Sunday, November 2, 2008

Will an Obama landslide temper the rage of the GOP base?

After weeks of stories alleging bogus "voter fraud" and the base being fed a steady diet of "McCain has the momentum!" will a big Obama win establish a mandate and calm the GOP rabble? Daniel Larison writing at The American Conservative ponders what will happen if (when) Obama wins on Tuesday,

There does seem to be a real problem emerging here: if McCain supporters, encouraged by the talk radio echo chamber, believe that they are on the verge of an upset win and also believe in claims of widespread voter fraud, what are the odds that they are going to accept the results on Tuesday? It seems to me that Obama needs to win by a significant margin in the popular vote and Electoral College to quash “stolen election” theories.

A big win is critical for establishing a new "center" from which Obama can govern. A big win moves the political center decidedly to the left for the first time since LBJ in 1964. A decisive victory is important to Obama's ability to govern but unfortunately that will not placate a frothing GOP base. Make no msitake - ginning up outrage and claims of illegitimacy amongst the base is the desired result, not a bug.

The hand-writing has been on the wall for the McCain campaign for some weeks. Given the near hopelessness of their cause conservatives focused their attention on undermining the legitimacy of an Obama administration. The trumped up ACORN charges were the major focal point of this campaign. The McCain campaign and their surrogates are well aware that ACORN was not engaged in voter fraud and that in fact ACORN themselves had been the victims of fraud perpetrated by their own employees. The truth though does them no good so instead they lie and distort in an attempt to undermine the credibility of Obama's impending victory.

This is standard operating procedure for the GOP, if they can't win an election they'll find a way to take power by any means necessary. We witnessed an attempted coup-d'etat during the Clinton administration, culminating in the impeachment of the President. In 2003 the GOP staged a successful coup in the California when they recalled Gray Davis as Governor. Davis' political downfall was driven in large part by his perceived ineffectual response to the "energy crisis." We now know of course that there was no energy crisis the entire ordeal was manufactured by Enron. Then of course we have Bush v. Gore.

So to answer Larison directly, no a decisive Obama win on Tuesday will not quash stolen election theories. Such theories and their requisite theorists would need to be based in rationality and logic for that to be the case. The GOP is merely laying the ground work for a future attack on the Obama administration in the form of another of their now patented bloodless coups.

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