Monday, November 8, 2010

Showdown Alaska! Miller -vs- Murkowski

This is shaping up to be quite a spectacle.

For those who haven't been following, Joe Miller, a TeaParty favorite, won the R primary in Alaska for the US Senate race, ousting incumbent Murkowski. Murkowski, unwilling to accept such ignominious defeat, started a campaign to encourage write-in votes. Come election day, lo and behold, Miller got a whopping 34% of the vote, his D opponent reaped a paltry 24%. The drama is that nearly 41% of the ballots were for a write-in candidate.

Presumably, many of those write-in votes are for Murkowski. Miller is fighting tooth and nail, of course. He and his supporters are arguing that any misspellings of Murkowski's name disqualify those ballots from being counted. Do you see the hypocrisy of such an argument coming from a Tea Party darling?

This is the "party" that railed about "taking our country back" and respecting the will of the people. However, it seems that the majority of the citizens of Alaska don't want Miller. Even if all of those write-in votes are for Spider Man, the majority of the state does not want Miller in office.

Obviously, someone has to serve in the position (debatable, really). If it turns out that Murkowski did not receive enough write-in votes to win, then of course the position should go to the candidate who did get more votes. However, in light of the high-ideal rhetoric constantly regurgitated by the TPs, I would expect a candidate who actually cared that the will of the people be heard would take a more reasoned approach to the vote count.

Instead, Miller has taken a hard line position that all votes not spelling out Murkowski's name completely and correctly be discarded. No matter whether the intention is clear or not. In essence, Miller is advocating that the voice of up to 41% of the electorate be potentially discarded. So desperate is Miller for this Senate seat that he may be willing to use the court to get him there on his whopping 34%.

If these people truly cared about the voice of the people, they would advocate that all votes be counted toward the candidate they were clearly cast for, regardless of the outcome. Losing the election should be less of a tragedy in their minds than the possibility that 41% of the citizens who bothered to vote have their voice ignored. But such is clearly not the case. This is why I am convinced that the Tea Party and their Republican high-jackers are hypocrites and liars, desperate for power and control, integrity be damned.

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