It's Over, Tim. It's Over. Let's Go Home.

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One of the more bizarre (perhaps intentionally so) "I can't believe this is happening" pieces from a Kerry partisan (and self-proclaimed Electoral College bore) Timothy Noah over at Slate. (You might have hoped such pieces were a forgotten relic of November 2004, but alas, no.)

Even though there has never been more than one faithless elector (who votes against his state's popular vote) in any election, Noah notes that Kerry would only need, um, 18 of them to still pull it out!

But 18 is a very petty number for a man of Noah's infinite sense of opportunites barely missed:

If John Kerry had gotten 118,776 more votes in Ohio, he would have claimed Ohio's 20 electors, giving him 272 electors to Bush's 266. For want of 118,776 votes, John Kerry lost the presidency. I'm not going to pretend I don't still brood about this.

Not entirely sure if I'm laughing with you or at you, Mr. Noah, but I'm laughing.

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  1. I’m not laughing at Mr. Noah, I’m laughing really hard at Mr. Noah.

  2. “If John Kerry had gotten 118,776 more votes in Ohio, he would have claimed Ohio’s 20 electors, giving him 272 electors to Bush’s 266. For want of 118,776 votes, John Kerry lost the presidency. I’m not going to pretend I don’t still brood about this.”

    Uh Huh.

    And if wishes were horses, we all would ride.

    It’s amusning to see some of the Kerry crowd keep trying to focus on the Ohio vote with their whatifs, vote fraud agitations etc, meanwhile completely ignoring other “blue” states where Kerry’s margin of victory was narrower than Bush’s was in Ohio.

    What ifs can go in both directions and they aren’t limited to the state of Ohio.

  3. Rove was able to get out the Scots-Irish vote in the various boondocks of Ohio where they live.

    I started to say Rove “beat the bushes,” but that wouldn’t have been right, eh?

    The Scots-Irish are my cousins. They’re fine folks when you get to know them.

  4. … and if ‘ifs and buts’ were ‘candy and nuts’ we’d all have a merry christmas

  5. I think what you’re trying to say is, “If a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump its ass,” or maybe, “If my grandmother has wheels, she’d be a streetcar.”

  6. I know this has nothing to do with anything, but is there any chance we can see an entry about this story?

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=8&u=/ap/20041209/ap_on_re_us/parental_snooping

  7. If the Queen had balls, she’d be the King.

    Geez, I’m unhappy with the outcome, but the people have spoken, so suck it up and wait till next election. Give it up.

  8. I had hoped we had stopped talking about the 2004 election? 🙂

    I mean, Badnarik lost. Why would I want to revisit that debacle? 🙂

  9. One thing that Noah ignores is that Richie Robb, the only possible “faithless elector” he can think of, never indicated he could vote for Kerry–only that he *might* vote for a candidate other than Bush. But even if Bush had only won the Electoral College by one vote, and Robb’s was that vote, Robb’s voting for (say) McCain would not elect Kerry; it would simply mean that with no candidate getting a majority of the Electoral College, the presidential race would go to the House (on a one-delegation-one-vote basis) where Bush would of course win.

    Ther’s nothing particularly weird about wondering about “might have beens” in a close election (and of course the losing side tends to do so more than the winners dream of slightly–and unnecessarily–padding their lead). Republicans did so a lot in 1960 (even when they weren’t accusing JFK of having won fraudulently). The only reason Libertarians don’t do so is that they never come close to winning anything of any importance…

  10. Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don’t turn it off!

  11. I think the people at Slate spend too much time talking with each other. Nearly the entire outfit seems to get out more.

  12. substitute “needs” for “seems” – I need a beer

  13. Of course, Noah’s speculation might have been realistic if the Democrats had actually nominated a real candidate.

  14. I seem a beer.

  15. “Even though there has never been more than one faithless elector (who votes against his state’s popular vote) in any election, Noah notes that Kerry would only need, um, 18 of them to still pull it out!”

    Excuse me? There were fifteen electors who voted for Harry Byrd in 1960 instead of John H. Kennedy, and there were several Douglas electors who voted for Lincoln in 1860.

  16. Syd: The electors who voted for Byrd were not “faithless”. They were (with one exception) Democrats but they were not pledged to JFK. They campaigned and won as pro-Byrd or unpledged Democratic electors (in Missisippi, they ran against and defeated a slate of pro-JFK electors; in Alabama, the Demcoratic slate was divided between pro-Byrd and pro-JFK electors). There *was* one Byrd elector who could be called faithless–an Oklahoma Republican. (Nixon easily carried Oklahoma, actually doing substantially better than Ike had done in his massive 1956 landslide! But of course Adlai wasn’t a Catholic…)

    And I’m not aware of any Douglas electors voting for Lincoln in 1860–where did you get that? (New Jersey cast electoral votes for both Douglas and Lincoln but that’s because it elected both Lincoln and Douglas electors, not because its electors were faithless. All other northern states went for Lincoln.)

  17. I’ve already had several beers (thank you, office holiday party). What I seem now is to get my suck cocked.

  18. You are having an office holiday party on the 9th of Dec, approximately 15 days before Xmas, on a Thursday ?!! Where do you work ?

  19. wELL, IF YOU WAINT UNTIL TOO CLOSER TO CHRISTMASER TOHAVE YOUR oFFIC EPARTY, NO ONE STATYS AFTER WORK TO ATTEND BECAUSE THEY ALL HAVE TO GO OFF TO DO THEEIR CHIRSTMANS SHOPPING.

    OOPS, SORRY i HAVE CAPSOLOCK ON.

  20. I’ve heard Thomas Paine’s Goiter is the “G spot” for deep throats, so to speak.

  21. I’m sober now. Sorry, everybody.

  22. You get your wish, steve? 😉

  23. Alas, my suck remains uncocked.

  24. I just had a horrible realization. My syntax above makes it seem like I’m looking to be the blower, not the blowee. I am mortified. This was not my intention, nor my desire.

    “I need my suck cocked” is in fact an inside joke among my circle of drinking friends, coined one night while stumbling through the bar district … a night that began with a beer, a Bloody Mary, another Bloody Mary, another beer, a Long Island iced tea (I believe this was the turning point), a shot of Tarantula tequila, a shot of Sambucca, (Amber, my sweet, sweet bartendress, where have you gone, I love you), another beer, and then I lost track, and I woke up the next morning and found a wad of toilet paper in an unexpected place.

  25. Stevo, you’ve got a way with words.

  26. Thank you, Dan.

  27. OK. Er, let me get this straight. Bush had no legitimacy because he was behind by half a million votes or so. But the other guy would be a legitimate President, when his opponent beat him by 3.6 million ?

    Riiiight.

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