They try to make them do a revote, I say no, no, no

A few days ago, Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray suggested — on the basis of nothing — that there should be a revote in Minnesota. Apparently, that’s what Coleman is shooting for now:

But five weeks into the election contest trial, the court has repeatedly issued rulings that narrow Coleman’s chances of either collecting enough newly counted ballots or throwing out already counted ballots — or some combination of the two. So in recent days, the Coleman legal team has become increasingly shrill in its attacks not just on the court but on the entire electoral process in Minnesota, getting closer every day to outright calling for the Nov. 4 election be declared null and void and a whole new election be held between Coleman and Franken. And now Coleman himself has suggested that a do-over election may be necessary.

Washington Post reporters do seem to like the idea in general for some reason (from today’s chat):

Paul Kane: As for a do-over election, there is precedent for it. 1974, New Hampshire Senate race. The US Senate ultimately decided it could not seat anyone, it was unable to determine the winner, therefore a do-over election in the fall of ’75 was held.

[…..]

N.H. Senate Race 1974: That race was much closer than the Franken/Coleman race — at some points in the process less than ten votes. There were a couple of recounts, and the leader changed back and forth in each recount. So finally a new election was held. The Minnesota gap is much wider and Coleman hasn’t come close to getting back in the lead since he lost it. No basis for following the NH example.

Paul Kane: I remember emailing a bunch of coworkers at almost 4 am election night, er, morning. With a subject line of: Franken is trailing by 75 — YES, SEVENTY-FIVE — votes out of nearly 3 million cast.

Sorry, but this race has been incredibly close, and the lead has switched. The New Hampshire example does apply, get over it.

Shorter Paul Kane: I wrote an email about how close the Minnesota race was, therefore there should be a revote.

These guys are nothing if not self-absorbed.






129 replies
  1. 1
    Tom65 says:

    Does Coleman really want a do-over? I’m pretty sure he’s pissed off just about everyone in the state, so I don’t see that being any more successful than his court challenges.

  2. 2
    John Cole says:

    Title is win.

    You really need to start tagging these WaPo chats with ‘I read these morons….’

  3. 3
    KCinDC says:

    Argh, so on election night, before all the votes were counted, Coleman was narrowly ahead, and that means the race is so close we have to have a revote, even though ever since all the votes were counted Coleman hasn’t even had a reasonable path to being ahead again?

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    You really need to start tagging these WaPo chats with ‘I read these morons….’

    You’re right. I just tagged this one.

  5. 5
    Bulworth says:

    "Get over it"? Very professional there, Washington Post. And wasn’t that what the media in effect said to Democrats in 2000? Only now I guess the people who have to "get over it" are the ones who have to submit to a revote when the Republican is trailing?

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    I can’t wait until Minn. certifies Franken as the winner (because they are not going to order a revote) and morons like Kane end up with egg on his face.

  7. 7
    AhabTRuler says:

    Sorry, but this race has been incredibly close, and the lead has switched. The New Hampshire example does apply, get over it.

    What a maroon!
    [/Bugs Bunny]

  8. 8
    Zach says:

    To be fair, if the exact same voters voted with exactly the same intent and the votes were counted in exactly the same way, the result would be a coin flip. This is within the margin of error.

    However, absent a law requiring a revote in the event of being within 0.00X% of the other person winning, it’s absurd to think that a new vote is the right choice since this would inevitably advantage one candidate over the other in a race that was proven to be even within error the first go around. It would be much more fair to flip a coin and seat the winner than to have a revote. Since the initial vote count is essentially a coin flip, seat whoever comes out ahead after obvious problems are sorted out in a recount.

  9. 9
    KCinDC says:

    Someone should have asked him whether he demanded a revote in the 2000 presidential race, which was proportionally far closer.

  10. 10
    rerun says:

    The results were amazingly close at the start of the voting day. The fact that the results at the end of the recount show it being not close does not matter.

  11. 11
    thefncrow says:

    The most infuriating thing about these calls is that there’s no basis whatsoever in Minnesota law to actually call for a re-do election.

    Not that it ever mattered to the Post.

  12. 12
    Danton says:

    Two thoughts…

    First, wouldn’t a re-vote entail a re-vote on all the Minnesota races?

    Second, I think Coleman would lose wicked bad.

    Of course, the point of what Coleman’s doing is to simply delay Franken’s arrival in the Senate.

  13. 13
    Keith says:

    Let the national GOP foot the bill for the election. I’m sure they’d grudgingly pay it, after all.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    What is it with the WaPo these days? It’s true that there’s been a lot of management and editorial turnover over the past few years. No more Katherine Graham, no more Mary McGrory– not to mention flat-out lefties like Colman McCarthy. Tipping point, anyone?

  15. 15
    NonyNony says:

    @Tom65:

    Does Coleman really want a do-over? I’m pretty sure he’s pissed off just about everyone in the state, so I don’t see that being any more successful than his court challenges.

    It may not be successful, but if the court hands down a "you lose Norm" the probability of him getting back into the seat without a re-vote goes to zero. So the only shot he’d have would be to get a re-vote.

    The longer he drags it out, the worse he looks and the less likely a victory in a "re-vote" seems. Plus even if he were to manage to get a re-vote forced by a Federal Court (which is probably the only way it happens), I can just hear the Democratic ads now – "Norm Coleman’s ego is forcing the state to waste X million dollars on a revote. Does that sound like fiscal responsibility to you?" He’ll be hammered. But his name is already mud, and if it slows Franken down from being able to join in the Democratic majority on the Hill, it’s worth money to the folks backing him.

    I’d be annoyed that the Post is playing the game with Coleman, but I’ve long determined that the folks at the Post are more interested in the races than in the actual outcomes of the race. Of course they want a re-vote – covering political races is exciting to them. Nevermind that it’s a pointless waste of time and money that the state of MN doesn’t have.

