Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Politics is the art of the disgusting

Democratic Senator Tim Johnson may have suffered a stroke today. Strokes are serious business. My mother suffered through one years ago and I'm not sure she ever fully recovered, even though they caught it early. Everyone wished her well and we've been pulling for her because we love her. But my mother wasn't the deciding vote in the United States Senate. If Senator Johnson is unable to serve, his replacement will be appointed by a Republican governor, and will most likely be a Republican -- denying Democrats control of the Senate.

Count on the conservative blogs to salivate over this (while offering half-hearted "best wishes"), not because they're evil, but because they care more about regaining power than they do about the life and health of a human being. Count also on the liberal blogs to be deeply concerned for Senator Johnson's health, not because they truly care about him, but because they care about holding on to their party's newly-won power. The latter is only slightly less odious.

It's also human nature.


Anonymous said...

A governor shouldn’t be able to change the elected will of the people from a certain office ( a democrat ) because he is ill or has died. It’s the same when an office holder runs and is elected representing a certain party and then changes party affiliation after assuming office. That’s unfair to the voter. However, the example you posted from Powerline doesn’t look to me like an example of "salivating" or "half hearted best wishes." The change of power due to the illness of a senator is the reality of the situation and a political blog wouldn’t be doing it’s job not to point this out.

Tiffany said...

Seems pretty half-hearted to me. You can almost hear the tears hitting the keyboard as he says (paraphrasing) "chances are he'll get better."

It is the job of a political blog to point that out, but it's also a disgusting reality of human nature that strangers' lives seem to be important only because of what they mean to US. How many people are going to be sad about Peter Boyle dying yesterday just because they watched him on TV for years, but won't give a damn about someone around the corner from them dying? How many times do we get pissed off in a accident-caused traffic jam (because we'll be late to work or something) instead of hoping whoever caused the jam didn't die?

Like Darrin said, it's normal, but it's still disgusting.

the Pete said...

Yeah, it's only human nature. Sad, but when I pass on, only a few people are really going to care. To everyone else I'll be a statistic, not a person.

the pete said...

Oh, and I never agreed with these laws about Governors getting to appoint Senators. Seems anti-democratic to me. Yeah, they have to face an election, but incumbents almost always win, even when they're not really popular. Just look at New Jersey.

There should be special elections immediately when a Senator has to be replaced.

Chuck said...

Nuts. My first comment was nuked by a bug in the system.

Ok, here I shall try again. I hope I can remember it all.

In 2002, Minnesota's then Governor (James Janos) appointed a member of his party to fill a vacancy left by the death of Paul Wellstone (a DFL member). In 1978, a DFLer (Muriel Humphrey) was appointed to the seat of her Husband who died on January 13th of that year. Of course, Perpich was a DFLer and chose a DFLer to fill the position. Governor Anderson had himself appointed to the spot vacated by Walter Mondale when Mondale became Veep.

If Senator Johnson was just re-elected (I think he was), he should serve if at all possible. If it is not, the party which was elected to the office should be named to that office until a special election can be held (Figure 9 months), unless the election is less than a year away.

I don't know how long Senator Johnson will be out. I must leave that to the powers that be. But the party that won should be appointed if that party was in power. Does this sound strange, coming from a Republican?

I look to see what will happen in the next two years. Of course, the "Bible code" says we will be destroyed in 2009. So, let's see if the party (or parties) in power can do to prevent that.