Yesterday Siddhartha informed us all of the first Indian American governor to ever hold office in the U.S. (even if it will only be for a few days). It is a proud step forward. I mean, the only powerful desi politician right now is Bobby Jindal, and we all know there are mixed emotions regarding him. The situation in New Jersey got me thinking as to whether or not there is any other back door action to be taken advantage of out there. Can us desis (who often face an electability hurdle because of the pronunciation of our names and our brown faces) get our hands on the levers of power by “non-traditional” means instead?
As most of you are aware, South Dakota’s senior senator, Tim Johnson, fell ill a couple of weeks ago:
In Washington, D.C., on December 13, 2006, during the broadcast of a live radio interview with WNAX radio in Yankton, South Dakota, Johnson suffered bleeding in the brain caused by cerebral arteriovenous malformation, a congenital problem that causes enlarged and tangled blood vessels. He underwent surgery at George Washington University Hospital to drain the blood and stop further bleeding. Johnson’s condition was critical after the surgery. Johnson’s physician, Admiral John Eisold, said that day that “[i]t is premature to determine whether further surgery will be required or to assess any long-term prognosis.”
As of December 28, 2006, Johnson remained hospitalized in George Washington University Hospital. According to a neurosurgeon on the hospital’s staff, Johnson was being weaned from the medication used to keep him sedated, and he was opening his eyes and responding to his wife. [Link]
p>Johnson’s health is critical to the balance of power in our country. The Senate has 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and two Independents that caucus with the Democrats. This equates to a 51-49 majority for the Dems. If Johnson is permanently incapacitated then the Republican governor of South Dakota can appoint someone to fill the vacancy. He will most definitely appoint a Republican. Thus, we will be at 50-50 again and Vice President Cheney (
a.k.a. Lord of the Sith) would become the tie-breaking vote. The Republicans would then control the Senate as before the recent election. Enter Dr. Vivek Deshmukh:
The surgery on Johnson was performed by Dr. Vivek Deshmukh, a neurosurgeon with special expertise and subspecialty training in cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery, the statement said. The surgical team included Caputy and Dr. Anthony Venbrux, director of cardiovascular and interventional radiology. The surgery was a success, the statement said. [Link]
“Senator Johnson is sedated to allow his systems to rest and recover from the hemorrhage, and we anticipate no further tests or procedures in the near future,” neurosurgeon Vivek Deshmukh said in a statement issued by Johnson’s office.
“This is expected to continue through the holidays,” Vivek added. [Link]
Here is what I am slowly leading to. Rather than trying in futility to get desis to win political office, maybe we should try a more circuitous approach to the problem. Can anyone contest that Dr. Deshmukh is currently the most powerful man in America? What I am advocating is that we encourage young desis to perhaps go into non-traditional fields like medicine. We might be able to make more of a political impact that way.