This morning when I read JTA's "World War III over a Senate seat?" I couldn't help but worry that this battle may be far from over.
In JTA's post on the Minnesota Senate race, Eric Fingerhut asked, "Will Minnesota ever get its second senator?" Fingerhut immediately answered his own question in his introduction to a Politico article that quotes Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) as "threatening 'World War III' if Democrats try to seat Al Franken in the Senate before Norm Coleman can pursue his case through the federal courts." The answer is, "maybe not."
However, another question came to mind: What's best for Norm Coleman?
I do not know Coleman personally, but I imagine that there aren't many people around him who consider Coleman's best interest over their own personal agendas. I have little doubt that Coleman's lawyers and political supporters have the ability and incentive to push this race well into the future. I fear that the inherently deliberative nature of our courts, combined with the partisan agenda of Coleman's advocates, means that the people of Minnesota will continue to be denied full representation in the Senate.
Yet, there comes a point when Coleman's closest friends need to remind him that it's his name at stake, that Coleman should think of his future and his former constituents. Coleman's true friends ought to remind him that sometimes the hardest people to say no to are your supporters. At the end of the day, the immediate past senator from Minnesota needs to look into his mirror and say, "Norm Coleman, enough is enough."
Coleman knows that there are ways to continue delaying his departure from this race, but he will also come to realize that the people advising him to prolong Minnesota's longest unresolved election are not the ones he should be listening to.
Crossposted on NJDC's blog.
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