Monday, November 26, 2012

Do Right-Wingers Really Read the Constitution?

OKAY, PRESIDENT OBAMA WON THE ELECTION. The right-wingers got crushed. How are they handling the truth? 

Perhaps we should begin by revisiting the five stages of grief and see how our conservative friends are dealing with their emotions: 

1.     Denial: (leading up to the 2012 election) the polls are skewed and Romney is going to win; Rush Limbaugh says Romney is going to win. So does Sean Hannity. As late as 9 p.m. election night Karl Rove says the votes in Ohio are still being counted...and...(9:05 p.m.)…dear God, no...

2.     Anger: Why did Romney have to be such an asshole? Obama supporters wanted handouts. They don’t love this country as much as we do.

3.     Bargaining: Obama won; maybe we can secede.

4.     Depression:  We lost the youth vote; we lost the women’s vote; we lost the Asian American vote. We lost the Latino vote. We lost the vote of Americans with advanced college degrees. We lost left-handed voters. All we have left is grumpy old white folks.

5.     Acceptance:  Too early? Yes, too early.

If contributors to are a fair sampling it’s going to be a long time before the right accepts basic math and admits President Obama won re-election fairly.

Uh...maybe we should say “never.” 

In fact, if you listen to them, the way they listen to themselves there’s still a way to snatch victory from the iron jaws of defeat. And they’re ready to try anything, because, well, they’re just that freedom-loving. 

According to Darin Scott here’s how they might stop Obama’s return to the Oval Office:

According to Article II of the U.S. Constitution AND the 12th Amendment - if 1/3rd of the States do not cast their votes in the Electoral College, then the matter falls onto the House of Representatives to choose the President. In other words, if we pressure Congressmen, State Party Officials, and groups such as Tea Party Patriots, Heritage Foundation, etc., to call on RED States to NOT have their Electors cast their vote - then the House of Reps CAN choose the next President (and Republicans still have the majority - 233 (R) to 195 (D) - in the House of Representatives)!!!

Here’s the Scott scenario:  The right-wingers need 18 states to refuse to cast electoral votes. (There were 24 red states.) The people of these states (those who voted for Romney, anyway) rise up to demand that electors agree to overturn accepted electoral process. In other words, what the right-wing wants is to save the U. S. Constitution from assaults by liberals. So they blow up the Constitution in order to save it. 

Best of all, Scott continues: “We do NOT have to convince ANY democrats –at all.” 

Here’s how it all works (he thought):  Red states like South Dakota and North Dakota and Montana withhold their electoral votes. Then the election goes to the House and right-wingers get a president to their liking and nobody in Pennsylvania or New York or California can stop them.  

IT’S BAD ENOUGH THAT SCOTT’S PLAN is stupid to begin with. Worse yet, Scott was too obtuse to imagine that the majority of Americans might not approve of a tricky scheme to overturn the results of an election.

Worst of all, Scott’s blog post got 20,000 views in less than 24 hours—and what made it all pathetic was that Scott was an idiot and none of his 20,000 viewers had the brains to figure it out. Scott soon had to post an admission:

The original intent of this post was to present a plan, from a fellow patriot, that seemed to be bullet proof. After consulting legal professionals and others, I have am [sic] not certain this plan will work. One of the contentions is that the 2/3rds "quorum" requirement does not apply to the Electoral College; after much deliberation, I believe this is the case, and therefore the strategy as posted below is not as bullet proof as suspected.

No telling which legal professionals Mr. Scott consulted. No way of knowing how many hours of anguished deliberation he completed. Suppose we stick with what we know:  Mr. Scott’s plan was absurd from first syllable to the final bit of punctuation; and thousands of angry right-wingers were too dense to notice or too lazy to check what it says in the U. S. Constitution.  

Article II, Section 1, outlines a fairly simple process for choosing a president and vice president. In fact, the simplicity of it all led to unforeseen difficulties (including a tie vote in 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, when electors failed to specify which man they wanted for which office). Still, it does say clearly that the states shall cast their electoral votes and then send them to the U. S. Senate. There, before a gathering of interested members of both houses of Congress, these votes shall be tallied. 

