Say what?

I’ve been following the Franken-Coleman legal proceedings pretty closely and everything I’ve read suggests that Franken is getting the better end of it and will be certified in the next few months. So where the hell does this come from?

Baltimore, Md.: Speaking of junior senators, do you see Al Franken being seated anytime before 2010?


Shailagh Murray
: Perhaps, but it seems more and more likely that the Minnesota race will wind up as a re-vote. At this point it seems like the quickest way to resolve the situation.


Update
: Murray did take this question from me, I’ll give her that at least.

Rochester, N.Y.: Shailagh, I doubt you’ll take this one but if anyone here will, it’s you!

Is there any concern that the lax standards of the editorial page (in particular, its refusal to retract false claims made in a recent George Will column) lessens the prestige of the news division at the Washington Post? Personally, the Post is my favorite paper, but this kind of thing makes it awfully hard to take anything in the paper seriously.

Thanks.

Shailagh Murray: I will post this without comment…but rest assured, all of us in the ailing newspaper business are highly receptive to ideas from readers about how we might improve.

Update #2: Murray didn’t leave the revote idea alone when corrected.

Al Franken Revote Really?: Star Tribune just published an article on the front page which discusses Coleman’s dwindling chances. The Politico last week published an article discussing Coleman’s need for a miracle. Election experts from Minnesota are discussing the math which makes a Coleman comeback extremely difficult and the higher courts taking this case an unlikely prospect. How did you arrive at this recount theory? I think the only folks advocating this are a FEW Republicans who see this as Coleman’s only realistic hope for overturning the results of November

washingtonpost.com: Rulings have diminished Coleman’s recount chances (StarTribune.com, Feb. 23)

Shailagh Murray: I don’t have a revote “theory.” I’m just wondering how long this is going to sit in the court system. If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?
But there’s a process in place here, and we can only assume both parties will abide by it.






102 replies
  1. 1
    FourtyTwo says:

    Fuck that.

  2. 2
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Well Doug, wtf do you expect from the ever shallow Ms Murray?

    That was a rhetorical question. It never ceases to amaze me that *all* the Postie political reporters are this, well, stoopid. Or lazy. Or something. They sure as shit ain’t reporters.

  3. 3
    4tehlulz says:

    >>So where the hell does this come from?

    Her desire to keep Franken from taking his seat.

  4. 4

    In a lot of states, taking this long would mean that the process has turned into a complete clusterf*ck.

    But this is Minnesota. Taking this long just means they’re being super-extra-scrupulous and fair.

    I love watching Republicans wail about the election being stolen by the corrupt, incompetent party machine government that is the State of Minnesota. Sure, that’ll work.

  5. 5
    Napoleon says:

    Doug, you do realize she is a cerifiable moron, don’t you?

    By the way, I would guess that if anyone actually looked at Minn. law they would find that a revote is not a legally available option to the court, even in the case of a tie (they likely would flip a coin).

  6. 6

    .
    In Shalaigh’s defense, she was rip-roaring drunk at the time. And, back in the 60’s, Franken gave her the clap once. She’s still pissed, evidently.

    There’s a secret war going on. Just a secret from US voters & taxpayers, though. And pretty soon it’ll be as famous as Vietnam. The one from the Rambo films?
    .

  7. 7

    We know where it comes from – the Village’s desire to give the GOP the benefit of every doubt.

    If Coleman had been ahead after the recount by the same margin Franken now enjoys, Franken would have been expected by the Villagers to fold his tent. The same standard doesn’t apply to Coleman. And since it’s extremely unlikely that the court proceedings will do anything but delay Franken’s victory, the Village is of course starting to lobby for a do-over.

  8. 8
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    By the way, I would guess that if anyone actually looked at Minn. law they would find that a revote is not a legally available option to the court, even in the case of a tie.

    You’re asking too much of a Postie. They read Repup press releases and proceed accordingly.

    Their "defense" in all of this is the usual canard of "well, both sides hate us so we must be doing something right." Which overlooks the fact that most of us hate them because THEY DON’T DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS!!!!

    And they wonder why their industry is going down the toilet. I was born and raised in DC and have lived on the Post all my life. When it went online, I would have gladly paid to subscribe. Not anymore.

    The best reporters on the paper? The sports beat guys. They do real, honest-to-goodness reporting. Dana Priest is the only one close to politics that’s worth anything. The rest? Fuck em.

    And I’ve been saying this for 5 years now. They never listen.

  9. 9
    Dave says:

    It’s easy. A re-vote would be bigger news than "Franken Finally Wins Seat The Universe Knew He Won Months Ago."

