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The moral high ground in Washington state

The Wall Street Journal thinks Rossi shouldn’t pursue his challenge of the tainted election results in the Washington gubernatorial election. I’m inclined to agree that being a graceful loser is morally and politically the right thing to do, but I’m receptive to counterarguments.

Anybody out there got a good one?

Discussions - 14 Comments

Considering the extremely thin margin of the Democratic candidate’s victory, and the mounting evidence of incompetence and, perhaps, fraud on the part of those persons charged with insuring the integrity of the voter rolls, provisional ballots, etc., I believe that a Republican fold, now, however gracious and magnanimous it might appear, could impede the necessary reforms clearly past due in Washington state. Unless, of course, the people responsible for this mess are so thoroughly embarrassed by the bad press they’ve received that, partisanship notwithstanding, they begin immediately to take concrete action to remedy the situation.


D. Carter

The margin of victory was less than the number of votes that were discovered:

- Well after the first count said Rossi won.

- To be in excess of the number of voters registered in the most democratic county in the state.

- Known to be invalid due to voters having died before absentee ballots were sent to them.

This election is a mess, and the mess is all tending strongly in one direction, fraud by King County on behalf of the Democrat.

Washington state (primarily King County) is an arrogant corrupt political machine, contrary to the myth that Washington is a clean-government state.

The Democrats have held the office of the governor for over 20 years straight. Before the mediocre Gary Locke, there was Mike Lowry who didn’t run for re-election because he had a bunch of alleged sexual harassment scandals.

after reading: At least 1,200 more votes were counted in King County than the number of voters who can be accounted for. Other counties saw
similar excess votes. More than 300 military personnel were sent their absentee ballots too late to return them. 1 out of 20 ballots in King County that officials felt were marked
unclearly were "enhanced" with Wite-Out or pens so that some had their
original markings obliterated.
plus from recounts the dem MO is clear -- keep counting (& making new votes) until the we win. when only the last count counts you just keep at it until you win, then it’s over. can I take $100 to the bank and make them keep counting it until they "count" a million?

cleaning up this mess may be unpleasent, but unless you want the dems to keep "winning" the only way they can, the mess must be cleaned up.

Oh, so this is what Al Gore wanted to do.

Fight on!!!

What did the moral high ground give the Republicans in New Jersey when all that Torch-Lautenberg-N.J. Supreme Court went down?

Yes, I have a "counterargument." It’s too bad I even have to make it, but here goes: The Democratic party is morally bankrupt. There is a good chance that they have stolen this election. No one should be allowed to get away with stealing an election, which is one of the worst acts of tyranny that can occur in a democratic system. In addition, any legitimate means of keeping today’s Democratic party out of power is not only permissible, but mandatory.

Taking the "high ground" as a matter of habit is just another way of losing. We Republicans have a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It happens every day; indeed, it has probably happened somewhere in this country every day since 1933.

Wake up and smell the coffee, people.

The high ground is how you get all those one election then dictatorship/thugocracies in newly formed democracies.

We hate the thought of this in other countries. Why should we tolerate in the USA.

the operative word(s) there were "graceful loser". Everything above, everything i’ve read, everything that’s patently obvious - is that Rossi was NOT the loser in the election. Only in the machinations of the Dem party to overturn it.
Has anyone else noticed the fact that when a Dem leader/politician claims someone "did something", or "is a ...." or "stole an election.." it invariably reflects back on the accuser as being the one who "does" or "is" or "steals...". it’s a constant.

If Rossi takes this so-called "moral high ground", what does it gain us (or him)?

- He can feel good about not making a fuss.

- He can help train Dems that fraud does pay.

- He can choose to disempower the voters who may well have voted him into office.

When you choose the moral high ground, you presumably do it for a reason. If "feeling noble" is enough of a reason, great. But, generally, it’s done to encourage such noble behavior on other peoples’ parts, too. I doubt that Rossi’s abdication now would produce widespread goodwill and good sportsmanship amongst the Loyal Opposition in the future.

Sounds more like a sucker move at this point.

This election is not about which of the candidates gains the moral and political high ground. They are but mere actors in a “civilizing procedure” we commonly refer to as democracy, for which the “blood of life” is integrity. Once the public loses faith in the electoral process, democracy becomes a hollow word.

In pointing out the hazards for democracy of close elections, the WSJ asks, what should determine the merits of a re-vote? The judgment of a court? An opinion poll? The short answer is, in this instance, Democracy demands it. Should the enormous amount of mistakes, miscues and yes, fraud be allowed to stand and thwart the will of the people? These are not imagined mistakes, miscues and fraud. They are real and documented.

To place appearance (whether a candidate is gracious in losing) above “faith in the process” is to mistake appearance for the “nature of democracy,” and is itself, destructive of Democracy. .

Whether or not Mr. Rossi challenges the election in court is, in this instance, immaterial. For the moral issue devolves upon whether the integrity of the process is sufficient to engender a belief on the part of the general public that its will is being effectuated. If not, the public should demand a re-vote. Indeed, 62% of the public believes a revote should take place; this includes 75% of republicans, 64% of independents, and 45% of democrats.

I’m sympathetic to the WSJ’s desire not to get down in the mud and wrestle with the pigs, but I’d prefer that the Repubs pursue the court case and introduce the evidence of fraudulent voters: dead, phantom, provisional, felonious, canine -- whatever. Depose the Keystone Kop election officials and find out if they’re corrupt or merely incompetent. In short, make a record. My fear is that two years down the road, the Dems claim the problems really didn’t exist and Repubs are left without a clear, impartial court record to impeach them. The evidence and rulings from the court case could also be useful in pushing the Dino Rossi Clean Voting Act through Congress.

While I cringe at the through of how a re-vote for both monitary and precidential reasons, I find that the people suggesting that we should take the high ground and bow out gracefully are flawed in their understanding of the situation. Since there are two areas of "high ground" that you mention, I’ll discuss both of them seperately.

1. Moral high ground:
The moral high ground is to ensure that the will of the voters is represented in the election results and to expose fraud whenever it occurs. If the Democrats are allowed to continue stealing elections, then we will no longer live in a democracy, but merely a tyranny by theft. It’s become all but cliché to say that we are a nation based on laws, but if we see compelling evidence that an election was stolen and we do not take every possible measure to correct it, can we still make that lofty claim? Bowing out gracefully in this instance would not be moral, only expedient.

2. Political high ground:
While it may at first glance appear to be a good idea politically to bow out and let the voters see Republicans as polite grown-ups above the fray, what end does that serve? If the Dems can continue to steal elections while we sit back and let it happen, then public support is meaningless since it is no longer the driving force in our electoral process. We may content ourselves with the notion that the embarrassment brought about by illigitimate elections may cause stricter laws to be enacted that will clean up the electoral process, but if the people making the laws got into office by way of fraud, are they more likely to pass effective laws that will eliminate fraud or make laws that make great soundbites but in actuallity make it easier for them to cheat the next time around? (Look at all of the campaign finance laws that were at least partially promoted as a way to reduce life-long incubancy if you need a hint at how that question should be answered)

We can and should take the moral and political high ground, but that high ground is where battles are won, not abandoned.

I have watched the Republicans retreat from correct positions for many years because they were afraid of being called "mean" - e.g., welfare reform being one issue that could only be taken on by a Democrat, Clinton, since the Republicans were so afraid of being called names. Being a true leader requires the courage to stand up and say "You cheated (as usual) and I am not going to take it anymore!" I am unsure where a "moral high ground" comes into play here. Our democracy is at stake.

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