- - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, got a reminder Monday that her 15 minutes of fame are up. If politics were just a little bit more like vaudeville, she would have got the hook weeks ago.

The limelight can be intoxicating, which is why term limits are to members of Congress as garlic to Dracula. Ms. Stein has received more media attention — and more campaign cash — over the past few weeks for her hyper-quixotic recount demands than during the entire course of her White House bid.

In dismissing Ms. Stein’s demand for a hand recount of paper ballots in Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Diamond fired a broadside, intended or not, across the bow of irrational Democrats who are convinced that Vladimir Putin is the only reason Hillary Clinton is not today choosing a Cabinet.

The Democrats, still in the agonies of post-election stress disorder, have tied their hopes for reversing Donald Trump’s victory to the notion that rogue Russians hacked into the nation’s election systems on Mr. Trump’s behalf, if not at his behest. These Democrats suffered a second setback Monday when the official results of a recount in Wisconsin showed Mr. Trump’s margin of victory grew by 131 votes.

Ms. Stein called the Nov. 8 exercise “a hack-riddled election,” and she may be right, and the hack is Ms. Stein herself. To his shame, President Obama lent credence to the nonsense by ordering a “full review” of the supposed Russian hacking. John McCain of Arizona and his echo, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joined Democratic calls for an inquiry.

Judge Diamond, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, said the idea that hacking altered the outcome in Pennsylvania “borders on the irrational.” His ruling follows a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith, an Obama appointee, to dismiss a request for a recount in Michigan.

Judge Diamond found “at least six separate grounds” for dismissing the request for a recount in Pennsylvania. “Most importantly,” he said, “there is no credible evidence that any ‘hack’ occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised.”

Granting Ms. Stein’s request, he said, would have made it impossible for Pennsylvania to certify its presidential electors by the federally mandated deadline, Dec. 13. That in turn would have resulted in “inexcusably disenfranchising some 6 million Pennsylvania voters” by preventing the state’s electors from voting in the Electoral College on Dec. 19.

“Dr. Stein has repeatedly stated that she has sought a Pennsylvania recount to ensure that every vote counts,” Judge Diamond said. “Granting her later-than-last-minute request for relief, however, could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts. Such a result would be both outrageous and completely unnecessary.”

Ms. Stein is playing an obvious game. Together with the handful of “faithless electors” who vow not to honor their obligation and duty to cast their ballots next week for the candidate who won their respective states on Nov. 8, Ms. Stein’s effort is doomed, anyway.

If Mr. Trump, by supernatural miracle, can’t get 270 electoral votes, the election would be decided in the U.S. House of Representatives, where each state gets one vote. The Republicans control the House. Where does Ms. Stein think she can go next? She should come to terms with the fact that, as good as she thinks her act may be, she will never play the Palace.

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