  16. 16
    KCinDC says:

    Thefncrow, I don’t think there was any basis in New Hampshire law for a revote in 1974. The Senate just refused to recognize the winner and required a special election. I’m hoping Harry Reid doesn’t fall under the spell of these Village bozos who are obsessed with the notion of a revote, but as the noise increases I’m beginning to worry.

  17. 17
    gbear says:

    There is NO legal framework in MN for a re-vote to occur. MN law is that, in the event of a tie, a coin flip chooses the winner. The MN courts have bent over backwards to both keep Norm’s sleazy lawyers happy and also to follow legal precedent established in a previous close governor’s race. Norm’s lawyers are trying to fuck this up to the point that they can take it to federal courts, but the MN court is doing this in a way that will not be able to appeal beyond the state supreme court. They probably will turn down the appeal because everything has been so by-the-book so far (except for Norm’s grandstanding).

    In about a month this whole thing will be over, Norm will have to go find another state to fuck with, and we in MN will all pour outside to sing and dance in the snow.

    Norm needs to shut the fuck up get his ass out of here.

  18. 18
    Napoleon says:

    @thefncrow:

    Not that it ever mattered to the Post.

    They don’t care about people being tortured in violation of law, do you really think they care about people being robbed of their vote matters?

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    @Bulworth: If nothing else, you have to appreciate the candor of the open contempt. I will take that over someone pretending to care while still writing insidious nonsense. At least you know where you as a reader stand with Kane.

  20. 20

    @gbear:

    Norm needs to shut the fuck up get his ass out of here.

    Maybe his half-brother Sid Rosenberg can help him find gainful employment.

  21. 21
    The Other Steve says:

    Thefncrow, I don’t think there was any basis in New Hampshire law for a revote in 1974. The Senate just refused to recognize the winner and required a special election.

    Ok, I don’t know the circumstances in NH, but let’s see…

    The Minnesota winner is a Democrat. The US Senate is controlled by Democrats. The Minnesota Legislature is controlled by Democrats in both chambers.

    The chances of US Senate rejecting request: zero
    The chances of MN Leg passing bill calling for new election: zero

    The only chance Coleman has is to win in court.

    And in the court of public opinion, nobody gives a shit.

  22. 22
    Laura W says:

    You’re killing me with your titles, Dude.
    Just seeing it over in the Recent Comments column made me laugh.

  23. 23
    AhabTRuler says:

    @MattF: Standard Colman McCarthy Caveat: McCarthy is a lefty only insofar that it does not interfere with his opposition to abortion.

    Edit: Also, I think he is a prick.

  24. 24
    bayville says:

    From the same chat:

    Princeton, N.J.: If you take the year earmarks were the worst, they were less than 1% of the deficit. This is a real red herring. Keep your eye on the ball, folks.

    Paul Kane: That’s a good point, Princeton.
    But let’s face facts. Whatever their overall % of the budget or GDP or whatever, earmarks now account for more than $15 billion a year, according to the independent Taxpayers for Common Sense.

    That’s enough to run many state governments. That’s a serious amount of money.

    (italacized mine)

    First, in the grand scheme, $15 billion is tip money when talking about trillions.
    But most importantly, the advisory board of the Taxpayers for Common Sense features: Randal O’Toole (a fellow at Cato); David Evans (former fellow w/Hoover Institute), GOP consultant Gordon Durnil, Reform Party bigwig Richard Lamb, entrepeneur Paul Hawken, Blue Dog hunk Timmy Penny and former Repub Congresswoman Claudine Schneider.

    Yes, a very independent group.

  25. 25
    John says:

    My understanding is that a revote could happen if the Senate basically refused to seat anyone and declared the seat empty. Then there would be a new special election. I don’t see why the Senate would want to do this, though.

  26. 26
    John says:

    Actually, though, is it clear there would be a special election if the Senate declared the seat vacant? I suppose it’s possible, depending on Minnesota’s laws, that this would result in Pawlenty getting to appoint Coleman until a special election could be held in 2010.

  27. 27
    mistermix says:

    Any method of voting is imprecise because some people just can’t master the voting technology (even pencil and paper), so their intent is unclear. It’s not crazy to believe that a race that’s within some tiny margin (say .1%) is indistinguishable from a coin-flip, and therefore a re-vote might be the best solution for a democracy.

    I don’t expect a reporter to make that argument. But couldn’t they at least interview some kind of expert, like a poli sci prof who does some research in these areas?

  28. 28
    Incertus says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: That explains so much–that fucker is on sports radio down in Miami, and is the primary reason I rigged up a way to listen to my iPod in my car.

  29. 29
    Joshua Norton says:

    I wonder if this has something to do with the sudden interest in a revote:

    "Al Franken and ACORN: How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System"

    Apparently people running for office and other people voting for them is exactly what is wrong with this country!

    Words fail….

  30. 30
    rickles says:

    re: Bulworth @ 5,
    It’s always the Democrats who have to "get over it!"

  31. 31
    gbear says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Norm already found a new job a month ago as a consultant with the Republican Jewish Coalition.

  32. 32
    The Other Steve says:

    Maybe his half-brother Sid Rosenberg can help him find gainful employment.

    Holy shit! I had no idea.

    Not that I’d really hold what a half brother does against someone, but it fits into a lot of other stories about the family like his father being arrested for having sex in the parking lot of the local pizza joint… and the philandering stories about Norm.

  33. 33
    Cris says:

    @Bulworth: And wasn’t that what the media in effect said to Democrats in 2000?

    As I remember it, there was no "in effect" about it. The phrase "get over it" was stated explicitly and repeatedly.

  34. 34

    I’m sure the fact that a re-vote would provide a nice, high profile, substance lacking, horeserace for professional political reporters has nothing whatsoever to do with why professional political reporters are subtley agitating for a re-vote.

