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J. Carson Black

You can forget Norm doing the right thing---for once, or any other time! It's like this dorky kid with nothing going for him who gets to hang out with the high school football players. They're egging him on, but I have a feeling he's going to end up being expelled and all those jocks are just going to laugh at him. Meanwhile, the nerd with glasses whose favorite class is theater will finally be class president, even if the bullies pull off those glasses and stomp on them and drop a caterpillar down his shirt.

Everything I learned about politics I learned from Stephen King.

Randy Johnson

Yes, forget Norm doing the right thing. He'll hang on as long as he can, never mind what's best for the people he supposedly represents.

Jeff Mariotte

Yeah, I'm sure you're both right...just a blast of wishful thinking there.

Shiai

I have this dark vision of ex-Senator Coleman stretching out the legal challenges until 2014, when he can again run against Senator-elect Franken in an election.

The biggest drama in this whole mess could be what Tim Pawlenty does when the certification papers finally hit his desk. If he goes ahead and certifies Franken, he'll be viciously attacked by the very arch-conservative voters he'll need to court if he intends to run for the presidential nomination in '12 (can you imagine how Bill O'Reilly will eviscerate Pawlenty on his show for that?). But if he refuses to send Franken to the Senate for what will clearly be crass personal political ambitions, Pawlenty will undoubtedly face a voter revolt at home and lose the 2010 gubernatorial race (he only won reelection last time by 1%, so his popularity already is paper thin), which would brand him as a loser going into the GOP primaries.

From what I've heard, Pawlenty already had a grudge against Coleman stemming back from 2002, when both wanted to run for the Senate, and Norm got Dick Cheney to step in and tell Pawlenty to forget about it. Considering the predicament which Coleman is putting Pawlenty into now, I imagine the Governor would like nothing better than for Norm Coleman to fall off the face of the planet.

Jeff Mariotte

Norm is really leaving Pawlenty hung out to dry. I think Pawlenty is doing the best he can, politically speaking--he will wait until Norm has exhausted every possible legal option, and/or concedes, at which time he can certify Franken while insisting that he didn't want to do it, but the law left him no option. He'll still make some on the right unhappy, but those who accept reality-based arguments will understand. And he won't have "jumped the gun" on an election that should have been settled months ago.

J. Carson Black

Key words: "those who accept reality-based arguments." Not what the Repubs are known for, but maybe they'll see the light.

THEJJNADO

hopefully, and i say this as a former republican who went independent in 2003, this will be just the first of many who are upset the RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT WINGERS are in charge, and they only want THEIR KIND....It's a really messed up party right now. You apparently can't be for prayer in schools AND for gay marriage! Ye Gods! That's blasphemy that is in no way actually supported by Biblical decree! But it's somehow blasphemy!

Ahhh! We're all gonna die!

Oh, and global warming doesn't exist, which may actually kill us all.

Jeff Mariotte

Are the independents in the majority now, or just second place? I know only 21% of people consider themselves Republicans. That's the price of the ideological purity the conservative, Club For Growth types are pushing. I would love to see the Democrats be a little more progressive, and get angry when people like Ben Nelson (and Specter, in days to come, I'm sure) hold things back. But in the long run having the big tent and letting the party represent a wider spectrum keeps it in power, and that will mean that, over time, we'll accumulate more legislative victories that support the causes I believe in.

The conservative movement hasn't figured that out yet, and if the Republican party doesn't get it they're in for a long spell as the minority party.

J. Carson Black

I think since we've become a bigger-tent party, good things have flowed to us. I see Barack Obama as moderate-to-liberal. The large stimulus is liberal in nature, and it just plain has to be done--most economists, Democratic or Republican, agree. But look at his peeps--Claire McCaskill, Bob Casey, and Tim Kaine. Hardly what you'd call liberal. Look at his foreign policy, and the fact that he kept Bob Gates (I have endless admiration for Bob Gates). He's a lot more complicated than the Incredible Shrinking Republicans give him credit for.

Bob Herbert and Frank Rich are right: They've become a cult.

I'm really interested in seeing who Barack chooses for the Supreme Court. He's a Constitutional law teacher, so we won't be getting a Harriet Meirs.

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