Democrats had a brief glimmer of hope last week, amid the go-nowhere stimulus bill and the president's assortment of embarrassing appointee revelations, that they might actually have a little "win" on their hands. It appeared that Barack Obama, that little schemer, was going to appoint Judd Gregg, a Republican senator from New Hampshire, to the Commerce Secretary position.
This was a brilliant plan because then the Democratic governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch, could appoint a Democratic replacement for Gregg, and suddenly the Senate Democrats would have a filibuster-proof majority (provided Al Franken prevails in Minnesota's interminable race). With legislative power given wholly over to the Democrats, free love would reign, every baby would be given a complimentary bong to celebrate their entry into the Universal Welfare State, and seething hordes of terrorist criminals would pour over the Mexican border and turn the United States into the last caliphate -- just as Barack Obama promised in his stump speech.
But alas, this dream of Democratic hegemony was not meant to be. Judd Gregg, seeing precisely the clever trap that Obama laid, demanded that he be replaced by a Republican if he took the Commerce position. Obama agreed to this condition, and now the path is cleared for Senator Gregg to lead the very department he once voted to abolish. (He has since come around and taken a shine to portions of the Commerce department, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which controls the weather.)
So for the time being, the balance of power in the Senate will remain just as it is: one vote shy of a permanent hedonist limousine-liberal majority. However, things may change in 2010 when Judd's Republican replacement runs for re-election. New Hampshire voters are a notoriously fickle lot, and may be in the mood for something new.
Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette. She loves New Hampshire for its state-run liquor stores.