Say it isn’t so!

After all the controversy surrounding a Senate appointment in Illinois, here comes another smelly deal — in New Hampshire. This one isn’t about money. It’s about party. But it still stinks.

President Obama has decided he wants Republican Sen. Judd Gregg as his new Commerce secretary. Fine. Gregg’s a good man. No doubt he’d do a decent job.

But here’s the hitch. If Gregg leaves the Senate, the governor of New Hampshire would name his replacement. The governor, John Lynch, is a Democrat. So, of course, he’d be expected to appoint a Democrat. Which would give Democrats a 60-vote, filibuster-proof margin in the U. S. Senate. Right?

Not so fast! The Hill reports that Lynch has agreed to name a Republican to replace Gregg, in order not to give Senate Democrats a 60-vote advantage.

That’s outrageous. Why should a Democrat appoint an anti-Obama Republican? Don’t differences in party mean anything anymore? And why should anybody demand or accept a quid pro quo for a Senate seat?

In Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) allegedly demanded cash in return for a Senate appointment. That was wrong. In New Hampshire, Sen. Judd Gregg is apparently demanding a Republican Senate appointment in return for a Cabinet post. And that’s just as bad.

Judd Gregg is wrong to make that demand — and Gov. Lynch, and President Obama, would be wrong to accept it.

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