What is the deal with these right-wing politicos who rant and lecture about the “swamp” in Washington and a supposed massive, national conspiracy to fix elections through voter fraud, who then turn out to be dishonest fraudsters themselves?
Perhaps it’s just a matter of trying to mimic their hero — the all-time champ in this category of behavior, former President Donald Trump — but whatever it is that motivates such stupidly hypocritical action, it’s always quite something to behold.
As you’ve probably heard, the latest example that’s now sweeping the national news cycle involves former North Carolina congressman and Trump chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Over the weekend, New Yorker magazine reporter Charles Bethea reported on the circumstances surrounding Meadows’ clearly preposterous claim that a dumpy rental property in rural Macon County that didn’t even have a mailbox was his domicile for voting purposes.
As Bethea reports, Meadows’ almost certainly false claim quite possibly runs afoul of federal law:
It’s a federal crime to provide false information to register to vote in a federal election. Under President Trump, the White House Web site posted a document, produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation, intended to present a “sampling” of the “long and unfortunate history of election fraud” in the U.S. Many of the cases sampled involve people who registered to vote at false addresses, including, for instance, second homes that did not serve as a person’s primary residence.
As the article also goes on to note, Meadows has a history of playing it fast and loose with the truth:
This would not be the first time that Meadows seemed to mislead the public on the matters of his credentials or his real-estate holdings. For a long time, news outlets, apparently relying on his official House biography, reported that Meadows had earned a B.A. from the University of South Florida, though he actually received an associate’s degree. And Meadows appears to have violated congressional ethics guidelines by not disclosing his ownership of a hundred and thirty-four acres in Dinosaur, Colorado, which he ultimately sold to a nonprofit that aimed to use dinosaur bones in an effort to prove the literal truth of the creation story in the Book of Genesis.
The bottom line: Law enforcement officials should pay a call on Mr. Meadows and demand an explanation. As the lead editorial in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer put it:
Others have been arrested and even imprisoned for honest mistakes that resulted in illegal voting, including a Black woman from Wake County who voted while on probation in 2016, not knowing it wasn’t allowed.
Lying, on the other hand, is hardly an honest mistake. As a former elected official and top-ranking member of the White House staff, Meadows has no excuse for not knowing the law, and despite his power and influence, he is not above it. As with any instance of potential voter fraud, the North Carolina State Board of Elections should investigate it. And if it’s found that Meadows did fraudulently register for and vote in an election, he ought to bear the consequences of doing so.
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