Monday, December 27, 2004

Counting the Count

Gregoire up by 130 after all the ballots are counted. Still a gnat's eyelash, though larger than Rossi's +42 mandate earlier in the process.

We have also reached the end of the legal pavement on this one. We reviewed and reviewed the review. We don't have anything on the books for the next step, with the exception of going into court - the electoral equivalent of going off-road. All the state GOP needs to do this is a basis for legal action, an activist judge and the strength of legalistic will.

It will be not be easy to find that basis. Despite the howls, the recount has been heavily monitored with an eye towards fairness, and towards the fact that others could come back and look at it yet again. Both Dems and GOP in the process itself, in King County and elsewhere have been surprisingly grownup and rational. The firebrands in the GOP will have to find fraud or error in large enough doses to overturn the results. And I think they've been looking since the first recount, for no other reason than to spike the Democratic cannons. If blatant shennanigans had shown up here, they would have clasped it to their bosum in order to cast aspersions on other legimate mistakes. If a ballot box was to be found in a field outside Yakima, it would have popped up by now. There may be something nasty out there from either side, but so far there has been more heat than light.

The State GOP also has a "hypocracy hurdle" to vault across. They benefitted from the initial recounts as well, their total going up in a number of counties. Yet Another Recount may have not only threaten those increases, it frames the GOP as using the same tactics that it publicly deplored during the recount itself. Further, anything it does on a state level can be spun around to look at the national level (so, how ARE things in Ohio?). And demonizing King County may play well across the Cascades, but has a negative effect on the county where 30% of the state population resides.

I don't know if Rossi should concede, which some are calling for. The process does not require it, as far as I know. If he were simply to call on the State GOP not to make further appeals, the election would be certified and resolved. Calling off the appeals would keep his rep as being the mature and "not insane" candidate (a major plus in the GOP), while giving the more conservative base something to fire themselves up with in the next election. That could be Senator in two years, or Governor in another four. He ran a solid race, and while I disagree with many of his positions, has shown that moderate Reps have an excellent shot in this state.

In the meantime, he'll have to live with the disapppointment. Maybe he should hang out with some National-Level Democrats and they can cry in their beer together. Out of courtesy, he should buy the first round

More later,