Franken-Coleman Recount Update, 12/30/08: Like Sands Through The Hourglass
It has now come down to this: With Al Franken in the lead (a 50-vote lead as of today), and with the wrongly-rejected "fifth pile" absentee ballots likely to add to Franken’s lead (and thus make Coleman’s planned legal challenges look even more silly and weaselly), Norm Coleman has all but run out of tricks. He has one left, and that’s to try and bully the county elections officials and the state canvassing board into rejecting most of the fifth-pile ballots — and/or to accept only those from (surprise!) Republican-leaning areas.
This is why it was a mistake for the Minnesota Supreme Court to mandate that the campaigns be included in the process of judging the "fifth pile", or wrongly rejected, absentee ballots: All this did was give Coleman another straw to clutch and another delaying tactic to burn through in his efforts to muddy the waters so that Al Franken’s Senate victory is tainted in the eyes of the public.
Part of Coleman’s attack on the legitimacy of the recount process is an attack on those entities that try to provide honest real-time coverage of it. I’ve already mentioned how the Republicans, led by paid operative Michael Brodkorb, have tried to smear Mark Ritchie. Now Brodkorb is trying to make it a two-fer: Smear Mark Ritchie while smearing the fine videographers of The UpTake! Behavior like this is what earned Brodkorb the nickname "Son of Turd Blossom", because it’s straight out of the Karl Rove playbook.
But really, it’s all increasingly for naught. Coleman will not be able to keep out enough fifth-pile ballots to stop Franken from winning. In fact, he almost certainly won’t be able to keep out enough fifth-pile ballots to stop Franken from increasing his lead. Like sands through the hourglass, so flow the chances of Coleman’s keeping his Senate seat. (And now you know why I’ve been using that particular graphic.) In a few short weeks, despite all the hollering and obstructionism and hoo-ha, Al Franken will be seated with Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota’s delegation to the United States Senate.