Check out this new strategery from the New Republic weblog, which last week spent a great deal of time screaming about how unfair it would be for New Jersey voters not to have a choice, even to the point of stating this whopper:
All of which is to say, you can argue that it’s not fair to allow Democrats to sub in Frank Lautenberg at this late date. You can argue that it violates some cherished abstract principle like rule of law. But, please, spare us the gloom-and-doom talk about what future elections holds if this precedent stands. The answer is nothing appreciably different from the present.
So, what do our fearless defenders of the franchise offer up for us today? A plausible way to UNDO the results of the 2002 election if it does not go the Democrats way:
Conventional wisdom holds that Democrats can’t afford to lose even one seat from their 51-49 (technically 50-49-1) Senate majority. That’s because, in the event of an effective 50-50 tie (49 Democrats plus Jim Jeffords), Republicans would reclaim Senate control by virtue of Vice President Dick Cheney’s tie-breaking power. But we’ve long wondered whether the Dems have some margin for error–namely, Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. Soon after Jeffords’s party-switch last year, Chafee also dropped hints (albeit in typical flaky fashion) that he might be the next to defect.
Surely the New Republic would not want to overturn an election in this manner, disfranchising all those Rhode Island voters. Yeah, right.
New Democrat Slogan- If you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em.