Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Teabaggers and Elections: A Rant

You know, every time I think the Teabaggers have hit rock bottom, I turn around to discover that they have begun to dig.

In response to their dictatorial over-reach of the recent months, Wisconsin citizens have successfully recalled six of the eight Teabagger state senators, with elections to determine whether those six should be replaced by people who uphold American values or returned to office by the sort of popular acclaim that dictators always say they have scheduled to take place next month. Given the sad state of the American electorate, it’s an open question. I certainly wouldn't want to put money on it.

It is to be noted that while the Teabagger recalls have all been certified as conforming to Wisconsin state law by the Teabagger-controlled agency that certifies such things, not even that agency could swallow whole the cynical ploys used to recall the three Democratic state senators that they managed to submit petitions for. Apparently having your petition drive run by an out-of-state corporation that refused to file the required financial disclosure statements, hired convicted felons as signature gatherers (at least one of whom continued his felonious ways while in the Teabagger employ), paid said gatherers by the signature and instructed them to tell whatever lies and make whatever bribes necessary to gather such signatures is a bit much, even for this state.

I know.

Oddly, even as the civil service Teabaggers have finally taken a stand with the law, the elected Teabaggers they serve continue to insist that none of those things were problematic. Not that they dispute them. Just that they don’t see why there’s a problem.

So it should perhaps have come as no surprise when, at a public meeting of their party, Teabagger representatives were caught on tape urging their members to find stooges to run against the Democratic challengers in the recall election – fake candidates who would siphon off enough votes to throw the whole election their way.

On the one hand, this is a flat out admission by the Teabaggers that they really don’t give a damn about democracy, that they fear and hate the electorate they claim to represent, that they know very well that in a free and fair election they would lose, and that they will do anything in their power to disrupt any such free and fair elections in order to retain their shriveled vice-grip on power.

It’s nice to have that out in the open.

On the other hand, at least they were properly chagrined at the exposure of this plan. Indeed, they have filed suit, saying that a public figure at a public meeting in a public place should not have their words recorded and disseminated to the public, on the grounds that it is bad for the Teabagger image.

Notice: no shame at the tactic. Just the exposure.

And today that lack of shame was reinforced not only by the executive director of the state’s Republican Party (odd how they still insist on using that name), but also by Governor Teabagger’s lead minion himself, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

Stephen Thompson, state Teabagger in charge, today issued a statement justifying a tactic that his own predecessor called a “nasty, cynical ploy” when accusing an independent candidate in last year’s general election of the same thing. That this candidate was neither recruited nor endorsed by the state’s Democratic Party seems a significant difference to me, but what do I know?

Fitzgerald, for his part, is aggressively pushing his fake candidates, actively recruiting them and arguing for the state to make it legal to do so. “It gives us another month to campaign,” he said.

And, really, that’s all this is about. It’s just another ploy by a would-be tyrannical autocracy, one that does not respect the rule of law, the Constitution, or democracy either in principal or in application. It is of a piece with the Voter Suppression Act of 2011, the illegal shenanigans in the State Legislature, the threats to call out the National Guard against peaceful demonstrators, and the open discussion to sow those demonstrations with Teabagger troublemakers. It is the hallmark of pantsless buffoons drunk with power and feeling above the law. And it’s troubling.

I do believe that we have finally reached the point where the United States in general and Wisconsin in particular would be better off without this party. I really wish that someone would come along to espouse in a democratic, lawful fashion, consistent with American values, the conservative principles that I, myself, disagree with. I would be grateful for an opposition that I could regard as principled and constructive rather than as soulless automatons of tyranny bent on destroying everything that makes this country great in their mad quest for absolute power.

But I’m not holding my breath.


Nathan said...

::Golf Clapping::


David said...


And just to follow up, apparently the group that certifies such things has in fact decided that the massive fraud involved with the recalls of the Democratic senators wouldn't be enough of an obstacle to prevent new elections, so those are scheduled for next month too, now.

And isn't that good to know.

David said...

Apparently it is illegal to run fake candidates in Wisconsin elections:

WI Code 12.05 prohibits false representations affecting elections. "No person may knowingly make or publish, or cause to be made or published, a false representation pertaining to a candidate or referendum which is intended or tends to affect voting at an election."

Can we just arrest the Teabaggers now and move on with our lives?

Beatrice Desper said...

they have filed suit, saying that a public figure at a public meeting in a public place should not have their words recorded and disseminated to the public, on the grounds that it is bad for the Teabagger image...

Kind of reminds me of the reasoning to stop the vote counting in FL in 2000. The public may find out they are loosers.

David said...

The public may find out they are loosers.

Oh, I think that's been made pretty clear by now.

When the Teabaggers swept into power last year I expected the sort of catastrophically short-sighted, "screw the middle class," Gilded Age policies that have been the Republican stock-in-trade since 1980, and if that were all that happened nobody would care much.

I didn't expect the lawlessness. I didn't expect the blatant assaults on the rule of of law, the Constitution, or democracy in principle. I don't think I was alone in that. And for that we are paying dearly.