  10. 10
    Lee from NC says:

    @4tehlulz:

    Exactly. As usual, a political reporter buys completely into Republican talking points. Color me surprised.

  11. 11
    Incertus says:

    @cosanostradamus: Huh. I thought you might be talking about this secret war, the one to be led by bubba militias that gets the US military to turn on the government.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    Shailagh Murray: I will post this without comment…

    LOL! DougJ, you deserve a medal for wading into this stuff and asking questions that need to be asked.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    /searches U.S. and Minnesota state Consty for "Article WTF — Revote, Bitches" and not finding it.

  14. 14
    gbear says:

    You’re asking too much of a Postie. They read Repup press releases and proceed accordingly.

    The only way MN could have a revote is if the courts decided to abandon all of the legal precedence established during a previous gubernatorial election and, instead, just start making shit up.

    The WaPo editorial board doesn’t see making shit up as such a bad thing.

  15. 15
    bayville says:

    Doug – it appears Shailagh is just "winging it” when it comes to Minn. election law. Later on in the same chat there was a folo question. Her response:

    Shailagh Murray: I don’t have a revote "theory." I’m just wondering how long this is going to sit in the court system. If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?
    But there’s a process in place here, and we can only assume both parties will abide by it.

  16. 16
    Incertus says:

    @bayville:

    But there’s a process in place here, and we can only assume both parties will abide by it.

    Proving yet again that objective reality means nothing to Shailagh Murray.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I love watching Republicans wail about the election being stolen by the corrupt, incompetent party machine government that is the State of Minnesota. Sure, that’ll work.

    If it doesn’t, you can always fall back on the tried-and-true "call the voters stupid" approach.

  18. 18
    Face says:

    Shailagh Murray: I don’t have a revote "theory."

    Shorter Shailagh — Honestly, I’m basically just stealing paychecks here…

  19. 19
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I will post this without comment…but rest assured, all of us in the ailing newspaper business are highly receptive to ideas from readers about how we might improve.

    Really? When will that receptiveness kick in? Hasn’t happened yet and there’s no indication it ever will.

  20. 20
    Gregory says:

    It’s simple. Coleman is losing in the courts, so a re-vote is his only hope. As others have observed, Murray is repeating Republican talking points and displaying her own ignorance — but I repeat myself.

  21. 21
    Comrade Dread says:

    If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?

    Because he lost?

    I know, I know, that’s just crazy talk. Stupid voters, get the result right, or we’ll keep re-voting until you enough of you hippies stay home and the right one wins.

  22. 22
    bayville says:

    @Incertus

    It appears the process is that if Republicans complain enough, long enough and loud enough – we’ll just have a do-over.
    No harm, no foul.

  23. 23
    KCinDC says:

    If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?

    Maybe because that’s not what the law says? How does that question even make sense? "If Coleman looks desperate"? Hey, McCain seems pretty desperate now, why not have a revote of the presidential election?

  24. 24
    jonas says:

    …rest assured, all of us in the ailing newspaper business are highly receptive to ideas from readers about how we might improve.

    Holy shit, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time.

  25. 25
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Shailagh Murray:

    Who the fuck is this person and why should I give a shit what she says?

  26. 26

    So Murray will not comment on something you would think she might actually have an informed opinion on, and quite possibly has discussed with her colleagues, but will comment on the MN Senate race where it is obvious she needs to do her homework on MN election law to avoid sounding uninformed. (I use the word uninformed to be polite.)

    Good job, DougJ, that was a great question. And, yes, I do agree at least she posted your question. Unfortunately, she didn’t help her case much by not commenting.

  27. 27
    Eric U. says:

    I don’t understand why all newspapers don’t take an overwhelmingly liberal stance on everything. We are their remaining audience. Same with the cable channels. Fox has the people that want to be propagandized, why not go after the unserved population that wants the truth? MSNBC has seen this to some degree, but as republicans they can’t face the fact that their ideas are not popular even as liberal ideas are making them money.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    Who the fuck is this person and why should I give a shit what she says?

    She’s a prominent national political reporter. That means that what she says is often untrue. On the other hand, it means that what she says is often reflective of what the larger Village believes.

  29. 29
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Doug – it appears Shailagh is just "winging it’’ when it comes to Minn. election law just about everything of hers which is published.

    Fixed.

  30. 30
    Don says:

    I like the followup "don’t have a theory," "just wondering" etc. What aspect of that is reporting? I suppose you could make a case that not having a theory and just reporting the facts as they appear is good reporting, but "just wondering?"

  31. 31
    bayville says:

    Shailagh’s World Part IV: Mortgage Crisis Is Just Like Baseball’s Steroid Problem.

