Crocodile Tears From the Republicans
Among the sometimes distasteful but nevertheless important duties of the writerly trade is the impulse to sign up for all kinds of communications (in varying formats) from some otherwise odious sources, just to keep tabs on things. Toward that end, the Republican party uses my email address like a party favor, sharing it with local, state and national candidates and party leaders. And I have no one to blame but myself, since I signed up for the duty (but seeing the name Ken Mehlman in my inbox is really going above the call of duty). But I was especially amused by this email today from Ohio Republican party chair Bob Bennett:
We're receiving widespread reports today of Democrats engaging in questionable and possibly illegal voter suppression tactics at polling locations across the state. If you experience any problems with Democrat poll observers inside a voting location or with activists outside, please report them to us by email at email@example.com. Democrats have proven they'll do anything to win an election - even if it means breaking the law. Republican voters are reporting intimidation tactics being used by Democrat activists outside polling locations. We've heard reports of Democrat poll observers engaging in illegal activity by communicating with voters as they vote. Some Republican voters are even being told by Democrat poll workers that they can't cast a ballot. Help us put a stop to these illegal efforts to suppress the Republican vote. Report problems now by sending detailed information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not already voted, the polls are open until 7:30 p.m. We're seeing high turnout in Republican precincts statewide, but every vote is critical! Find your polling location here. Print out a list of your Republican candidates and take it with you when you cast a ballot. Then join us tonight after the polls close for a Victory Celebration at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus.
Good Christ, these people are unbelievable. It's Democrats who are suppressing votes, huh? The absurd things they can say while managing to keep a straight face...
Meanwhile, the editors of The New Republic helpfully point out that increasingly sophisticated gerrymandering (the drawing of electoral district maps so as to benefit the incumbent party's candidates) have managed to rig our congressional elections and thus prevent elections from truly reflecting the country's political will. This is something we're just going to have to find a way to clean up, along with getting rid of the deeply anti-democratic Electoral College.