Time to crank up the heat on Coleman
When it comes to the political undercurrents that run like the Gulf Stream through the Franken-Coleman post-election battle, timing has always been critical. Several months ago, swimming against the current of thought among Democrats, I strongly questioned the political wisdom of Franken’s legal strategy of trying to force an immediate certification of his victory, especially given he stood virtually no chance of succeeding. As I said then:
What’s the gain here to make up for the PR damage this may cause you? Because my sense is, rightly or wrongly, a lot of people will regard this as overreaching on your part: and that’s the last thing you need right now. (The fact that more people than not favor putting you in provisionally doesn’t mean they’ll favor this approach.)
I know, I know — many of my fellow lefties will scream that I must be just another one of those gutless liberal wimps who are afraid of a street fight. And I agree with them on one thing: our side does need to fight harder in disputes like this (as your legal team has done brilliantly for the most part). Election 2000 taught us that. But fighting hard doesn’t mean fighting stupid.
My advice? Take a deep breath. Remember that being a United States Senator is a pretty swell thing even if it comes a few months later than it should. Then continue to fight like hell — just do it smartly.
But that was then.
Today, in stark contrast to the situation in mid-January when I posted this comment, Norm Coleman has been afforded a full trial in his election contest. And although a few details remain to be adjudicated, it’s already abundantly clear that he’s lost the case — rather badly, actually. In fact, Franken’s increased his lead.
Legally, an appeal still awaits, of course, but what’s probably equally important is what Franken’s trial level victory means politically. And it means a lot. Up to this point, the GOP has been able to argue, almost credibly enough to keep people from giggling, that all they want is a fair and full count of all the votes. In short, they had just enough plausible deniability to keep the dogs of the obvious at bay.
But no more: having lost in the trial proper, even the right wing’s well-greased lie machine won’t be up to the job of obscuring the truth if Norm Coleman pushes ahead with his threatened appeal. The truth is hanging there in full view, as impossible to miss as the blackness of Dick Cheney’s soul: this long ago stopped being about which candidate won the election, and become, instead, an exercise in holding the people of Minnesota hostage as a means of obstructing the agenda of a popular new president. A president who could desperately use Al Franken’s vote in the Senate.
But the gig is up. And so is the Republican Party’s time to stall with impunity. Within a week, when the final judgment is expected to be entered in the election contest, the time will have arrived to start cranking up the thermostat on Norm Coleman. Let’s push the temperature up to, say, a degree or two hotter than the surface of the sun. My guess is that if we do, very soon Coleman will find himself in a politically untenable position.
The GOP faithful may view obstruction as a virtue. But I doubt very many Americans will agree, especially now as we stare into the economic abyss.
So get ready Democrats. It’s almost time to pounce.
April 8th, 2009 at 11:46 pm
The Republican Party reminds me of two year olds, they love to say no. After Vietnam and LBJ’s heavy hand in it, the Democrats were accused of being warmongers. When Clinton joined NATO in stopping the genocide in Bosnia, the Republicans screamed “warmongers” at the top of their lungs. Now, we are engaged in two wars that cannot really be won, costing billions we can’t afford, resulting in thousands of deaths, destruction and injury. The Republicans supported the wars all the way. It would seem, in this instance, that they are the warmongers. Every Republican has had his war. Even Nixon invaded Cambodia with disastrous results. And while the Republicans scream anew about any reorganization of defense spending; and scream about Obama’s budget; they have no new nor viable ideas. All of their demands center on the same policies that got us where we are today: on the precipice of economic destruction. They are heavily invested in saying “NO” to any deviation in Bush’s disastrous policies. It is as though they have become the murderous, abusive spouse who says to the wife, who has filed for divorce: “If I cant have you, no one will.” Then, the angry, violent husband pulls the trigger. They want Obama to fail. They want the country to implode. They apparently want as much pain and suffering for the country that rejected them, as they can muster. They block nominations. They threaten filibuster. They exaggerate, lie, and distort facts. They have become petty, nasty, little green monsters. The proof is in the pudding. They had 8 years of near absolute power, and they made terrible decisions that have left us in one big mess. Norm Coleman is a symptom of their dysfunctional behavior. I am not happy with some of Obama’s decisions; but at least he is trying to move us forward. The Republicans are trying to block progress; are the party of Me, Myself and I, and dont care about the citizens of Minnesota nor the citizens of the United States.
April 9th, 2009 at 11:15 am
If things go right, this is the twilight of the gods. The neocon crooks held in so much esteem by so many ninnies feel their impending demise, and will fight to their last foul breath to extract and extort the last dime from our long-suffering populace. They don’t seem to get it, yet, but they WILL, once Franken is seated in the Senate. Their day is approaching an end, and not a minute too soon.