Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Democracy Damage

Jesse Singal of The Washington Monthly passes along a new Law and Order plot, fresh today. The opening scene takes place outside a polling place in Maryland:
I could have sworn that Martin O'Malley is the Democratic candidate for governor. Apparently I was mistaken.
* * *
As I approached the polling place here at Parkdale High School, a man in an Ehrlich-Cox shirt handed me a two-page fold-out pamphlet. * * * Under the headline, "DEMOCRATIC SAMPLE BALLOT" was a comprehensive listing of candidates, each with an X next to his or her name. In the parallel universe contained within this pamphlet, Robert Ehrlich is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Michael Steele is the Dems' pick for the Senate. The intent could not be clearer: to confuse those looking to vote a straight Democratic ticket.
* * *
I talked to the man who handed me the pamphlet... [H]e told me that, starting last Friday, some people had come to the Philadelphia homeless shelter where he said he volunteers, and had begun to recruit residents. Eventually, he said that 300 people filled five buses. He said he was paid $100 for the day's work.
* * *
At the bottom of the front page, the small print reveals the pamphlet's origins. The two-line disclosure reads: "Paid and Authorized by Bob Ehrlich for Maryland Committee" and "Paid and Authorized by Steele for Maryland, Inc."
Tunk -tunk.

Billmon plays the judge:
The modern GOP -- or, more specifically, the Axis of '70s Campus Republicans now running it -- really is just a criminal enterprise disguised as a political party.

Dirty tricks, large and small, are a sorry fact of life in American politics, but what the Republicans have done over the past few weeks -- the surrealist attack ads, the forged endorsements, the midnight robo calls, the arrest threats, the voter misinformation (did you know your polling station has been moved?) -- is sui generis, at least at the national level.

Preview of coming attraction: Why Now?'s computer at great peril to itself rescues Moveon.org from Republican hackers.

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