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RUSH: Eleanor Clift (this would be Newsweek but it’s the MSNBC website) has a column called, “Dem[ocrat]s and the Johnson Crisis — Tim Johnson’s health crisis is a reminder of the fragility of the Democratic majority. What the party should do now,” and let me just read you some excerpts of this. “Just as Wellstone?s untimely death cost the Democrats a key Senate seat, Johnson?s illness should inject a sense of urgency into the Democrats? agenda. No one would have put the robust-looking Johnson on an endangered list. Democrats have plenty of octogenarians and septuagenarians to worry about making it through to the next election. A health crisis that strikes without warning is a reminder of the fragility of the Democratic majority.
“With the direction of U.S. policy for the next two years riding on Senate control, Democratic leaders can?t afford to sit around figuring out how to position the party for ?08. That doesn?t mean they have to overhaul Social Security, but they should do what?s doable. Don?t delay; raise the minimum wage and try to lock in whatever reform protections they can. Life is ephemeral, and so is control of the Senate… There is precedence for senators to remain in office despite being,” decapitated. (Laughing.) Incapacitated, sorry, I told you: giddy day. “Sen. Joseph Biden suffered an aneurysm soon after dropping out of the presidential race in 1988. He was 45 at the time, and it was eight months before he was back at work. Today he?s considered one of the brightest minds in the Senate on foreign policy,” not by many, “plus he’s a likely presidential candidate demonstrating there is life after brain surgery.”
That’s debatable, too, Eleanor, at least in his case. Now: “Under South Dakota rules, unless Johnson or a member of his family declares him incapacitated, he can continue to serve indefinitely…. The doctors will soon have their say about Johnson?s prognosis, and assuring him that he remains…” Now get this. She is now dispensing medical advice to the doctors. She writes this: “[A]ssuring him that he remains a U.S. senator could be an important part of his recovery. If that?s the case, however eager the Republicans are to reclaim Senate control, it?s hard to imagine the governor of South Dakota, who is a Republican, wanting to do anything that would jeopardize Johnson?s recovery ? like naming a Republican to replace him.”
I told you this was going to happen! I knew this was going to happen.
The Drive-By Media mounting a campaign even now to intimidate and influence the Republican governor of South Dakota should he have to name a replacement. Eleanor Clift’s tack is: “Don’t name a Republican! Why, that would hinder his recovery. In fact, and the doctors need to tell him that he will remain a US senator! That could be an important part of his recovery.” Look, I’m not a doctor, but I don’t know that the problems here are emotional. When you have the abnormality that Johnson has, and apparently he has had it since birth, and the bleeding on the brain, I don’t know that there’s an emotional component. That certainly may be part of it, but at any rate, she’s giving medical advice now (laughing) and starting the move to make sure that the governor out there gets the message that it would “hinder his recovery” if he appoints a Republican to replace him should he have to resign.
Then, I mentioned this earlier: “The grim reaper may be stalking a couple of other Democrats,” John Fund notes in Opinion Journal’s Political Dairy, “Hawaii is represented by two 82-year-old Democrats,” Daniel In-No-Way and Dan Akaka, “and Hawaii’s Republican governor, Linda Lingle would presumably nominate someone of her own party if a vacancy or two developed. Though admittedly ghoulish this new political parlor game is kind of fun. At 89-year-olds Robert [“Sheets”] Byrd is even older than Hawaii’s senator,” and they mention 74-year-old Ted Kennedy. “Should he be unable to complete his term because of morbidity or mortality, the governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, would replace him with a Republican,” but Romney’s out. He’s not going to be governor for very much longer.
Anyway, this is just a cold town.

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