Could the "Miracle on Ice," as Sarah Palin dubbed it tea party upstart Joe Miller's potential primary slaying of Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski turn out to be less a "miraculous" event and more an excruciatingly long and ultimately uneventful one? That's Miller's fear right now, as he holds on to a lead of only 1,668 votes with more than 20,000 absentee ballots and disputed ballots from election day left to be counted.
"But, you know, frankly we're looking right now to make sure ... that the votes are accounted for fairly without any type of game play that concerns us any time that somebody lawyers up and, you know, tries to pull an Al Franken if you will," he said yesterday. Obviously nobody prefers to experience another nearly interminable Minnesota recount (although we would love to see if any Alaska write-ins could top the genius of "Lizard People"). But the benefit of going through such a thorough and painstaking process is that, in the end, the candidate with the most legitimate votes wins the election. Yes, candidates like Franken "lawyer up" in this situation, because they are not themselves experts in election law. It's not some sneaky scheme Franken cooked up, it's how you decide close elections in a democracy.