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Flotsam and Jetsam

The bottom line on the Franken-Coleman recount: Norm Coleman won. So now expect that they will search endlessly for 133 missing ballots, which we’re not altogether certain are really missing. Welcome to the post-Al Gore world, in which no one concedes after a close loss.

In a single devastating sentence, George Will reminds us why we should be concerned about Democratic-dominated government: “Reactionary liberalism, the ideology of many Democrats, holds that inconvenient rights, such as secret ballots in unionization elections, should be repealed; that existing failures, such as GM, should be preserved; and, with special perversity, that repealed mistakes, such as the ‘fairness doctrine,’ should be repeated.”

Indicted Rep. William J. Jefferson (who gained notoriety when cash was discovered in his freezer) gets the cold shoulder from voters. His replacement is Joseph Cao  – “Vietnamese refugee-turned physics major-turned Jesuit-turned philosophy professor, lawyer, and dual-hurricane survivor.” The GOP could use more like him.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius went from VP potential to nothing. Inquiring minds will want to know what happened there.

Intending to praise National Security Advisor James. L. Jones, David Ignatius writes: “And if he can help the Israelis and Palestinians get along, maybe he can do the same for the all-stars on the Obama foreign policy team.” I’d think another duo — any other duo — would be better role models for collaboration among the Obama cabinet members. Hillary Clinton doesn’t intend to push her rivals into the sea, right?

This amusing bit of self-justification doesn’t pass the smell test: “Dialing back his predecessor’s expansive view of the office, Vice President-elect Joe Biden plans on ‘restoring the Office of the Vice President to its historical role’ as adviser to the president and tie-breaker in the Senate, an aide to Biden said Saturday.” Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Obama will be sending Biden on the funeral circuit, and doesn’t plan on giving him much to do.

Let’s hope “stop” replaces “slow” in this headline: “Detroit Bailout Talks Slow Over ‘Czar’ Role.” Unless you’re going to give the Czar the power of a bankruptcy judge, it’s really not worth the trouble. Unless it’s the issue on which a bailout founders. Then’s it’s been worth its weight in gold — billion of dollars in gold, actually.

The Washington Post editors join conservative journalists is discovering that Sen. Bob Corker is about the only one talking sense at the auto bailout hearings.

Gail Collins notes that the Saxby Chambliss victory deprives the Democrats of a firm 60 votes to beat back filibusters, and thereby puts Sens. Snow, Collins, and Specter in the catbird seat. She finds: “You could imagine the next senate looking like the Supreme Court in the age of Sandra Day O’Connor, which is to say frequently frustrating but generally sensible. We could do so very much worse.” For reasons she likely doesn’t agree with, I’d concur.

Reality dawns slowly for netroots. David Corn writes: “For some progressives, Obama’s opening moves may not feel like the change they anticipated. But there’s no rebellion yet at hand. Many are probably holding their breath and waiting to see whether Obama can hijack the establishment for progressive ends.” Or they have nowhere to go. Or they’ve sacrificed principle for power. Or they are self-deluded. Take your pick!


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