washington, Amateur Variety," an article by Michael Powell on politician humor in Sunday's Week in Review, crowned liberal Al Franken the winner of the controversial contest for the Senate seat for Minnesota before he's been seated, at least in an accompanying cartoon.

The cartoon from Ward Sutton shows "Sen. Al Franken" on C-SPAN 2 keeping his Senate colleagues in stitches. Franken's Republican opponent Norm Coleman has promised to appeal to the state Supreme Court a ruling by a three-judge panel last week declaring Franken the winner of the hotly contested race.

Powell's article also featured two cracks from quipster liberal Rep. Barney Frank at the expense of conservatives, courtesy of a 1991 (?) book, "Congressional Anecdotes" by Paul Boller Jr. There were no conservative jokes at the expense of liberals; the other nine quips were free of ideology.

In the weeks, months, perhaps even years to come, the interminable Minnesota Senate recount seems likely - we're just speculating here - to end. Should the Democrat Al Franken cling to his narrow but consistent and now court-upheld 312-vote lead over the Republican Norm Coleman, he would be the first professional comedian to take a seat in the United States Senate....About 160 years later, the barbed-tongued Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, silenced a Republican House colleague who had complained that he did not know what was inside a proposed bill: "This bill is five and a half pages - even the gentleman from Texas could have read it by now."....Barney Frank, who is Jewish, complained in 1984 about a Republican who declared the United States a "Christian nation." "If this is a Christian nation, how come some poor Jew has to get up at 5:30 in the morning to preside over the House of Representatives?"