Since November, poor Minnesota has been sitting, lonely, at the very northern edge of the county, enduring the taunts of all the other states, sad because it only had one Senator. At one time, long ago, they did have a second Senator, albeit human smarm rag Norm Coleman. (God damn do we miss Paul Wellstone.) But then, there was a very close four-way race between Coleman, Stuart Smalley, some wingnut or whatever, and the Lizard People. First it looked like Coleman won, but in fact the winner was the guy who cohosted Comedy Central’s 1996 RNC coverage with Arianna Huffington, we learned after an exhaustive recount. And after several rounds of reputation-torpedoing running-in-place court challenges from increasingly desperate sore loser Coleman. Minnesota governor and confirmed nonentity Tim Pawlenty wouldn’t certify the results; Senate Dems wouldn’t risk a fight over in seating Al Franken because ooh, “partisanship”.
But now! Al Franken will really and truly be the first LateLine cast member to make it to the Senate. (Muse well upon that, Miguel Ferrer!) The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the election and recount and their results were just and unambiguous, as everyone already knew they would. But of course Norm Coleman will still probably appeal to the federal court system, and Tim Pawlenty seems to be in no hurry to certify the results. So maybe this is not actually news, any of this? UPDATE: No, it is news. Coleman has announced that he will cease further challenges and return to his busy life of raising money to run against Franken in six years, and Franken will go to Washington.
Still, though, eventually (UPDATE: Or rather, now), Al Franken will be Minnesota’s second-best Senator (luv ya, Amy!). This would give the Democratic Party 60 seats in the Senate, which is enough votes stop Republican filibuster attempts and get along with the vitally important business of passing healthcare and climate-change legislation grotesquely watered down by Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson et al (D-Corporate Interest and Profound Institutional Inertia).