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A Bitter Defeat

November 19, 2010

The French Cowboy has observed the Alaska Senate election kerfuffle from afar — literally and figuratively — and has been thinking the same that most Americans must have been thinking: that Joe Miller should have given up contesting the result quite a while ago. It began to look pathetic and that doesn’t fit him. On the other hand, from the beginning he did strike me as a serious person who wouldn’t give up on anything easily.

Miller’s attempts to break with law and tradition which say that obvious “intent” is more important than correct spelling when counting write-in candidate votes are a bad strategy. But, when in this context I saw photos of some of the write-in ballots with Murkowski’s name on them (or something very similar to that), it struck me that the handwritings did look strangely similar: the rounded shape of letters, the consistent capital initials and the lower case letters following with the same hight etc. Of course that raises the French Cowboy’s conspiracy theory alarm and makes you wonder whether the little differences in writing weren’t intentional divergences from one person filling out several ballots! From a random selection of five handwritings, wouldn’t you expect more variation? Well maybe not. Maybe it’s just the way that Alaskans write, or the way Alaskan Murkowski voters write.

Either way, this election seems uncontestable unless actual fraud can be proven. (So far there’s only been allegations.) And giving the election system and those who might have had the chance to manipulate it the benefit of the doubt, I assume that Murkowski has actually garnered more votes than Miller. Which means that the people have spoken and therewith have shown that they have the last word not only to those who wanted Murkowski to win the GOP nomination, but also to those who wanted to have the GOP nominee, who wasn’t Murkowski, to win the general election. And I disagree with the notion that Murkowski was wrong to launch her write-in campaign after she lost the nomination. After all, primaries aren’t there to keep voters from being able to vote for their preferred candidate.

Nevertheless, it’s quite a surprising result in an anti-establishment, anti-RINO year like this one to have an incumbent RINO win via write-in. No wonder Monsieur Miller is having a hard time to accept it. (The French Cowboy doesn’t like the result either.)

The funny thing about Murkowski is that she’s not a bitter partisan. She’s only bitter. If this is Alaskans’ taste of politican then I wonder why they ever elected Sarah Palin. Maybe they’re so traumatised having watched a charismatic state politician gain unprecedented national relevance that they want to avoid that in the future. Murkowski seems a reasonable choice from that perspective.

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