Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

No room for reason in Alaska

Jerry Stratton, August 28, 2010

The Republicans appear to be screwing things up even more than usual in Alaska. Rather than de-escalate the rash ideas coming from the Murkowski camp, they’re appearing from the outside to be enabling them; and the Murkowski team is going even deeper into crazy territory: taking a voter’s name from a ballot and contacting that voter.

Violating secret ballots is a serious breach of American democracy. If it’s true that Murkowski’s observer violated that rule, she should be disbarred, Murkowski should publicly and loudly fire her, and the Republican leadership should start making sure the Murkowski team isn’t breaking any more laws.

It’s as if the Republicans on both sides don’t want to let Murkowski come to grips with her loss. Miller needs to find a way to ratchet the thermometer down a notch—he’s taking fire from friendlies as well as enemies. It’s probably too late now for a show of respect by calling for waiting until the votes are counted; I do still think it would have helped if he’d done it earlier, but things have already escalated badly. Somehow, however, he needs to find a way to cut through the bullshit up there, and I don’t think the people calling for Murkowski’s head on a platter are helping any.

A commenter on the Ace of Spades described what saner heads are hoping the Republican leadership is doing as groveling. The problem is that it’s come to the point that what they’re asking Murkowski to do is grovel. She hasn’t lost the election yet. Many of the “helpful” folks on the sidelines are turning this into a Mexican standoff.1

Meanwhile, the Republican disease appears to be spreading: some of Alaska’s Libertarians are considering running the more statist Republican against the less statist Republican. Because name recognition and money trump principles. Fine time to figure that one out. Fortunately, cooler heads among the Libertarians appear to be prevailing—Libertarians really have nothing but their principles; if they toss that, they’re no longer a party. Money doesn’t last very long in politics today, even a million dollars.

And of course the underlying problems are that (a) people see national politics as a career choice and panic at the thought of losing “their job”, and (b) there’s so much power concentrated in government now that money and other influence pours in to protect everybody’s stake as soon as the status quo is threatened.

  1. Given the state of our border today, that’s not a good idea.

  1. <- Stop, look, and listen
  2. ACLU vs. Sarah Palin ->