Sen. Tim Johnson is in critical condition after surgery. We wish the Senator all the best in his recovery. But the medical news sounds very bad.
Johnson is a moderate Democrat who voted for both Alito and Roberts for the Supreme Court. The governor of South Dakota is a Republican, Mike Rounds. Rounds has been considered the GOP's most likely candidate to challenge Johnson in 2008, when he is up for re-election. Johnson has twice been elected with narrow margins (524 votes in 2002), and his seat is even more vulnerable in a Presidential election year (Bush won by 22% in 2004 in South Dakota).
While a GOP replacement for Johnson could switch control of the Senate to the GOP, with a 50-50 tie, broken by a vote of the Vice President, a Republican Senator also recently announced that he has a serious medical condition.
Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming, just re-elected (at age 73), was recently diagnosed with, and treated for leukemia. In Wyoming, the situation in South Dakota is reversed. The governor is Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, just re-elected, and Thomas is a Republican.
We wish all senators the best of health.
Update: Jack Kemp adds:
Unfortunately, my family knows about a senior adult leukemia - although what I now say is anecdotal with some general medical reference. My mother, after having breast cancer in 1961, later in the 1970s had lymphocytic leukemia and lived for around 12 years afterwards, dying in 1991. You will find at some standard medical website like WebMD that leukemia is a very virulent killer of children and, I believe young adults. But seniors who get it can be treated with drugs and live a significant number of additional years.