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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Monday, September 30, 2002

Torch Songs

The Torch is out, the NJ Senate race is in a tizzy, and it may be headed for the courts.

Here at The MinuteMan, we value principle, and expect the leaders of both parties to do the same. Consequently, we have complete confidence that, in the next day or two, we will see solemn announcements from the rival camps. Republicans first:

Although we deeply regret the irregularities in the Democratic Party nominating process, the good people of the great state of NJ are entitled to a choice on Election Day. Therefore, as the party committed to the highest principles of democracy, we will not contest the replacement of Sen. Torricelli on the Nov. 5 ballot. May the best person win!

Oh, frabjous day amongst the Republicans! However, since idealistic Democrats would never put power ahead of principle, we would immediately see this from the state Democrats:

The good people of the great state of NJ are entitled to a choice on Election Day. Beyond that, however, they are entitled to have complete confidence that whoever they choose as Senator respects and upholds the law. Sen. Torricelli has withdrawn because he did not show that respect; the Democratic Party will be strictly honest and accountable in attempting to replace a man who seems to have fallen short of those high standards. Although the nominating process of our party has broken down, we will not cheat to replace a cheater.

Therefore, in order to provide the voters with a choice while, just as importantly, demonstrating our respect for the law, the Democratic Party will not formally present a candidate on the ballot; rather the Party will put its support behind the write-in candidacy of [Bruce Springsteen / Barbra Streisand / Frank Sinatra / Jon Bon Jovi / candidate to be named later].

Oh, I will be proud to be a Jersey boy! So many high roads! And in New Jersey, too, where the high road can seem a bit lonesome. Still, I think we have a solution here that principled Democrats can get behind - back a write-in candidate. Good luck in this election, and next time, see if nominating someone honest works out a bit better.

So, fun things to watch for: Let's watch the NY Times grumble and endorse, reluctantly, whoever it is the Democrats nominate, however they manage to nominate him or her. There are more important principles at stake than whether the two parties need to obey the law. In fact, if Republicans gain control of the Senate, we may see new judges who take the law seriously - death spiral!

Secondly, it may matter less than we think right now - Forrester's ads will refer to the new kid in town as "Torricelli's replacement" for the next five weeks, and this slogan of "They cheated to replace a cheater" will, I humbly predict, be a winner. Unless the Republicans are so heavy handed as to turn the newcomer into a victim (Note to Republicans: Forrester, and the voters of NJ, are the victims of a failed Democrat nominating process), the Republicans coast to victory in November. Then, the slogan becomes, "They lost trying to replace a loser".

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