Karl Rove just had a late Xmas present today with news out that California Senator Barbara Boxer will support an objection to the certification of the Presidential election which started at 7am local time. I stated last night that there is no way a Senator would be so stupid, but I was wrong.
An objection to be valid needs to be signed by a Congressman and a Senator. In 2000, when there was legitimate doubt over the outcome, not a single Senator would back an objection because they knew it would look like Congress trying to change the results of the election. Having decided not to do so in 2000, I am staggered that Boxer thinks it will help the Democrats doing so in 2004.
Incidentially CNN has one aspect of its story wrong.when it states “A simple majority vote in each chamber would overturn the challenge”. In fact a majority in either chamber is all that is needed to kill an objection. An objection will only be valid if *both* chambers vote to uphold it.
The Democratic leadership has been shitting itself over this scenario, because now they have to vote. A few House Democrats will vote for the objection because they are in seats which are almost unlosable. But most will not vote for it so the party will look split and unable to control its own reps.
One would have thought not just losing the Presidential election, but getting drubbed in both the Senate and House would have taught the Democrats a lesson – you need to appeal to middle America, not your own radical activist base. And Karl Rove will have a very easy job of painting the Democrats as sore losers, who are trying to have Congress over-turn the results of the election.
Of course there were problems with the vote in Ohio. In fact there would have been problems in every state in the US. But it is quite another thing to suggest they could change the outcome of a huge 118,000 vote majority in Ohio. The man with the most to gain, John Kerry, has said there is no possible way they could have changed the outcome.
The Democrats may want to think about the awful precedent they have started today – that Congress should ignore the results of an election because they do not like the outcome. When the Democrats win the White House, they might want to reflect that with Republican majorities in Congress which will take years to reverse, they better hope they do not win with a small majority.
Incidentially the 2000 certificate of the vote was very ironic as the (outgoing) VP presides over the joint session so Al Gore presided over the session which declared Bush elected, and he had to reject all the objections from the Congressional Black Caucus as each time no Senator would support it.