    No really:

    Shailagh Murray: To me this is a lot like the steriod scandal. As if the players were operating in some sort of rogue state. Ha! This was a massive institutional failure and we all own a piece of it. The current meltdown is an indictment on a whole bunch of things that got out of whack. The easy money flowing to greedy homeowners had to come from somewhere — and government encouraged it, and we as journalists, by the way, failed to accurately read early warning signs like the predatory lending scandals that bubbled up in inner cities years ago, a precurser to the foreclosure crisis hit the suburbs.

  32. 32
    Jamey says:

    If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?
    But there’s a process in place here, and we can only assume both parties will abide by it.

    Translation: Keep counting and recounting till that meanie, Al Franken loses.

  33. 33

    The WaPo editorial board doesn’t see making shit up as such a bad thing.

    I think they just see a revote as an easier story to write than the complex tale of the court process.

    I assume that MN voters will dip their fingers in purple ink when they revote?

  34. 34
    Mary says:

    Shailagh Murray caught out in a lie. Again. She’s Mike Allen in a dress, really.

    Good work on this and everything, DougJ. You are a brilliant addition to this site.

  35. 35
    Zifnab says:

    Shailagh Murray: I don’t have a revote “theory.”

    Shailagh Murray: Perhaps, but it seems more and more likely that the Minnesota race will wind up as a re-vote.

    Some people would note that a "theory" is as a guiding principle generalized from a series of verifiable observations. In that sense, she is right. She clearly does not have a "theory". Of course, those same people might question why she is flapping her gums if this statement is being extracted directly from the bowels of her posterior. :-p

  36. 36
    MobiusKlein says:

    but rest assured, all of us in the ailing newspaper business are highly receptive to ideas from readers about how we might improve.

    Here’s an idea – stop taking dictation from Republican talking points, and do your own reporting & research?

    (ps – don’t reprint corporate press releases either, nor let columnists lie unrepentantly.)

  37. 37
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    On the other hand, it means that what she says is often reflective of what the larger Village believes.

    Dime a dozen village idiots. It’s your thread, so not my beeswax. I would say though, the Post is not the only haven for the stupid/ me cranky and will be quiet now:)

  38. 38
    NonyNony says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    So Murray will not comment on something you would think she might actually have an informed opinion on, and quite possibly has discussed with her colleagues, but will comment on the MN Senate race where it is obvious she needs to do her homework on MN election law to avoid sounding uninformed.

    Ah, but see, since she has an informed opinion on the George Will matter, that makes her unqualified to be an objective observer and hence she can’t talk about it.

    But since she knows fuck-all about Minnesota election law, she can be totally objective about that! That’s what journamalizm is all abouts!

    (More seriously – pontificating about MN elections won’t cause any problems for Ms. Murray, but giving an opinion about Will’s lies in the editorial page that deviates from the paper’s position will get her at a minimum a cold reception from other people in her building. And even a chimp at this point should be able to tell that what Will did is indefensible as is the Post’s non-response. So her best course of action would be to ignore the question altogether. But since DougJ said up front that it was likely she was going to ignore it, he probably poked her ego a bit to make that option less attractive so she punted and posted the question with no response. Kind of cowardly, but she gets a few points for being ashamed enough to have DougJ’s prediction sting.)

  39. 39

    @Incertus: Yeah, I always worry about those militias. You could have an entire platoon of them and not enough gray matter or teeth between the bunch of them to make a decent first grader.

    I just hope they join forces with RSSF. Now that would certainly be entertainment worthy of its own cable channel. What’s not to love about a bunch of overweight, middle aged guys with firearms. That’s some reality TV worthy of a few minutes watching just to see how long it takes for the "friendly fire" incidents to decimate their ranks. These guys make Gomer Pyle look like Eisenhower.

  40. 40
    JenJen says:

    Doug, I’m pretty impressed with the way you manipulated Shailagh into answering your question through flattery.

    Awesome.

  41. 41
    DougJ says:

    Doug, I’m pretty impressed with the way you manipulated Shailagh into answering your question through flattery.

    Thanks. It works with nearly everyone but Howie Kurtz.

  42. 42
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Posties don’t critisize their own, it’s literally in their contract. There have been two notable exceptions to this:

    Dan Froomkin. He’s *hated* by the Posties. Since he doesn’t work in an actual office, he doesn’t get the brunt of things but one WH reporter I know has told me on more than one occasion that his fellow employees hate him cuz he’s spent much of the last four years saying what a shitty job they’ve done.

