As Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) recovers after brain surgery, the Republican blogs are all abuzz. As you know, the Senate is closely divided. A switch of one seat would throw it to the Republicans. There is much talk about whether the South Dakota Governor, Mike Rounds, will be able to appoint his replacement. The speculation is that Senator Johnson will be unable to perform his Senatorial duties. I feel such discussion is a bit premature, especially from a party that celebrated Strom Thurmond in the later years of his career.
At career end Senator Thurmond clearly was not very coherent. It was obvious that he was given wide latitude in how he carried out his duties. Often Senator Thurmond was brought into the Senate chambers and told how to vote by his staff. At that time the Senate was also evenly split. I never heard a Democrat question how effectively Senator Thurmond was carrying out his duties, or asking about his capacity to represent his state.
I now expect the Republican Caucus, and the right wing blogs, to accord Senator Johnson the same respect. To do any less would not only be hypocritical but phenomenally mean spirited. After all a Democrat did win the election in South Dakota. Deal with it.