It’s April. Spring has come. The weather is warming up and the trees are budding. All of which is very seasonal.
But in Minnesota something decidedly unseasonal is playing itself out — the last campaign of the 2008 general election.
President Obama has already been sworn in. Congress has been seated and is grappling with the latest national budget proposal. It has already passed a historic — and divisive — economic stimulus plan. So the work of the new government is well under way.
But in Minnesota, the state has spent this entire time trying to figure out who won its senatorial election.
After a recount, the incumbent Norm Coleman, a Republican, lost by 255 votes to his Democratic challenger, Al Franken.
But Coleman didn’t concede defeat. Instead, he went to court.
Well, perhaps this ordeal is about to end, and the only senatorial campaign of 2008 that pitted one Jew against another can finally pass into history.
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel in Minnesota crippled Coleman’s hopes for yet another recount when it ruled that just 400 rejected ballots may be reconsidered as part of a new recount making it highly unlikely Coleman can close the narrow gap between him and Franken.
The votes are to be recounted on Tuesday, April 7 — one day before Passover, but Ben Ginsberg, Coleman’s lead lawyer, predicted an appeal to the state supreme court.
Enough! Or, in keeping with the spirit of Passover, Dayenu!
This case has been an embarrassment, not only to Jewish Americans, who took some pride in having two qualified Jewish candidates vie for the same critical Senate seat, but to all Americans.
Just when should a candidate decide that the public good is more important than one’s own political aspirations? We think time has long since passed.
Even if you accept that Mr. Coleman (we can’t call him senator anymore since his term has expired) should take his case as far as the courts will allow, what about the electorate? Minnesotans are underrepresented during a critical time in U.S. history. This points up a flaw in the American electoral system that Congress should
More important, though, it points up a flaw in Mr. Coleman’s character. The election is over, the votes have been counted and recounted. When is enough enough?
Hopefully, Mr. Coleman will do the right thing and move on. Enough