Will the shameful former Senator allow himself to be sacrificed as 'Republican Sore Loser for All Time'?...
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2009, 12:24pm PT  

As we wait for the 3-judge panel in Minnesota to issue their verdict in former Sen. Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate race, in which the Democratic challenger Al Franken was found to be the winner by a bi-partisan state canvassing board, D.C. lawmakers are cranking up the political battle which awaits beyond that decision, which could come any day now, and its predictable appeal to the MN Supreme Court by the loser (who will "probably" be Coleman, according to his own attorney).

Sen. "Big Bad" John Cornyn (R-TX), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Conspiratorial Committee (NRSC), is now threatening "World War III" if the Dems try to seat Franken before a U.S. Supreme Court appeal is completed, or even a new federal suit that could be filed by Coleman in U.S. District Court if he chooses...even if those additional judicial processes could take "years"...

According to Politico today:

Texas Sen. John Cornyn is 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.

Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, acknowledges that a federal challenge to November's elections could take "years" to resolve. But he's adamant that Coleman deserves that chance - even if it means Minnesota is short a senator for the duration.
[I]t's not clear whether the candidate who's ahead after the Minnesota Supreme Court rules could get an election certificate from Minnesota if his opponent is seeking review from the United States Supreme Court or challenging the results in a new lawsuit in federal court.

Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat in charge of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, says that Minnesota gets its second senator as soon as the state case ends.

"Whatever the state Supreme Court decides, as I understand it, the law requires it to be certified," Schumer says.

But Cornyn believes that Minnesota can't certify Franken the winner if Coleman seeks review from the U.S. Supreme Court or files a new federal case.
It could takes months - or longer - to resolve a petition for review from the U.S. Supreme Court and even longer if the loser before the Minnesota Supreme Court files a new case in a U.S. District Court.

The question is likely to fall smack dab onto the desk of MN's Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, a likely Presidential candidate in 2012. For Franken to be seated, Pawlenty must sign the state certification document along with Democratic Sec. of State Mark Ritchie.

So far, Pawlenty isn't saying what he'll do once the court rules.

"The recent Minnesota Supreme Court decision indicated that an election certificate could be issued once the state courts process is complete," said Brian McClung, a spokesman for the governor. "However, if one of the parties appeals to a federal court, a question will arise whether the federal court might stay the issuance of a certificate.

"We'll see what the courts determine," he said.

McClung was referring to a March 6 opinion in which the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Franken’s request to compel Pawlenty and Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign an election certificate declaring him the winner while Coleman was appealing the results of a hand recount before the three-judge panel.

In that ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court said that “a certificate of election cannot be issued until the state courts have finally decided an election contest.”

But can it — must it — be issued then?

That's a question to which nobody knows the answer. The downside for Democrats in not having their rightful 59th U.S. Senate seat is obvious. The upside, if it can be seen as there actually being one here, is that every passing day in which Republicans continue holding up the seating of Franken, is another day in which they've given up the effectiveness of their oft-used "sore loser" attack M.O. against future Democrats who may wish to challenge a close election.

Fear of being labeled as such (by the GOP and the corporate media who follow their instructions) has kept more than a few Democratic candidates --- who might have otherwise found themselves the winner, if they'd bothered to request a legitimate hand-count and reconciliation of ballots --- from filing election contests at all. That fear has never bothered Republicans, of course, who routinely challenge close elections, no matter how thin the evidence that their candidate might actually have won.

On the other hand, we're talking about Democrats here. We suspect they'd still be likely to succumb to fear of the "sore loser" label, just as Republicans would continue to hypocritically use it against them, completely oblivious to the irony of their very own history, as punctuated yet again by Coleman's shameful, and seemingly endless, post-election "sore-loserish" behavior.

The strategy would likely still work for Republicans, because Democrats, at least Democratic party officials, would most likely decide to "take the high road," and fail to even bring up the fact that Coleman, supported by the entire Republican infrastructure --- from the RNC chair to the NRSC to the RNLA to the random, scattered, wingnut wacko conspiracy theorists of the blogosphere --- took the opportunity in 2009 to selfishly deny his state proper U.S. Senate representation, shamelessly blockade the Democrats from their rightful number of votes in that chamber at a crucial moment in the history of the country, and otherwise allowed himself to be turned into the nation's singular, unapologetic, historic poster boy for "Republican Sore Loser of All Time."

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