Okay, I'm out of patience. I'm tired of hearing that we do not yet have a second senator because Minnesotans are either dysfunctional whack jobs (snicker snicker, remember Jesse Ventura??) or politely repressed Lutherans. (Could we put this whole Lutheran thing to rest? I mean, that's so yesteryear, like referring to New Yorkers as stolid Dutch. And if we have to be lumped as one with the settlers of origin, why not refer to us as laconic Lakotans or something?)
By all counts, Al Franken has won this race, again. And Norm Coleman has lost his appeal -- again. In every sense of the word.
So why do the media continue to say that Minnesotans are fed up with both of them? It may be true that Minnesotans were never all that thrilled with either of them -- Norm's slick on the outside and pitted on the inside, his "family" life a charade, while Al's exterior has a few blemishes, but he's a good-hearted pure Wellstonian on the inside, in a genuine long-term love affair with his wife Franni -- which is why the race was so close to start with.
Or why do they point out that even corrupt Illinois was able to fill its senate seat with less strum and drang, and that New York was too, even with the most unloved Governor in the US of A bungling it every step of the way?
Let's get a few things straight.
First, this was not a seat vacated when someone upgraded to first class, aka, Obama to the presidency and Clinton to the secretary of state. Those seats are filled by appointment. It was a photo-finish to a hard-fought campaign which triggered the state's mandatory recount law. No one can intervene and make an appointment.
Second, even in today's Strib it was reported that the race was prolonged when Franken "pressed his right" to a recount after Norm "won" by 700 votes. No, by state law when the margin is so slim a recount is mandatory . It's like saying that the justice system was bogged down when the murder victim pressed for an arrest and trial of the perpetrator. No, the law requires that the crime be prosecuted, not the victim.
Third, no matter how tedious the recount has been, and how much minutiae has been picked over, all but the most calcified Republicans agree that the three-judge panel was non-partisan and that the process was yes, transparent.
So it should be obvious to everyone, even the eye-rolling media, that what is going on now is pure obstructionism by the Republican Party. They plan to pay for Norm to contest Al's slim victory in the Minnesota Supreme Court and all the way to the US Supreme Court -- to wage "World War lll" as John Cornyn has called it -- not on principle, not even as a show of support for Norm, but just to keep one more Democratic vote out of the senate as long as they can, which could be years.
Meantime, MN gets along with one senator, a very competent one, fortunately, doing the work of two -- constituent services know no party and require hours of staff work -- but with the vote of one.
Whether we're Lakotan or Lutheran, Populist or Patrician, we're getting screwed by Norm's refusal to face defeat, and by the Republicans who'll pay his bills -- while piously whimpering about disenfranchised voters.
I'd expect this level of hypocrisy from them, but I'd also expect the press (I know, why?) to get it right and stop making this some sort of Minnesota mud-bath, with two losers slugging it out while a bunch of polite Lutherans look on saying, "Well gosh, this is differnt."
No, we had an election and a mandatory recount and when the remaining 400 votes are tallied on April 7, Al Franken will win again and he should be seated in the Senate. And Norm Coleman and his backers can't accept that.