Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Challenge to Ohio Electoral Votes

So the Democrats have objected to the counting of Ohio's Electoral Votes. I'm currently watching the House debate on the subject. I must say that, although I think the substance of the objection is absurd, and ought to be voted down. That said, I think the proponents of the objection Representatives Stephanie Tubbs Jones and John Conyers, are behaving with much more class than their Republican opponents in this debate. There clearly were problems in Ohio, though there were doubtless similar problems in every other state, and we ought to work to make an effort to keep these problems as infrequent as possible. Yeah, this might not be the best time to have this debate, but nobody's helped by accusing the objectors of lacking "class", as Ohio Representative Deborah Pryce

Roy Blunt's point - that since even the Democrats agree that Bush actually won Ohio, they ought to count the state's electoral votes and discuss the issue of voting problems at a later date (or in a different forum, like the state of Ohio) - is a sound one.

And yes, Mel Watt is grandstanding. That's what Mel Watt does. Criticizing him for grandstanding is like criticizing a scorpion for stinging.

Bob Ney starts off basically making my point, that these were real problems, but that they weren't confined to Ohio, that there's no such thing as a perfect election, and then spoils everything by saying "those who are brining this challenge just can't accept that Bush won." (That's a paraphrase.) Sheesh. So close, so far.

UPDATE: Nancy Pelosi also accuses Republicans of saying the challenge was "frivolous" (Watt did the same). I may have missed something, but I don't recall anyone saying that exactly. And Ney expressly denied that he thinks it's a frivolous challenged. AHH SHE DID IT AGAIN! I'm starting to think "Republicans think this challenge is 'frivolous'" is on it's way to becoming the new "Republicans are challenging my patriotism" - a political cliche untied to its lack of objective validity.

UPDATE II: In fairness, Republicans have their own phony rhetorical hobby-horse in this debate. Many of them keep accusing the Democrats of imagining that there's some kind of conspiracy to deny minorities their votes and elect Bush. That's not what Democrats are saying; they're saying that ordinary incompetence and poor planning resulted in huge problems that (even without any conspiracy) had the effect of denying at least some people (minority and otherwise) their rights. That seems genuinely accurate. Whether now is the best time to have this debate is another issue, but accusing Democrats of Michael Moore-esque conspiracy-mongering is untrue and unfair.

UPDATE III: I'm done watching. Everyone's settled into their rhetorical positions; they're just going to talk past each other for a while, then approve the Ohio electoral votes. Standard congressional non-drama.