    Paul Farhi. You’re going "who?". He’s morphed into some kind of pop culture writer but for many years, he was one of numerous reporters on the radio/tv biz. When Tony Kornholehieser began his MNF gig, Farhi wrote a blistering review of the pompous asshat. And there was immediate fallout within the Newsroom.

    This is one reason why they’ll never change: they don’t deal with criticism one bit and are blind as to why people think they do such a shitty job.

  43. 43
    itsbenj says:

    Um, yeah, Shaillagh Murray or whatever the f@c&, is not an intelligent person. She is just another sill right-winger whos world is ruled by Drudge.

  44. 44
    PK says:

    It seems to me that she just made that up. As simple as that.
    Far easier to say whatever you want to say as opposed to actually researching the Minnesota election rules.

  45. 45
    John S. says:

    Like Atrios says…

    Shailagh Murray is the fucking devil.

  46. 46
    Mike in NC says:

    I always worry about those militias. I just hope they join forces with RSSF.

    Then they’ll design themselves some very cool looking uniforms, complete with tinfoil-lined hats.

    What’s not to love about a bunch of overweight, middle aged guys with firearms.

    Somewhat OT, but there’s a great book on Civil War reenactors called "Confederates in the Attic". Glenn Beck is probably reading it right now.

  47. 47
    John S. says:

    It appears the process is that if Republicans complain enough, long enough and loud enough – we’ll just have a do-over.
    No harm, no foul.

    They are masters of this whiny ‘working the refs’ bullshit, and there was no finer example than the 2000 election.

  48. 48
    Dracula says:

    What a fucking life Murray has. Sign me up! Write stories and do podcasts without any concern for reality or honesty. When someone notices, just brush your ignorance aside like it never mattered. Get paid handsomely for it, work in a great city, and enjoy all the faux appreciation for a job done shitty.

  49. 49
    kay says:

    Why not hold another election any time one side or the other claims irregularities? Why not hold another election any time a candidate isn’t "beaten handily"?
    If it’s a close race, voters should get a do-over, right? Rather than it "sitting in the courts".
    This is like some strange super-majority theory of a valid popular vote. Where is she getting it? I love how she just tosses it out, weighing in on hyper-technical state election law no less.
    So much for every vote matters, Minnesota! Who needs state judges, or a legislature, and these elaborate rules? Just "beat him handily". Why didn’t the lawyers think of that?

  50. 50
    Jon H says:

    The only things worth saving at the Post are Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, and Tom Toles.

  51. 51
    nonymouse says:

    If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?

    Sure, why not go for 2 out of 3… I mean, if they’ve both won one, what does that prove?

  52. 52
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    But there’s a process in place here, and we can only assume both parties will abide by it.

    Note the subtlety in that sentence. OMG, I’m channeling Somerby now.

    By saying "we can only assume", she suggests that one side might not abide by it. Huh? HTF does that work Murray? They incide a mob with torches and pitchforks to, I dunno, go somewhere and arrange a sit in?

    It’s clear to *anybody* who’s even remotely followed this thing is that Coleman is trying to drag this out as long as possible in the hopes that Franken will give up, run out of money or something. And the whole time, as was said above, he’s working the so-called refs, that would be you dear.

    "Moistened Bink" is a phrase that comes to mind but instead of lobbing scimitars at us, we dodging poo. I can do that at the zoo with the monkeys.

  53. 53
    John S. says:

    "Moistened Bink" is a phrase that comes to mind but instead of lobbing scimitars at us, we dodging poo.

    That’s because only watery tarts lob scimitars, whereas Golgothan shit demons (aka Shalaigh Murray)… well, you get the idea.

  54. 54
    MikeJ says:

    Isn’t that "bint" (arabic for girl) not bink?

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?

    The Arizona Cardinals looked pretty desperate in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, and they only lost by 4 points. Why not just hold another Super Bowl so the Steelers can beat them handily and prove that they really won the first time?

  56. 56
    valdivia says:

    sorry y’all if someone posted this already and being off topic but now Sullivan is abetting the wingnuts suggesting maybe Obama should produce the certificate so that he can prove he is really a citizen and you know not be all Palin about this?

    WTF? I emailed him, I ask you all to do the same if you are as outraged as me.

  57. 57
    Gus says:

    I’m sure others have pointed this out, but there’s no fucking provision for a revote in MN law! Christ is this woman fucking stupid.

  58. 58
    Dc says:

    3rd party candidate Dean Barkley extracted 15% of the anti-incumbent vote… pulled a Nader.
    A runoff would presumably eliminate this effect but not in play.
    Ranking candidates in initial voting might be a (confusing but more decisive) alternative.

