Thursday, December 14, 2006

Partisan vultures fret over Senator's stroke

For those of you who haven't heard, Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) was taken to the hospital yesterday for a possible stroke. The Washington comPost reports that he had brain surgery and is in critical condition. However, note the comPost's version of the real story here:
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) underwent emergency brain surgery overnight after falling ill at the Capitol and was in critical condition early this morning, introducing a note of uncertainty over control of the Senate just weeks before Democrats are to take over with a one-vote margin.
The two-term senator's illness -- which sent Senate Democratic leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) rushing to the hospital to check on Johnson -- underscored the fragility of Democrats' hold on the next Senate, which they won by the narrowest of margins in the Nov. 7 elections. Should Johnson be unable to complete his term, South Dakota's Republican governor, Michael Rounds, would name a replacement for the next two years.

With Johnson in office, Democrats would hold a 51-to-49 edge in the Senate that convenes Jan. 4 as part of the 110th Congress. (The two independents have said they will caucus with the Democrats.) But if he is to leave office before then and Rounds replaces him with a Republican, the GOP would control the chamber.
USA Today's leftards are eager to point out that Johnson can still keep his job if he's too infirm to serve.

Is that what this country's devolved to, hoping that a politician doesn't croak only for the purposes of preserving power? Has our humanity taken that much of a hit, to the point where we have been reduced to hoping a sick man lives or dies depending on our political persuasion? Look, I'm not naive. I understand the ramifications of Senator Johnson's condition on the Senate. However, it seems that most of the stories I've read haven't just mentioned it (which they should do, of course), but have made the "balance of power" thing the primary focus instead of the man's life!

Most of what I've seen on the right side of the blogosphere has been the proper tone: praying for Johnson's speedy recovery and for his family. I haven't seen any "hey, we're just one corpse away from regaining the Senate" sentiment at any of the major right-of-center blogs, though I wouldn't be surprised if a handful of wingnuts are echoing that very sick mentality. I'd like to think we're better than that.