Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Finishing Business

I've very deliberately avoided commenting on the ongoing Minnesota Senate drama. My reasons have been simple: In 2000, I believed that Vice President Al Gore had every right to litigate the outcome of the Florida election for as long as he believed (a) he actually received more votes than his opponent and (b) legal litigation was likely to change the result to reflect that outcome. Norm Coleman has that precise same right, and as long as he genuinely believes the preceding two conditions, he has the right to attempt to vindicate his rights in court.

But, it is becoming more and more clear that Sen. Coleman does not really believe either of these things. He is losing legal challenge after legal challenge, the courts are not budging to his interpretations, and now he's starting to convince folks to simply call a revote -- which boils down to "I admit that under the rules of the state of Minnesota, I lost the election -- but it was really, really close." That isn't good enough to support.

So when Michael Steele talks about "unfinished business" in Minnesota and asks contributors to "stop liberal Democrat comedian Al Franken from stealing Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota," he's talking from nowhere. Al Franken is going to be seated as the senator from Minnesota because he won the race. By the skin of his teeth, after a recount, but he won the race.

Is it true that if Norm Coleman were Senator, it'd be more difficult for Barack Obama to pass his agenda? Sure. But that's only a relevant consideration if Coleman won his race. And he didn't.

UPDATE: Coleman makes it official; his attorneys are asking to set aside the election results.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I actually think revotes are preferable to recounts in extremely close contests, especially since neither candidate is able to claim a majority in these instances.

But that's just a policy preference, and Coleman doesn't get to change the rules midgame (or really, in overtime).