As I write this, it is the day before Election Day 2010. If you are starting to feel a bit dirtier than usual, you are not alone. This is not because of all the "negative campaigning." That is par for the course and, contrary to popular lore, goes back as far as politics in this Republic of ours. No, this nasty feeling of contamination comes from a feeling that our election system has become every bit as corrupt as our governing process — perhaps worse, if that is possible.
As usual, Democrats are doing everything in their power to lie, cheat and steal every election, in order to hold on to the power they see slipping through their fingers. If they weren't such weasels, one might even feel a little sorry for them. After all, what recourse do they have? From a political strategist's point of view, they have nothing on which to run. How would you like to be a House Dem trying to convince your constituents to return you to office on the strength of having voted for Obamacare, Cap & Trade and trillions in new debt?
But it isn't really the Democrats who have me craving a hot shower right now. I expect no more ethical nor honest behavior from them than they have exhibited within my political memory — which extends vividly back beyond the 1960 presidential election, when a few thousand dead Chicagoans miraculously managed to cast their ballots for John F. Kennedy.
In recent years, we have seen the 2000 Al Gore-for-President campaign try to steal Florida (and the election), first by recounting only selective, Democrat-dominated counties and then by brazenly trying to exclude the ballots of service men and women serving overseas. In 2004, with the help of bogus exit polling from their friends in the national media, the John Kerry for President Campaign tried to steal the crucial swing state of Ohio. More recently, there was the outright theft of the Minnesota Senate seat by Al Franken.
No, the filthy feeling I would like to remove comes from the likes of Gov. Charlie Crist, RINO-Florida, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, RINO-Alaska. These two pathetic, power-crazed pols represent the absolute worst of what is wrong with our politics today, and the GOP establishment had better take notice.
Crist, who, after four years as Florida's governor, was going to get shellacked in the U.S. Senate primary against former State House Speaker Marco Rubio, suddenly decided that he was an "independent." Since then, he has been dismayed to learn that voters don't really seem to care what he calls himself; polls show they just trust Rubio more than they trust him. And Democrats are so desperate to stop the juggernaut of an articulate, conservative, Cuban-American like Rubio that their new hatchet man, Bill Clinton, was dispatched to talk their own legitimate Democrat candidate, Kendrick Meeks, into dropping out of the race in the hopes that Crist might win.
As for Murkowski (who apparently believes that the Senate seat handed to her by her daddy, the former governor, belongs to her for as long as she wants it), the corrupt collusion of her campaign with political and media establishment is breathtaking, even by Alaska standards. After losing her primary to the most qualified Alaskan to seek a U.S. Senate seat in many a decade, Joe Miller, Murkowski announced that she was launching a write-in campaign for re-election.
Initially given little chance of holding onto power, Murkowski has received help from every establishment source imaginable. First, some of her "colleagues" (most notably, the always exasperating Sen. Lindsay Graham, RINO, SC) endorsed her sour grapes campaign. Then, a judge decided to help her out by ruling that a list of write-in candidates must be handed out at the polls (Murkowski, after all, is not an easy name to spell).
But the most disgusting display of corruption (former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called those involved "corrupt ba*tards") came as local reporters for a CBS affiliate in Alaska were caught on tape conspiring to dig up (or make up) dirt on Miller.
I don't know whether Charlie Crist and/or Lisa Murkowski will be sitting in the United States Senate in January, or whether they will caucus with Republicans or Democrats — or whether it matters. What I do know is that both of them represent the worst of American politics.