Thursday, December 14, 2006

Get Well Wishes for an Ailing Senator

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) suffered some kind of brain hemorrhage yesterday that resulted from a congenital condition (see here). The 59-year-old senator has spent his life in politics, but he seems to be a behind-the-scenes worker that doesn’t seek out the limelight. He underwent emergency brain surgery late yesterday and is currently in critical condition.

While this type of news would normally be greeted with an outpouring of empathy, the media and political buzzards are circling this suffering man in hopes of grabbing up juicy morsels of carrion. The reason? The Democrats hold a slim 51-49 majority in the incoming 110th Congress.

If Senator Johnson is no longer able to serve, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, who is Republican, would appoint a replacement, who would almost certainly be Republican as well. That would make the partisan split in the U.S. Senate 50-50. Since Vice President Dick Cheney casts the deciding vote in such cases (per the Constitution), the Republicans would retain their majority in the Senate.

Let me stipulate that I am a registered Republican. I would very much have liked to see the GOP retain control of one or both houses of Congress, but that’s not how the electorate voted. The spoils go to the victors, and that is as it should be. But we are a nation of laws. We have rules to govern what should happen in cases when an elected official can no longer serve, and those rules should be followed, even if the result seems ironically unfair in the short term.

However, the sick media and political drama surrounding Senator Johnson’s health condition is contemptible at best. Regardless of one’s partisan leanings, we should all hope (and pray, if you’re religious) for the best for this man and his family out of the goodness of our hearts. Besides, if he recovers enough to continue his service, the whole partisan question will be avoided and the media sickos can go back to obsessing about Brittany Spears’ love life.


Bob said...



That One Guy said...

The political speculation on this is shameful. The Senator and his family have every right to seek whatever length of recuperation is needed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is also the Seantor and his family, exclusively, who make the call as to whether he will continue in office, of call it quits. Realistically, he could remain a Senator for the foreseeable future, regardless of his health, barring death...

I bet that is the tack we see here.

So, with that political speculation, let me say, God speed, good health, recover soon, Senator.

That One Guy said...

and as much as I'm sure you would have liked to see control remain with the republicans, I doubt you'd like to see it get there this way...

I know you better than that, I would think.


Scott Hinrichs said...

TOG, you are, of course, absolutely correct. More than I want conservatives to win, I want the system to work the way it should.