THE BLOG

Here's Why Voting For ANY Republican Governor is EXTRA Dangerous This Year

05/25/2011 12:00 pm ET

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It has to do with election math, and the way the U.S. Senate is run.

According to the Cook Political Report, the latest polls point to 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans in the next Senate. Two races, in Virginia and Missouri, are real toss-ups.

From my mouse to God's ears, but let's say that Virginia and Missouri go the Dems' way, and everything else holds.

That'd give the Democrats back the Senate, 51-49.

A Democratic majority in the Senate, and they have subpoena power to call in the miscreants in the Bush administration, as well as more than a few corporate lackeys that the Republican establishment is in bed with. Big oil, for one. War profiteers, for two.

Also don't forget that with a majority, the Democrats get the Committee chairmanships, and the power to set the legislative agenda.

And, perhaps most important of all, a Senate in Democratic hands would be so much more predisposed to toss back an objectionable Supreme Court appointment. Justice Stevens- the liberal anchor on an increasingly conservative court- is 86, you know.

So what does this have to do with Republican Governors?

Well, the way the system is set up, Governors have the power to make Senatorial appointments should vacancies occur.

I take a look at Ted Kennedy, in his mid-70s and heavy. Or I think about cancers that can come out of nowhere, and nasty weather that has the potential to make a plane crash.

Then I think what would happen if a Democratic Senator from a state with a Republican Governor met such a terrible fate.

The next thing you kinow, a 51-49 Democratic majority would revert to a 50-50 tie.

And guess who breaks that tie. The President of the Senate, one Richard B. Cheney.

I, like you, know people who are tempted to vote for a "moderate" Republican to counterbalance a liberal state legislature. Someone like Arnold, for example.

But what happens when the unthinkable happens?

Do we really want another Alito to sneak through, or Halliburton to go un-subpoened because a Republican Governor appointed a Senator to replace one lost due to illness or tragedy?