We should get the fundamentals out of the way first: whenever Jane Mayer writes anything for The New Yorker, attention must be paid. On Monday, she hit print and the pixels with a long piece on the defenestration of Al Franken. This is going to roil things up on the Intertoobz and across the electric Twitter machine for a while. Mayer paints a fairly damning portrait of a sadly typical Democratic bail-out on one of its own—not quite at the level of what happened to ACORN or Shirley Sherrod, but not dissimilar in those aspects in which the party flinched before it was hit. Mayer, who co-wrote a book that fairly well blew the whistle on Justice Clarence Thomas, never quite gets to why Franken resigned without the Senate Ethics Committee hearing that was his right, and that he had requested, but she does a good job establishing the political context within which the events unfolded.  Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire.