Monday, December 06, 2004

Political: What Does Gregoire Care About?

There's no turning back now. We're on the road to real recount madness. What joy. Why are we here, though? Who wanted to bring us down this road? Some more reputable sources than myself took some real polls, and they generally found that 70% or more of the people of our state did not want to drag this ordeal through a third count. But Christine and her goons did it anyway. You may be wondering: Why, why, why, for the love of bacon, why? I know I am. Well, I will attempt to answer that question, then get some bacon.

Before I delve into this wonderful analysis though, I would like to say one big thank you very much to the Seattle Times for publishing this article about two freakin' days late. Seriously. It does a heck of a lot of good to tell everybody how pointless the second recount is going to be, now that it's already happening. Grr.

Working off of the assumption that the Seattle Times is not entirely to blame for the disgusting mess we now find ourselves in, we turn to the real driving force: Christine Gregoire. (Or is it Chris? She can't seem to make up her mind.) What does she really care about? What does she not care about? Based on her actions so far, I think I have a good picture.

First, foremost, and above all, she cares about winning. Duh. Of course she cares about winning, right? There's really nothing wrong with that, in and of itself. The problem comes in the "above all" part. In this whole mess, she has demonstrated that winning is the #1 most important thing to her. It's why she can't admit she has lost two counts, and continues to call the race a "tie." If, after this hand recount, you come out with a 1 vote lead, will the race still be a "tie" then, Christine? I don't think so. It's all about winning.

Additionally, Ms. Gregoire cares about the rule of law. Everything that she has done up to this point has been 100% legal, as far as I know. What else would we expect from the state Attorney General, right? Good for her. The problem, though, lies in the fact that she doesn't care about the spirit of the law. The purpose of the recount laws is to determine with the greatest reasonable amount of certainty which candidate got more votes. Unfortunately, the way the law is written right now, it does a really poor job of that. The law was written with an inherent distrust of machines, even though machines make far fewer mistakes than humans. Clearly the law allows a hand recount, but is a hand recount the best way to determine who got the most votes? Definitely not. But Christine Gregoire doesn't care, she only wants to win.

Tangentially, Gregoire doesn't care about the environment. In two counties, Snohomish and Yakima, voters cast their ballots by touch-screen, with no paper involved. Now, I think having no paper trail is a problem, but the "hand recount" solution is just madness. They'll be printing out the votes, one per 8.5"x11" piece of paper--tens of thousands of them. That may not be the same as burning unused copy paper in your fireplace, but it's not far off. She knew that they would have to do that if she requested a recount, but Ms. Gregoire doesn't care how much paper is wasted, as long as she wins.

There is at least one more thing that Christine Gregoire cares about. She cares about saving face. Clearly she is doing her best to garner public support, and look like the "good guy." Why else would she have bothered, a day before the deadline, when she knew her party would come up with the money, to say that she wanted a full recount, or none at all? She knew she was going to get the full recount. She just wanted to look good. And apparently it worked, at least to some extent.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, she doesn't care about what's best for the state of Washington. If she truly did, why oh why would she drag us through all this? She said "Right now, the governor-elect's office sits empty in Olympia. The only way to fill it will be to have a statewide hand recount." Wrong, Ms. Gregoire, wrong. It could have been filled if you had conceded after losing two counts. Instead, Christine has chosen to beg for millions of dollars from the poor saps that supported her, in the hopes that they can squeeze out a few more votes. Oh, and you know what happens if they do get those votes they're so desperate for? We, the taxpayers of Washington get to pay for the privilege of having been dragged through the recount mud. Yes, the Democrats get a full refund (see the second-to-last question) if this hand job turns the count in her favor.

So, is someone with those priorities a person that we really want in the Governor's office? I should hope not. She has what I like to call "Jurassic Park ethics." She looked at winning this election post-voting, and was "so preoccupied with whether or not [she] could, [she] didn't stop to think if [she] should."

Now, to find me some bacon.

P.S. (Sorry that was so serious. I get less funny when I'm mad.)


Blogger Dove said...

I propose the following constitutional amendment.

The faith of the people in the legitimacy of the democratic process being necessary for the continued security of a free state, the right of the people to swift, accurate election results shall not be infringed. The state shall be carefully define recount procedures in the case of a close election, and NO ONE SHALL BE ALLOWED TO FUDGE THEM. No filling in ovals, counting dimpled chads, or other such monkey business. This means you. Recounts shall be completed in under a fortnight. Candidates who attempt to sue will be shot, along with their lawyers.

Man, I bet you could get some serious popular support for a measure like that. I'd vote for it!

2:24 PM, December 06, 2004  

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