Democrats & Liberals Archives

What Victory In Washington State, Could Mean For Justice In Ohio

I am already hearing (and gleefully perpetuating) the growing sentiment that the successful combination of grassroots and legal efforts on behalf of Democrat Christine Gregoire in the Washington State Governor’s race could have far-reaching implications.

Having now been declared the official winner, her path to this astonishing victory is not without tales of setback and disappointment, but it is more about dogged commitment, pivotal legal and monetary support - and, putting ones trust in the American legal process and a Secretary of State with integrity.

I cannot emphasize more, the ironic situation Washington state Republicans now find themselves in, scouring the state searching for possibly valid but rejected or discarded ballots, filing affidavits of alleged disenfranchised Republican voters, and filing motions challenging state election laws, that have so far stood up in court.

Sound familiar?

Who would believe, that a Republican Secretary of State could reject partisan pressure, follow the rule of law and support his political opponent's right to have newly uncovered (valid) ballots counted? Who'd believe a State Supreme Court would uphold Gregoire's lawful right to a second recount, while allotting her the required time period to amass the funds to pay for it? Who'd expect, that the absence of rancor or Rev. Jesse Jackson up until this point, is a direct result of the transparency of the process and the unquestionable allocution of the preceding election?

This is the only possible template from which a legitimate (and acceptable) resolution of fraud allegations can emerge in Ohio. However, equally important factors in the swift and fair outcome from Washington state, were the lack of national media glare and loaned trick bag from the boys at RoveVision. Both come standard in the Buckeye State showdown, however their power may prove less effective this time around against the Democrats.

Go ahead and dismiss my declaration of how this victory will energize and reverberate through the cyber grassroots movement of those who are as passionately committed to this cause against injustice, as the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights movement were. Go ahead and snark that even the Democratic Party thinks this is a lost cause, even though I learned of Gregoire's victory 20 minutes before it hit the AP wire, in an email from DNC's Terry McCauliffe. However, we are in complete agreement that if evidence of alleged voter suppression by Ohio Republicans continues to be deliberated solely in the court of public opinion, largely ignored by the media, thus allowing Sec. Of State Ken Blackwell to escape accountability - we will not prevail.

But ask yourself, where would be the last place Republicans would want such a matter decided? Is there anything to glean from the successful procedural and tactical implementations of litigants on behalf of Ms. Gregoire? Were any applicable legal precedents established, proving useful in future election law cases?

But, consider this: an unfolding scenario in Ohio, played out against an ever worsening, deteriorating situation in Iraq; a suddenly volatile economy hobbled by rising oil prices and a plummeting dollar; an entitled and enraged Christian Right realizing they've been had (again) by GOP; and, the White House finding themselves (again) in the detested position of defending someone with more baggage (36 by John Conyers' count) than Rumsfeld and Kerik.

Throw in the uncharted decline of Bush's approval rating, and a growing sense among Americans that maybe we should have gone with the smart fella who won all three debates. Go ahead, call it wishful thinking, anecdotal gibberish and tin foil rantings devoid of 'credible evidence'.

But, do me a favor. Make sure you've unplugged the fan, first.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at December 23, 2004 11:14 PM