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Another financial rag goes nutty over the recount

Editorialists at a second Wall Street paper just can’t help themselves when it comes to supercharged rhetoric and cherrypicked facts.
By David Brauer

What is it with financial papers and Minnesota’s recount? By now, we’re all used to the fact-challenged performance art of the Wall Street Journal editorialists. But there’s a new contender: Investor’s Business Daily.

IBD — which begins by frothing about Stuart Smalley — trots out many of the Journal’s tropes: ACORN puppet Mark Ritchie “orchestrated the recount” (pay no attention to those GOP judges on the Canvassing Board!); double-counted votes “appear to” exist but missing ballots in Minneapolis should disappear. Etc.

IBD’s larger point is that we need runoff elections like Georgia’s when no candidate reaches a majority, and that special elections should supplant gubernatorial appointments.

While I agree, more or less, with the latter point, IBD’s tendentiousness is showing. As the editorial itself notes, Georgia’s runoff was won by a Republican — the party tends to favor lower-turnout elections, and specials always have fewer voters than general elections. (In Georgia, turnout fell by almost in half, from 3.7 million on Nov. 4 to 2 million for the Dec. 3 runoff.)

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Meanwhile, the governors making the current round of Senate appointments are all Democrats. One wonders whether IBD was similarly outraged 13 months ago, when Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour selected Roger Wicker to fill Trent Lott’s Senate seat.

Update: A reader notes IBD is the paper that asked last January, “Would Obama put African tribal or family interests ahead of U.S. interests?” while rolling around in the debunked “Obama as Muslim” trope.