Don’t be misled, I would be completely shocked if the recount changes the outcome. We lost that one. And I believe that we lost it, not that it was stolen. (Though something criminal did go on, even if it was just Niklaus staying in a job at which she must know she was terminally incompetent) I believe it first, because the numbers from fivethirtyeight convinced me that the conclusion to her completely absurd story matches with expected reality better than a reality where it’s not true, and second, because post-canvassing, the conspiracy theory required to believe in a stolen election gets far to elaborate. I wish it were otherwise, but oh well.
My celebration of the recount stems from entirely symbolic motives. Things in Waukesha county are sketchy beyond all reason, in an election so fraught that shenanigans would justifiably discredit the legitimacy of the state government. That is not okay. Suspense in the days following an election should stem exclusively from uncertainty as accurate counts come in, not from the fumbling ineptitude of the people running the election. Malice is not required to corrupt a system, nor is it necessary for an outcome to be false. We need a recount to establish that the mechanisms of our electoral system are sound and self-correcting, to prove that incompetence or malice are insufficient to pull things apart.
I’m also happy because Prosser has made the astonishingly thuggish* choice to pooh-pooh a recount, even when the canvassing sussed out to have us under the threshold where state law says we get one for free. The reason state law allows for a recount in races within .05% is that with a margin that small, it’s reasonable to verify the quality of the system. The ability to have that verification should not hinge upon the fund raising skills of the people requesting the recount. Saying that it’ll be needlessly expensive? That’s a callow argument, pandering clumsily to the economic concerns flooding the public discourse in this state, and I hope he’s embarrassed about saying that. If he’d come out requesting a recount, so there’d be no doubt about his legitimacy on the Supreme Court, he’d have earned my respect. Really, though, all I expected was for him to shut-up and count his blessings – two more weeks and we’d have finished closing the gap.
*Sarah Palin coopting our rhetoric is vaguely amusing. Scott Walker doing it must be answered in kind.