Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- The Minnesota Supreme Court has ended months of vote fraud and other assorted acts of skulduggery to pronounce Al Franken winner of the state's 2008 senatorial race over Republican Norm Coleman. The process was unseemly, and it is conceivable that the court's justices merely acted out of civic pride. They did not want Minnesota's U.S. Senate races to attain the sort of notoriety attached to aldermanic elections in Chicago or presidential elections in Iran.

Franken is an admitted clown. As such, he will be the only admitted clown in the United States Senate, though he will be seated with such clownish figures as Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Harry Reid. Perhaps his desk will be near that vacated recently by Sen. Larry Craig, the lavatorian-conservative now thankfully retired, perhaps to found an intellectual journal for his lavatorian movement. A good title might be "Bathroom Beautiful."

Upon hearing of the court's decision, Franken joked that he was "thrilled and honored by the faith that Minnesotans have placed in" him. That is not a very funny joke, but Franken is not funny. By "Minnesotans," he probably is attempting irony in referring to his supporters on vote canvassing boards in several left-leaning counties, who turned up a sufficient number of thitherto-uncounted votes to give him the edge.

In the Nov. 4 election, Coleman won by 725 votes. After a recount, he still won by 215. Then Franken's "Minnesotans" got busy canvassing. They demanded that votes once disqualified in their counties be counted. They found thousands of absentee ballots previously rejected for such indelicacies as fabricated addresses. Coleman cried foul and asked that one statewide standard be applied to all recounts. However, he got nowhere with this plea for equal protection of the law, and in the meantime, Franken's larcenous operatives picked up 1,350 more absentee votes, some bearing the names of pop singers. Ultimately, Franken's team managed a 312-vote victory from the 2.9 million votes cast.

The Wall Street Journal was not alone in its judgment that "Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election." The Journal reminded Republicans that this is not the first time in recent elections that Democrats overturned an apparent defeat by sending swarms of lawyers and operatives into a state to find once-discredited ballots and claim victory. They practiced the same trickery in 2004 in the state of Washington's gubernatorial race, wherein the winning Republican mysteriously came in second after a third "recount."


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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