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Letter: Coleman, GOP opposing democratic values

Senate Republicans support Coleman's hopeless election challenge only to preserve their ability to obstruct the Senate through filibuster. These same Republican Senators once threatened to ban the use of filibusters in order to force judicial appointments opposed by the then Democrat minority. Intellectual integrity is not a hallmark of the new, radical Republican Party, but the hypocrisy here must be obvious even to them.

The filibuster evolved as a means of protecting the rights of the minority from tyranny by the majority. It is a procedural rule that has its place in democratic government. But to prevent constant gridlock Senate rules require the minority demonstrate legitimacy, which the rules define as 40 percent of the Senate. Since the Senate Republican caucus occasionally experiences a defection or two, its ability to obstructed Senate votes is not dependable. Hence the Republican leadership's desire to use undemocratic means to hold down the number of Democrats in the Senate; i.e. preventing Al Franken, Minnesota's democratically elected Senator, from being seated.

What must be understood in all this is that Coleman and Senate Republicans are attempting an end run around the will of the voters as reflected in the 2008 election. The nation and Minnesota spoke for change. Change from the economic and foreign policy positions pursued by the previous president with the support of John McCain and Senate Republicans, in favor of the values and positions articulated by then-candidate and now-President Obama.

While the Coleman-Franken race was very close, it was largely due to the perceived personalities of the candidates and the presence of a third party candidate. Minnesota voters gave Obama a clear majority. Their desire to implement Obama's campaign platform is unarguable. Since Obama and Franken's positions on the issues are nearly identical it must be concluded that Franken has the solid support of the people on the issues.

The recent court ruling ended any legitimate basis for opposition to Franken taking his place in the U.S. Senate. Maintaining the power to obstruct President Obama is the sole reason for their challenge. In doing this Coleman and the Republicans are putting the interests of their party before the interests of our nation. Indeed, they are opposing our nation's core democratic values.