Leading Democrats today showed unprecedented unity after Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, suffered a brain hemorrhage Wednesday. With Johnson's life hanging in the balance it became known that South Dakota's Republican governor would have the power to appoint a replacement in the event that Johnson did not survive or needed to step down. The appointment of a Republican would move the Senate to a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Dick Cheney holding the deciding vote.
"That is simply not an option," Democratic majority leader Harry Reid, Nevada, said. "We're going to keep Tim Johnson alive as long as it takes."
While Johnson's recovery has been widely watched the Democrats have been planning for any contingency.
"The man is going to live, " Reid continued. "We'll smuggle in Cuban doctors if we have to. We'll pull a Weekend at Bernies if we have to. We'll make Teri Schiavo look like a footnote in history. As long as Tim Johnson lives, that's the important thing. Or, as long as people think he's alive. And how much does it take to prove a Senator is alive and functioning? Not much, really. We are barely even required to come to work."
Legal experts are divided on the issue of stripping Johnson of his vote due to death, and handing the deciding vote over to Vice President Cheney who has been legally dead for the last six years.
"Cheney, strictly speaking, is more machine than man," said a Congressional legal expert. "Look at his posture, his scowl, his robotic mannerisms, his cold, callous disregard for human life...my God, people, the signs are all there! I find it not only legally wrong but morally reprehensible to hand over Senatorial veto power to that...thing...even if Senator Johnson, god forbid, were to pass away or need to step down."
In other news, reports are flooding in that looting around Washington DC has been on the rise recently. A man resembling President Bush was seen smashing a car window with a brick and rummaging around for the elusive solution to the Iraq debacle. When authorities closed in he hissed, and escaped down a nearby manhole.