Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) conceded to former comedian Al Franken (Jew-SNL) today after losing an appeal to Minnesota's Supreme Court in the months-long litigation surrounding their 2008 Senate race. The standoff is over, and democracy is restored to long-suffering Minnesotans.
"We have reached the point where further litigation damages the unity of our state," Coleman said at a news conference. "I congratulate Al Franken in his victory in his election."
Of course, that point was reached months ago, and everybody knew that Coleman's frantic attempts to pull out a legal victory were little more than delaying tactics to deny Democrats a 60th vote in the Senate.
Franken is expected to hold a news conference shortly after 5 p.m., and could be sworn in by next week. While his victory will nominally make the Democratic majority in the Senate "filibuster-proof," it probably won't have a substantial effect on major legislation, since there are several moderate Democratic votes that the Republicans can easily peel off to undo the supermajority.
It does, however, mean that Al Franken will be a United States senator. Weird, huh?