The 12th Amendment was ratified in 1804 to insure that tie votes would not occur again. On this topic, however, Article II, Section 1, and the 12th Amendment are equally clear. The electors send in their ballots to the Senate.  

There the ballots are counted. 

If no candidate has a majority of the votes—and only if no candidate has a majority—then the election goes to the House of Representatives. There each state shall have one vote and then the states shall vote to select a president.  

At that time only does the idea of a 2/3rd’s  vote matter: “A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice.”  

So let’s spell it out for the 45,698 Americans who “like” 

If a candidate has a majority of electoral votes—as in Obama 332, Romney 206—you can’t defeat that candidate through trickery in the House of Representatives. 

Sad to say, if 17 red states were to withhold their electoral votes it wouldn’t matter.  

The blue states would still send in their electoral votes. Obama would still get 332. There are 538 possible electoral votes. So, 332 is still a majority. 

(This is what liberals like to call “math.”)

If you’re a true American, and don’t like President Obama, and you’re not much in the mood for partying now, you need to realize it’s time to move on to Stage 5: Acceptance. And might those of us on the left offer a helpful hint: If you love the U. S. Constitution as much as you say you do you might try reading it before the next election.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The First Thanksgiving: What Your Third Grade Teacher Didn't Mention

WITH THANKSGIVING UPON US it is time once again to tabulate our blessings. (If you're Donald Trump or any member of the Walton clan that may take longer.) For many Americans it's enough that the Yankees didn't get to the World Series. A majority of our citizens, who apparently received lavish gifts, are thankful Mr. Obama won reelection.

And speaking of stuffing, Rush Limbaugh has angrily been threatening a move to Costa Rica. We should all be so lucky.

Sometimes, you look at the world and wonder if humankind has lost its collective grip on whatever marbles it once had. We might even wonder (if we live in a red state) whether God has forsaken our nation. Our Pilgrim ancestors and their neighbors, the Native Americans, would scoff at our whining.

Maybe, this Thanksgiving, we should start by thanking God for the First Amendment. Religious freedom, which we take for granted (unless we worry about the War on Christmas), was a rarity in the 1600s. In those days it was still possible for judges to order heretics branded on the forehead with an "H" for questioning accepted religious belief. Sometimes you could cut off an ear or two to make the lesson clearer.

So, no. Life wasn't better four centuries ago. When the Pilgrims left England for exile in Holland in 1608, the King James Bible did not yet exist, although arguments about correct church doctrine were still common. Fifty scholars would gather together in 1611 to work on a definitive translation of the ancient texts into English.

Perhaps we should count modern health care among our blessings--including, perhaps, a prayer of thanks to the U. S. Supreme Court for upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare. Disease in the Pilgrim days was a major factor in shaping history. Outbreaks of Black Plague, for example, regularly closed London theaters in the time of Shakespeare, who died in 1616. (Be thankful today that none of your loved ones have to worry about rat-borne killer diseases.)

That same year Shakespeare died (and Pocahontas, visiting England died as well) an epidemic of smallpox brought to the shores of Massachusetts by fishing vessels plying the coastline in search of codfish swept away most of the native population and left the land more or less open for English settlement.

IN 1620, THEN, 105 PASSENGERS BOARDED THE MAYFLOWER and headed for America. Only half of the people aboard, however, were "saints" or church members, technically, real "Pilgrims." London city officials saw a chance to thin out the ranks of orphans, whose support was a drag on the taxpayers. So they packed off Richard More, 7, and Ellen More, his little sister, just to be rid of them. Paul Ryan might have applauded their fiscal discipline. (Then again, Mr. Ryan might recall that the Pilgrims, and the English generally, were no fan of the Roman Catholics.)

Other passengers included William Bradford, who would go on to lead the colony and write a book about it, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, whose romance became the focus of a famous poem by Longfellow (which few today read) and Elizabeth Hopkins, well advanced in her pregnancy. (She gave birth to a child named "Oceanus" during the voyage.) There were also a number of goats on board; but the goats do not play a role in the story.

