Reading this New York Times article about the looming recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, I am seeing shades of Florida in 2000, or Ohio in 2004. Voting irregularities, legal challenges, hanging chads. Well, OK, we won’t have hanging chads, because we don’t use those stupid 19th century voting machines. But this could be as bitter and nasty, and protracted, as Florida in 2000, writ small. I’m glad we in Minnesota handed a decisive victory to Obama, but now all eyes are on us, especially since at this point it still looks like a Franken win (along with Democratic pickups in three other close races) could give the Democrats a razor-thin filibuster-proof majority.
Honestly, though, I’d rather not have that majority. With Obama’s commitment to breaking down partisan barriers, I think a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate would be a bad thing, and is probably unnecessary anyway. And if the Democrats did get it, it would only be because Joe Lieberman would still be caucusing with them. A frightening proposition. He doesn’t need that power, and we don’t need to let him have it, either. Better that the Democrats can enjoy their solid (but not commanding) majority, and disregard Lieberman altogether. (Say goodbye to your committee positions, Joe!)
I like Franken; I supported him. I don’t like Coleman, the opportunistic ex-Democrat, and the tool of Bush that he’s become. But I can live with him in there if I have to. Amy Klobuchar is my senator, thank you very much, and I’m looking forward to a brighter future with little regard for Coleman’s place within it.
So Al, go ahead with the recount; under law it will happen anyway. Just don’t fight it too hard. I watched you last night, addressing your DFL supporters, and although you invoked Barack Obama’s name, and although you’re new to politics yourself, you sounded an awful lot like the same old tired politicians we collectively are ready to say goodbye to. I’d like to see you in the race again in 2014, but more importantly, I’d like to see you walk away from what appears to be a narrow loss with your dignity intact.
In other news: Things looked good on the ballot for me, other than Al. Every candidate and ballot measure I voted for won or passed, except (possibly) for Al Franken. I was very pleased, especially, to see that my choices for the three seats on the Minneapolis School Board all won, and especially that the homeschooler came in second-to-last. I’m sure she’s a good person, but I fundamentally believe that if you do not support public schools (which she clearly doesn’t), you have no business running for school board!