A Democrat for the Senate in New Hampshire

For Gov. Lynch to appoint another Republican (i.e., another obstructionist) to replace Judd Greg would be disloyal to the Democratic Party and damaging to the national interest. He should be encouraged to appoint a Democrat instead.

If Judd Gregg (R-NH) leaves the Senate to become Secretary of Commerce, Gov. John Lynch (D)will appoint a replacement to serve until the 2010 elections. If the parties were switched around, is there any Republican governor who would appoint a Democrat to fill the empty seat? Remember, this would be the 60th vote for cloture on party-line votes, which will be frequent over the next two years.

Once upon a time, there were moderate Republicans. But that was a long time ago.* The Republican Party is now united behind the project of making Barack Obama’s Presidency a failure, even though that means disaster for the country. For Lynch to maintain that party’s capacity to obstruct would be a deeply irresponsible action.

Everyone with any capacity to do so should make it clear to Lynch that appointing a Democrat to the seat would make him a hero, and give him a big deposit in the Favor Bank. Conversely, Lynch should also know that appointing a Republican will make him a pariah, with no future career in Democratic politics.

* Update Nate Silver points to an exception, who might actually be Gregg’s replacement: Liz Hagar, who was booted from her seat in the NH legislature by a conservative primary opponent and then endorsed Obama.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com