The Mayflower finally dropped anchor off Cape Cod in November and scouting parties were soon sent out to locate the best possible site for a settlement. In the cold winter ahead tuberculosis, pneumonia and scurvy took a heavy toll among the settlers. Bradford described the Pilgrim’s lowest point:

That which was most sad...was that in 2 or 3 months time half of their company had died, especially in Jan. and February, being in the depth of winter, and lacking houses and other comforts...There died some times 2 or 3 of a day...[so] that of 100 and odd persons, hardly 50 remained. And of these in times of most distress [trouble], there was but 6 or 7 sound [healthy] persons.

Yeah. Good times. (Be thankful for flu shots.)
Meanwhile, the Pilgrims had a number of skirmishes with the previous landowners. And the Pilgrims understood if the Indians chose to attack they had little hope of survival. They buried their dead in secret, planted seeds over the graves, and prayed that the “wild men” would not discover their weakness.

Who knows? Maybe God does work in mysterious ways. (Today, we are told he sends Superstorm Sandy to punish America for supporting legalization of gay marriage.) The Pilgrims were lucky, if nothing else. The Native Americans, not so much. The smallpox outbreak of a few years before had been devastating. Thousands of the original inhabitants were wiped from the land, “they not [even] being able to bury one another. Their skulls and bones,” Bradford recalled later, “were found in many places lying still above the ground, where their houses...had been; a very sad spectacle to behold.”

You may recall this part of the story from back when your teacher talked about it in third grade:  How the Pilgrims met Samoset, who stepped out of the forest shadows and greeted them in good English (he had been hanging out with some of the crewmen from those earlier fishing expeditions). He called out to them hearty: “Welcome!”

Then he asked if they had beer. (Fans of watching the NFL this afternoon can relate.)

Anyway, moving along:  Samoset introduced the Pilgrims to Squanto, who understood English even better, since he'd been kidnapped by fishermen and taken to England as a slave, before he escaped, was captured's a long story. (See:  People were more religious in those days, more honest, still followed all ten of the Ten Commandments!) Squanto showed his new buddies where to catch lobster and how to raise corn, using fish as fertilizer. (The colony was saved and the way to the foundation of the Red Lobster chain was opened.)
The plot thickened. Squanto introduced his new friends to Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag tribe and ruler of the lands surrounding Plymouth Bay. His people had been hard hit by the plague four years before and he was anxious to sign a treaty of peace. In turn, Massasoit hoped for aid against his powerful neighbors, the Narragansetts, long the Wampanoags bloody rivals, and a people almost unscathed by the great disease outbreak. (Or:  as Mitt Romney once put it, "We need to be sure we always have a strong military. With plenty of bayonets.)

Well, that's pretty much the story. The Pilgrims didn't want to get wiped out after a rough winter. The Wampanoags knew that the enemy of their enemy was their friend and a treaty of peace was signed and both sides kept it for half a century.

The pumpkin pies were baked. The invitations went out. Massasoit, with ninety followers, attended the first Thanksgiving in the fall of 1621. The guests brought five deer. The hosts provided fresh bread, roast duck, goose, and wine. Together they celebrated and feasted for three days. There were foot races and games of shooting skill and much fun to be had. (One drunk settler started going on about how Obama wanted to deny hunters the right to carry assault rifles but he soon passed out and was heard from no more.) 

Believe it or not, turkey is not mentioned by any of the eyewitnesses.

Of course, the Pilgrim's survived and thrived. (This is why NFL players still point when they score touchdowns and thank God for granting us the inalienable right to watch football.) Even troubles with tribes beyond Massasoit’s control could not break their spirits. When a sachem named Wituwamat threatened Plymouth the Pilgrims took quick action. The chief and three followers were invited into the settlements to talk. There, without warning, Captain Myles Standish and his soldiers fell upon them and cut them to pieces. Then they chopped off Wituwamat’s head and spiked it atop their fort wall. It remained there for many years as a warning, but apparently did not spoil anyone's appetite at future Thanksgiving dinners. 

