Sore loser Coleman has done lasting harm to Minnesota

For at least the last three months, Norm Coleman has had no realistic hope of winning Minnesota's U.S. Senate election, but that hasn't stopped him from fighting the inevitable in court. It's obvious that Coleman's legal maneuvering has no goal other than to keep Al Franken out of the Senate for as long as possible.

That has collateral benefits for Republicans on a national scale, making it harder for Senate Democrats to win 60 votes to break a filibuster. Barack Obama may have been able to get his economic stimulus bill through the Senate with fewer concessions if he had needed only two Republicans to sign on (instead of three).

Unfortunately for our neighbors to the north, Coleman's obstruction has done significant and lasting harm to Minnesota. John Deeth explains why in this great post about seniority rules in the U.S. Senate. Had Franken been sworn in with the rest of the class elected last November, he would now rank 94th in seniority, but instead he's going to rank 100th (click the link for the full explanation, which is worth your time).

Making matters worse for Minnesota: all six of the senators Franken should outrank, but doesn't, are fellow Democrats.

How much this matters in the long run depends on the longevity of the six senators who leapfrogged over Franken. [...]

Michael Bennet and Kirsten Gillibrand will probably face primaries, too, but after a first electoral test they, and Merkley and Begich, could last awhile (particularly Gillibrand, who at 42 is the youngest Senator). Franken, at age 57, could be around long enough that those lost months of seniority will make a difference between him and let's say Gillibrand getting a chairmanship sometime around 2018.

If you want to make Republicans pay for Coleman's sore-loserdom, support the campaign Senate Guru wrote about over the weekend: "A Dollar a Day to Make Norm Go Away."  

  • As a native Minnesotan...

    I'm hoping this whole train wreck will nudge my beloved home state firmly back into the blue column where it belongs.  Minnesotans, by and large, don't tolerate shenanigans very well, and I've heard more than one family member express distaste for Coleman and his carpet-bagging ways.  These aren't family members who are Dems, either, and most of them are a bit horrified by the idea of Franken, but at this point they want it over and the winner to head for Washington.

    The fact that Amy Klobuchar is still very junior doesn't help the Republicans' case in a state they've been fighting to turn red, either.  Minnesota voters are typically pretty well-informed, and the fact that they've only had one senator representing their state for three months now certainly isn't lost on them.  I think (hope?) they'll place the blame squarely on Norm and the Republican party's shoulders.

    I just wish I understood where the Minnesota taste for colorful politicians comes from.  I mean, I adored Wellstone, but he was by no means a boring type of typical Midwestern kind of guy.  Then Ventura, now Franken...what's up with Minnesotans?

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