Baseless Claims of Voter Fraud Whip Tea Partiers into a Paranoid Frenzy
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While progressives have focused on the racial aspect to the specious claims, they’re part of a larger and perhaps more troubling narrative on the Right which holds that center-left politics are illegitimate by definition, which leads to a rejection of the system when Democrats come to power. Whether expressed in the Clinton wars of the 1990s, by today’s “Birthers,” who claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, or “tenthers” who insist that red states have the right to reject all social welfare legislation, the notion that Democrats’ ideas are beyond the pale and they can only gain power through chicanery is a central belief among “backlash” conservatives.
Those stoking these fears are playing a dangerous game, however. Nate Silver gives the Democrats a 16-percent chance of holding the House. But even if GOP gains turn out to be simply less than many conservatives are anticipating, a lot of right-wingers are going to believe the results are invalid. What they will do remains to be seen, but we can only hope they don’t turn to what Nevada senate candidate Sharron Angle referred to as their “Second Amendment remedies.”
Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) . Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter .