Tim Johnson: He's Gotta Serve Even If He's Just a Marionette:
Towards the horrible end of his too-long life, Republicans made sure that the decaying corpse-that-rolled Strom Thurmond could still serve out his term so that the Democratic governor of South Carolina would not be able to name a replacement for him. While everyone around him, including the Republican leadership, lied about his ability to put together a thought that was more cogent than, "Ngah, pudding," Thurmond himself was merely an empty vessel shitting out his innards into a nauseatingly full diaper. That didn't matter to the GOP, clinging to a seat that would have to be re-upholstered every week because of the acidic urine stains.

God, the awful, nearly medieval ways they made it seem like Thurmond was anything more than a pile of cells that desperately wanted to die. They used metal rods to keep his spine straight so he wouldn't slump over in his wheelchair. They used epoxy and polyurethane to prevent his skin from drooping off his skull. They inserted small, hinged, electronically-controlled metal arms into his mouth so that he could smile or grimace at appropriate times, and also to make it look like his lips were moving in sync with words, sounds that were actually pleas to allow him to taste sweet death. But Karl Rove wasn't gonna let him die. As long as he could still shriek in pain when it was time to vote "Aye" or "Nay," with Trent Lott interpreting what the gurgling cries actually meant, then Strom Thurmond was gonna fuckin' show up in the Senate to do the bidding of the Republicans.

So, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, hearts go out to Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota for needing surgery for a brain hemorrhage and to his family and with the hope that he recovers, yadda, yadda. But right now you can bet that legions of lawyers are getting ready to go to war over what seems to be a clusterfuck of statutes over what happens in SD should Johnson go turnip. While it's possible that there may need to be an election called in 10 days or 80 or 90 days, more than likely Republican Governor Mike Rounds would just get to appoint someone to finish out Johnson's term until 2008. And there goes the Senate, back to a tie, with the smirking visage of Dick Cheney tiebreaking.

Democrats better be ready to go at South Dakota with all the eviscerating force of a school of pirahna on a cow's stomach. Because while the right is, for the most part, keeping its powder dry on this one, offering mucho prayers and hopes for recovery, you can imagine that behind the scenes there's an attack plan being drafted to wreck any attempt to sideline an appointment by Rounds. But, considering his lack of subtlety, there's also a good chance that Rove'll waddle over to George Washington University Hospital to take out Johnson himself, and thus be called a "genius" once again.

The alternative for Democrats, of course, is that no goddamn matter how much Tim Johnson's brain has turned to mush, the Democrats pull a Strom Thurmond and wheel that drooling rutabaga-man out onto the Senate floor. Attach strings to him, making him fuckin' do interpretive dance to debate bills, cattle-prod him whenever it's time for a vote. Any fuckin' thing to hold onto the majority, which is, in fact, let's face it, and you know it, more important than Tim Johnson and his family.