Thursday, December 14, 2006

Senator Johnson in critical but stable condition

Senator Johnson from South Dakota is in critical but stable condition after brain surgery following a bout where he could move and could not speak. Turns out he has a condition called arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, where the blood vessels in the brain grow larger than normal and then tangle with one another, cutting off blood flow and/or causing internal bleeding.

Apparently, 300,000 Americans suffer this malady and 3,000 a year will die from it.

The news reports focused, of course, on two things. First, it appeared to be a stroke. When it was determined that he had AVM, the press seemed relieved. However, the effects are the same, or at least similar to, a stroke (cutting off blood supply to the brain).

The second, and most important, at least to the press, is the fact that Johnson is a Democrat in a Republican-led (i.e., the Governor of South Dakota is Republican) state. Therefore, if Johnson could not return to his position, the Governor, it is presumed, will appoint a Republican to take Johnson's spot, leading to a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Tricky Dick Cheney the tie-breaker.

Of course, the Republicans will jump all over this, too. However, if South Dakota's Governor has any integrity whatsoever, he will appoint another Democrat, assuming a qualified Democrat exists. It is the right thing to do.

And trust me, if the tables were turned, I would suggest exactly the same thing. Appoint a Democrat!

No, seriously, I would appoint a Republican, provided a qualified Republican existed.