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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Maddow: Where's Waldo (County)?

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)

or I Am Lego.

Oh, the poor Republican Party.

It must be a lot like being the last man on earth in a post-Apocalyptic America, an Apocalypse brought about by themselves. Then they finally meet another human being, in this case another man. He's the only thing they can stick their dick into because all else that's left is the occasional two-headed dog or cow. They hate the taste of that other man's semen and plunging into that brown honeypot but he's the only game in town. So bravely they sally forth, forced against nature to love the other man. And our Last Man on Earth, our Omega Man will do anything to keep the only other man on earth alive at all costs.

That's sort of what it's like for the Republican party and their Establishment candidate of choice Mitt Romney, a Lego man who resonates with the rest of the country about as well as you can expect a polymer-based product to. They're so desperate to get that dark guy out of office that they're even willing to eat their own and deny Republican voters the chance to have their votes counted. Specifically, the Maine GOP disappeared the votes of three whole counties and will not even return calls from MSNBC to explain why.

Washington, Kennebec and Waldo counties are those in question.

If you're wondering why the vote totals were even lower than expected in the Maine caucus last week, there's a good starting point. As stated when all the votes that were fit to be counted were counted on caucus night, it was determined that out of Maine's 243,000 registered Republican voters, only 5600 of them turned out to vote. That's roughly 5% of the registered Republicans in the state of Maine who voted for Romney and even if Washington, Kennebec and Waldo counties were allowed to participate, it's unlikely those votes would've pushed up the turnout to much above 6%.

But that's not the story. What is the story is that Romney was declared the winner of Maine (one of the two exceptions to the winner-take-all delegates rule) with 39% of the vote seemingly without the help of Washington, Kennebec and Waldo counties. Ron Paul, as we all know, came in a close 2nd with 36% of the vote and one of his senior campaign aides, Doug Wead, is saying that Paul actually got the lion's share of Maine's delegates.

But wait. If you look at the town by town vote total (.pdf file), you'll note that Rachel Maddow and Doug Wead weren't being entirely factual. Certain towns in the counties in question did have their votes counted. For instance, we know that Frankfort cast seven votes, Montville 21, Northport 11 and so on. Yet in 20 of Waldo's 26 towns, no votes were tallied.

In Washington County only one town, Pembroke, had their votes counted at all with the rest of the county's towns and cities drawing goose eggs.

Kennebec, on the other hand, drew just 5 blanks, with as many as 40 votes (from Maine's capital, Augusta, which is still a pitiful turnout) being cast.

So I don't know what Maddow is talking about since in Kennebec County almost all towns were heard from. Yet the complete paucity of votes in 46 of Maine's towns and cities across three counties is still enough to raise warning bells that something is rotten in the state of Maine. What's going on?

Robbing Paul to Pay Willard
Well, part of the problem is that many of the people who were counting the votes on caucus night were Romney supporters. Since this was a GOP caucus and not an actual election, the Secretary of State's office essentially has no authority and the state GOP essentially gets to write its own rules, including installing supporters of one candidate or another to engage in a Three Stooges version of what a fair and free democratic election is.

Factoring in the margin of error, typically 3-5%, and the fact that Romney "won" by only 194 votes, the nearly 50 towns and cities that the state GOP decided didn't count, after all, could've conceivably have swung the victory to Paul, who did well in Maine in 2008. It's like Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 all over again.

We're not getting any indication the Maine GOP plans on counting those votes, much less explaining to the MSM why 46 towns and cities were suddenly wiped off the electoral map. But the last thing the RNC and Romney campaign needs is another retroactive loss such as what we saw in Iowa.

It's been said before that Ron Paul is the Dennis Kucinich of his own party. Minus the racism and crackpot ideas, Paul is about as despised within his own party as Kucinich is despised by the Democratic establishment. Paul, in their eyes, is revolting not because of his racism but because he stands against Big Business and against American adventurism abroad (which would take a huge bite out of the profits of the war profiteers who heavily fund the Republican power elite).

And while the Democrats are not certainly not above hamstringing and undercutting worthy Progressive candidates (Kucinich and especially Paul Hackett in OH-02 spring most readily to mind), we've yet to see them eat their own en masse as we saw in the Maine Republican caucus. The Maine Republican Party had shown us last week that they're worthy of taking up the decaying mantle left vacant by the imploding Ohio GOP in terms of sheer corruption and have joined the hole-riddled GOP Big Top that's turned this entire presidential election into the neverending comedy of errors it's been from the start.

Most egregiously, it also shows the Maine Republican Party is willing to subvert the will and voice of the people by disappearing whole towns, cities and even counties because they insist on installing as their candidate a man whose poll numbers are plunging like the autumn 2008 Dow Jones, a man the people despise.

I never thought this reporter would ever take the side of a miserable little racist and Republican voters but fair is fair. Republicans are Americans, too, and deserve to have their voices heard. And Ron Paul, and registered Republican voters in the state of Maine, were simply mugged.
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