  59. 59
    gbear says:

    @bayville:

    greedy homeowners had to come from somewhere…

    Jumpin Jeebus, that quote says EVERYthing you need to know about this stupid privileged cake eater.

  60. 60
    liberal says:

    @Eric U.:

    I don’t understand why all newspapers don’t take an overwhelmingly liberal stance on everything. We are their remaining audience.

    Yes, but they don’t get their most of their revenue from us. They get it from advertisers. And while you could argue that advertisers just want eyeballs, it’s not true; they have "interests".

  61. 61
    Tony J says:

    I just hope they join forces with RSSF. Now that would certainly be entertainment worthy of its own cable channel. What’s not to love about a bunch of overweight, middle aged guys with firearms. That’s some reality TV worthy of a few minutes watching just to see how long it takes for the "friendly fire" incidents to decimate their ranks.

    You could get 1/2 an hour of pure TV gold just filming the Stroke Farce wannabe’s getting ready for the Big Meet and stressing over what look to go for.

    "Awww, man, I really wanna rock the Ham Tyler ‘comb-over, black jeans and leather jacket’ vibe, but what if our troops are expecting full-camo and ski-masks? I don’t wanna, y’know, look like an idiot or something, this is too serious a mission for that. The fate of the nation might rest on my ability to inspire these patriots, so failure is not even an option!"

    I’d watch that.

  62. 62
    Evinfuilt says:

    This is just more of Rove’s "reality is what we make it" mentality. Facts be damned, full steam ahead to obscurity for Washington Post.

  63. 63
    The Other Steve says:

    You hold an election with the laws you have, not the laws you wish you had.

  64. 64
    gbear says:

    @Dc:

    I don’t think that you can say that Barkley ‘pulled a Nader’ on this election. 15% is a respectable total for a third party and shows that a lot of people weren’t happy with either Coleman OR Franken as a choice. It’s pretty hard to say that it wouldn’t have been as close if he hadn’t run.
    Secondly, he wasn’t running as a vanity candidate. He actually held some values other than ‘vote for me because everyone else is totally evil’. Barkley’s actually an OK guy.

  65. 65
    The Other Steve says:

    I had a college friend who became a newspaper reporter. I don’t know where she is now, but she was up in Kenosha, WI.

    Out of college she was given the assignment of covering the police blotter and the obituaries. From there she worked her way up.

    I’m guessing this woman is the daughter of one of the Washington Post owners neighbors or something.

  66. 66
    The Other Steve says:

    I don’t think that you can say that Barkley ‘pulled a Nader’ on this election. 15% is a respectable total for a third party and shows that a lot of people weren’t happy with either Coleman OR Franken as a choice. It’s pretty hard to say that it wouldn’t have been as close if he hadn’t run.
    Secondly, he wasn’t running as a vanity candidate. He actually held some values other than ‘vote for me because everyone else is totally evil’. Barkley’s actually an OK guy.

    Agreed. Myself and my parents nearly voted for Barkley. We held our nose and voted for Franken just because we didn’t want Coleman back.

    Neither candidate is very well liked, which is the reason why nobody in Minnesota seems to give a crap about this recount. The only people who seem to be agitating for Coleman come from out of state.

    I’d rather have Barkley though. I think if he’d caught momentum earlier he would have been able to pull off an upset. Perhaps with more money and a better ad-man.

  67. 67
    jibeaux says:

    Seriously, quickest way to resolve? Litigants may be interested in the quickest way to resolve if there is room for compromise to be made. If we are talking about one of them is going to win and one of them is going to lose, it makes no sense that Franken should be pursuing the "quickest way to resolve." Franken is pursuing a Senate seat with him in it. I don’t think anyone would have realistically expected GWB to accede to a request to revote Florida in 2000, and there was actual fraud there.

  68. 68
    Bulworth says:

    Well, Shailagh Dearest, what if Minn held a revote just to please you and the rest of the villagers, and that revote also resulted in a 200+ Franken lead, and that Franken lead also resulted in another string of litigation by Coleman? What then?

  69. 69

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because the Steelers would lose, unless they pulled off another 100-yard i-runback keystone cops drill, and a hail mary pass that went horribly right.

    Unless you think these Steelers are just made in heaven and can pull of grotesque miracle plays at the drop of a hat?

    After all, according to Cole, these guys have WON SIX SUPERBOWLS.

    Amirite? I mean, aren’t Bradshaw and Swann still playing? Or did I miss something?

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jon H:

    Wilbon too!

  71. 71
    Will says:

    @valdivia:

    I was thinking the same thing. I’m sure Andrew posted that just to come off as "balanced" on transparency issues, but it’s a misguided effort. The wingnuts don’t want to see the "original" birth certificate for proof of anything. They just want it produced (again) so they can say it’s not real (again). That’s why the White House isn’t playing along.

  72. 72
    Don says:

    Posties don’t critisize their own, it’s literally in their contract. There have been two notable exceptions to this:

    Actually you missed one: Gene Weingarten. From a chat shortly after the Fletcher question:

    Q: Washington, D.C.: Scenario:

    U.S. is about to embark on enormous program doubling the size of the government in an effort to stave off economic collapse. The plan will cost $850 billion plus $500 billion in interest payments in the future. The financial sector is on the verge of collapse needing an additional $1.5 trillion in support.

    The people of the country — from bankers and lawyers to millworkers — are terrified that their jobs are disappearing, and don’t understand how the plans will help them.

    Some members of Congress, apparently unaware of the history of the Great Depression, are proposing a “Buy America” provision in the legislation that could spark a trade war, creating a few hundred jobs in steel manufacturing and causing tens of thousands in exporting to lose their jobs.

    The country is fighting two wars, and dealing with pockets of geopolitical insecurity. The budget is unsustainable in the long term.

    The President agrees to speak on primetime television for the first time in his administration. You work for the most important political newspaper in the country. So you ask the President what he thinks about Alex Rodriguez taking some drugs five years ago.

    You’re the expert on all things humorous. Is this a form of subtle comedy? Tragicomedy? (Unintentional tragicomedy?) Some sort of performance art I didn’t understand?

    A: Gene Weingarten: I heard this question. I know the questioner. I did not like this question, not so much because it was trivial, but because it led to a simple, moralistic, non-answer. It was a softball

    .

  73. 73
    valdivia says:

    @Will:
    will I was just baffled. He is usually not into the balance game and to play it on this issue just seems bananas to me.

  74. 74
    sam the sham and the pharoahs says:

    It’s worth noting that Franken’s 227-vote margin of victory in Minnesota is in fact proportionally larger than G. Dub’s 537 vote margin in Florida 2000. Florida has a population of 18 million; Minnesota has 5 million. In spite of this, I don’t remember any of the Villagers encouraging Gore to fight on.

  75. 75
    Pope Ratzo says:

    Oh, according to Murray, there’s a "process" in place.

    I thought there might be. Isn’t it called an "election" and wasn’t there one already held?

    I can’t imagine why anyone wonders about the reason the major news media are suffering financially. With deep thinkers like Murray and bad actors like George Will, it’s a wonder there are any newspapers left at all.

  76. 76
    Joe Bob says:

    Greetings via a link from Atrios. I live in St. Paul, MN and have followed the recount pretty closely myself.

    What is the Post Politics Hour supposed to be exactly? If it’s a forum for WaPo Congressional reporters to engage in uninformed speculation, well then, you can disregard the rest of this comment.

    The likelihood of a re-vote exists only in the outermost reaches of Norm’s fantasy life. The only people who have come close to publicly broaching the prospect are Norm Coleman’s lawyers. The Minnesota state election contest is going to be decided by the vote count, no matter how small the margin of victory.

    There’s little doubt that, so long as the RNC keeps the legal fees paid, Norm is going to try and appeal in federal court. If he can get his case in front of one of those conservative activist judges, therein lies his best chance at a revote.

  77. 77
    bayville says:

    @gbear

    Yes, if it weren’t for the "greedy homeowners" of America the economies in Iceland, Russia and Ireland wouldn’t be tanking.
    Mortgage brokers, bankers and Hedge Fund vermin unfortunately were just being good guys in pushing homes on people.
    That’ll learn ’em.

  78. 78
    Punchy says:

    I would laff my fucking ass off if they revoted and the Indy guy wins (wouldn’t surprise me, as cynical and angry as you Gopher peeps must be). Talk about litigation.

  79. 79
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Shillelagh isn’t the devil. Ben Ginsburg is the devil, and she’s his little helper.

  80. 80
    gbear says:

    @Punchy:

    If it were legally possible to hold a revote with all three candidates, with our luck we’d probably end up with a three-way 33.333% result.

    In about 3-4 weeks, this will be over. Norm will be toast and we will sing and dance in the snow.

  81. 81
    Artemesia says:

    A sitting senator who cannot win a majority of the vote ought to be hanging his head in shame. But Coleman is shameless.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @Eric U.:

    What I’m mainly learning from this thread is that the WAPO is responding to the steep decline in newspaper readership by furiously embracing shallowness and stupidity. Add a few snazzy graphics an edgy tone and they will soon be Wapotainment Tonight!