    Because everyone knows journalism never has any conflicts of interest, ya know.

  35. 35
    gbear says:

    "Al Franken and ACORN: How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System"

    Words fail….

    fixed.

  36. 36
    Singularity says:

    The next reporter who uses the phrase "get over it" like it’s some kind of undefeatable argument ender needs to be fired. I’m unbelievably sick and tired of these clowns behaving as if, because they managed to slither their way into a job in the DC media market, they are somehow morally superior to everyone else. The condescention inherent in that phrase is the sort of thing that would make people avoid you at social gatherings, if you used it in a setting with live bodies. But somehow the fact that it’s used in a chat window against anonymous nobodies from outside the Beltway makes it okay to say. Just another indication of why the "national" newspapers continue to slide into oblivion.

  37. 37
    DougJ says:

    It’s not crazy to believe that a race that’s within some tiny margin (say .1%) is indistinguishable from a coin-flip, and therefore a re-vote might be the best solution for a democracy.

    Sure, but that’s not what the law says here.

    It doesn’t matter what’s crazy or not crazy.

  38. 38

    @gbear: I know, but Coleman just irritates the hell out of me, so I use any excuse to remind others of his "associations." We all know how important those sort of things are to Republicans. You know, cooties, and all.

  39. 39
    Adrienne says:

    They try to make them do a revote, I say no, no, no

    I love the Amy Whino/Crackhouse (Winehouse) reference. She may be 3 sheets to the wind and crazy as all hell, but her album is disgustingly, ridiculously good.

  40. 40
    joes527 says:

    Coleman’s best chance at this point is to get the election declared a tie. If the court declares that the election is too close to call (Not unreasonable. there have been 2 counts with 2 different results, and Franken’s margin is tiny compared to the inevitable error collecting and counting that many votes) then it goes to a coin toss and Norm gets a 50-50 chance of winning.

    Frightening thought actually.

  41. 41
    Incertus says:

    @bayville:

    That’s enough to run many state governments. That’s a serious amount of money.

    California’s budget deficit alone was $16 billion. Now admittedly, they have the biggest state budget in the nation, but still, Kane’s trying to make $15 billion sound a lot larger than it really is. Hell, Florida’s budget deficit is around $3.4 billion this year, with an overall budget of $65.4 billion. Yeah, $15 billion will run someplace like Montana–even Louisiana’s budget is $30 billion a year, and Louisiana is a relatively small state, population-wise.

  42. 42
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    February 26, 2011:

    Republican Norm Coleman today called for a fifth re-vote for Minnesota’s hotly contested Senate seat. "I have challenged the results of the four previous re-votes because the wrong candidate won," Mr. Coleman was quoted as saying. "Minnesota must keep holding re-votes until the will of the people is clearly carried out."

    In other news, AIG has asked the government for an emergency loan of an additional 200Bn dollars. This would bring AIG’s total to a little over 1.5 trillion dollars in government emergency funding.

  43. 43
    jwb2005 says:

    Given the peculiarities of the MN election—it was a three-person race—I thought they should have gone to a revote as soon as it was clear that it was going to a recount, since it was already clear it was going to be a mess and in any case neither of them would be going to the Senate with any sort of mandate. At the time Coleman was arguing that Franken should step down for the good of the state—of course that reasoning went out the window as soon as Coleman fell behind in the recount. But the problem is that neither of these candidates is (or at least was) well liked by the electorate. My sense is that Coleman has pissed off a lot more people than has Franken, but whether he’s pissed off enough people that Franken would win is an interesting question. I’d be curious to know if there is any polling on the question.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    Can we please get a revote for 2000? I am sure that we would get a more definitive result, one not the result of the Supreme Court handing the Presidency to the loser.

  45. 45
    Will Danz says:

    Sorry, but this race has been incredibly close, and the lead has switched. The New Hampshire example does apply, get over it.

    Quite aside from the idiotic non-rebuttal rebuttal —

    "Get over it?" What kind of junior high princess way is that for a journalist to respond to a reader who made a decent, respectful case?

    What a bunch of fucking little Heathers these Beltway clowns are.

  46. 46
    Napoleon says:

    By the way, has anyone else notice not only is BJ getting a bunch of cross links from the ussual suspects in the netroots, but that includes quite a few DougJ post.

  47. 47
    gbear says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Bring it on! I didn’t even know about Rosenberg. I really love the story about his dad getting busted with a prostitute in the parking lot of the best pizza place in St. Paul. At least they ate well before getting hauled off to the county jail two blocks away.

  48. 48
    KCinDC says:

    It’s not crazy to believe that a race that’s within some tiny margin (say .1%) is indistinguishable from a coin-flip, and therefore a re-vote might be the best solution for a democracy.

    It may not be crazy, but I’m not sure it makes much sense. If people are that closely divided, why would you expect a revote to be any more decisive, and even if it were, why would you assume it was a better reflection of public sentiment. What is the gain that’s worth the expense of an new election?

    Just declare the candidate who apparently got more votes the winner, regardless of the margin. If there’s an exact tie or mixed evidence about who’s ahead, go with the coin flip.

  49. 49
    bootlegger says:

    @DougJ: Not only that, but how could you ever convince people that "your vote counts" if you know that a margin of error will produce a revote.

  50. 50
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @bootlegger:
    Your Republican vote counts. Democrats should just get over it.

  51. 51
    DougJ says:

    To be clear, the case for revote in NH (made by the Senate) was that it was too close to call, in effect, or more precisely that it would never get sorted out.

    But that’s not the case here, based on what’s gone on in court.

  52. 52
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Will Danz:

    Apparently the Mulligan Election is a foregone conclusion in the Village. It is just and good and necessary.

    Well, that sure gives me a ton of faith in their reporting.

    Speaking of, would it be irresponsible to speculate whether the Coleman camp has been encouraging Shillelagh and Co. to tell us that the revote is coming and to Get Over It?

