"Voting Is So Plebian!"

Yesterday, when I was discussing why I thought Senator Obama’s relationship with Reverend Wright was so troubling, one of our more dense morons tried to hijack the discussion to John McCain and his possibly running afoul of campaign finance laws. Adrian got well and truly smacked around there, but it got me thinking about McCain’s dilemma.

And you know what? There’s a part of me that’s enjoying it.

The odious McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law is one of the most offensive measures I’ve ever seen passed. I personally think that is should have been ruled unconstitutional. And it is with no small measure of schadenfreude that I see John McCain getting caught up in his own mess. After all, when I was weighing my primary vote, he didn’t even make the top three.

But there are bigger forces at play here. Do I want to let my resentment of McCain to prevail over other concerns?

The more I think about it, the more I see the move as part of a bigger movement — a move by the Democrats to attempt to win the election outside of the ballot box.

Remember a little while ago, there was a bit to-do when it was “discovered” that McCain had been born in the Panama Canal Zone? All of a sudden there was talk about that disqualifying him from the presidency. Never mind existing case law, existing laws, and numerous precedents, never mind the grotesque assault it would inflict on Americans serving their nation abroad (“Thanks for representing our nation overseas, Mr. and Mrs. American. By the way, as a thank-you for your service, any kids you might have over here won’t ever be able to grow up and be president.”), the thought of being able to get the Republican presumptive nominee off the ballot through legal chicanery had some folks positively wetting themselves in delight.

And a little while ago, Dafydd ab Hugh noted a rather fascinating pattern in Barack Obama’s political history: those who dared challenge him for political office ended up getting out of the race before election day. Some were disqualified, some were shamed by the publication of personal details of their private lives.

Details far more personal and private than the statements of one’s designated mentor, I might add.

There is something seriously troubling about a party using all the tricks and scams and various ploys to try to win an election by default. About working so hard not to win in the competition for people’s votes, but to eliminate their right to choose their leader by denying them any choice in the matter. To present the voters with the Hobson’s Choice: “You can vote for our guy, or not vote at all.”

At least it’s a step up from the kind of elections we see in Iran and Cuba and North Korea, and we saw in Saddam’s Iraq and other Mideast dictatorships: “You can vote for our guy, or get tossed in prison.”

Dammit, we should be better than that. And while it’s fun (oh, so very fun) to see McCain squirm on the horns of the dilemma he so carefully crafted and foisted on all of us, it bothers me no end to see the Democrats again and again and again seek the victories they are so often denied at the polls in the courts.

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