    The major newspapers in Philadelphia just filed for bankrupcy (even though they claim to have enough revenues to keep publishing). It might not be too long before we have major cities without a single daily newspaper. Where will stupid reporters go then?

    I don’t understand why all newspapers don’t take an overwhelmingly liberal stance on everything. We are their remaining audience. Same with the cable channels. Fox has the people that want to be propagandized, why not go after the unserved population that wants the truth? MSNBC has seen this to some degree, but as republicans they can’t face the fact that their ideas are not popular even as liberal ideas are making them money.

    On the other hand, a liberal stance or popular ideas is not the same thing as having a monopoly on "the truth." And besides, conservatives are convinced that they are at the center of "truthiness" and that liberals dwell in the land of bias. And so it goes. The media shouldn’t exist to make any particular ideological side happy.

  83. 83
    Rising Sign says:

    Murray would probably prefer to settle the Senate race with a good game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, although there’s a possibility that it might somehow be unfair to poor Norm Coleman.

  84. 84
    Origuy says:

    Somewhat OT, but there’s a great book on Civil War reenactors called "Confederates in the Attic".

    Don’t know about Civil War reenactors, but the Medieval and Renaissance reenactors I’ve met would kick those Cheeto-eaters’ asses.

  85. 85
    Mike says:

    all of us in the ailing newspaper business are highly receptive to ideas from readers about how we might improve.

    In the context of a question about that George Will column, this answer is the rhetorical equivalent of "Your call is very important to us…"

  86. 86
    Steambadger says:

    Honestly, the vast majority of "pundits" — and even most working journalists — just don’t seem to be very bright. It’s not just that they’re wrong about almost everything; I don’t see any evidence that many of them bother to think about what they say or print at all. Years ago, when journalists were called "reporters" and journalism school graduates were the exception, it wasn’t that hard to find stories in newspapers that showed evidence of two or three brain cells clustering together for a moment. Today? Not so much. What’s up with this?

  87. 87
    Xenos says:

    What I really want to see is Coleman not only losing, but being sanctioned with having to pay Franken’s legal fees. I know, fantasy…

    Also Dougj: Congrats on this post being highlighted on TPM this evening! Don’t forget us little people now you made it big…

  88. 88
    Ed Drone says:

    The wingnuts don’t want to see the "original" birth certificate for proof of anything. They just want it produced (again) so they can say it’s not real (again). That’s why the White House isn’t playing along.

    As I understand it, Hawaiian law prevents the issuance of the actual document, so they issue a certified copy, which is what the Obama camp has posted. If these ninnies went to get a copy, they’d get the same fucking thing!

    Idjuts!

    Ed

  89. 89
    scarshapedstar says:

    If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?

    Aside from the fact that AL ALREADY FUCKING WON?

    Well, gee. I don’t know. I mean, special elections are always fair… and I’m sure Coleman would be willing to sign a waiver saying that he will in no way, no how, no ifs and or buts, contest the results of the second election and/or sue.

    With disappearing ink.

  90. 90

    The Minnesota Senate seat will be filled by Al Franken in probably another month at the outside. The Coleman people have been looking for a way to literally make a Federal case out of it so they have a couple extra months to delay the inevitable, but the judges involved in the recount — knowing that a contest and appeal was probably inevitable — have made a fetish out of sticking to the strict contours of the practices contained with Anderson v. Rolvaag, the Minnesota recount law that has been tested and upheld all the way to the US Supreme Court. Even the MN Supreme Court’s decision to require the two campaigns to participate in deciding which absentee ballots to count emulates the precedent set in the Anderson Rolvaag recount of 1962.

    This is why Norm’s attorneys were screeching like scorched zebras last week: The Election Contest Court ruled that Norm’s effort to declare an equal-protection violation — his chief ticket to a Federalized case — was bogus. So now that he can’t appeal this past the State Supreme Court level, he’s stuck with having his lawyers drag out the actual trial phase, then take the full ten days alloted to announce intent to appeal to the Minnesota SC. Once the appeal makes it to the State Soops, it will be denied in three days or less, and the justices will then order SoS Ritchie and Governor Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty to sign Al Franken’s election certificate.

  91. 91

    @Incertus:
    .
    Yeah. That one too. But the one we’re starting right now in Pakistan is another thing altogether.
    .

  92. 92
    bob h says:

    We had a re-vote in Bush v. Gore, didn’t we?

  93. 93
    Jay Ballou says:

    "If Coleman looks desperate, why not just hold another election and beat him handily?"

    Good grief, she’s dumber than a sack of rocks; there’s no connection at all between those — another election could be equally close.

