Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Welcome Frank

If the Republicans know what is good for them, they will welcome Frank Lautenberg, as the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled today. It appears to me that he is not electable, judging by his incoherent "acceptance" speech, his age (78) and the fact that he has already resigned a Senate seat once. If the Republicans go to federal court to fight this substitution, they can not gain any votes; they could only lose.

The issues, as they stand, cohere completely to the Republican's advantage: the illegality of Lautenberg's substitution, his weakness as a candidate, and the smell that hangs over the entire maneuver. Bu pressing their claims in Federal court they will only attract a ripeness to their own efforts. But it is far from the ability of any politician to leave well enough alone. They may well be able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.