It’s that time of the election cycle again…

Yes, Obama’s first 100 days ended about five minutes ago, but the 2012 campaign has already begun. This unwelcome news was forced upon my consciousness, which had been dutifully trying to ignore it for weeks now, during an afternoon perusal of the Boston Globe‘s homepage. There I saw, under some much less interesting news about former Mass House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi’s indictment for being more than usually corrupt, the following two headlines in close proximity to one another: “Romney takes Obama bashing to CNN, ‘Today Show’” and “Minn. Governor Pawlenty won’t seek third term.”

Two inescapable conclusions must be drawn from each of these. From the first, I conclude that Mitt Romney will never, ever stop annoying the shit out of me, and that that annoying fucker is running for president. Still. Again. Some more. From the second, I conclude that Tim Pawlenty is also running for president, and that Al Franken is screwed. Y’see, now that he’s set his sights on the White House, Pawlenty no longer has to pretend he gives a shit what Minnesota voters think, and he has every motivation to do things that empower or curry favor with Republicans, and refusing to certify Franken’s election does both. So unless the Minnesota Supreme Court rules not only that Coleman has no grounds to continue contesting the election, but also that Pawlenty must certify Franken immediately, the junior Senator from Minnesota probably won’t be seated before Congress breaks for the summer. And with a judicial nominee to filibuster, you can bet the party leadership would be extremely grateful to anyone who could hold the Dems to 59 seats.