  94. 94
    SFAW says:

    All Murray was trying to say was:
    1) Coleman is going to keep dragging this thing out as long as possible
    2) Since there is almost zero chance Coleman will improve his vote-count position, this delay is just keeping a Dem out of the Senate
    3) Having already seen the negative effects of Franken not being able to vote, the Dems are wondering what other key votes will cause them to seek out the Specter/Snowe/Collins troika
    4) Eventually, someone will do the calculation that says that it would be faster (and probably less risky) to re-vote, rather than wait for the Federal court or even Supremes to issue a Franken favoring ruling. (And I have little doubt that, if they wanted to, the RNC and Coleman campaign would push it all the way to the SCOTUS. And we know how well that will work out.)

    Now, Murray should have done her homework re: MN law not allowing a re-vote, and she deserves some shit for that. But the rest of the shit y’all are ascribing to her – well, I thought the link had misdirected me to RedState, based on your screeching.

    Get a fucking grip, will you?

  95. 95
    Ghost of Joe Liebling's Dog says:

    It seems more and more likely that the Minnesota race will wind up as a re-vote…. I don’t have a revote “theory.” I’m just wondering…
    ————–

    I wonder how reporters who work at real newspapers — or real reporters who work at the Post, there must be some left — feel about Murray coming out with this weird instant-U-turn bullshit? "It seems likely, except it doesn’t, and anyway I’m just idly kicking stuff around anyway, I dunno, it was just wild-ass idea, but why not?"

    Professional Journalism™ — gotta love it!

  96. 96
    scarshapedstar says:

    @SFAW:

    It’s not just that the re-vote would be illegal. It’s that it’s a stupid fucking idea. The law has been followed to a T and special elections have low turnout – even in a high profile situation like this – and shouldn’t be used as a do-over. (And, yes, I think conventional runoff elections suck. Instant runoffs are alright with me.)

    Might as well just have daily referendums and switch off between Coleman and Franken as the public’s whims change over the next 6 years.

  97. 97
    SFAW says:

    scarshapedstar –
    There’s a big difference between a re-vote and daily referenda, and you know it.

    I ain’t saying that a re-vote is a worthwhile idea. But Shailagh Murray made what would have been a relatively innocuous statement, had she bothered to explain her rationale. I tried to fill in the blanks, since I was getting tired of reading the RedState-or-LGF-esque rants herein.

    Look, sometimes people do a cost/benefit analysis relative to things like lawsuits. They decide that, even though they are almost certain to win the suit, the time and expense to go through the whole deal makes an out-of-court settlement an attractive option. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong, it just means it’s more important to them to move on, than to win in court.

    That’s what Murray was saying.

    And, no, I can’t read her mind, she’s not a close-personal-friend, I don’t have the hots for her, or any other ad hominem riposte that might occur to you or anyone else. It’s just that I read her comments, understood what she meant (having seen it expressed similarly numerous times in the past), and was trying to get the screechers back to substantive issues like "is it legal to have a re-vote?"

    In a just world, Norm Coleman and the RNC would be fined $5M or $10M for (A) wasting the court’s and country’s time, and (B) being such an asshole(s). Unfortunately, there ain’t been much justice in the last 8 years, so I’m not getting my hopes up.

  98. 98
    Jay Schiavone says:

    Get a fucking grip, will you?

    Sure, where’s your throat?
    I kid, I kid.

  99. 99
    SFAW says:

    Re: Jay @98 –
    Unfortunately (for you), you have about 3000 people ahead of you with the same wish, so there may not be enough left to grip by the time they get to you.

    Of course, for a "nominal fee", you can jump the queue a bit. How much you move up depends on your wallet, of course. Stimulus-bill-sized emoluments would get you pretty close to first in line. Make it in unmarked bills, please. (I woulda included "small" in that descriptor, but I don’t have a big house, etc.)

  100. 100

    […] few days ago, Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray suggested—on the basis of nothing—that there should be a revote in Minnesota. Apparently, […]

  101. 101

    […] already seen two Washington Post reporters write in favor of a revote in Minnesota. Now Rasumssen is out with a small sample poll in which a […]

  102. 102

    […] looks like there won’t be a revote in Minnesota—the Supreme Court just ruled in favor of Franken according to CNN and […]

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  1. […] looks like there won’t be a revote in Minnesota—the Supreme Court just ruled in favor of Franken according to CNN and […]

  2. […] already seen two Washington Post reporters write in favor of a revote in Minnesota. Now Rasumssen is out with a small sample poll in which a […]

  3. […] few days ago, Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray suggested—on the basis of nothing—that there should be a revote in Minnesota. Apparently, […]

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