The other day I sent an email to Dino Rossi advising him to concede, and got a very polite email back from his campaign manager. Well today, I’d like to publicly retract my advice. Dino… stick with this as far as you can go… take it to the county auditors. Take it to the Legislature. Take it to the courts.
My change of heart comes after reading Matt Rosenberg’s piece on (un)Sound Politics, which surprisingly echoed my sentiments. At first I was impressed by Matt’s relatively tempered tone, and reasonable arguments. But then I read the comments from (u)SP’s loyal readers, and realized damn… they’re living in cloud cuckoo land. So why not let the Republicans self-destruct by wallowing in their anger and paranoia?
The fact is, unless Rossi’s got real, legal-type evidence of electoral fraud and corruption — enough to change the outcome of this election — he doesn’t stand a chance of winning an election contest in court. And as Danny Westneat suggests in his column today in The Seattle Times:
Paradoxically, a contest could be our best hope to move on. It would force critics to put up or shut up on this notion that the recount was rigged. They’d have to prove vote-counting manipulation in a courtroom, instead of just shouting it over the airwaves.
Public discourse has been so poisoned by unsupported insinuations of widespread malfeasance, that an election contest may be the only way to fully clear the air. So I say, bring it on. If King County is so corrupt, prove it in a court of law.
Plus, the longer Rossi draws out this election, the less he’s going to appear a victim, and the more he’s going to look like a whiny, arrogant, hypocrite. If Rossi wants to brand himself the biggest loser in state history, that’s fine by me.
So my advice to you is fight, Dino, fight! I’m sure Maria Cantwell is looking forward to a punch-drunk opponent in 2006.