Chin up, little buffaloes! I have news that will make you glad to be living in a country plagued by a recession and reality TV: The 2008 election has finally come to a close. It ended with a bang, but not gunfire. There were no mass protests or baton-wielding policemen on motorcycles. Al Franken was named the winner of the highly contested Senate seat in Minnesota. After eight months of counting and recounting, Mister Franken won by just three hundred and twelve votes, and a trip to the state Supreme Court.
Yes, we live in a pretty rare place. Since November, both sides have managed to contain their hostility, for the most part, and to patiently wait for the outcome. No one took up arms, and any bricks that were thrown were probably launched by sports fans at the prospect of having Brett Favre becoming quarterback of the Vikings. This would be the orderly transition of power that makes our process somewhat unique.
Contrast that to what's happening in Iran. State television reports that Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati presented Minister of the Interior Sadegh Mahsouli a letter Monday saying the council has approved the election after a recount of ten percent of the ballots. How does one Senate seat stack up to the presidency of Iran? Well, with sixty senators on the Democratic side of the aisle, they will have a majority not reached on either side in three decades. The president of Iran still has to deal with the real power in that country, the clerics. The guy who rose to fame calling Rush Limbaugh a big fat idiot is on his way to being the second senator from the land of ten thousand lakes. Perhaps things would move more expeditiously for Mir Hossein Mousavi if he started calling Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a grouchy old fusspot.