Friday, January 23, 2009

Spoken Like a True Ambulance-Chaser!

From the Land of 10,000 Recounts comes this item. Al Franken, the comic who's ahead by a nose in the Minnesotan Senatorial race, moved to dismiss his opponent's recount lawsuit, and argued that the court could only check the arithmetic, not the actual validity of the votes. The court, naturally, didn't buy this, and let the suit proceed--without expressing any opinion as to the truth of Coleman's allegations. But the kicker was this: Coleman's attorney, Ben Ginsberg, called the decision a "stinging defeat" for Franken.

Now, what in tarnation does that mean? Franken's still 225 votes up; he's still the presumptive junior Senator from Minnesota; Coleman, not he, still has to prove that the electoral system somehow screwed up (which is harder to do than one might think).

All this decision means is that Franken suffers the continued nuisance and expense of defending the suit, and, because Coleman now has two strings to his strategic bow, the increased risk that he'll wind up some number of votes down at the end. Yet Ginsberg speaks as if the decision somehow pressured Franken into settling. Can candidates compromise on election results? Is Franken now tempted to whisper, "Let's say I serve the first four years, and you serve the last two--"?

Do you fancy, Mr. Ginsberg, that this is some trumped-up suit against a tobacco company? Are you now thinking, "If Coleman takes the two years, I'll get me eight months o' dat!"


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