Is it just me, or is anyone else completely apathetic about Al Franken being named the winner of the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and him? For as much time, energy, and pomp that this race generated, I've felt for a while that it was a fait accompli that Franken would "win."
Yes, I put win in quotation marks because I firmly believe he cheated. Now with the courts further enabling him by throwing out legitimate challenges to the vote count, Franken can now assume the role he was born to do: vote on bills he's never read, just like the rest of Congress.
Yet, I can't help but laugh at the whole situation. After all, the Democrats technically only have 58 of the 60 seats they need to shut down filibusters. They still need Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders or two Republicans to vote with them to reach the magic number of 60. That's not outside of the realm of possibility by any stretch, but it may not always be a lock, either. As each new bill makes its way to the Senate for a vote, you can count on Harry Reid counting the votes he thinks he has.
Where things may get dicey for Reid is with the aforementioned Lieberman and their second-most-recent "acquisition" Arlen Specter. Both have endured and are enduring whispering campaigns within Democrat ranks about how they're "not real Democrats." Others lumped into that group include California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who does occasionally swing to the right. If you look at just the media coverage of the Franken "victory" you'll get the impression that all the Democrats vote in lockstep. Don't count on it all the time.
Another factor to consider is the 2010 midterm elections. A good chunk of the Senate will be up for reelection in a little over a year. Some will be easily reelected, but others may have to fight for their political survival. And with the way things are going right now, the latter number may be higher than you think.
When crap and spayed...I mean cap and trade comes up for a debate, watch how the Senate Democrats react, what they say, what their body language says. The House version of the bill may not pass muster with the Senate, which will lead to its defeat or to a Senate version, which will mean the bill goes to a joint committee, thus holding it up further. Kinda puts a kink in the plan to rush crap and spayed...I mean cap and trade through Congress quickly, doesn't it?
And thanks to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Al Franken winds up in the center of all of that.