Al Franken has found his calling.
And it is making unfit nominees for major offices in American government squirm under the lights.
All it took was a threat to the way every single federal government department operates, or whether it exists at all.
First Franken interrogated his Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, about the now-you-see-it, now-you-don't magic act of the would-be attorney general's record on civil rights. Then Franken tried to pin down Betsy DeVos, future Secretary of Education, to see if she has any ideas what actually happens in a ... the thing with the kids... what's it called... a school. That's it.
Thursday it was the turn of Rick Perry, who used to get his haircuts in Texas, and has now been nominated to get his haircuts in Washington, D.C. Perry is Donald Trump's pick to run the Department of Energy, a federal agency Perry once said he wanted to eliminate; Perry has since assured senators he would not kill the Department of Energy, but refused to deny he might try to convince it to commit suicide.
When it came to be Franken's turn to question Perry, the junior senator from Minnesota revealed that the two had met prior to the day's hearing, and opened a door for Perry to make a joke.
Perry's the kinda' guy who, whenever someone opens a door for him, walks right into the wall next to it.
Yikes. Points for laughing at his own awkwardness, though, acknowledging that you've said something that will be made fun of on Saturday Night Live does not mean you're in on the joke.
Turned out the uncomfortable moments kept coming. Here's Franken trying to ask Perry about climate change.
Obviously that part's less funny. Unless you think the idea of rising temperatures, and oceans, and people drowning is a joke.
Which, obviously, some people do. And now one of them's going to run the Department of Energy. And not an especially bright one, at that.