You have to love politicians. O.K. admittedly a lot of the time you don't, but they are the ultimate do as I say, not as I do folks. Neither party gets off the hook on this one, but this week it's the Republicans looking like jerks, something they seem to have honed to a high art.
It looks like the Minnesota Senate Race is finally - FINALLY - over and that Republican incumbent Norm Coleman has lost by a whisper-thin margin - 225 votes from almost 3 million cast overall - to Democratic candidate Al Franken. Now, way back on election day, when it looked like Coleman might win by a nearly as thin margin and Franken was saying he would look at all his options - translation: recount and/or lawsuit - Coleman was saying Franken should accept the will of the people, shut up, give up and go home. Now that the state has certified the results -but (sigh) not declared a winner - Coleman and his party are pulling out whatever stops may be left: a lawsuit and Senate rules and maneuvering. Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R), head of his party in the Senate, says he won't allow Franken to be seated until everything is cleared up, which might be next January at the rate things are going.
Now, leaving the nasty winter landscape of Minnesota, I ask that you follow me back to balmy Florida, circa 2000, when the Republicans claimed Al Gore and Democrats were all sore losers for have election results from a far more bizarre election (I should know, being from Palm Beach County). They ranted and railed; democracy was at stake. And we all know how things turned out: I went to bed with Gore and woke up with Bush!
There's no lesson here, just an observation that when you're winning, you're opponent is an enemy of the Republic for questioning election results/filing a lawsuit/etc. and when you're losing your opponent is an enemy of the Republic for...well, for not supporting your lawsuit. The real questions are when will we get candidates strong enough and different enough to, one would guess, prevent teeny-tiny margins and when will more Americans get out and vote?
In the meantime, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) from Kentucky just said on NPR that the Minnesota election will not be over until the people of Minnesota say so. Alright, Minnesota, please step up to the mike and make yourself heard. Please!
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