The anti-democratic Democratic Party, one in a series

November 26, 2008

It seems Harry Reid is determined to get the result he wants in the Minnesota senate race (hint: It does not involve a Republican victory). That race was narrowly decided for incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman over Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger Al Franken. The margin was only a few hundred votes, and so Minnesota has been conducting a mandatory recount. A few votes have shifted here and there, but it’s looking more and more as if Coleman will win by a razor-thin margin.

Thus, the Franken campaign has grown increasingly desperate and, in its desperation, has demanded that disqualified ballots be included in the recount. This is plainly against Minnesota law, as John Fund explains:

The problem with adding absentee ballots is state law. According to an advisory opinion issued last week by the office of Democratic state Attorney General Lori Swanson, "Only the ballots cast in the election and the summary statements certified by the election judges may be considered in the recount process." A recount manual prepared this year by the office of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, also a Democrat, makes clear that the canvassing board only supervises "an administrative recount" that is "not to determine if absentee ballots were properly accepted."

Camp Franken wants all ballots counted, and is producing voters who claim their ballots were improperly disqualified, and it wants data on the rejected ballots so it can go talk to the individual voters. This seems a reach and, in fact, the Minnesota Canvassing Board rejected this attempt to add ballots after the election is over. Franken’s team will now probably file suit in the courts, which, again, I think would be denied. The state’s election law is clear in this matter.

This is where it gets really interesting. Senator Harry Reid (D-Hack), Senate Majority Leader, has expressed "concern" over the election process in Minnesota:

“Today’s decision by the Minnesota Canvassing Board not to count certain absentee ballots is cause for great concern," Reid said in a Wednesday afternoon statement. "As the process moves forward, Minnesota authorities must ensure that no voter is disenfranchised. A citizen’s right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy."

Lurking in the background is a threat to have the Senate itself decide who won the election, and, given the Democratic majority, we can expect that winner to be Al Franken. The Constitution gives the Senate final authority in this matter:

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

–Article I, Section 5.

(Emphasis added.)

So, the rules are clear: Franken, if he loses the recount and loses in the courts, can make a final appeal to the Senate, where Democrats would love to come one step closer to a filibuster-proof majority.

The mind recoils, however, at the idea that the Senate of the United States would utterly subvert the will of the voters of Minnesota and overturn their democratic and  legal processes. It would be nothing more than a naked power grab, a political coup. Even the veiled threat is a stupid thing to make, though no one has ever accused Reid of being a genius. I have to agree with John at Power Line, the blowback against the Democrats were Reid to follow-through on this would be tremendous.

And this again leads me to wonder about the Democratic Party’s commitment to democracy. In addition to the threat to make Franken a senator regardless of the election results, Democrats are also pushing for the Employee Free Choice Act, aka "card check," which will end secret ballot elections in labor unions. They also want to restore the Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine," with the aim of destroying conservative talk-radio and stifling dissent. They are allied with groups, such as ACORN, that engage in voter fraud.

So I ask again: what is democratic about the Democratic Party? I dont know

LINKS: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air sees the same subversion of democracy in what he calls the "sore loser strategy."

 UPDATE: In the comments section, reader John makes a trenchant observation:

Funny how they didn’t care so much about about disenfranchising the voters of Michigan and Florida during the Democratic primary. That is, until the primary was all but decided.

Both states did break Party rules, and the problem was compounded by Chairman Dean’s ham-handed enforcement of them, but, yeah, the contrast does cast Senator Reid’s (D-Stooge) touching concern for Michigan voters in an ironic light. To say the least.

Religion of Peace watch

November 26, 2008

OK, that’s unfair of me to assume these maniacs were Muslims waging Jihad fi sabil Allah, "jihad for the sake of Allah." I’m sure they were really radical Mennonites protesting social injustice:

40 Held Hostage in Mumbai Terror Attack

At least 40 people are reportedly being held hostage in Mumbai, India, by gunmen who targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks that killed at least 78 in the nation’s financial capital, police and witnesses said.

At least 78 people were killed and 200 injured in the attacks, which began late Wednesday night, according to Johnny Joseph, the chief secretary of the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital.

Police were battling the gunmen, Maharashtra Police Commissioner A.N Roy said.

The attackers were apparently demanding to know if there were any US or British passport holders in the hotel, though there’s no word that they found any.

My guess is that this isn’t al-Qaeda, which prefers coordinated bombings or other spectacular assaults. This sounds more like another jihadi group, perhaps Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which has struck India before.

I’m sure at any minute some apologist will go on TV to tell us how these are just "misunderstanders of Islam."

Yeah, right. Waiting

LINKS: Little Green Footballs has video from Mumbai; The Long War Journal suspects LeT is behind it, too. More than 100 are thought dead, so far.


And the answer is…?

November 26, 2008

The markets danced with joy at the announcement of Barack Obama’s appointment of New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury. You’d have thought the Messiah-elect had found an Assistant Messiah. And maybe he’ll turn out to be just what the economy needs. But James Pethokoukis Of US News asks a very good question, one that should be posed at Geithner’s confirmation hearing:

"Mr. Geithner, the job of the New York Fed is to — now I am quoting its own web site — ‘supervise and regulate financial institutions in the Second District [Wall Street]. Its primary objective is to maintain safe and competitive U.S. and global banking systems.’ You have been in your current post since 2003 and during that time the U.S. financial system has come close to complete disintegration. Why do you deserve a promotion?"

Let’s hope some Republican* senator has the nerve to ask. Coffee

*(No, I don’t expect a Democrat ever would.)