Saturday, June 27, 2009

If you can't beat 'em, obstruct 'em. Is this the new motto of the GOP?

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Republicans are just about shizzling in their pants at the prospect of having to welcome Al Franken to the U.S. Senate, but they'd better get used to the idea - things aren't going so well for Norm Coleman at the moment.

Still, getting Franken into the Senate could take a while. Thanks to Minnesota law, he can't be seated while there is an ongoing legal challenge. And so the GOP has decided to do what they do best - throw up a bunch of roadblocks and waste everybody's time. According to Politico:

Franken, the former comedian, leads Republican Norm Coleman by 225 votes in a "Groundhog Day" of an election that dawned more than three months ago and shows no signs of ending soon.

Which is exactly how Senate Republicans want it. The National Republican Senatorial Committee held a ritzy fundraiser for Coleman in Washington this week, helping him raise the money he needs to keep his legal challenges alive through a trial and then a lengthy legal process if he loses.


If Franken becomes the 59th senator to caucus with the Democrats, the GOP knows that Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be able to railroad legislation through the Senate by picking off a single Republican moderate.

So while Coleman's gone - having neither won nor lost yet, he can't return to his old seat and has been booted from his Capitol Hill office - his friends in the party are doing everything they can to keep him in the game. At this week's NRSC fundraiser, PAC hosts paid $5,000 each; individual hosts had to pony up $2,300 apiece, and attendees paid between $500 and $1,000 to attend.

Republicans turned out in force. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has already maxed out to Coleman's effort, giving $10,000 from his PAC, including $5,000 at the fundraiser - and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has given the maximum as well, according to a source familiar with the fundraiser.

Other Republican senators who contributed the $10,000 maximum limit include Mike Crapo of Idaho, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the third-highest ranking Republican in the Senate. Republican Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Charles Grassley of Iowa each contributed $5,000, while Collins chipped in another $2,000 and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska donated $1,000, the person said.

This is of course all in keeping with the GOP's new motto: "If you can't beat 'em, obstruct 'em."

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