FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2015 - This Day In History
Hypocrisy: GOP Urged Gore to Concede, But Not Coleman
Posted By jwilkes - Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 1:06 AM
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Norm Coleman continues his court battle to overturn the election results that cost him his job.The fact that former Republican Senator Norm Coleman has taken his quixotic quest for reelection to the Senate to the courts shouldn’t upset Democrats. We like it when steps are taken to ensure that elections are conducted fairly. Recounts are healthy for democracy. So Coleman has had his day in court, and despite sustaining one death blow after another from the respective judges, he’s pushing his appeal further and further into the 111th Congress. Fine. Let him. If judges reasonably conclude that more ballots should be counted, so be it.

It’s been almost 75 days since Democrat Al Franken was certified as the winner of the 2008 Minnesota Senate election. The initial ballot count put the two men within 215 votes of each other, triggering a statutorily mandated recount. When the dust settled, Franken was up 225 votes. Ever since then, Minnesota has been short a Senator in Washington while Coleman exhausts every last legal maneuver he can think of.

And he’s been egged on all the way by Republican leadership, who want him to take his case all the way to the US Supreme Court:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “We all remember Bush v. Gore.”

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC): “From what I can tell, there are legal issues well worth taking up in the [Supreme] Court.”

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL): “The state court is not the final word on that.”

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “I will do all that I can to help him.”

What should outrage Democrats is this: when Al Gore was asking for some due diligence in the Florida recount back in 2000, these Republicans were singing a different tune, while Democrats were calling for their own guy to throw in the towel for the good of the country.

Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia took to the House floor to demand that the Vice President and winner of the popular vote Gore should concede. “It is time for the vice president to do the responsible thing and accept the results of this election.”

Oklahoma Republican JC Watts put in his two cents as well: “How many defeats are enough? The time has come for the vice president to admit defeat, concede gracefully and allow our nation to move forward with the transition of power.”

Then there was Peggy Noonan, a conservative pundit and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, who’s probably kicking herself the piece she wrote for TIME magazine. A few choice excerpts: “[He’s] putting the country through a terrible trauma to serve his own needs and retain personal power…Great harm has been done by Gore’s decision, and more is no doubt coming. If he manages to finagle his way to the presidency, his Administration is likely to prove true a dark saying: When you want it bad, you get it bad.”

Ironically, Democrats were telling Gore to call it quits. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, then the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said of Gore, “He should act now and concede.” The head of the party called for Gore to concede. “I proudly stand in support of Senator Norm Coleman’s pursuit to see that Minnesota’s voters are enfranchised by having their ballots counted. If voters do not have confidence in elections, then they will not have confidence in their elected leaders. That is why the judges’ review of thousands of additional ballots in Minnesota is critical to the democratic process.”

Even Gore’s attorney, Lawrence Tribe, publicly advocated Gore’s withdrawal. “I think that the gracious thing is to accept even if one disagrees with the decision of the Supreme Court.”

And Gore did. After the Court spoke, he didn’t pursue the voter disenfranchisement issues. When Democrats took to the floor of Congress essentially begging Gore not to back down, he put the country first and did it anyway.

I’m not asking Coleman to do the same. I wouldn't expect that level of class and dignity.  I’m just asking the Republicans who are backing him not to be quite so sanctimonious about it.

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[-] The simple fact is - Guest-novenator
when people vote, Republicans lose. They lost the Minnesota recount, and now try desperate legal maneuvers to try and stall the seating of Al Franken in the US Senate so they can further obstruct progress. They are very petty people who put political partisanship ahead of the good of the country.
[ Posted at 9:37 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
The conservative brain cannot handle the truth.
[ Posted at 9:45 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
It's about the fact that the GOP is always so transparently obvious when they act out of political expedience. They just cross their fingers and hope taut nobody will notice when they blatantly contradict themselves.
[ Posted at 9:45 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] This is an excellent thoughtja - Guest-Buster CT1K
But then again, aren't all politicians a bit hypocritical anyway? They're always trying to please someone.R5
[ Posted at 10:30 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
levels. John McCain, reputed to be a 'straight-talking maverick', wouldn't even defend his own daughter after a right-wing talk show host accused her of having a fat butt.
[ Posted at 10:45 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
concede on any election, then blame Dems. I don't think that Republicans will EVER, EVER listen to Dems. I just found out that the reason Republicans are pushing Geithner to resign is because they want Romney to take his place. So, if we sit back and listen to Republicans tell us who to represent us, then shame on us.
[ Posted at 11:01 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] It's not hipocracy... - Guest-Josiah Bartlett
It's republiconism.

