Editor's column

"Missouri shows the way with dead candidateAs another long, tedious, disheartening election campaign draws to a close, we find hope for the future springing from Missouri, of all places. The Show Me State is showing us what kind of candidates to elect to office: Dead ones.The timing could not be more appropriate, what with elections closely following Halloween, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls Day. Dead candidates match the theme of the season.Missouri's idea of electing the dead may be attributed to its governor, Mel Carnahan, who landed several miles short of the runway as he was running for Senate. After a proper mourning period of two weeks, his supporters rallied behind their dead candidate, and polls show he's in the lead over incumbent Senator John Ashcroft, who isn't dead but will wish he was if he's beaten by a dead man.Missourians figure that if their dead candidate wins, the governor can just appoint his wife to office after he's elected. But they should think twice about this plan. For one thing, removing Mel Carnahan from office just because he's dead reeks of discrimination. Dead people should have rights, too. Strict constructionists cite the Constitution, Article 1, Section 3, which lists the requirements for Senator: must be at least 30 years of age, and must have been a citizen for at least nine years. It makes no mention of whether the Senator should be dead or alive. Surely, if the founders wanted only live Senators, they would have mentioned it in the Constitution.Throughout America, voters are secretly rooting that the late Mr. Carnahan wins the Senate seat and goes on to serve his entire six-year term of office. Unlike live politicians, his actions will be entirely predictable, and he will be beyond the influence of PACs and other special interest groups. What do you bribe a dead man with? Free golf trips?We can be assured that Sen. Carnahan will not vote to raise our taxes, reduce our Internet privacy, or get us involved in more foreign adventures. His signature will be affixed to no new bills, no new initiatives, no new proposals. As Sen. Carnahan would say if he could speak, he will leave well enough alone.After six years, the deceased Senator, a Democrat, will be so wildly popular that the Republicans won't have a chance in the next election unless they field a dead candidate of their own. That should be no problem, as there are plenty of good dead Republicans in Missouri and around the nation. They don't drink, smoke, or have sex illicit or otherwise, and as a result are ideal role models for our youth.The first campaign pitting a dead Democrat against a dead Republican will be so pleasant for the electorate that the dead will sweep into office nationwide by offering no speeches, no promises, and no dire warning about the opponent.In just a few years, the national debt will be paid off because nobody cut taxes. We'll be popular worldwide because we don't meddle in the business of other nations. Thousands of lobbyists will have to find real jobs, thus boosting the economy.Good luck, Gov. Carnahan. The country is depending on you to win on Nov. 7. "

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