Man Without Qualities

Monday, September 30, 2002

The Passing of the Torch

Reports are circulating that Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (who recently campaigned for Robert Torricelli in Trenton, telling voters that, "You can't possibly appreciate the job Torricelli does") and New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine (who at the same time declared that he had "never been prouder to be on a dais as I have this afternoon with the leadership you've got in the state of New Jersey") will jointly propose a novel tribute to the career-end of New Jersey's now-departing senior Senator.

Senator Torricelli's political career was finally extinguished over the weekend by an Eagleton poll showing a 13-point gap, apparently evidence that there are just not - even in New Jersey - as many amoral, totally cynical voters completely obsessed with keeping the Senate in Democratic control to the exclusion of even serious ethical deficiencies in their representative as Mr. Torricelli and the amoral, totally cynical and completely-obsessed-with-keeping-the-Senate-in-Democratic-control-to-the-exclusion-of-even-serious-ethical-deficiencies-in-the-senior-New-Jersey-Senator New York Times had been banking on.

Senators Daschle and Corzine are said to have prepared a joint statement describing their proposed tribute:

"So that Bob Torricelli's Senate career may end with on the same moral note that has characterized it from the outset, the New Jersey Democratic Party will join with the National Democratic Party in making a squalid politicized effort to force the hyper activist New Jersey Supreme Court to annul rather clear New Jersey State Election law and permit the Democratic Party to place another candidate on the ballot in lieu of Mr. Torricelli. We are confident that the ensuing uproar over the degradation of the Court will completely drown out any of the "issues" we purport to wish to become the focus of the remaining few weeks of the campaign. We are also confident that the New Jersey Court will comply with our motion and allow the "Torch" to be passed to the man that a majority of Democratic Poobahs chooses in lieu of the man chosen by primary voters only weeks ago. Of course, we cannot predict who that man will be - since all the bids have not yet been received - but we can say that we don't want to be forced into the kind of degrading "write-in" strategy that Washington, D.C Mayor Williams was forced to resort to when he screwed up his election laws.

Once the new candidate is selected and rubber-stamped by the compliant New Jersey Court, Senator Torricelli's name will formally and ceremonially be removed from the ballot and replaced with the new name. On that date we ask all Americans - from coast to coast - to stand by in their bathrooms and, at exactly midnight on the appointed day, to mark the occasion by simultaneously flushing once or twice while observing a solemn moment of silence. Small paper torches may be lit and dropped in at the same time, if desired. The resulting drop in national water pressure - together with what will then be an ongoing chaos in the courts - will serve as a fitting and touching memorial to mark the end of this great career. We believe this simple and dignified ceremony will help to bring together everyone in the nation, and especially the troubled citizens of New Jersey, at this sensitive but disturbing moment in our nation's history for a true "Hands Across the Waters" experience. Those concerned about the potential for water waste attendant to this ceremony are advised to reserve an appropriate deposit before hand.

May God have mercy on Senator Torricelli as he passes into the unknowable void beyond the Beltway.

United States Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine"

UPDATE: Best of the Web notes:

McGreevey, New Jersey's governor, appeared with Torricelli, and the Washington Post's transcript, produced by the error-prone folks at eMediaMillWorks, includes this telling typo in a McGreevey comment: "The Democratic State Committee will petition the New Jersey Supreme Court for the ability to replace Robert toilette's name with another candidate."

Some things are just too good to be made up.

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