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Defining Vulgarity Down

I can't say I've ever been a big Al Franken fan, but Mike Gerson's latest column--which argues that the comedian-turned-candidate is a vulgarian who poses a threat to the Republic--is ridiculous. Especially when you consider that Gerson used to work for George W. Bush, who back in 2000 had this little exchange with Tucker Carlson, who subsequently wrote it up for Talk:

In the week before [Karla Faye Tucker's] execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask.

Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them," he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' "

"What was her answer?" I wonder.

"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."

Franken, even at his bluest, has never been as vulgar as that.

--Jason Zengerle