We need a nationwide commitment to Democracy -- the principle that the voters should get the candidate they want. We don't have that yet, as Paul Krugman observes:
But for the nation as a whole, the important thing isn't who gets seated to represent Florida's 13th District. It's whether the voting disaster there leads to legislation requiring voter verification and a paper trail.
And I have to say that the omens aren't good. I've been shocked at how little national attention the mess in Sarasota has received. Here we have as clear a demonstration as we're ever likely to see that warnings from computer scientists about the dangers of paperless electronic voting are valid - and most Americans probably haven't even heard about it.
As far as I can tell, the reason Florida-13 hasn't become a major national story is that neither control of Congress nor control of the White House is on the line. But do we have to wait for a constitutional crisis to realize that we're in danger of becoming a digital-age banana republic?