Among the signs of the

Among the signs of the return to something close to politics as usual this morning is the return to politics as usual on the news pages of the Star Tribune. The Strib discounts Mondale’s age as an impediment to his appeal to voters in “Mondale’s age not seen as big issue.” In the spirit of scholarship the story helpfully explains, “Historians note that the word Senate is derived from the Latin for ‘council of elders.'”
Lovers of words such as the proprietors of the Power Line also note that the word Senate shares the same Latin root (“senex”) as the English word “senile.” My authoritative Cassell’s New Latin Dictionary also includes the related Latin word “senium,” noting in italics that it means “old age, especially the weakness of old age, decline, decay.” See, children, Mr. Mondale is perfectly qualified to be our “senator,” exactly as the Star Tribune “news” story suggests.
Senility is also the key to the Democrats’ strategy in pulling out the incredibly foreshortened Mondale/Coleman race. Note the focus on getting “supplemental absentee ballots” to the nursing home set in “Hatch, Kiffmeyer resolve ballot issues.”
The comedy continues in “A truce in politics? Not for long.” One must read almost to the end of this carefully structured story to hear it alleged–gosh, I guess the three reporters who share the byline couldn’t verify it themselves–“Apparently, the only candidate or party ads that have sneaked through the weekend and Monday were by DFLers, Republicans said.” When it comes to politics, as opposed to policy involving that silly old Saddam Hussein, the Democrats deeply believe in the disarmament of their enemies.
President Bush, on the other hand, believes in putting up a fight. The Strib reports that “Bush reportedly to campaign in Minnesota on Sunday.” I vaguely recall that President Bush the elder campaigned in Minnesota on the weekend before the gubernatorial election in the similarly foreshortened Perpich/Carlson race of 1990 that Arne Carlson narrowly pulled out. As we said earlier in this context: May it be a portent!