Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let the Predictable Begin...

Well that didn’t take long.

We had an election here in Wisconsin the other day. Perhaps you heard.

Ordinarily this would not have been a big deal, as I said last time, as the races were mostly local ones, with only one statewide office on the ballot – a position on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. And since, barring major scandals, incumbent Supreme Court justices never lose re-election bids, and further, since this particular incumbent had beaten his challenger by 30 points in a non-partisan primary in February, this too looked like a forgettable and foregone thing.

Except that Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) and his cronies, minions and lackeys turned it into a referendum on their brazenly unconstitutional and un-American power grab.

And they lost.

Not by much, it must be said. Out of nearly a million and a half votes cast, the final margin of victory for Kloppenberg over the Teabagger candidate, Prosser, was exactly 204 votes. This will likely shift a bit as the totals are certified, but at the moment the victory belongs to those who oppose what Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) is trying to pull.

Teabaggers are already denying that that this is significant by pointing out how close the election was. Like an albino peacock, this rather misses the point.

In seven short weeks they managed to take a guaranteed landslide victory and turn it into a narrow loss, and the lesson they should be taking from this is just how toxic Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) and his policies are for the continued political health of their party. I doubt they will have the vision to see that, however. When dealing with ideological zealots, it is a sucker bet to rely on their ability to perceive reality at all, let alone any reality that conflicts with their deeply-held illusions.

But, as Arlo Guthrie once said, that’s not what I came to tell you about.

There will almost certainly be a recount in this election, no matter what the final results say. Whether Kloppenberg’s lead holds up or whether Prosser squeaks ahead, with a margin that small it would almost be irresponsible not to recount the votes. Mistakes get made. That’s normal. It’s worth taking the time to get it right.

No, that’s not the issue here.

The issue is the vanishingly small interval between the time the polls opened on Tuesday and the time the Teabaggers started complaining about voter fraud.

Because there could not be any possible explanation for their troubles besides fraud, apparently.

Because they just cannot conceive of a world where they are not the representatives of all that is True, Good and Holy, where God and the angels take lessons from them on all things moral.

Because the thought that good people of conscience look with contempt at their efforts to overturn the rule of law, bypass the state constitution and promote an extremist agenda contrary to American history and values just jangles their precious little neurons.

Because they firmly believe that the only people capable of fraud live in liberal districts – and particularly those liberal districts inhabited by brown-skinned people – and we should therefore pay no attention to the closed-door vote counting witnessed only by high-ranking Republican officials that you saw in the heavily Prosser counties.

Because the rest of us should just shut up and obey our masters without complaint and good grief it is so hard to get good help anymore.

Sweet dancing monkeys on a stick, people, they didn’t even wait until after the polls had closed to start throwing that tired old desperation ploy around.

It is a sign of the increasingly paranoid and irrational nature of Teabagger politics that this is the first thing they think of whenever the voters of America dispute their blinkered world view. It is a sign of their unfitness to wield any sort of authority over the free citizens of a republic that they are willing to make such patently false accusations in order to squash dissent and maintain their nakedly cynical hold on raw power.

And it is the normal way they do business.

Nice to have that made so plain.

No comments: