This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
What is really driving the losing presidential candidate of the Green Party, Jill Stein, in her quest for a recount of the presidential vote in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin? That is the question that we’re left with in the wake of the decision of a United States district judge to halt the recount of the presidential vote in the Wolverine State. It’s conceivable the state supreme court or a federal appeals panel could step in, or it could be the judge — The Honorable Mark Goldsmith — has put paid to the last mico-sub-quark of a possibility that Secretary of State Clinton could overturn the 2016 election.
President-elect Trump reckons — and has said so on a number of occasions — that Dr. Stein’s quest for a recount is a “scam” that has nothing to do with what the vote is and everything to do with raising money for the Green Party. She has certainly raised millions. The Green leader, though, insists that the millions she’s raised are what is involved in a recount and suggested that she might need even more. As the case has progressed her claim can be boiled down to this: That even though she has no evidence of vote-tampering, if it were tampered it would have been in Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania.
In the opinion handed down yesterday, Judge Goldsmith credited the Michigan Court of Appeals, which held that the recount should, as Judge Goldsmith paraphrased the court, “never have been initiated in the first place, because Stein was not an ‘aggrieved candidate.’” Michigan’s court, Judge Goldsmith noted, had found that state law accorded “aggrieved” status only to a candidate who could state in good faith that “but for mistake or fraud, the candidate would have had a reasonable chance of winning the election.” That’s a standard that Michigan’s court reckoned Dr. Stein and her party couldn’t satisfy.
If Dr. Stein wasn’t an aggrieved party, what fury was driving her? It may be that the only way to answer this question is to refer the matter to the court of The Honorable Sigmund Freud. We don’t mean to suggest that Dr. Stein is ill, merely that she may just be wracked by guilt. The Green Party candidate won something on the order of 51,463 votes in Michigan. Yet Mr. Trump defeated Secretary Clinton by fewer than 11,000 votes. In other words, if Dr. Stein and her enviro-nihilistic comrades had just put what they now seem to view as the interests of their country ahead of their faction, well, they’d have no need to feel guilty.
Imagine how the poor doctor feels. Particularly because it’s not just Michigan. In Wisconsin, Dr. Stein’s tally of 30,980 votes comfortably exceeds the 27,257 votes by which Mrs. Clinton came up short. In Pennsylvania, the Green Party gremlin racked up enough, at 49,947 votes, to have made up the 44,312 votes by which Mrs. Clinton lost to The Donald. One doesn’t have to posit that every vote that went to Dr. Stein might otherwise have gone to Mrs. Clinton to suggest that the vexed veridian has just got to be wreathing in Green guilt. And mortified by the abjectness of her own political selfishness.
It’s enough to extract a twinge of sympathy from our newspaperman’s heart. Just for a second, though. The truth is that every American who went to the polls knew the rules. Every candidate, too. Mrs. Clinton focused on the popular vote in an election that is always decided by the electoral vote. Our guess is that the Democrat wouldn’t have won, even if Dr. Stein had stood home. But, hey, unless an appeals court restarts Michigan and new tallies are found in all three states, Dr. Stein will be left with the thought that it was she herself who delivered the presidency to Mr. Trump. Something to mull in the pastures that the Green Party likes to think of as the heavenly ever after.