I hadn’t heard much about this since the SCLM gave it a cursory treatment and dropped it (compare, if you will, Bush’s firing attorneys to Clinton’s receiving sexual favors), but this interview was fascinating, so I figured I’d put it up here.
In the interim (I usually let posts gestate, which often puts my posts on federal politics well past the “cool blogger” threshold), the GOP has suddenly decided to get concerned about the group ACORN. So as it turns out, I was commenting on a story that hadn’t yet become national news because the GOP hadn’t yet declared it so. As per usual, the horror of this case depends on where one stands: some folks will find the handful of proven abuses horrifying, whereas others will note that a voting district crawling with police looking for people who might have forgotten to bring a driver’s license to the voting booth is something like a police state and that the thousands of people who have jobs to go to and kids to support and who might avoid voting in fear of the police represent a larger terror than do a dozen or so bad forms. Obviously Iglesias, working as a judge, thought that government intimidation was a larger problem, and he was fired without ceremony.
Now I know that on a very real level, both sides of this dispute are in it for political gain. If the cops were threatening Southern Baptists with investigations when they showed up to vote, I’m certain it’d be the GOP making arguments against intimidation and the DNC making arguments for keeping the integrity of the system. Nonetheless the situation does present an interesting test case in how televised politics work: although the polls do not open for another week and a half, already both camps have full conspiracy theories ready to deploy, no matter what happens in the so-called “swing states.” If Obama wins in, say, New Mexico, it’s voter fraud. If McCain wins the same, it’s voter intimidation. And when the news reporters do cover it (they simply did not mention any of it in 2004 despite the actually-liberal media’s insistence that Diebold was involved in shenanigans in Ohio), I imagine they’ll keep everything at an arm’s distance, afraid to call BS for fear that AM radio hosts will abandon their usual friendly stance towards the broadcast networks and newspapers in favor of a smear campaign. (I really have gotten bitter, haven’t I?)
Incidentally, on Wednesday I got my first ever presidential direct mailing. It’s a proud moment for a lifelong resident of red states. I’m a total nerd, so I’m going to try out the little poll tool that wordpress.com added to the service recently, and after a few days to let people vote, I’ll reveal which campaign actually sent the mailer.