- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 2, 2009


“The Minnesota Supreme Court [Tuesday] declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of last year’s disputed Senate race, and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman’s gracious concession at least spares the state any further legal combat. The unfortunate lesson is that you don’t need to win the vote on Election Day as long as your lawyers are creative enough to have enough new or disqualified ballots counted after the fact,” the Wall Street Journal said in an editorial.

“Mr. Franken trailed Mr. Coleman by 725 votes after the initial count on election night, and 215 after the first canvass. The Democrat’s strategy from the start was to manipulate the recount in a way that would discover votes that could add to his total. The Franken legal team swarmed the recount, aggressively demanding that votes that had been disqualified be added to his count, while others be denied for Mr. Coleman,” the newspaper said.

“But the team’s real gold mine were absentee ballots, thousands of which the Franken team claimed had been mistakenly rejected. While Mr. Coleman’s lawyers demanded a uniform standard for how counties should re-evaluate these rejected ballots, the Franken team ginned up an additional 1,350 absentees from Franken-leaning counties. By the time this treasure hunt ended, Mr. Franken was 312 votes up, and Mr. Coleman was left to file legal briefs.

“What Mr. Franken understood was that courts would later be loathe to overrule decisions made by the canvassing board, however arbitrary those decisions were. He was right. …

“Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election. If the GOP hopes to avoid repeats, it should learn from Minnesota that modern elections don’t end when voters cast their ballots. They only end after the lawyers count them.”


“Only the Senate and House Republicans can save Obama now by compromising and lending his extremist legislation the veneer of bipartisanship in order to remove it as a political issue,” Dick Morris writes in the Hill newspaper.

“If the likes of GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and others refuse to go along with Obama on health care and on cap-and-trade, they will force him to pass both programs as one-party bills. Not only is it possible that as public support runs out on these measures, he will fail even to get 50 votes to pass them, but it is likely that even if they go through, they doom his administration to perpetual unpopularity,” Mr. Morris said.

“Obama is, quite simply, stuck with these programs as a result of his campaign promises. But they will become larger and larger burdens to carry as their unpopularity increases.

“Already, only 50 percent of voters indicate agreement with ‘Obama’s health care reforms’ while 45 percent register opposition. As it becomes increasingly obvious that these changes will endanger the health care of all Americans, the popularity of the program will fall. And once it becomes clear that the only way to fund it is to tax health care premiums paid by employers (after Obama specifically attacked McCain for making the same proposal), the ratings of the program - and of all who supported it - will drop even more sharply.”


“With their defense of Obama’s dilatoriness about the revolt in Tehran, American liberals compromised themselves,” Leon Wieseltier writes in the New Republic.

“They succumbed to the Council on Foreign Relations view of the world. So it is important to be clear that the strong articulation of American principles by the American president when those principles are being bravely upheld by a people in revolt against a dictator - this is not only a statement of emotion, it is also an element of strategy,” Mr. Wieseltier said.

“It emboldens the right side. It allies the United States with peoples against regimes, which is almost always the surest foundation for the American position. …

“There is nothing more sweepingly in the interest of the United States in the Middle East than the withering away of the theocracy in Iran. Every blow struck against the structure of state power in Iran is a blow struck against Hezbollah and Hamas; and a blow has at last been struck. …

“The hearts of millions are about to be broken. They will look to the president of the United States. Will his mincing cease? Will the realist get real? In recent days, Obama has begun - not under pressure, of course - to ‘condemn’ and to ‘deplore.’ The oppressed people of Iran may now endure what other oppressed peoples have endured: the learning curve of an American president. It is the insult that history adds to their injury.”


“Facts. Costs. Consequences.

“Who cares?

“We’re in the middle of pretending to save the planet, baby,” Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi writes.

“If it’s about helping ‘the environment,’ suspend reason and salvation is yours. As I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of smart and compassionate folks tell you lately, doing something - anything! - is better than doing nothing.

“So the House did something. It passed a ‘cap and trade’ bill that would ration energy, destroy productive jobs, levy the largest tax increase in United States history and, for kicks, penalize foreign trade partners who fail to engage in comparable economic suicide,” Mr. Harsanyi said.

“Now, assuming there are no speed-reading clairvoyants in the House, no one who voted for the 1,200-page bill - plus the 300-page amendment dropped the morning of the vote - possibly could have read it.

“And any scum-sucking scoundrel who points out that ‘doing nothing’ already includes spending billions on renewable energies and living under thousands of regulations is, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman shrewdly noted, a traitor to humankind.

“Speaking of doing nothing: Though it has the potential to stagnate the economy, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, according to the Environmental Protection Agency itself, would not create any reductions in emissions by 2020. The piddling impact of the bill is documented across the ideological spectrum.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected] .com.

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