Power Line's John Hinderaker enlightens: "Pennsylvania is, for the moment, ground zero in the battle over voter fraud," a savage fight for republican virtues that is driving unRepublican sorts "simply insane. In the Democrats’ lexicon, making sure that only qualified voters cast ballots constitutes stealing elections. Whereas supplying the winning margin through illegal votes is democracy in action."
Power Line's argument would be perfectly reasonable and powerful indeed, if there were voter fraud, which the fraud-battling state of Pennsylvania admits is a phantom.
This, we all know. There's no reason to thrash this particularly familiar horse any further. What I've never seen pointed out, though, is the peculiar and deep-rooted contradiction in the ideological source that is "battling" voter fraud: contemporary conservatism.
Of all the assorted empirical legs on which conservatism has stood for centuries, none has been more muscular than the concept that humankind is non-perfectable; that we are a flawed species, in whom there lies a congenital bent toward the occasionally or even frequently irrational; any and in fact all attempts at wiping out man's imperfections will thus go down in ignominious failure. Some reformation is possible, and incremental progress is possible, but shooting for absolute perfection is, as the cliche goes, a fool's errand.
However. It is "conservatives" who now wish to make absolutely sure that the electoral system is absolutely perfect. Well, yeah, OK, so there is no voter fraud, but there might be. It is against this teensy-weensy notional imperfection that we must gird our loins and pass these bills and protect ourselves from the immaterial and the unempirical.
And that's why this--all this anti-voter-fraud garbage--isn't conservatism at all. It's radical, it's undemocratic, it's pseudo, it's monumentally whacko, but conservative it most decidedly is not.