Top-rated "progressive talker" Ed Schultz is concerned about possible improprieties in the Minnesota Senate recount.
At least he was a moment ago.
Almost certainly without intending to, the liberal radio host fueled at least one belly laugh among listeners while he took calls Wednesday.
Schultz talked about incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's legal challenge to the questionable results of a recount that reversed his initial narrow victory and put Democratic challenger Al Franken, formerly of Air America Radio and "Saturday Night Live," barely ahead (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: A three-judge panel in Minnesota, US Senate election dispute, will allow electronic media coverage of the trial (laughs) Judges are hearing the first arguments tomorrow, excuse me, today when lawyers for Al Franken seek dismissal of the election challenge filed by Norm Coleman. They say, Norm, you don't have any material. What the hell you talking about? We've had the most open recount in the history of an American elections (sic) and he's still whining about it.
Stan in Minneapolis, you're on The Ed Schultz Show. Good to have you with us.
CALLER: Yeah, well being from Minneapolis area, I can comment on Norm Coleman's trial and in a lot of precincts there were actually more votes (inaudible) than were registered voters, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Say that again. There was somebody calling in on you. Say that again please.
CALLER: There were more votes cast that there were registered voters in Minnesota.
SCHULTZ: Well why didn't they find that out in the recount?
CALLER: They did. They know that.
SCHULTZ: OK, so Al is still in front.
What, you got a problem with voting fraud?
Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it appears from Schultz's initial reaction to the caller -- "Well why didn't they find that out in the recount?" -- that he considers more votes cast than actual voters voting potentially troubling. All of a sentence later, and armed in the interim with an awareness this could be true, Schultz doesn't see it as a problem in the least. And what a coincidence, the candidate Schultz wants to win is the one on top.
Picture, if you will, Schultz as a lawyer defending an accused bank robber. The prosecutor points out that the defendant has much more money than he's ever earned and can't account for where it came from. Schultz's retort -- OK, so he's still wealthy.
It would be refreshing if Schultz or one of his cohorts so well acquainted with situational ethics described the Minnesota recount for what it is -- payback for alleged theft of the 2000 presidential election by way of Florida. Seen from this perspective, stealing a Senate seat constitutes petty theft.
And what if there were more votes than voters in Minnesota -- who are we to disenfranchise these non-voters?