The Minnesota Senate race between Republican senator Norm Coleman and challenger Al Franken has reached the point of exasperation, but now the Minnesota courts have determined that many of the Coleman challenges have no basis and the likelihood of a Coleman overturn of Franken’s tiny lead is miniscule.
It is time for Senator Coleman to show some grace and dignity and statesmanship and concede the race, since his challenge has denied his state the services of one of its senators for six weeks at a time of crucial issues, including the Economic Stimulus plan just passed by Congress yesterday.Â As important as it is that Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Ted Kennedy participate in the vote, had Al Franken been able to participate in the final and original Senate vote on the legislation, Senator Brown would not have been required to use a government plane at taxpayers’ expense to return to vote after a wake for his mother in Ohio, and Senator Kennedy, recuperating from a brain tumor in Florida, would not have been required to return to DC in order to guarantee the avoidance of a Republican filibuster.
This situation has gotten out of hand and it is time for Al Franken to be declared the victor and for Senator Coleman to accept reality!
President Barack Obama is to be congratulated on the tremendous accomplishment of having his Economic Stimulus plan accepted by both houses of Congress in less than a month, to be precise, 24 days!
There is much debate about the virtues of the legislation, but that is nothing new in American politics.Â There will always be a debate and questioning whether or not a Presidential initiative or action will be beneficial to the nation’s future.Â Obama well realizes, as he has said himself, that he will be judged by the success or failure of his economic plan.Â He made it clear that if his initatives failed, then the country will have a new President in 2012.Â
The point is now the President can, over a period of time, be judged on his plans, and that is appropriate.Â The issue of bipartisanship is important, but if only three courageous GOP senators (Olympia Snowe of Maine, Susan Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania) have the willingness to back the President and to cross party lines, so be it.Â If this plan works, the Republican party and its right wing Southern dominance will pay the price.Â That is their fate if they fail to follow the majority of economists,Â many Republican and Democratic mayors and governors, and American public opinion in wishing to give Obama’s plan a chance.Â
Meanwhile, one needs to point out that it is historic that a major piece of legislation has been adopted in so short a time in a new administration, and it bodes well for being just the beginning of the most eventful First Hundred Days since the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.