Nothing about humanity has changed in four centuries. The first Pilgrim minister seemed “crazed in the brain” and was booted out of the colony. (Pat Robertson?) John Sprague drank too much and was arrested after riding his horse into a friend’s house. (Lindsay Lohan?) John Billington, an original Mayflower passenger, committed murder and was hanged. A married woman was caught having an affair with an Indian. She was whipped and ordered to wear the letters “AD” for adultery on her sleeve. 

In another case of married people behaving badly, a young wife got in trouble after she was left behind while her husband went away on business. When she, too, had an affair, Pilgrim officials arrested everyone involved. All three individuals, husband, wife, and lover were locked up, side by side, in the stocks. (Hear that Paula Broadwell and General David Petraeus?)
Years later, Bradford sat down to write a history of the Plymouth Bay Colony. He was proud that his people had helped English roots take hold in America and compared the Pilgrims to the first candle that helped light a thousand others. (If Wituwamet had been writing the story he might have told it differently.)

With a deep sense of satisfaction Bradford noted:   

Our fathers were Englishmen who came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice.  Let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good; and His mercies endure forever.

So, there you have it. The story of the First Thanksgiving, with a few details added. (And I'm sorry I had to leave the story of the two Indians who mooned the Pilgrims one day out.) Today, thank God for all your blessings. Be thankful, if for nothing else, that you weren't born in the seventeenth century.

Good wishes to all Americans, liberal and conservative alike. May you all digest your turkey in peace and harmony.

As for Rush? Maybe he'll send us a postcard.

There's myth; and there's history.
Happy holidays to all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Whole Lotta' Denyin' Goin' On: Dark Days for the Right

THESE ARE BLEAK TIMES FOR OUR FRIENDS ON THE RIGHT as they face up to the horrid reality that they tried to "Take Back America" and failed in ignominious fashion. The only solace they seem to find since Barack Obama won a second term in (to them) a stunning fashion comes from churning out petitions demanding the right to secede from the Union they so badly wanted to take back.

Still, there are embers in the ashes of even the worst defeats. The Nut Job right still rules the radio air waves. Fox News has four more years to convince unbalanced individuals that Obama is a Muslim or maybe a Cylon. And the U. S. House of Representatives is still firmly in their all-taxes-are-poison political grip. Michele Bachmann, the queen of the Nut Jobs, returns for another term, ready to deny that gay people actually exist. Steven King is back, too, prepared to go to his grave denying that President Obama has ever had a valid U. S. birth certificate. In fact, when last heard from on the topic, King was insisting that Obama's parents might have faked the birth announcements that appeared in two Hawaiian newspapers, which announcements poor Steven King was forced to admit during a town hall meeting that he had personally seen in the Library of Congress records, by sending a telegram from Kenya.

What we're saying, all boiled down, is there's a whole lot of denyin' goin' on!

Marco Rubio doesn't exactly deny that he once supported Mitt Romney long ago; but he has been busy this week denying that he agrees with Romney's post-election statements, which sound suspiciously like Romney's pre-election statements when you think about it. No, says Rubio. The GOP doesn't hate people on food stamps. No. The GOP doesn't think Latinos and women and young voters are stupid and only voted for Obama because he promised lavish "gifts." No, no, no. Rubio denies that Republicans believe any of this. Indeed, based on answers to questions in an interview he did this week, Rubio seemed to be warming up for a possible Nut Job-backed run at the White House in 2016. Talking to a reporter from GQ magazine, Rubio stood by his party's basic position of denial on gay rights. That is:  gay people should vote with us next time around, even if they don't exist, and even if the loudest voices on the right insist God sends hurricanes to punish America for giving gay people who don't really exist something akin to equal rights.

The reporter, apparently realizing that our friends on the right are know at times to deny...well, let's just say basic science...asked Rubio if he might care to comment on the age of the earth. Rubio answered carefully, knowing that on the Nut Job right the deniers are always ready to explode into anger:
I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.

