Last Mambo in Minnehaha

by JAMES McENTEER

Norm Coleman’s lawyers are hinting that the only way to settle the still undecided 2008 Minnesota senate race is to hold the election again.

That would be an extremely costly admission that Minnesota’s electoral system is broken.  And isn’t one definition of mental illness repeating an action, hoping for a different result?  Anyway, repeats are boring, especially in winter, even in Minnesota.

There must be a better way to settle this.  Here are several suggestions:

Have a duel:  Norm Coleman and Al Franken could face off in the proud tradition of Hamilton and Burr.  In our infinitely more civilized era, pistols would be replaced by tasers.  The television rights could be auctioned off for charity, and for a nice second-place consolation prize along with the rice-a-roni.  Loser has to go to Washingt…. I mean, the winner.  Actually, they can both go, one as senator, the other as lobbyist.

Flip a coin: Following Dr. Freud’s advice, if We the People don’t like the way the toss turns out, then we know it was the other guy we really wanted all along.  We could survey registered independents only, for their gut reactions to the initial result.  If enough people just hate it, the other person could be declared the winner.  Or we could just flip it again, what the hey.  It’s not like re-doing a whole election.

Ask Antonin Scalia:  He has shown himself willing to deliver an unsigned opinion late at night.  He and silent sidekick Clarence Thomas do not scruple to override state decisions, even if their own family members are involved in one of the contending campaigns, as long as “no precedent” will be set.  No worries, Nino!  No point asking the other justices.  “Chief” Roberts would probably just blow the verdict announcement anyway and confuse everyone.

Forget about it:  Minnesota can probably get along just fine with a single senator.  They’ve been surviving with only one for months now.  This could set a useful precedent for other states to follow, halving the odds of senate gridlock and saving the country billions in salaries and pork   Then we can work on cleaning out the real Augean Stables, the House of Representatives.  Heck, dump em all.  Let the pundits and the lobbyists run government.  Oh but no, actually, that’s kind of how it’s been….

Let Minnesota secede:  Another potential precedent-setter from this cutting-edge state.  If they can’t count the votes, boot em out of the union.  They’ll be fine as an independent republic.  We’ll trade with them.  They’ll vote with us in the UN.  Then we can ax California for its fiscal follies.  A $41 billion shortfall?  These are tough times.  Can’t be bailing everyone out.  What’s the matter with Kansas?  Whatever.  Mental instability is also grounds for divorce.  Minnesota could pioneer a creative contraction of the country that could save us gazillions, whoever “we” may turn out to be.

JAMES McENTEER is the author of Shooting the Truth: the Rise of American Political Documentaries (Praeger 2006). He lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

 

 

James McEnteer’s most recent book is Acting Like It Matters: John Malpede and the Los Angeles Poverty DepartmentHe lives in Quito, Ecuador.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times
Brian Cloughley
Don’t be Black in America
Kent Paterson
In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper in a Post-NAFTA Era
Binoy Kampmark
Live Death on Air: The Killings at WDBJ
Gui Rochat
The Guise of American Democracy
Emma Scully
Vultures Over Puerto Rico: the Financial Implications of Dependency
Chuck Churchill
Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?
Kathleen Wallace
The Id(iots) Emerge
Andrew Stewart
Zionist Hip-Hop: a Critical Look at Matisyahu
Gregg Shotwell
The Fate of the UAW: Study, Aim, Fire
Halyna Mokrushyna
Decentralization Reform in Ukraine
Norman Pollack
World Capitalism, a Basket Case: A Layman’s View
Sarah Lazare
Listening to Iraq
John Laforge
NSP/Xcel Energy Falsified Welding Test Documents on Rad Waste Casks
Wendell G Bradley
Drilling for Wattenberg Oil is Not Profitable
Joy First
Wisconsin Walk for Peace and Justice: Nine Arrested at Volk Field
Mel Gurtov
China’s Insecurity
Mateo Pimentel
An Operator’s Guide to Trump’s Racism
Yves Engler
Harper Conservatives and Abuse of Power
Michael Dickinson
Police Guns of Brixton: Another Unarmed Black Shot by London Cops
Ron Jacobs
Daydream Sunset: a Playlist
Charles R. Larson
The Beginning of the Poppy Wars: Amitav Ghosh’s “Flood of Fire”
David Yearsley
A Rising Star Over a Dark Forest
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman