Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Hot on the heels of WaDonk state chairman Paul Behrens declaring late yesterday that losing gubernatorial candidate Christine "the Grinch" Gregoire had pulled a "miraculous" eight-vote margin of victory rabbit out of her hat, the Washington Supremes, reversing their decision of just last week barring the inclusion of over 3,000 previously rejected ballots in the hand recount, succumbed and gave the Dems what they wanted, overruling Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend and ordering 723 separate rejected King County ballots to be counted, effectively turning the entire recount process into a re-vote instead.

Thus have my original suspicions been sourly confirmed. Let's review, shall we?

Republican candidate Dino Rossi won the first count by 261 votes. He won the machine recount (which featured the usual King County shenanigans) by 42 votes. Before the hand recount, I wrote:

"State election law entitles Miss Gregoire to request a hand recount - partial or full - provided her campaign pays for it. Pleading poverty, naturally, the Dems have already declared their intention to request a partial recount, which will, of course, be conducted in their King County (Seattle) stronghold. If they can't fabricate another 43 votes there, I'll volunteer to be one of her palm-frond wavers (assuming I can get the time off from jury duty). Once Gregoire takes the lead, the state has to conduct a full hand recount, a method that everybody who isn't a Dem agrees is a far less reliable means and far more vulnerable to fraud. There's no way on Earth that Rossi can win such a recount (unless the GOP engages in the same tactics, which is unlikely in the extreme). And if he challenges that result in court (far from a certainty, given the supine docility of pachyderms in this state), well, there's not a judge in this state that isn't a Dem hack.

"End result: get ready for Governor Gregoire."

I wish I could take credit for Karnakian prescience, but I can't. I've simply lived my entire life in this state and watched Dems here and across the country for twenty-five years. It's a great incubator for impenetrable cynicism, something that is as close to an infallible guide in dispensing political analysis as can be found in this present veil of tears.

And so, the game ends. WaDonks were able to do what Al Gore never could in Florida four years ago - fabricate a lead. And, just as I predicted Gore would do back then if he'd been able to overtake George Bush, today Behrens immediately called upon Dino Rossi to concede. Not unlike a rapist demanding that his victim smoke a cigarette after a very similar procedure.

It's a shame that such a buggering has to happen to as class an act and quality a human being as Rossi. Here's a guy who overachieved, who ran a top-drawer campaign, followed the rules, made stunning inroads in a state as "blue" as this one is, and who has stayed above the fray and maintained those same standards for the past seven nightmarish weeks. And his reward? Having a figurative Louisville slugger shoved up his ass and being told to yelp, "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"

The worst part is that very classiness has been turned against him. And really, that's the gamble that any Republican takes in such circumstances. As long as Dino could hold onto the lead, the scheming and cheating of his Grinchian foe and her henchmen would be irrelevant; but if their corrupt machinations succeeded, he would then be forced to either give up or plunge into the same mire in a desperately belated attempt to regain what he been stolen from him.

His lead did not hold. Now he stands at this revolting fork in the road.

And remember: the courts are solidly, irredeemably Donk. The SCOW has already flip-flopped, and there's no reason whatsoever to suppose that they won't flip right back in the most brazenly partisan fashion when Rossi comes to them seeking the same succor.

The modern American political landscape turns on one fulcrum above all others: does the Democrat want it too much, or does the Republican not want it enough?

In Ukrainington it didn't matter how much Dino Rossi wanted the governorship - the fix against him was in before he even got into the race.

At least he didn't get poisoned.

UPDATE: Those 723 selective mystery ballots padded the Grinch's ill-gotten "lead" to 130 votes. Not quite as much as I was expecting, actually.

And there's nothing that Rossi can do, since any legal challenge would have to go through the same courts that helped Gregoire rob him in the first place.

I've read frustrated "We'll show THEM!" speculation about Rossi coming back in '06 to take his revenge out on Maria Cantwell, but that's akin to Charlie Brown yelling "Just wait till next year!" after his latest 123-0 shellacking. Republicans simply cannot compete for big statewide offices in Ukrainington. Plus, as this gubernatorial process has demonstrated, if one does, s/he'll never be allowed to collect his/her victory. Bear in mind also that two years in politics is a very long time, especially to maintain the level of anger and outrage that pachyderms are (or are they?) feeling right now. Dems across the country did maintain theirs after Florida 2K, but it didn't get them the White House back, now did it?

Washington is a "blue" state. Period. Not "powder blue," not "purple," but absolute navy "blue." And nothing short of a coup, or an invasion from the "red" state coalition to effect regime-change in Olympia, is ever going to change it.

No "orange" revolutions here. in Ukrainington, liberation can only come from...well, not ballots.