Stuart Smalley versus the People of Minnesota

Another article that I have tried my best not to write, but I simply cannot help myself. And the pictures below are simply too good to pass up. You guys all remember Stuart Smalley right? Stuart was a character on Saturday Night Live played by comedian Al Franken. He had no self esteem and would talk to himself in the mirror, affirming that he was “good enough, smart enough, and gosh darnit, people liked him”. My favorite skit was when Michael Jordan hosted the show and he had Michael look into the mirror and say the self affirmation speech. Jordan could barely keep a straight face. Well it seems that Stuart thinks he is good enough for the United States Senate…..

stuartsmalley

Now given the level of leadership we are seeing in Congress today, I might think that Stuart Smalley would be a really big improvement over the incumbents. The problem is that it isn’t actually Stuart running for Senate in Minnesota, it is the big mouthed liar that played him, Al Franken. Yes this is the same ignoramus that was the most vocal mouthpiece for Ultra-Liberal radio network “Air America”. The same Air America that filed for bankruptcy recently because no one was listening.

Al decided that he had seen enough of Republicans in Congress and he was going to run for Senate in the state of Minnesota. Here is a scary fact, he almost won. After the November 4th election, he found himself with 42% of the vote, tied with Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. The reason for the close vote, third party candidate Dean Barkley from the Independence Party received 15% of the vote. As a side note, Coleman must be learning to really hate third parties as he was also the loser in the previous Governor’s race to Independent Jesse “the Body” Ventura. 

The official vote count gave Coleman a 215 vote victory, close enough to require a mandatory recount. All of the sudden all the lawyers came in (reminiscent of the 2000 Florida fiasco). Ballots started popping up out of nowhere. 32 votes for Franken were found in the trunk of a car. Over 150 votes were “found”, and every single one of them were for Al Franken, not a single one for Coleman. But it wasn’t enough. Perhaps it was just not meant to be Al.

But wait…. there’s more. Franken tried a different tactic, one that almost worked for Al Gore. He petitioned to have all of the ballots that were rejected counted. The state rejected ballots due to errors or double voting or anything else covered in the Minnesota state Board of Elections laws and rules. But Al didn’t want to hear about “rules”. These people were being disenfranchised. He filed lawsuits. He sought court orders. He petitioned the United States Senate.

The recount, at this point has been completed. as of December 12, 2008, Norm Coleman holds a 188 vote lead in Minnesota. Game over right? Wrong. Franken has also attacked absentee ballots that were rejected under state board of election rules. Each of these contested absentee ballots must be reviewed by a 5 member panel from the state board of elections.  There are over 5,000 contested absentee ballots. 

What's the Matter?Want to see where this gets even more crooked? Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Minnesota Board of Elections decision to not count the rejected ballots “a cause of great concern”. What he means is that the Democratic Senate feels that the votes should be counted if they are for a Democrat. Who cares what Harry Reid thinks, right?

Wrong. This has happened before. In the 1974 New Hampshire Senate race, Republican Louis Wyman narrowly beat out Democratic rival John Durkin. After going through all of the same processes, the New Hampshire Board of Elections certified the results with Wyman as the winner. The Democrat controlled Senate would not stand for it. They refused to seat Wyman for 9 months. Eventually New Hampshire was forced to conduct a special election, and in this election, Durkin won.

See Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution states that “each house of Congress “shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members”. However, that should not be construed as the majority party in the Senate has the right to use it as a weapon for them to disregard the votes cast by the citizens. The state is given the right, according to the Constitution (Article I Section 4), to determine the place, time and manner of elections for Senators. There is no law that states Congress has the privilege of ignoring the state’s decision in this case.

James Madison called the ability of Congress to regulate the qualifications of its members a “dangerous power” — one that that could be “devised by the stronger in order to keep out partisans of a weaker faction.” Such behavior by the legislature, he said, “can by degrees subvert the Constitution.” (Spakovsky, 2008).

Franken’s lawyer, Marc Elias, has already gone on record stating that if they cannot get satisfaction from the votes or the courts that they will appeal to the Senate to intervene. And you know what the Senate will do. The question is will apathetic America sit idly by and watch this happen?

To give credit where it is due, the data about the 1974 senate race and the James Madison quote were found in an article by Hans Von Spakovsky, written this year and published on several news sites.

Comments

  1. I’m a little creeped out now. I feel the need to wash my eyes out with acid.

  2. And I completely understand that. I couldn’t pass up putting that image at the top though.

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