Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wild Wild West

You know, it's odd. I apparently have a love/hate relationship with Rep. Allen West.

It's weird. Before this month, I would have said it was entirely hate. I mean, West is exactly the worst type of human being in America. He is a miserable, unlikable, lying sack of smegma, with the morals and integrity of a pustulent, diseased maggot. And many people think that he's just being a sore loser, refusing to accept the election results two weeks after Election Day.

But as it turns out, he's doing, for once in his life, exactly the right thing. Admittedly, for all the wrong reasons. But, like Hermann Göring saving a kitten from drowning, Allen West is doing a good thing.

See, here's the problem. For Allen West, losing the race for reelection would be evidence the the world is not falling into chaos. He has had one of the most evil, dishonest and hate-filled political careers of any political operative since Joseph McCarthy, and if anyone deserves to lose, die in ridicule and be crushed in the trash compactor of history, it would be Allen West.

He is, after all, the man who claimed, with nothing more than his own paranoid feelings as "proof," that all of the Democrats in the House of Representatives were Communists and essentially slaveowners. (Not to mention his history of torturing prisoners and endorsements by the worst figures of recent Republican history: Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, among others.)

But West has every right to ask for a recount, especially on a razor-thin margin of loss: the last recounts, late though they were, show West's campaign trailing by a margin of 0.58 percent; any spread of less than 0.50 percent would have triggered an automatic recount. That's pretty damned close, though - well within the margin of error.

And here's the thing: we just finished a campaign season full of voter suppression by the GOP, and outright fraud, incompetence and election theft for the last decade or more, and so any attempt to ensure a fair and complete election has to be taken seriously.

More than that needs to be done: laws need to be passed to punish the criminals who try to subvert the democratic process, and laws need to be repealed (I'm looking at you, Citizens United) to ensure that people can't just buy an election.

And, admittedly, Allen West's fight to continue the recounts, much like the rest of his political career, are based in fear-mongering and conspiracy theories. But there is enough actual evidence of impropriety, or at least mismanagement, that the Allen West fight must be allowed to occur.

It would be a tragedy of Biblical proportions, but Allen West might not have lost his seat in Florida. And the only way to be sure is to get a full and fair accounting of the votes in every county affected by this election. (You know, the thing that the Supreme Court wouldn't allow in Florida back in 2000?)

Few people in America deserve to lose as much as Allen West. But his fight must be allowed to continue.

It's called "democracy." And we have to support it.

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