Sunday, February 15, 2009


The Republican party is going all-out to make sure Al Franken can't be named as the winner in the Minnesota senate race. Though the votes have been counted and re-counted, and the numbers seem to favor Franken, his opponent Norm Coleman has filed a lawsuit challenging Franken's legitimacy, and if that doesn't work, Republicans intend to filibuster or do anything they can to keep Franken out of office.

Yes, this is the same party that went to the Supreme Court to stave off Al Gore's challenge to Bush's presidency, claiming it was more important to get down to the business of running the country than making sure the process of democracy was allowed to play out.

But the hypocrisy isn't even the most infuriating thing here. The party is throwing away obscene amounts of money on Coleman's campaign, at a time when money is in short supply in the real world. They're doing this for the same reason they fought Obama's stimulus package: Because they can.

I should point out that I'm no Obama partisan, and my feelings towards Franken border on outright contempt. In particular, the efforts by Obama's brain trust to jumpstart the economy have been dismayingly similar to Bush's late-term efforts (which were also largely opposed by Republicans), with a curious determination to help out the bankers and Wall Street barons that helped get us into the mess in the first place. Still, at least it was an effort to do something; Coleman's cohorts have absolutely nothing to offer. Many in the party have openly agreed with Rush Limbaugh's claim that he wants to see Obama fail. They can't see that Obama's failure could well mean the failure of the entire nation.

They can't see, or more likely don't care. Sure, the last eight years may have been hell for the nation, but it's been a great time for Republicans. Their sense of entitlement seemed to be validated by the haplessness of the Democrats and their ability to silence any meaningful opposition. And they'll keep doing what they've been doing, because it feels so damned good. Let the world go to hell, because even though everything else has changed, it hasn't changed for them. It's still 2002, and things couldn't be better.