  53. 53
    Will Danz says:

    P.S. Excuse my ignorance… what IS the title of this post referring to?

    sincerely,
    a dumb guy

  54. 54
    bootlegger says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: Jeebus, do you counsel rape victims? (Which Texas gubernatorial candidate said "if a woman is being raped, she should relax and enjoy it?)
    According to Minnesota law a recount was mandatory. Following the law Franken won. It’s a goddamned crime that he isn’t already seated in the senate.

  55. 55
    KCinDC says:

    Those of you trying to explain the media’s attitude by noting that a revote would be exciting and good for the news business are being too kind. Note that in 2000 the media was incredibly impatient with any attempts by Gore to get votes counted properly, whereas in this Senate race they have endless tolerance for Coleman’s tactics even though they have no reasonable hope of changing the result. This isn’t about hoping for exciting news — it’s about wanting Republicans to win.

  56. 56
    Napoleon says:

    P.S. Excuse my ignorance… what IS the title of this post referring to?

    Amy Winehouse’s song Rehab.

    http://www.lyrics.com/index.ph.....t-10221724

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Will Danz says:

    Oh, for crap’s sake… I should have gotten that.

    Thanks Napoleon & gbear.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    I don’t think a re-vote solves it if it’s close again. Coleman’s lawyers are arguing that the standard for a valid ballot was applied unevenly, one way today, in court, and one way at the local Board of elections level, during the original count period.
    They’ve moved from contesting ballots that were pulled out for review by local officials, that narrow universe, to contesting ballots that were not pulled out for review by local officials, the whole universe. They’re contesting the whole process.
    To meet the standard they are demanding, the court would review each absentee ballot and make an initial determination of whether it is counted at all. If that doesn’t happen, and it won’t, they have the same argument post re-vote that they have today, and it’s back to court.

  60. 60
    neff says:

    What is public opinion of Coleman looking like in Minnesota right now — are there polls going on? Has he irritated people to the point that a lot of people who voted for him in November would switch if there were another vote?

  61. 61
    NonyNony says:

    @KCinDC:

    Note that in 2000 the media was incredibly impatient with any attempts by Gore to get votes counted properly, whereas in this Senate race they have endless tolerance for Coleman’s tactics even though they have no reasonable hope of changing the result. This isn’t about hoping for exciting news—it’s about wanting Republicans to win.

    In Gore’s case I don’t think it was actually about wanting Republicans to win as much as it was about wanting Gore to lose. The Village media despised Gore for reasons that I don’t think I will ever understand.

    It may well be the same with Franken – there’s actually a lot not to like about Al Franken, especially if you’re one of the chattering parasites that make up the Washington DC media circus.

    So perhaps the "it sells more papers" explanation is a bit too glib, but I think there’s some of that in there. As for why it didn’t come out with Gore – well, it was too personal. They’d rather see him fail than sell more papers and run the risk that he might actually win.

  62. 62
    The Dangerman says:

    2000 GOP On Revote (on election that was horribly flawed):

    "Get over it"

    2008 The Dangerman’s Three Thoughts On Revote (on election recount that has been exceedingly careful):

    "No, fuck no, and are you fucking out of your minds?"

  63. 63
    Laura W says:

    @Napoleon: Yeah, and in more cases than not, DougJ doesn’t even get the credit/blame. Still attributed to John Cole. I almost commented on one of them that I followed back, the blogger was so sloppy and lazy…but it’s not my battle, really.
    I guess it could be since posting song links for BOB and Fuckhead aren’t full-time hobbies (yet).
    (Edit: Is that what you meant by cross links? I’m not super-hep to all the blogging lingo quite yet. Maybe you meant track backs? Or did I? Does it even really matter?)

  64. 64
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    OT: I was just watching Gibbs having fun with the White House press corpse. Someone was questioning the wisdom of taxing people who make over $250,000 a year and Gibbs was almost outright laughing at the objection. He was polite but he was struggling to find a way to point out his disbelief at the tone deafness of the question given the times we are in.

    I like that Gibbs. He seems to enjoy his work and he works the press real well.

  65. 65
    Davis X. Machina says:

    It’s not just the get-over-it that reeks of hypocrisy.

    I remember a lot of loose talk in 2000 about Democrats insisting on counting over and over until the count came out the way they wanted it.

    Which was bad.

    Then. But not now.

    Or something.

  66. 66
    John Cole says:

    @Laura W: I have a good eye for talent, what can I say?

  67. 67
    Zach says:

    @mistermix:

    Any method of voting is imprecise because some people just can’t master the voting technology (even pencil and paper), so their intent is unclear. It’s not crazy to believe that a race that’s within some tiny margin (say .1%) is indistinguishable from a coin-flip, and therefore a re-vote might be the best solution for a democracy.

    A does not imply B here. In the case of a statistical tie, the best solution for democracy is a coin flip. That most accurately reflects the intent of the voters on the day of the election. A revote would possibly confer structural advantages or disadvantages to one candidate or the other that didn’t exist on election day and would involve issues that weren’t at play or have involved since election day.

    Guess what: an unbiased recount (and by all accounts the MN judiciary has been entirely fair) is essentially a coin flip. Actually, I think it would be more fair to throw out the results of a recount and revert to the original results if the recount didn’t shift the total number of votes counted by more than the margin of error in recording the votes in the first place. I don’t know how many votes were added to the tally here (have only been following the change in the Franken-Coleman difference).

  68. 68
    gbear says:

    OT: Are any blogs covering CPAC? I could use a good laugh today.

  69. 69
    Comrade Dread says:

    The only fair way to settle this is in a Thunderdome death match broadcast on PPV with the proceeds going to help close the gap in this years budget.

    In fact, I think we need a constitutional amendment to make that the way to settle presidential primaries and elections.

  70. 70
    Napoleon says:

    @Laura W:

    I don’t know technical language at all. Maybe I should have said "linked to".

  71. 71
    Feebog says:

    The New Hampshire example does not apply, and anyone who studied the matter for a few minutes would know it. First, the margins were in double digits after two, count ’em, two recounts. Second, the results went to the Senate, which diddled around for about six months "investigating" irregularities. Third, the revote was the result of the candidates agreeing to a revote, where upon the Senate declared the seat vacant so a revote could occur.

    On the other hand, MN law provides for one, and only one hand recount. That recount was accomplished, and Al Franken was certified as the winner by 225 votes. MN law also provides for an election contest, which is now in its 5th week. So far, Team Coleman has lost every major legal battle in the contest. Team Coleman is nearing the end of their case. When that happens, the ECC may open the ballots that they have allowed in, and Franken’s lead will expand by a 100 or more votes. At that point, it is game, set and match, with an appeal to the MNSC the only recourse for Team Coleman. That appeal will be denied, and Franken will be certified. The only thing that will extend this contest is if the judges require Franken to put on his case before opening any ballots.

  72. 72
    gbear says:

    @John Cole:

    Hopefully you’ve never used that line in a bar. It would explain too much about why you’re single.

  73. 73
    MikeJ says:

    I’ve long said that what Coleman wants is to make it impossible to cast an absentee ballot.

  74. 74
    SLKRR says:

    @bayville:

    But most importantly, the advisory board of the Taxpayers for Common Sense features: Randal O’Toole (a fellow at Cato);

    Now you’re just making stuff up. There’s no way that anyone not employed by the porn industry is named Randy O’Toole.

  75. 75
    Napoleon says:

    @NonyNony:

    It may well be the same with Franken – there’s actually a lot not to like about Al Franken, especially if you’re one of the chattering parasites that make up the Washington DC media circus.

    That is absolutely what it is about. They are not pro Coleman they are anti-Franken.

    The DC press is a clown show and it will be that much more obvious if an actual clown becomes senator and can actually talk about policy in a way the DC press can not.

  76. 76
    Napoleon says:

    By the way, what does it take to seat someone in the Senate. Is it a straight up or down vote by the Senators with no filibuster or closure vote? If not that could basically be what we see the Republican’s playing for, cover to simply not seat Franken via filibuster (well as it exist in the senate of limp dick Harry Reid), even though he is the duly elected Senator.

  77. 77
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @bootlegger:
    I think that you missed my irony. Either that or I missed my irony.

  78. 78
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @gbear:
    I’m sure that Joe the Not-Plumber’s address to them will be excerpted on Faux News.

  79. 79
    Indylib says:

    Completely OT, but it’s about damned time!

    As a military spouse, I think the family should be able to say no to cameras at funerals if they choose to, but I see nothing disrepectful in showing flag draped coffins at Dover. The American people should see the cost of war in a more tangible way than a number in a damned newspaper article.

  80. 80
    Ash Can says:

    Completely OT, but likely to be of interest to many folks here: The Pentagon is lifting the ban on media coverage of returning war dead at Dover.

    ETA: Hats off to Indylib, who beat me to it fair and square (besides wording it much more effectively). :)

  81. 81
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Indylib:
    Here, here! As a vet I thought that not showing the flag draped coffins was simply a way of trying to ignore the actual sacrifice of those service persons and their families.

  82. 82
    Laura W says:

    @John Cole: You are a true talent spotter, John.
    Here’s one for you. I think you could use a trip to Paris, frankly. The first part of it is a little something for you from Sarah Palin.

  83. 83

    Mr. Kane is the epitome of the fearless Washington reporter. He applies the George W. Bush principles of decision making. My original gut feeling is right, never admit error, and stay the course.

    I was going to try and paraphrase Mr. Kane’s last exchange to make him sound more juvenile and petulant, but gave up. How can I top this?

    Paul Kane: I remember emailing a bunch of coworkers at almost 4 am election night, er, morning. With a subject line of: Franken is trailing by 75—YES, SEVENTY-FIVE—votes out of nearly 3 million cast.

    Sorry, but this race has been incredibly close, and the lead has switched. The New Hampshire example does apply, get over it.

    I even asked my fourteen year old daughter for help. She gave up and is now sulking in her room with the door closed.

  84. 84
    BenA says:

    The funniest thing about the Coleman effort to date, is that the only thing it’s really accomplished is adding votes to Franken’s total….

  85. 85
    Justin says:

    Coleman gave up his right to contest the count when he came out on Election night and said he was the winner, and Franken should concede within the next ten minutes to avoid a protracted battle that would leave Minnesotans without Senate representation while it was fought out in court.

    I don’t see how a special election favors Coleman. The independent, Barkely, took 15% of the vote, and is widely regarded to have siphoned the most votes from Franken. In a do-over, Franken would likely win by a very clear margin.

    Of course, if the whole point is simply keeping a Democrat out of the Senate while a lot of big legislation passes, it makes more sense.

  86. 86
    mistermix says:

    @DougJ:

    Let me put it another way: If you’re going to have a theoretical discussion about re-voting (which, I agree, is all it is, since MN law is clear), then you should get your theories from someone who might actually have done some serious thinking and/or research on the topic. You shouldn’t pull them out of your ass/sent folder.

  87. 87

    Paul Kane

    Paul Kane: I remember emailing a bunch of coworkers at almost 4 am election night, er, morning. With a subject line of: Franken is trailing by 75—YES, SEVENTY-FIVE—votes out of nearly 3 million cast.
    Sorry, but this race has been incredibly close, and the lead has switched. The New Hampshire example does apply, get over it. suck it bitches.

    Fixed.