It's simple, anything Democrats do is bad and must be opposed. Anything they do, well IOKIYAR.

They will flip mid stream if they think it will be to their advantage. Immediately after the election before the recount started, Norm Coleman was telling Franken to give up and not to go to court because he would never do that if he was in that position. He changed his tune pretty quickly when the advantage flipped to Al.

Remember, anything Democrats do is bad and must be opposed. Anything they do, well IOKIYAR.

That is always the case.
[ Posted at 11:43 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
And Democrats backing down should come as no surprise

"Ironically, Democrats were telling Gore to call it quits. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, then the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said of Gore, "He should act now and concede." The head of the party called for Gore to concede. "

Democrats are calling it quits right now. They control the House, Senate, and White House, and we have a group breaking away from the party as "moderates."

WTF? Republicans have a crazy-assed winger trying to take over their party and they aren't breaking apart but we have great leadership FOR ONCE and Bayh can't pull his head out of his ass long enough to sniff the winds of change.
[ Posted at 10:31 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
The party of 'values' has shown what their values really are.
[ Posted at 10:31 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
Remember what Norm Coleman said as he was slightly ahead after preliminary numbers were coming in?

"If you asked me what I would do, I would step back. I just think the healing process is so important. The possibility of any change of this magnitude in the voting system we have would be so remote — that would be my judgment. Mr. Franken will decide what Mr. Franken will do. "
[ Posted at 10:32 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
of hypocrisy would be a photo of the GOP logo.
[ Posted at 10:46 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] It's gotten to the point - Guest-liberalis
where I'm disappointed if they aren't hypocritical. The problem is they get away with it more often than not. There's no incentive for them to explain past behavior. Just ignore it, assume the new opinion, and turn up the belligerence to 11.
[ Posted at 10:44 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
the dominant conversation, you can make even morons succeed.
[ Posted at 11:18 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
"Then there was Peggy Noonan, a conservative pundit and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, who’s probably kicking herself the piece she wrote for TIME magazine. "

Trust me, she doesn't have the character for self-examination. She's simply jumped on the anti-Bush bandwagon as of late for personal expediency.
[ Posted at 10:47 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] And she mostly always - Guest-Wom Bat
seems half-drunk.
[ Posted at 11:48 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
Are you surprised that fire is hot?
Are you surprised that water is wet?
[ Posted at 10:55 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
... issues the certificate, it's going to be politically untenable for Republicans to oppose Franken's seating. Once Franken is seated, it's also difficult to see the federal courts wanting to unseat someone who is already seated.
[ Posted at 10:57 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
The GOP could give a shit about elections, if they lose by 200 or win by 500, the election is secondary to how much power you already have.

These guys are in the minority and they still think they are in total control.

If the GOP gave a fuck about elections you would have heard them crying about ACORN after Nov 4th (obviously an illegitimate claim, but it is not like they are above such baloney)

To the GOP elections are for us, power is for them.

Al Franken's crime? Not being a lobbyist shill(Bayh), and daring to insult Rush and O'Reilly.
[ Posted at 11:26 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Your facts are lacking - Guest-MoombaMan
Um...the GOP did whine about ACORN. Where were you?
[ Posted at 12:16 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
civility, or to honor their country above their own short-term self interest, is like asking a block of granite to float.
[ Posted at 11:48 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
go together like toast and jam.
[ Posted at 11:53 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] They have - Guest-whatsit2ya
no shame.
[ Posted at 11:54 AM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Hypocrisy? Politicians? - Guest-MoombaMan
What do you expect? These people are politicians. Party affiliation doesn't matter. They all have their hypocritical moments. Compare democratic criticism of Bush's rhetoric when he was trying to push his first economic stimulus to Obama and Co. using that same rhetoric and fear mongering to get the most recent stimulus passed. Anybody that thinks politicians associated with one party somehow have higher moral standards than those of the other party are drinking too much Kool-Aid. Besides, in the case of both Gore and Coleman, the campaigns owe it to their donors to pursue every possible avenue.
[ Posted at 12:13 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
...when he was up by a couple hundred votes.

To save time and money, of course.

