Don’t Think Some Voters Will Accept “Broad Mandate”

On second thought, there’s another line in that Weekly Standard post excoriating early voting that’s worth a bit of commentary:

The traditional Election Day ensured that all Americans went to the polls having followed the same race, having heard the same debates, and having had the opportunity to weigh the same facts. The elected candidate therefore shared a broad mandate, and all Americans owned the outcome of the election equally, for good or ill.

Sounds nice. But let me juxtapose it with a few notes taken by Think Progress‘ Scott Keyes, who attended a Debate Watch Party Tuesday night with an assortment of Nevada Republicans:

If I learned anything from watching last night’s presidential debate in a room full of Mitt Romney supporters, it’s that President Obama cannot speak English, wanted Americans in Benghazi to die, hopes America will be taken over by the Islamic world, carries a literal Communist Party card, and should be sent back to Mexico.

These were among the accusations flying at a Romney debate watch party Tuesday night in southeast Las Vegas, where approximately 75 Nevadans crowded into a small room to watch the debate and trade jabs at Obama….

It wasn’t until after the debate ended that the room hit peak-conspiracy theory.
“Did you notice the Muslim Islamic marriage inscription on Obama’s wedding ring?” a woman nearby asked me. I said I hadn’t. “He’s got an Islamic wedding ring that he got when he turned 16 from the head of the Islamic church,” she explained. “Michelle doesn’t have that because she’s not Muslim but he is.”

Why does he hide his supposed-faith, I asked. “He wants America to go broke, because he doesn’t want America to succeed. He wants America to be taken over by the Islamic world,” she told me.

The conversation then turned to Obama’s family. “Did you know his grandmother, his mother, Michelle, and him are all card-carrying members of the Communist Party?” she asked. “We’ve got copies of their cards and the numbers,” offering to email a scanned copy when I expressed skepticism.

Y’know, I don’t think these folks are going to accept that Obama has any “broad mandate” to govern if he wins, and I’m quite sure they won’t “own the outcome of the election.” And it won’t have a thing to do with early voting. Even if you ignore all the crazy stuff about Obama, there’s this problem that today’s “constitutional conservatives” tend to think their vision of governance was literally handed down by God to the Founders, and no electorate should have the power to modify it. So “mandates” are just for the correct candidates, and elections are legitimate only when the correct candidates win.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.