Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A quantum of umbrage: Maybe honest wins are just no fun

While we're waiting on pins and needles (or torches and pitchforks) for the outcome of the Great Mississippi Senate Primary Do-Over, here's a question:

Is there a part of the modern conservatives' wiring that they can't even enjoy a victory unless there was some ratfucking involved?

The thought was planted by a story that historian Rick Perlstein has probably been dining out on, deservedly, for almost a decade:
The response to my address was, understandably, defensive. My co-panelist [long-time conservative activist and apologist] Stan Evans retorted that my invocation of Richard Nixon was inappropriate because Nixon had never been a genuine conservative. He added: "I didn't like Nixon until Watergate."
Warping ahead, that story came to mind a week or so ago when Charlie Pierce was gleefully watching Mississippi put the "Guignol" in the "Grand Old Party."
This is going to work. Honest to god, it is. Chris McDaniel, the Mississippi Tea Party cockfighting aficionado whose supporters have odd hobbies like videotaping people in the final stages of dementia and getting locked inside buildings where votes are stored, looks to have put some daylight between himself and longtime incumbent Thad Cochran. If this isn't the living proof of the maxim that all publicity is good publicity -- to say nothing of being the living definition of the political concept of "Mississippi" -- I don't know what is.
And now – ripped from today's headlines, as they say:
The [Milwaukee] Journal-Sentinel reported that 50-year-old Robert Monroe was caught as a result of an investigation into a possible illegal voting by his son in Waukesha County. But after his son denied requesting an absentee ballot from his father’s address in Shorewood, suspicion turned to Monroe.

A complaint claimed that Monroe voted five times in Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) recalled election. He also was accused of voting illegally in a 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election, a 2012 primary, and the 2012 presidential election.

Although the complaint did not state who Monroe voted for, WISN determined that he had donated money to Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling.

Prosecutors used Monroe’s cell phone records to prove that he traveled all the way to Indiana to cast a second vote in the 2012 presidential election. Prosecutors also tested some of the ballots for genetic material, and only found DNA belonging to Monroe. […]

Monroe faces 13 felony election fraud charges in all, including voting more than once, voting as a disqualified person, registering in more than one place, and providing false information to election officials. He could spend up to 18 months in prison, and pay a $10,000 fine for each charge.
Now, I suppose we might hope that True the Vote will parachute in to make sure that white middle-aged insurance executives don't abuse the franchise.

Or we could grab an egg timer to see how long it takes for conservatives to explain that flagrant right-wing voter fraud (with DNA evidence! Remember how they used to love DNA evidence?) is still somehow the fault of Democrats rather than a structural feature of modern conservatism? Oh, never mind; you can put the egg timer back.

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