Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[politics] The conspiracy theory of elections

Note: This is a fusion of recent observations I have made in various posts, with some editing to pull it together.

There's something I've continued to wondered about since election night. Given the Romney
campaign's apparent astonishment at their loss, and other signals such as Karl Rove's near meltdown over FOX calling Ohio for Obama Tuesday night, I wonder if the GOP leadership thought they had the fix in with the voter ID restrictions, voting machine errors and early voting shenanigans in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. We have a lot of evidence of that being the intention, such as PA State Rep. Mike Turzai's statement that voter ID laws were going to allow Romney to win the presidency.

My current hypothesis is that the GOP figured either on winning Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio outright through a combination of voter suppression and a certain amount of ballot rigging (especially with the electronic voting machines in PA miscounting Obama votes for Romney), or to lose by a close enough margin that the voting irregularities would given them sufficient smokescreen to launch a Bush v. Gore attack on the outcomes. The clear lesson Republicans learned back in 2000 was that if conservatives can cloud the popular vote sufficiently, a partisan Supreme Court will hand them the presidency regardless of legal merit or national interest. The Supreme Court's own shame-faced disclaimer that their ruling in Bush v. Gore could not be considered as future precedent confirms this right on the plain face of the facts.

Under this hypothesis, the only way they could lose would be if Obama won by a large enough margin to make recounts and challenges moot. And given the GOP's demonstrated willingness to read polling data with the same ideological blinders they use for virtually everything else, that would have been the genuine surprise.

Maybe I'm being a bit too paranoid, but this idea would explain a lot of what's bothering many commentators around the Internet about the apparent utter lack of preparedness on the part of the Romney campaign for a loss. They had the fix in after all, with Rick Scott and John Husted and so forth. Nothing about that would be out of character for the way the GOP has operated in the Atwater-Ailes-Rove era since the rise of Reagan.

Combine this with the current conservative hysteria over the evils that will rain down on the country like Old Testament retribution now that Obama has been re-elected, and you have a very ugly portrait if completely unsurprising of the conservative mind. As I've said before, liberal-progressives were afraid of a Romney presidency precisely because of what he said he would do. Conservatives are afraid of an Obama presidency precisely because of what they imagine he might do. It's two completely different world views, reality and conservative mania, that don't even align well enough that they could reasonably be said to compete.

To that end, I hate to report that there are no black helicopters over my house, no FEMA troops in the streets, the local golf courses are all still open, and all the area churches seem to be open and prospering.

Tags: personal, politics

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