THE PLANK DECEMBER 14, 2006
I've been a bit distracted from Washington politics and thus haven't followed the Tim Johnson situation in great detail. But on the general question of incapacitated senators, bear in mind that Strom Thurmond served in a 50-50 GOP Senate for months after the point when he really had a grip on what was going on around him. At the time, Thurmond's chief of staff more or less served as the senior senator from South Carolina--if you watched from the Senate press gallery you could see him sitting next to Strom during roll calls, whispering how he should vote. We still don't have enough information to know whether this is analagous or relevant example, but to me it's interesting context.