    In Washington State we had a similar situation to this in the 2004 gubernatorial election. Christine Gregoire won the election by just a little over 100 votes. The wingnuts were outraged, claiming that the election had been stolen with the aid of the incompetent King County Elections office (to be fair the King County Elections office was pretty incompetent). Gregoire was finally certified and the wingnuts vowed revenge. So for four years the wingnuts kept telling everyone how Dino Rossi, the greasy bastard that they’d run in 2004 had been robbed.

    So in 2008 Rossi is the Republican candidate for governor, he’s had four years of public exposure thanks to the IGRDD* that was the 2004 election. He’s had four years to get the base good and riled up, he’s got pockets full of cash from the BIAW** and he’s rarin to go. And do you know what, despite a lackluster campaign by Gregoire he lost the election by seven percentage points. Given this example I have to wonder how things would really work out for Coleman in a revote.

    *IGRDD=Intergalactic Goat Roping Dick Dance

    **BIAW=Building Industry Association of Washington, think Republicans for a housing bubble and minimal government regulation.

    ***I have to confess that I did, on a few local message boards, tell Republicans who were were upset by the results of the 2004 election that they had gotten to steal Florida, and thereby the country, in 2000 so that they should suck it up and stop bitching about the Democrats stealing Washington in 2004.

  88. 88
    jenniebee says:

    Thanks @Indylib, and good news. I wonder though if the policy that the families of the deceased have to give their consent to have the returning coffins photoed isn’t going to have the same effect – kind of like, nobody is forbidding Hollywood from using "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" in any of their movies or shows, but since Lightfoot gave the rights to the families of all the victims of the shipwreck, it’s too much bother chasing everyone down to get their permission. And since a single "no" scuttles the whole thing, it’s really not worth the trouble.

    Given that condition, that permission must be given by the family, I thought this part was especially disingenuous:

    But a spokeswoman for a military family group said the group was disappointed in the policy change. "This is a complete disregard for the will of America’s military families and the need for their privacy during this solemn moment," said Meghan Tisinger, spokeswoman for Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission.

    Or are the cheerleaders just not trying anymore to hide the fact they think we’re stupid?

  89. 89
    jcricket says:

    We go 82 responses and no one mentions WA State’s 2004 Gubernatorial race (Gregoire v. Rossi)? Rossi is ahead in the initial count, but the difference is small enough to require (state law mandated) a machine recount. Rossi is still ahead after machine recount, but it’s even closer, requiring (state law mandated) a hand recount. Gregoire is ahead after the hand recount, and is declared the winner. Rossi sues.

    He loses the case, and the judge specifically admonishes Rossi and his lawyers for making all kinds of claims (fraud, double voting, etc) but providing no proof. Wingnuts go crazy, and to this day still say "Seattle stole the election"

    Postscript, Rossi tries to run on this issue again in 2008, and loses badly, by like 7%.

    The lawyers on Franken’s side are the same lawyers that Gregoire used, only this time they’re doing a better job. But there’s little you can do to prevent the grandstanding from Coleman and his lawyers, who are operating in bad faith.

    Edit: Comment #87 was written while I was writing this, so my bad.

  90. 90
    jcricket says:

    **BIAW=Building Industry Association of Washington, think Republicans for a housing bubble and minimal government regulation.

    WA Democrats need to get some cajones and simply defund the BIAW’s political arm by reforming/ending the retro rebate program. I don’t care if it’s revenge or not (really, the program should work differently).

  91. 91
    Indylib says:

    @jenniebee:

    I wonder though if the policy that the families of the deceased have to give their consent to have the returning coffins photoed isn’t going to have the same effect

    This is just my opinion, but from my experience about how the military goes about these things, I think they will probably just remove the coffin of a serviceman who’s family objects out of range of the photograph.

    I haven’t spoken to many people in the Navy who thought the ban was a good idea and I really can’t say about families in the other services, but my general impression is that there really aren’t that many folks in the military community who would object to pictures of the flag-draped coffins at Dover. I could be wrong of course, my exposure to the other services is not extensive.

  92. 92
    JenJen says:

    Paul Kane is quite the pithy little asshole, isn’t he?

  93. 93
    gex says:

    @bayville:

    But let’s face facts. Whatever their overall % of the budget or GDP or whatever, earmarks now account for more than $15 billion a year, according to the independent Taxpayers for Common Sense. That’s enough to run many state governments. That’s a serious amount of money.

    Well that’s all win, then. It’s not like those earmarks were going to states, anyhow. What insightful analysis.

  94. 94
    jnfr says:

    I’ve been googling a bit but I can’t find any recent Minnesota polling.

    I do wish the WashPost would hire some reporters who have gotten past high school, though.

  95. 95
    Tom Hilton says:

    What a maroon!
    [/Bugs Bunny]

    Also: what an ignoranimus!

  96. 96
    Maus says:

    Coleman is the drunk jerk at your party who keeps trying to "double or nothing", but only until he wins.

  97. 97
    Indylib says:

    @jenniebee:

    Meghan Tisinger, spokeswoman for Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission.

    It would also seem that the group who got quoted in the story is a little wingnutty.

  98. 98
    Maus says:

    It would also seem that the group who got quoted in the story is a little wingnutty.

    Who else would the media quote? Reasonable sources don’t make for infotainment, you know.

  99. 99
    Tonal Crow says:

    Sorry GOPtards, but elections have consequences, and the consequences here are that you lost, and we won.

  100. 100
    DougJ says:

    If you’re going to have a theoretical discussion about re-voting (which, I agree, is all it is, since MN law is clear), then you should get your theories from someone who might actually have done some serious thinking and/or research on the topic. You shouldn’t pull them out of your ass/sent folder.

    I agree.

    BTW, the “percentage closeness” is not the issue here. It’s more complicated.

    Here’s what might be called the standard error for an election. Take the proportion of votes where voter or processing error screwed up the vote. Let’s suppose for the purpose of argument that “screwed up” here means the vote wasn’t registered at all, as opposed to going to the wrong person. Call this proportion p.

