5 October 2002
Back to the courts - again
Once again, a handful of Democrats who can't deal with perfectly simple election laws are trying to obtain by legal wrangling what they wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
Cynthia McKinney had managed to stay out of the limelight for almost a whole week, and for that we are grateful. But nothing lasts forever, with the possible exception of temporary taxes, and this week McKinney supporters have filed a lawsuit claiming that crossover voting by Georgia Republicans, permitted under the Peach State's open-primary law, was "malicious" and unconstitutional. "Black Democratic voters," said attorney J. M. Raffauf, who represents the plaintiffs, "had their voting rights interfered with and violated."
The ever-watchful Susanna Cornett boils this down to the crucial stuff:
"In a way, though, this whole exercise has been useful. It's starkly highlighted that the goal amongst the 'black leaders' isn't to get black politicians elected because Denise Majette [who defeated McKinney in the primary] is black. It isn't to get Democrats elected because Majette is a Democrat. It's to get their person, their politics, elected."
And, I suggest, it also highlights the apparent belief of the post-2000 Democratic Party, not only in Georgia, but also in New Jersey, that state election laws are just another tool, to be used when they are needed, to be disregarded when they aren't. Any candidate who actually believes this sort of thing, I contend, deserves to lose. Were I a Republican strategist, I'd be pointing fingers at every Democratic candidate from Bangor to Bakersfield: "If So-and-so loses, is he going to sue to overturn the election?"