In my book I talk about how Republicans are for the most part gracious losers in political elections whereas Democrats are both sore winners and losers. In looking at the elections over the past decade most of the litigation and fights over “so called” election fraud and voter intent has been initiated by the Democrats. The most notable contested election was obviously the 2000 Presidential Election. Al Gore certainly was entitled to a recount in Florida, however after the recount was complete it should have ended. I do not think any election should be decided by canvassing boards interpreting “voter intent” or judges doing the same. It is easy to vote and to follow the rules and if someone cannot do that their vote should not count. Many people investigated the 2000 Presidential election many years after Gore conceded. The end result was that Bush won the election even after using the most liberal voter intent rules. Also, none of the recounts accounted for the media calling the state before mostly conservative people in Florida’s Panhandle could vote. Liberal estimates concede this cost Bush at least 5 thousand votes. My point: more times than not the person that wins the first count, wins the election. In 2004, the Democrats were complaining about Ohio, which Bush won by well over 100 thousand votes. In 2006, the Democrats won nearly two thirds of the elections decided by 1 percentage point or less. However, no Republicans contested the results after the recount verified they did in fact lose. In fact, Virginia Senator, George Allen, lost to Democrat Jim Webb by few than 6,000 votes out of over 3 million cast. However, Allen conceded the next day without a full recount. It was the right thing to do. The only contested election in 2006 was for Florida 13th District where Democrat Christine Jennings lost to Republican Buchanan by a mere 369 votes. It only seems that a Democrat can have an election stolen from them. The litigation over Florida’s 13th District continued for two years until the two met again in an election for the same seat in 2008 that Buchanan won handily.
There is something to be said for losing gracefully and being the bigger person. Someone has got to lose and not much is gained by constant litigation and leaving democracy hanging in the balance and in the hands of the courts and canvassing boards. Sure it is a tough pill to swallow losing an election by a few measly votes, but the country has to move on. Every person in their life time has lost doing something in a close or heartbreak fashion. It happens, but everyone picks themselves up and moves one. I think Coleman has had ample time (over 6 months) and opportunity to state his case. The time to move on has come and gone. Sure, I want Coleman to keep his seat, but to continue the fight is not helping either Coleman’s image or the Republican brand for losing graciously. Sure, having Al Franken in the Senate will be a nightmare. His presence gives the Democrats a filibuster proof majority with 60 votes. The Democrats are basically filibuster proof right now anyway. There are still plenty of moderate Republicans the Democrats can pick off on critical votes, such as Maine’s duo of Snowe and Collins who already flipped on the Obama stimulus package. Franken’s liberal policies and beliefs may make Obama, Reed, and Pelosi look like right wing radicals. However, if we look on the bright side, the sooner Franken shows his inability to govern and his misguided views, the sooner the Republicans can use him as a poster boy to start their comeback.
For the sake of being consistent, I thought Gore and other Democrats should have conceded their elections sooner. Thus, I am saying Coleman should concede his fight to Franken even if the circumstances are different than those Democrat contested elections.
My Blog: http://patrickbohan.blogtownhall.com/ (The Theory of Mediocrity)
My Book: Is America Dying? (Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com)