- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2004

Nobles: Sen. John Kerry, for graciously conceding and saving the country weeks of painful litigation.

The pre-dawn hours of Nov. 3 in the Kerry household must have been agonizing. Facing inevitable defeat, Mr. Kerry turned to his advisers to see what, if anything, could be salvaged. The dilemma was simple: Would the uncounted provisional ballots in Ohio be enough to close President Bush’s 100,000-plus vote advantage? If they could, then campaign lawyers might effectively challenge enough votes and litigate Mr. Kerry to victory. But the process would be slow and painful, and in all likelihood futile. According to the New York Times, John Edwards, a lawyer by trade, “wanted to soldier on.”

To his enduring credit, Mr. Kerry said no, the campaign was over and he had lost. At 11:02 a.m., the Democratic candidate called Mr. Bush to concede defeat. At 2 p.m., he appeared in front of supporters at Boston’s Faneuil Hall to tell them that the game was over. “The outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process,” Mr. Kerry said. “I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted … there won’t be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio, and therefore we cannot win this election.”

Mr. Kerry is the Noble this week because he didn’t have to do what he did. He could have given the nod to the diehards to go forward with the legal process and cement the precedent of the 2000 election, which held that every vote is challengeable. But by doing so he would have made a mockery of the Constitution.

For holding the country above the needs of the self, Mr. Kerry is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, for ungraciously pouting that that horrible Mr. Bush had better be bipartisan — or else.

It’s been a tough week for the House minority leader. By her own admission, Mrs. Pelosi’s Democrats “have lost about everything [they] can possibly lose.” But that’s life in American politics, and it doesn’t mean Mrs. Pelosi has to act like a 5-year-old child.

Reacting to the Republicans’ near-universal sweep in the elections, Mrs. Pelosi said, “They exploited the loveliness of the American people, the devoutness of people of faith for a political end.” In the very next breath, she warned, “We hope that this time [Mr. Bush] will be the uniter that he said he would be in the past four years. That didn’t happen.”

It apparently didn’t occur to Mrs. Pelosi that perhaps, just perhaps, the American people are quite unhappy with the Democrats’ idea of bipartisanship, which allows her to attack Republicans and then demand cooperation without batting an eye.

For confirming that bipartisanship in Washington is a fool’s fantasy with leaders like her, Mrs. Pelosi is the Knave of the week.

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