Meanwhile, three GOP experts in climate change denial now stand in line, one of the trio almost certain to become the next head of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology! (Ironically, this committee oversees NASA, the National Weather Service and the National Science Foundation among other entities.) Representative James Sensebrenner from Wisconsin is mildest in his denunciation of scientists, who he believes are twisting the facts to make climate change sound worse than it is. Lamar Smith of Texas sees it in a more sinister light and sniffs out willful bias in reporting on global warming at ABC, CBS and NBC.

Not Fox, of course. Oh no, oh no.

Dana Rohrabacher, goes all-in on the paranoia when he insists there's an an even bigger conspiracy afoot. As Christine Gorman reported for Scientific American, in a speech on the floor of Congress this past December Rohrabacher warned about an "insidious coalition" of research scientists and politicians:
[A] coalition that has conducted an unrelenting crusade to convince the American people that their health and their safety and–yes–their very survival on this planet is at risk due to manmade global warming. The purpose of this greatest-of-all propaganda campaigns is to enlist public support for, if not just the acquiescence to, a dramatic mandated change in our society and a mandated change to our way of life. This campaign has such momentum and power that it is now a tangible threat to our freedom and to our prosperity as a people.

AT THIS POINT, IT'S GETTING HARD to keep track of all the Nut Job right's denials and a brief recap is probably in order. As it stands, our friends on the right don't believe in:

Thermometers--as in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association records that show September 2012 temperatures marked the 331st month in succession during which global temperatures were above the 20th century average.

Photographs--as in NASA satellite cameras that showed the Arctic ice sheet had been reduced by fifty percent this summer compared to historic coverage limits.

The speed of light--which would seem to prove, according to scientists (but not necessarily anyone like Marco Rubio who might want to run for president with support from the Nut Job right) that the universe is a little older than a few thousand years.

Fossils--sure those ancient sea creatures and dinosaur bones embedded in limestone appear to be tens of millions of years old; but who are you gonna' believe? Scientists, who insist on considering evidence, or Steven King and a book written thousands of years ago to guide the Jews, at a time when no one had heard of light-years or dinosaurs or Bunsen burners.

Sperm--as we all now known, sperm don't work in cases of rape.

Lamestream media--everyone except Megyn Kelly at Fox News and Glenn Beck, in whatever bunker he's currently hiding, hates the right-wing with implacable resolve.

Percentages--as in percentages in any opinion poll that might have shown that President Obama might actually win a second term in office. Which of course, the Nut Job right absolutely knew was mathematically and politically and morally impossible.

Liberal pollsters-- people like Nathan Silver and their lamestream math, with their liberal bias, insisting that President Obama would win all the battleground states except North Carolina, win the popular vote, and pile up more than 300 electoral votes. Which all the real news people at Fox said was impossible, and Rush Limbaugh said it, too. And who are you gonna' believe, real patriots with tea-bag hats or these fossil-loving commie freaks?

Actual voters--in 2010 the Nut Job right scored a huge victory in the mid-term elections; but actual American voters vanished two years later and idiots and members of the "entitlement class" showed up like herds of sheeple and voted for Obama.

American women--who sometimes lived under the same roofs as American men who tended to go for Romney; but somehow these females went for Obama by a sizable margin, perhaps in part because they fell for lamestream reports about the powers of sperm.

Colleges--Americans with advanced degrees voted in favor of Mr. Obama by a sizable margin. This has something to do with the fact that college students are all brain-washed by professors, and maybe the fact that the educated people prefer actual facts and tangible evidence with their political discussions. Like fossils or birth certificates or the speed-of-light.

Finally, our friends on the seem ready to deny the unique place in history of the United States of America, which is, despite various imperfections, still a land of surpassing freedoms. They say they love freedom more than liberals do. They say they believe in the Founding Fathers more than liberals do. They say they believe in the Bill of Rights more, too. They used to say, if you criticized this country, that you ought to move to Russia or some other communist country.

NOW, THEY LOSE ONE ELECTION and they're ready to bail out, to furl the red, white and blue. They're ready to give up on the country they love.

They reveal themselves as babies, not patriots. But if you point that out, they'll deny that, too.

