In Minnesota, after two months and a long, protracted recount complicated by numerous legal challenges, a winner is finally declared in the Senate race.
But the loser may challenge that decision in court.
Once again, the courts may trump Democracy.
In Washington, a Senator in waiting legally appointed by the governor of Illinois tries to take his place in Congress but is rebuffed by the Secretary of State in his state, Senate leaders, his party and even the President-elect whose vacant seat he was appointed to fill.
Once again, politics overrules law which may or may not have overruled Democracy.
Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.
In two weeks, President-elect Barack Obama will place one hand on the Bible and raise the other to take the oath of office. He promises to "hit the ground running."
He may be running for cover. The President-elect is walking into the biggest mess of any President of modern times.
Obama arrived in Washington this week with trouble ahead, trouble behind and trouble in his lap. His pick for Commerce Secretary quit amid a growing scandal in New Mexico. His pick for Director of the CIA is already running into trouble not from Republicans but from the leaders of his own party and the man picked to replace him in the Senate can’t even get the time of day from Congressional leaders.
And those are the minor problems. There’s still the plummeting economy, the growing crisis in Gaza and those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When, in the course of human events, has one man committed to change faced so much that needed changing?
Congress is already putting the brakes on his ambitious economic stimulus plan. Republicans threaten to pull out the usual tactics of stall while Democrats appear more cautious than the President-elect would prefer.
Forget the challenge of change: Barack Obama is about to run head-on into that brick wall called "business as usual in Washington."
At a time when the focus should be on facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Senate is preoccupied on whether or not to seat Roland Burris as the junior Senator from Illinois because he was appointed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a public official tarred by scandal but not yet indicted or convicted of a single crime. Blagojevich is suspected of trying to sell the Senate seat appointment but, in the absence of little technicalities like an indictment, proof or a conviction, he remains the governor with the legal authority to appoint a replacement for Obama.
But Senate leaders see seating Burris as a political problem and why should they use their time for more useful pursuit when they can waste it by playing politics?
Over in the House, Democratic leaders say the economic stimulus plan will need more study and more consideration and nothing may happen before Congress convenes, meets for a short time and then goes home for the first of many recesses of the year.
Business as usual. Politics as usual. Talk instead of action. Posturing instead of productivity. Inaction instead of action.
This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality: you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable…Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of mind itself. Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. Next stop….The Twilight Zone.