Sunday, September 26, 2004

Marginal Benefit < Marginal Cost?

by Tom Bozzo

The Wisconsin Democrats went to court to try to throw Nader off the ballot. Apparently there is a technical defect with the slate of electors listed by the Nader campaign. The Elections Board had previously deemed the flaw insufficient to warrant the relief requested. The Nader campaign offered the usual response that they're trying to "avoid a debate on the issues." Whatever.

Analysis: This is somewhere between a waste of the Democrats' time and resources, and a minor tactical miscalculation. Nader can be as easily neutralized by directing resources to 'retail' efforts like GOTV in Dane and Milwaukee counties, while ignoring Nader's all but invisible campaign. All these legal tactics seem to do is contribute to Nader's persecution complex.

In partial contrast, in Florida, the Democrats were arguably right not to try to challenge Bush's ballot status over apparently late-filed ballot papers -- noting Prof. Froomkin's statement of the irony that it was the Republicans insisting on strict application of election laws in 2000 -- but wrong to ignore the Republican incompetence and failure-to-play-by-the-rules angles.

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