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Thursday, October 03, 2002

Torricelli: New Jersey has two "Democratic" Senators, both of whom make Richard Nixon look like a socialist pinko by comparison. According to this WSWS article, Torricelli has been a tool for right-wing groups including the anti-Castro Cubans in Miami and foreign interests from Taiwan and Korea. The Korea gig is what has him in hot water, leading to his withdrawal from his race for re-election. Both parties immediately took their predictable positions on replacing Torricelli's name on the ballot: Republicans saying that it's too late, Dems saying that it's unfair to voters to deny them a choice. Jersey Democrats are trying to put former senator Frank Lautenberg on the ballot in Torricelli's place and have won approval to do so from the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Republicans, usually champions of states' rights, are of course appealing to the US Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, I'll have to agree with the Republicans on this one. The Democrats made the mistake of re-nominating their own crooked Republicrat instead of coming up with a viable candidate, but waited until it looked like he was going to lose to change horses. William Safire makes the case pretty clearly in the NY Times today. I dread the prospect of a Republican-controlled Senate, but when you realize that the "Democrats" include Torricelli, Lieberman and other warmongering corporate drones, the sad news is that we already have a Republican-controlled Senate. By the way, Jersey's other "Democratic" senator is former Goldman-Sachs executive Jon Corzine, who may have his own scandal to deal with soon.

While I don't think that the Democrats should be allowed to change the name on the ballot, I think that this case highlights the bankruptcy of the two-party system. There was no real choice between Torricelli and Forrester, except maybe that Forrester is honest enough to admit that he's a Republican. With a dynamic multi-party (or no-party) system, the withdrawal of a single candidate would not remove all semblance of choice from an election.