Tomorrows big question is

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Tomorrow’s big question is whether state judge Terry Lewis will prevent Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris from making 5 PM Tuesday the drop-dead deadline for all ballot recounts – a decision that would effectively prevent hand recounts in several key Democratic counties, and probably make George W. Bush our next president.

But has anyone else noticed how feeble an argument Harris’ attorney made in court on Monday afternoon?

A number of good articles ran Monday explaining that Harris is much more than a passive supporter of Governor Bush (see these effective flayings of Harris in Salon and ABCNews.com); but Harris and her supporters argue that, whatever her personal feelings in the matter, Florida statute mandates that she enforce the deadline, period.

Reports from Reuters and the New York Times imply that the judge was leaning against Harris’ arguments. And it’s not hard to see why. Even Harris’ attorney didn’t seem to buy her argument.

Here’s how Reuters described one exchange:

Debby Kearney, general counsel for the secretary of state’s office, acknowledged that state law gave Harris discretion to extend the deadline but said she refused to do so because the counties had given no adequate reason why they could not comply.

“We don’t think anything has happened to require us to use that discretion,” Kearney said.

Is she kidding? The counties have “given no adequate reason why they could not comply.” Please! Can’t they do better than this transparently false assertion?

If that’s the best they can do I’m dusting off my résumé and sending it off to Warren Christopher. I hear he’s slated to head up Gore’s transition.

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