Al Franken's Requiem for Florida 2000 (With a Side Note on How Ann Coulter Remains a Cunt):
Satirist, ex-radio host, and Democratic candidate for Senate from Minnesota Al Franken has gotta be finding this whole situation darkly hilarious. For what began as a mission to punish Republicans for their raping of the memory of Paul Wellstone for political gain has become a chance to demonstrate what happens when, in a close election, you actually make an effort to count all the votes unlike, say, in Florida in 2000.
Franken's outrage over the now almost unbelievable bullshit that went down in the Sunshine State to stop any recount was one of the focal points of his post-SNL career. In Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Franken writes of "the relentless legal and extra-legal efforts to prevent an accurate counting of the votes," including the mob of white guys imported to intimidate the election officials and the challenging of military ballots in pro-Gore counties while accepting those in pro-Bush areas, "having the election stolen by human filth like Karl Rove." On his wildly scattershot radio show, the 2000 recount's real outcome (Gore won by most standards of an actual recount) was a constant refrain. And, as Franken would remind listeners, Gore fucked up by not asking for a full statewide recount.
So it was that after Franken ended up less than .01% of the vote behind Republican incumbent (and hero to douchebags everywhere) Norm Coleman, once again the Republicans were trying to shut down the recount that was automatic under state law. Coleman himself said that Franken should just step aside for the good of the state. Does it even need to be said that if Franken had ended up ahead by less than 500 votes, Coleman would have been ripping apart every chair and strip-searching every election official in the state for possible ballots?
Gore was a mensch in 2000. He tried to be a nice guy. And he got fucked by Karl Rove, James Baker, and other Republicans all the way to the Supreme Court. Franken ain't playing that game. This is about redemption for Democrats, as this whole election cycle has been. This is about showing what it means when we say that everyone's vote counts. Even if that has the effect of an anal probe-like attempt to ferret out every ballot. When an election hinges on a couple of dozen of ballots missing in a precinct, every fucking vote really does fucking count. What's fascinating is that while Franken's campaign keeps posting about ballots found and lost, Coleman's keeps posting about what a bastard they think Franken is. Also, they're being total assholes about the whole thing, sarcastically calling it "the Great Minnesota Recount." Yeah, take that, democracy, you bitch; Norm Coleman is calling you out.
Predictably, conservatives' heads are collectively exploding over the threat of counting votes. In her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the soap scum, semen, and filth-encrusted hair you pull from a clogged bathtub drain"), Ann Coulter predictably attacks Franken and the "suspicious" fact that ballots keep getting discovered in Democratic-leaning precincts. Of course, one can spin that to look suspicious in both directions, but Coulter prefers it as proof that Minnesota Democrats are stealing the election. And then there's this little piece of prime stupid: "Franken can pretend to be generous -- by not demanding that all rejected absentee ballots be counted -- while in fact being manipulative -- by requesting that only the ballots with votes for him be counted." Um...Franken wanted all the uncounted rejected ballots reviewed, and that's what the state is doing.
It's hilarious, watching Bill O'Reilly spit and froth over whatever shit enters his brain about his pre-Olbermann arch-nemesis (eeevil George Soros is involved), or Sean Hannity justify whatever lie he wants to propagate about the recount. The constant refrain is that Franken can't just "accept" the results.
And maybe what Franken's doing is saying back, "Not until the results are in." The saddest part is that, because of 2000 in Florida and 2004 in Ohio, it is a bold and radical statement.