Since the recount in Minnesota is going badly for Al Franken, he is contemplating asking the Senate to intervene. To be sure, the Senate has the Constitutional authority to do so but few things could de-legitimize Franken more than having a Democrat-controlled Senate state that he is the winner when the election officials in the state of Minnesota–no red state, that–seem to think differently. Indeed, who doesn’t think that the Senate would decide the election purely on partisan grounds–especially with Harry Reid at the helm.
We have, of course, seen this kind of controversy before. The seating of Frank McCloskey enraged and embittered House Republicans and was remembered when the GOP swept to power in the aftermath of the 1994 midterms. I suppose that it would be fairly easy for Republicans to be cynical and make hay amongst the base if Al Franken is seated by Harry Reid & Company. But as the state of Minnesota seems to be handling this issue just fine so far and as there are no federal issues at stake, it seems to me that it would be good policy if branches of the federal government stayed out of the matter. And wouldn’t it be nice if good policy triumphed from time to time?