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Monday, April 2, 2007

Sen. Tim Johnson: keeping the asps in their baskets

Sen. Tim Johnson's family and staff decided to keep his rehabilitation facility confidential so that his therapy and his resumption of his duties could proceed without the impediments of gawkers and their stupid speculations cluttering the environment. His injury was serious, but not fatal or incapacitating. If the busy-bodies who whined about not getting immediate and intimate information about his progress had bothered to check with ethical medical personnel, they would have been informed that a climate of disparagement and doom is the last thing anybody recovering from a serious episode needs. For the Senator's health and the political health within the state, family and staff took the responsible route and concentrated on getting the job done, not catering to idle gossipers.

A number of people, including a California physician who should be disciplined for it, some in letters-to-the-editor, one in a paid advertisement, and commenters on the Malevolent Blog Network, said the Senator should resign so that he could be replaced with someone who could represent the state. Although all the suggestions were accompanied with phony wishes for the Senator's well-being, few people are so mentally decrepit as not to recognize the petty and degraded political malevolence behind their suggestions.

As last week drew to a close, a number of reports on the Senator's condition were made by his staff:

  • The Senator has regained most of his verbal skills and is doing work with his staff and colleagues to stay current and informed on legislative and procedural matters in the Senate.
  • He is undergoing therapy four to five hours a day, six days a week to recondition himself physically.
  • The respect he has earned from his colleagues in the Senate have produced a concerted effort by his Democratic fellows to insure that the concerns and programs involving South Dakota are represented in the committess and on the Senate floor.
  • Although the Senator may not vote on matters brought to the floor unless personally present, he may vote by proxy on matters dealt with by sub-committees and he is doing so through his staff and colleagues.
  • His Senate colleagues are engaged in fund-raising activities for the Senator's 2008 campaign for re-election.

The Senator has made remarkable progress, and all the ill-wishing asps in the viper dens ain't going to stop it.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States