    The standard error is then
    sqrt{ p(p-1) * (total number of votes) }

    I know this isn’t truly statistically valid, I taught basic stats out of FPP (with F and P) for three years, so please no one lecture me about this.

    Let’s say for purposes of argument that in Minnesota this voter/processing error occurred 1 percent of the time. Then what we get is about

    180 votes

    I have no ideas what the error rate is though, so I’m just throwing that out there.

    And of course this assumes the error rate is the same for both candidates! Which it probably isn’t.

  101. 101
    gwangung says:

    Sorry GOPtards, but elections have consequences, and the consequences here are that you lost, and we won.

    But-but-but…that’s not bi-partisanship!

  102. 102
    gbear says:

    Well there’s a story in the WaPo that has some intentional humor this morning:

    Joe the Author, Plumbing New Lows in Interest

    About 11 people wandered into the rows of seats set up hopefully in the basement of a downtown Border’s bookstore to hear Joe speak. Joe addressed them from behind a lectern and with a microphone, but that seemed unnecessarily formal.
    It’s fair to say Joe’s appearance at Borders at 18th and L streets wasn’t eagerly anticipated. People just kind of shuffled over when Joe strode in with Thomas N. Tabback, the co-author of "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream." Annie Hickman, a young woman whom Wurzelbacher called "sweetie" during a brief Q&A, was browsing when the PA announced that Joe was in the house. "I’m missing pottery class for this," she said.
    Lawyer Alana Hecht was curious. "I was upstairs reading ‘Dreams From My Father,’ " Obama’s memoir. "It’s just fate. Who could leave when this is happening?" She and Hickman laughed. Washington, such a weird town.

  103. 103
    John Cole says:

    Re: Louisiana’s budget.

    The odious scumbag Tom DeLay was on Hardball last night, and one of the things he was crowing about was how well Jindal had run the state.

    Two things- Louisiana is an oil state, so wouldn’t revenues be up for that but now they would start to be in a world of hurt with the price of oil plummeting?

    Second, wouldn’t the shit ton of money we spent in the state rebuilding have an impact on revenues, or would that just cross out what was lost in the hurricane.

    I’m asking, not asserting.

  104. 104
    WereBear says:

    I have been suspicious of the "they are just chasing controversy" excuse since Jeff Gannon’s strange fading from the scene, with so many juicy details left un-squeezed.

    What tabloid in their right mind would have dropped it so quickly… unless there was influence.

    Ifyouknowwhutimean.

  105. 105
    Noonan says:

    So, one revote happened 30 years ago and that makes the argument for a revote rational? Jeebus.

  106. 106
    Leo says:

    You guys seen this thread over at Sean Hannity’s website? It’s a poll:

    What Kind of Revolution?

    1. Military Coup – The military deposes the government and declares itself in charge. A junta rules until democracy can be restored, similar to what happened in Pakistan.

    2. Armed Rebellion – The fed up civilian population attacks their enemies forcibly. They take to the streets, or wherever they need to go, to ultimately depose the government and install one that follows their own ideals.

    3. War for secession – Individual states try to secede and perhaps ultimately must arm to do it.

    Yikes.

  107. 107
    AnneLaurie says:

    In Gore’s case I don’t think it was actually about wanting Republicans to win as much as it was about wanting Gore to lose. The Village media despised Gore for reasons that I don’t think I will ever understand.

    It may well be the same with Franken – there’s actually a lot not to like about Al Franken, especially if you’re one of the chattering parasites that make up the Washington DC media circus.

    Al Gore was given every opportunity to be another Dubya — he was born into a wealthy family from America’s political aristocracy. Instead, Gore actually *went* to Vietnam (as a journalist, to be sure), came home, graduated with a real degree, did some time reporting, worked his way up the political ladder starting as a lowly rep, and wrote a best-selling book before becoming Vice-President.

    Al Franken, despite having a face made for radio and a voice made for print, carved out a very successful career at a series of "glamorous" media jobs — Saturday Night Live, Hollywood, his anti-Rethuglican books, the USO tours, etc.

    The Media Village is full of Idiots who spend their lives explaining to each other that, in an ideal world, they’d write that novel, finish that screenplay, stay married to their first spouse, make a difference in their communities, stand up for their principles, etc etc etc. Especially if they’d had the kind of aristocratic advantages and/or natural gifts that *some* people just throw away! But alas, real world, cold hard truths, can’t beat the system… (mutter mutter, sip drink… )

    OF COURSE it drives them into hissy-fits worthy of a bunch of junior-high princesses when Al Gore, or Al Franken, actually goes out there and lives the honorable life the Media Village Idiots have convinced each other is UnPossible! Not only does it make the MVIdiots look bad in front of their audience, but it awakens their vestigial consciences and all-too-active envy glands. How DARE those Als cause Sally Quinn and David Broder to lie awake in the cold pre-dawn and question their own choices?

    What do Those Al People think this is — a democracy, or something?

  108. 108
    Ash Can says:

    Once again off topic, but once again likely to be of interest to the folks here: Federal prosecutors are preparing charges against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. According to the article and commenters at the GOS who appear to be lawyers and therefore by definition know light years more than me, this looks to be the beginning of the return to rule of law that we’ve been waiting/hoping for ever since our government began snatching people off the street, locking them up, and throwing away the key. I’m hoping to learn more about this from the lawyers here, but to my untrained eye the term "habeus corpus" (re)appears.

  109. 109
    jibeaux says:

    @Leo:

    Wow, hasn’t enough time passed that to stop being amused by dancing animations anymore? Migraine city over there. I prefer the expensive Northern European furniture style layout a la BJ.

  110. 110
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Bobby Jindal has been governor for a whole year. It took Republicans on the national stage at least five years to really break shit good.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    The New Hampshire example does apply, get over it.

