Dave Weigel, who tracked the tea party and fringe right intensely for the last year-plus at the Washington Independent, writes at the Washington Post today on “birther queen” Orly Taitz‘s run for California secretary of state. In typical Weigel fashion, it’s a deadpan assessment of a frightening turn of events.
A possible Taitz victory would work like this.
Republican voters, brought out in sizable numbers by the contested primaries for governor and U.S. senator, fill out the rest of their ballot with progressively less information about their candidates. They know Taitz’s name from… somewhere. And she’s listed first on the ballot, thanks to the state’s randomized ranking system. (Some of these voters, of course, will know and avidly support her.) She’s identified on the ballot as an attorney, while Dunn is a real estate agent. They check off her name, and she wins.
Dunn can pull this off, despite running a fairly low-key campaign. For all we know, he could win by 30 points — nobody polls these races. But it’s not unheard of for a low-visibility office like this to go to the candidate with a little name recognition and the first place on the ballot. Cue: Potential PR disaster and a talking point Democrats could use until the end of time.
As Politico pointed out, if Taitz wins, she would control of the state’s electoral process, including certifying the state’s vote in the 2012 presidential election. Think about the questions of legitimacy and partisan brawl that would ensue should the nation’s most-litigious birther gain control of all those California voting booths. “I would demand identification and eligibility from all voters to make sure there is no fraud. Also they must have eligibility to be elected,” she said.
Hat tip to Aaron Weiner.