How long until the right-wingers decide President Obama is actually a Cylon in disguise?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Texas Republican Says "Maggots" Re-elect Obama

LET’S BE SYMPATHETIC NOW. America’s red-state patriots are having a tough time these last few days. Watching Fox News on election night, for example, a liberal might have been forgiven for assuming Megyn Kelly was undergoing an on-air colonoscopy.

She looked that grim.

Meanwhile, Karl Rove couldn’t believe his lying eyes. When Ohio went blue you thought Brit Hume might have to use a stun gun to silence the gibbering fool.

On talk radio, the morning of November 7, Rush Limbaugh had to break the bad news to all patriotic Dittoheads. The black guy was still in the White House. The “entitlement class,” he grumbled, had spoken. The “takers” had elected Obama. Now the “makers” would suffer hideous fates. Like seeing their marginal tax rates rise by 3%! Maybe 5%!

On Thursday Michael Savage assured listeners that, no, their side didn’t lose. Obama had sinister ties to some computer company somewhere that somehow allowed him to rig the election and turn reliable red votes blue.

Only Savage, Savage noted, was reporting the story. Something to do with the liberal media bias. Or Hitler.

Or unicorns.

Down in Texas, Peter Morrison, a Hardin County Republican and county treasurer wanted no part of the awful news. Tea Party stalwart and Ron Paul supporter, Mr. Morrison wanted to know:  “Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way,” he said, invoking the spirit of an earlier age, not 1776, exactly. More like 1860. If the “maggots” voted for Obama, let those “maggots” suffer the consequences. He really called other human beings “maggots.” And by “maggots,” Morrison meant Asian Americans and Hispanics who cast ballots for President Obama and carried him to victory.

Bud Kennedy, writing for the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram broke the story first, adding this reassuring note:  “Oh, did I mention that Morrison was chosen by former State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy to help screen Texas public school textbooks?” That ought to make us feel better, don’t you think?

A great guy like Morrison—helping decide what Texas public school students learn! What could be wrong with that?

SO, HOW DID THE GOP LOSE? Did it have anything to do with the fact that they didn’t turn out their side? In 2008 John McCain lost the popular vote by ten million, 69-59. Four years later, with Republicans poised (according to all their pundits) for a landslide win, and Obama actually losing 8 million votes, they pulled in only 58 million themselves. In fact, it might salve Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s wounds and sober the right-wing to remember that their side has carried the popular vote only once in the last six tries.

What about this idea that the “takers” are seizing control? Asian Americans, pretty much the “perfect” minority, well-known for their work ethic, went for Obama by something like 74 to 25%. Americans with college degrees split down the middle. According to exit polls reported in USA Today, 46% of this group favored the President while Romney captured only 52% of the “makers” vote. It seemed even “worse” if you looked at the surveys for voters who had done post-graduate study. Here the maggots were truly squirming. Fifty-five percent of the most-educated Americans said they supported Mr. Obama. Damn physicists and geologists and historians with their PhD’s and “taker” mentalities! Even the underclass, the “takers” by any Rush Limbaugh-Michael Savage-Peter Morrison-47%-definition, defied classification. True:  according to a report in the New York Times, Obama won their support by about 28 points, roughly 64-36. But that would still mean more than a third of the “takers” follow the Tea Party Way.

What about all those “taker” females, voting Democratic, 54-44%, forgetting that if they were raped it would be God’s will they become pregnant? And Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan’s will that they not have access to an abortion?

Were Latinos really so stupid as to vote for Obama, 69% to 30%, even after right-wingers in Arizona gave them the right to be stopped and asked to prove citizenship by showing their papers? Not to vote for a party that wanted electrified fences? Not to understand that the Dream Act was tyranny in disguise?

Did young voters stupidly choose to support a man who rammed “socialized medical care” down their throats, so they’d be covered on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26, thereby threatening the “socialized medical care” of people over 65, the retired “makers” in the very same country?

THESE WERE ALL HARD QUESTIONS and might involve soul-searching and thoughtful analysis to answer.

For now, however, the truth as seen through right-wing eyes was clear. Rush and the boys considered the numbers. They studied the democratic process. They looked at the changing makeup of the U. S. electorate.

And they saw maggots.