Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 6, 2002
POLITICS: Senate Standoff

So, last I heard, the new Senate will be 51 Republicans (48 returning Senators or retained seats plus Jim Talent, Norm Coleman and Saxby Chambliss, with the loss of only Tim Hutchinson's seat), 46 Democrats (45 returning Senators or retained seats plus Mark Pryor, with the loss of seats held by Jean Carnahan, Paul Wellstone, and Max Cleland), and Jim Jeffords, with the South Dakota race still unsettled and Mary Landrieu still running to lock up her seat. In other words, if Tim Johnson hangs onto his slim lead in any recount, the GOP will still be just the loss of one vote away from needing Dick Cheney to break deadlocks. Hopefully, Lincoln Chafee will stay put, and maybe the GOP will even take one of the two remaining seats somehow. If there's one lesson we learned from Florida in 2000 and the long string of bizarre ocurrences the past two years with the Senate, it's that it really isn't healthy - psychologically or procedurally - to have the presidency or a house of Congress hanging by such a slim thread between two evenly divided parties. Frequent turnover can be healthy, yes; but too much 50/50 drives politicians and their supporters to a state of overanxiety, paranoia and animosity that's deeply counterproductive. Let's hope that nothing else happens to throw the GOP's control into question between now and November 2004. Then, after two years of real responsibility, the party can be judged on what it hath wrought, and the Democrats can be judged on the alternative vision the party has laid out to the People. In the meantime, there will still be plenty of bickering to do, but maybe we can all save the long knives for the enemies who really deserve them.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:41 PM | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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