Too Close For Comfort

The beatings will continue.

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced that he was hospitalized for a stroke last week, but is expected to make a full recovery. We are, of course, sending our best wishes. Our pals over at Electoral-Vote have something important to say:

This incident has served, as you might imagine, as a reminder of how close the Democrats are to having their worst fears come to pass. Luján is one of the 10 youngest members of the Senate, and yet he was (temporarily) felled by a condition that often proves fatal. No senator’s continued good health is a certainty, even the one who’s not yet old enough to be elected president (Jon Ossoff, D-GA, is 34). Luján is from a blue state, of course, and would have been quickly replaced by a Democrat had the worst come to pass. But if he was from a state with a Republican governor, or possibly even a blue state that holds off on replacements if an election is close? It could have been vaya con dios to that seat on the Supreme Court (though Stephen Breyer would presumably have rescinded his resignation in that case)…

…members have gone straight from their hospital beds to the Senate chamber before. Pete Wilson did it in 1985, and Clair Engle did it just two weeks after brain surgery in 1964. Engle’s vote was needed in order to save the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and he was so fully incapacitated that he couldn’t speak, and had to vote by pointing to his face (eye = “aye”). So, if it becomes necessary, Luján may still be able to cast a key vote or two during his convalescence (though he’s in New Mexico right now, and so obviously would have to be transported to Washington first).

An awful reminder that we have a razor-thin Senate majority. At least for the time being.

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1 Response to Too Close For Comfort

  1. I’m honestly a little surprised that #MoscowMitch hasn’t unilaterally declared himself Senate Majority Leader over this.


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