Story cross posted at our Wordpress blog.
In the 2000 presidential election, the people elected Vice President Al Gore. The Supreme Court of the United States, aided by Florida Republican Governor (who happened to be the losing candidate's brother) and his unhinged State Attorney General, denied the people's will, and appointed George W. Bush President of the United States.
Six years later, because of the sudden illness of a Democratic Senator, another Republican Governor is in a position to do the same thing in the United States Senate.
Just over a month ago, in an election that went down to the wire, the people decided they had had enough of the Republican agenda of lies and deceit and warmongering. They elected a slim Democratic majority in the Senate, spelling an end to rubber stamp approval of whatever the White House desired. They elected to stop the Republicans in the Congress from allowing Dubya to ignore our Constitutionally guaranteed protections from his Jack-booted agents of fascism.
The people of the United States of America demanded that we stop the illegal war in Iraq. They demanded that Habeas Corpus be reinstated. They demanded that the requirement for search warrants be enforced.
They threw the bums out.
This morning, CNN is reporting that Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, took suddenly and severely ill yesterday afternoon. In fact, he fell so ill that his symptoms were described as "stroke-like", and he required brain surgery.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was in critical condition Thursday after undergoing surgery, a hospital source told The Associated Press.
Johnson had brain surgery early Thursday at George Washington University Hospital after suffering stroke-like symptoms, two Democratic sources familiar with his condition told CNN.
There was no formal announcement of the South Dakota senator's condition, The Associated Press reported, but a person in the hospital's media relations office, who declined to be identified, said the hospital was preparing to announce that Johnson's condition was critical.
First and foremost, our hearts go out to him and his family. Our best wishes go to them, and our hopes for his quick and complete recovery. The Senator's spokesperson is reporting that he suffered neither a stroke nor a heart attack, which is a little good news. Hopefully, doctors have fixed whatever is ailing Senator Johnson.
From the CNN story:
His wife, in the office to have lunch with him, rode with him, Fisher said.
"It transpired very fast," she said, adding the senator's staff was shaken by the incident.
But, she said of the hospital, "we keep reminding ourselves, this is where they take Dick Cheney."
But while our primary concern is for the man, his family, and his recovery, we cannot help but notice the implications for the entire country.
Should the Senator be the victim of something which prevents him from finishing the final year of his term (he was elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2002), South Dakota state law gives the power to appoint his replacement to the Governor of that state. A Republican Governor.
Should the Senator not be able to complete his term, and should the Governor of South Dakota appoint a Republican replacement, there will be a total of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats in the United States Senate, and in a vote, tie goes to the Administration by way of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Once again, the will of the people would be ignored. Once again, the White House will have the rubber stamp approval of a boot licking Republican Senate. While the President's power will still be diminished by the overwhelming defeats he suffered in the House of Representatives, the people's voice will be silenced in such matters as judicial appointments.
The honorable thing for South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds to do, of course, would be to appoint a Democratic replacement for Senator Johnson. The politically expedient thing for him to do would be to appoint a Republican.
The question then, is if the situation arises, will Governor Mike Rounds show his loyalty to this country, or to his party?
I can feel the White House salivating over this tragedy from here, and the maniacal laughter from Washington woke me up in a cold sweat this morning.