    This problem could be solved simply by smashing in Paul Kane’s kneecaps.

  112. 112
    gbear says:

    This is the precedent that’s being used as a model in the MN recount. If the current proceedings follow this model, the case can’t move into the federal courts because the the feds have already ruled that the 1962 proceedings were fair.

    The process is working slowly but well in MN and Coleman knows it. He also knows that calling for a revote is completely stupid. Unfortunately, the national press is completely stupid too.

  113. 113
    gbear says:

    @Leo:

    4. Mass suicide by drinking cyanide Koolaid.

  114. 114

    […] Leo in the comments, here’s a thread at […]

  115. 115
    Mike in NC says:

    "This is a complete disregard for the will of America’s military families and the need for their privacy during this solemn moment," said Meghan Tisinger, spokeswoman for Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission.

    As a reservist, I’ve been getting junk mail for years from groups like this, who are pushing some variation of the "Support Our Troops" meme. Usually they’ll include a photo of the founder posing for a photo-op with Dubya or Cheney, and a request for money to buy stuff like improved body armor or medical care for wounded vets. Excuse me, but isn’t that the job of the frickin’ U.S. Government to begin with? A little bit of digging around their websites will usually reveal them to be wingnuts with an agenda of some sort, as was the case with this outfit.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    You guys seen this thread over at Sean Hannity’s website?

    Exhibit A for Sean Hannity’s summary execution.

  117. 117
    bob h says:

    Since Obama would come in to campaign with Franken, Coleman would have his ass royally kicked. But he would deprive Obama of his 59th Senator for awhile.

  118. 118

    This is great. Can we have a revote of the 2000 presidential election, too? And just roll back the past 8 years? That would be teh awesome.

  119. 119
    PHB says:

    The NH example is a bad one because the Senate made an affirmative vote to invalidate the election.

    The GOP only have 41 votes. That is not a majority. GOPers and their lackeys need to get over that. They do not have the power to overturn or filibuster this election vote.

    It is not in the interests of the Democrats to start the partisan bullshit. But they would be more than happy if they can gull the GOP into playing silly partisan games as that would give them the excuse to drop the pretense of bipartisanship.

    Filibustering the seating of Franken after the criminally indicted Coleman loses his case would be a gift for the Democrats. One that they would just love to put on display.

  120. 120
    Terry C - Viva La Vida! says:

    Hey, Norm!

    Ya got beat.

    Can we stop the BS now?

  121. 121
    tomtom says:

    ummmm.

    I like Al Franken and I don’t think there should be a re-vote but…

    I think Paul Kane’s point is that the Coleman Franken election is close enough so we can no longer be sure who really won. As an engineer I think he is right. Every measurement has a tolerance, and we are inside the tolerance in this race. I disagree with Kane that this justifies a re-vote.

    Sometimes elections are too close to be sure who really won, but a re-vote doesn’t solve that problem. A re-vote now would be a national election attracting unbelievable outside influence and money, so it would not be a better measure of who won than what we have, which is close to a coin toss.

    Two reasons for no re-vote:

    1. A re-vote doesn’t get us closer to the truth about what happened last November.
    2. Butterfly ballot, 2000, Florida.

    Sorry, Norm. If you want to make some emotional appeal about what the voters really meant you are in the wrong party.

  122. 122
    Cool says:

    The question to ask is what Paul Kane’s position was on the Florida recount in 2000.

    Somehow I suspect that back then he thought that it was more important to decide the winner quickly than to get it right.

    Not that his ethics are situational or anything.

  123. 123
    liberal says:

    @Southern Beale:
    Actually, we don’t need to have a revote of Election 2000. The US Supreme Court overturned Bush v. Gore last December.

  124. 124
    Carl Henry says:

    So if there is a revote and Coleman wins by 250, is there another do-over?

  125. 125
    ignoreland says:

    The part about a revote that worries me are those Barkley voters who were pulled from Coleman’s camp – do you think they’d go back and vote for Franken? And who will get to vote – only people who voted in the November general, or anyone who shows up at the polls? How much messy could it get?

  126. 126
    pbg says:

    My first reaction was–he makes this evaluation now?
    This is an argument to be made the day after the election–or at the latest, after the recount.
    At that point he might have credibility, but not after 5 weeks of squabbling legal challenges, embarrassing witnesses, double-Immelman reversals, and decision after decision going against him.
    Coleman agreed, at least implicitly, to let the courts decide, and then dragged it out as long as possible. He’s now violating that commitment.
    He’s more or less shouting "Two Out of Three! Two out of three!"

  127. 127
    Mr Blifil says:

    Get over it, you stinking pajama hippies with your breath, your farts and toe cheese. Leave the thinking to the people who send their shirts out on the weekends to be returned with varying amounts of starch in the collar, according to taste.

  128. 128
    SFAW says:

    I think Paul Kane’s point is that the Coleman Franken election is close enough so we can no longer be sure who really won. As an engineer I think he is right. Every measurement has a tolerance, and we are inside the tolerance in this race. I disagree with Kane that this justifies a re-vote.

    Sometimes elections are too close to be sure who really won, but a re-vote doesn’t solve that problem. A re-vote now would be a national election attracting unbelievable outside influence and money, so it would not be a better measure of who won than what we have, which is close to a coin toss.

    tomtom –
    There’s a difference between a poll’s margin of error (a/k/a tolerance) and the counting of votes. One is statistically derived, the other is an actual measurement. And any measurement error will apply equally to both candidates (assuming the same methodology throughout, and no tamperable devices a la Diebold’s machines).

    Now, we could probably get into an angel/pinhead argument whether there is variation in the precinct-to-precinct counting. But who has the time?

    So, I guess I’m saying that we CAN be sure, because votes can be counted, and winning by one or two votes is still winning.

    Speaking as an engineer, that is.

  129. 129

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

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