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On McConnell


Please excuse me if this is an unduly grim post, but I hadn’t heard about Mitch McConnell’s heart problem. Kentucky’s governor–the man who would appoint a replacement if that were tragically necessary–is a Democrat. The Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority. When Sen. Paul Coverdell, Republican of Georgia, died unexpectedly in 2000, the state’s Democratic governor replaced him with a Democrat. Zell Miller’s been a pleasant surprise, but he has also voted for Tom Daschle as majority leader. If Coverdell had not died, or Georgia’s governor had not replaced him with a Democrat, Jim Jeffords would not have been in a position to switch control of the chamber two years ago when he bolted the GOP. In the current situation, all eyes would turn to Lincoln Chafee, the nominal Republican of Rhode Island. (I should add that doctors expect McConnell to make a full recovery, which is good news no matter what the political implications.)


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