"I just think the need for the healing process is so important."
[ Posted at 12:35 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Oh, you didn't know? - Guest-TruthinessHurts
The GOP are hypocrites.
[ Posted at 12:58 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
The GOP remains me of the pesky kid in grade school who hounded you for your lucky rabbit's foot until you couldn't stand it any more so you gave him the damn thing to get him away from you.
[ Posted at 1:29 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] No shortage of hypocrites - Guest-The Bard of Wilmette
I have no problem with people trying to frame arguments in the way that is most advantageous for their side, but blatant hypocrisy is hard to take. If a person is going to argue for one principle, and then in almost identical circumstances (except that the parties are now in the reverse positions) make the opposite argument, he cannot plausibly claim that any kind of lofty principles are involved. I can respect political hacks, but not if they make serious pretenses to be something else.

Consider some of the "states' rights" conservatives. Most of them opposed federal civil rights legislation, claiming that however worthy the goals, that such laws were an unconstitutional (because of the 10th Amendment) infringement on state control of such matters. While I disagree with their conclusion, I respect the argument... if they apply it consistently. Many, although not all, of these same supposed states' rights conservatives have been strongly opposed to any state's attempt to legalize marijuana, even under very limited circumstances. Some of them also want to criminalize abortions nationwide. Regardless of how we feel about to what degree abortions should be legally available, a federally imposed prohibition goes against the principles of "states' rights" or "small government."
[ Posted at 2:58 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Bard: Huh? - Guest-MoombaMan
I have a couple of issues with your argument:

1. Your marijuana example doesn't hold water. Some people just believe (mistakenly) in its criminalization. Wanting it to remain illegal in a particular state says nothing of someone's views on "state's rights".

2. Under your strict logic, these "state's rights" conservatives would think all federal laws are inappropriate. I don't think anyone would believe that that degree of consistency is practical.

3. If you look at who actually opposed federal civil rights legislation, I'm sure you will be shocked to find it was actually southern "states' rights" democrats, like Robert Byrd, not "states' rights" conservatives.
[ Posted at 3:34 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Issues - Guest-The Bard of Wilmette
Most analogies are imperfect, but in general, I stand by my comments.
The real motives behind the opposition to civil rights legislation, in many cases, were based on racism, but knowing that they could not publicly admit that this was the real reason, opposition was expressed in terms of "states' rights," by both southern Democrats and Republicans.
As for the marijuana or abortion issues, some sincere conservatives who genuinely believe in the states' rights principle (I believe that Sen. Tom Coburn is one example) have said that the federal government should not dictate social policies to the states, even if they agree with the proposed policy. Others who call themselves conservatives (and some liberals are equally guilty) will cite some lofty principle when it is expedient in supporting one policy outcome, but then contradict the same principle when applied to another issue.
States' rights conservatives do not oppose all federal laws, but they argue that the federal government should be limited to those relatively few areas (national defense, regulation of the money supply, foreign relations, etc.) that are specifically assigned by the Constitution as federal responsibilities.
[ Posted at 2:30 PM on 3/20/09 | Reply ]
[-] Hmm - Guest-John Davis
I thought Hypocrisy, Greed and Lies is what made politics work?

[ Posted at 3:25 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
Don't forget, when Franken allowed MN officials to proceed with the recount, Coleman said the probability of a recount overturning the election result was "extremely, extremely, extremely remote." Yes, three 'extremely's. He claimed pursuing a recount would be a costly waste of time.
[ Posted at 3:33 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
What is more damning is the comments Coleman himself made when he was leading Franken. When he was ahead, he was calling for Franken to stop with the recounts. Now that he's behind, it's a different story.
[ Posted at 4:19 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] No surprise - Guest-Tony Pelliccio
Doesn't surprise me in the least. Republicans are above all things sore losers.

And they're masters of the double standard.
[ Posted at 8:54 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Oh, please... - Guest-Lynn
Not the same. Gore wanted recounts of only the best Dem precincts. Coleman actually won... the tide turned when the recount got creative. If Franken gets in to the Sentate it proves that even a whacko can get elected. Bet the other Senators have their fingers crossed he won't.
[ Posted at 9:37 PM on 3/19/09 | Reply ]

The Republican based supreme court elected George W. Bush over Gore, so the idiots want a repeat of that. It would be Bush and Gore part 2.

[ Posted at 12:03 AM on 3/20/09 | Reply ]

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