Quite frankly, this is a question that has been on my mind for months. We know how much effort the republican party had put into gaming the electoral system from the inside. We know how much the republican party leaned on the US attorneys to bring “voter fraud” charges or charge Democrats with fairly bogus “crimes” close to election day. We know how major partisan republicans who were connected to legally questionable (at best) initiatives were appointed to the FEC as well as to US attorney positions (Tim Griffin and Brad Schlozman).

We also know that, before the time Jim Talent, Conrad Burns and George Allen conceded their Senate races to Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester and James Webb respectively, the House was firmly in the Democrats’ hands. If any of these Senate races were won by the republicans, then Senate control would remain in republican hands. Further, George Allen was still touted as the “next best thing” and a future contender for the White House – macaca moment notwithstanding.

So with all this, including Rove’s “we have THE math” comment, the missing emails, the emails from 2004 looking to challenge voter registrations in all states, and the fact that right before the 2006 elections Rove and Gonzales had “concerns” about potential voter fraud in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Wisconsin, something just doesn’t add up.

Karl Rove and the republican party doesn’t just give up. Especially when races are so close. Especially when the Senate hangs in the balance and when they have been so quick to assert fraud, or do whatever is in their power to, well, remain in power.

So, what gives?

McCaskill won by the largest margin: 50% – 47% and a total of 45,000 votes. This may have been the hardest to “challenge” (or manipulate) but the party did have US attorney Brad Schlozman in place – a man who came from the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division where he was partners in crime with Hans von Spakovsky. Certainly, the means, motive and opportunity were in place in Missouri.

In Montana, Tester beat Burns (a man who was as tied to republican felon Jack Abramoff as any member of Congress) by a mere 3,000 votes.

And even more amazingly was the Virginia race. Allen was touted as a front runner for the republicans in 2008. He was most certainly NOT the kind of person to just lay down to defeat. He vowed to keep fighting, and lost by only 7,000 votes. Yet, he (to me) inexplicably decided that by not conceding he would “cause more rancor by protracted litigation” and effectively end his political career so abruptly.

I’ll ask again – what gives?

What were the republicans hiding? What could they possibly gain by throwing in the towel so quickly in all three states? Not just conceding an electoral defeat that was unthinkable a few months earlier, but a demoralizing crushing defeat where the permanent majority that was envisioned a few years earlier was gone for good.

All of the parts were apparently in place. The lessons learned from 2000, 2002 and 2004 with respect to caging, disenfranchisement, voter eligibility challenges and other intimidation tactics. Voting machines that were (seemingly) rigged in at least a few instances. US attorneys that were bringing up baseless charges (in New Jersey, among other states) close to election day. The FEC, DoJ (US attorneys, Voting Rights Section), party officials all in place to ensure that the republicans “defied all odds” and remained in power. The comment by Rove that a few thousand votes would have swung the Senate or less than 80,000 votes would have swung the House to keep the republicans in power.

The fact that the will of the people overcame this tremendous disadvantage in order to deliver BOTH the House and the Senate to the Democrats is a testament to We the People. The fact that another 10-15 House seats (and maybe even Corker’s Senate seat) didn’t also flip to the Democrats certainly is at least as likely (if not more so) than the republicans maintaining control of either house of Congress.

It still doesn’t make sense to me. Even though it was apparently all aligned for a Democratic landslide, the factors above almost evened the playing field enough to keep the scales from tipping.

But they tipped.

Why were Virginia and Montana not challenged? Why, after all of the miles and miles of paper trails indicating a very concerted and deep running effort to use any means necessary to hold onto power – why did Burns and Allen throw in the towel? Why did we not get a word from Rove? Why didn’t they go down in the same dirty mud slinging fight that they have become famous for?

Maybe we will find this out soon enough. Maybe we already “know” but are just waiting for more hardcore proof that will ultimately come out in some way or another (at least to some degree).

My guess – there was something so rotten – so despicable that was being covered up, being hidden that to dig any bit past the surface would have uncovered way more than we are already finding out about the depths that the republican party will sink to in order to maintain power. Was it more money trails? Was it more caging or voter roll purges? Was it something related to the (already illegal) NSA spying program? Was it something directly implicating some very VERY high up figures in the party?

I know two things as of now – it was probably something huge since the republicans don’t fold like that. Not when it is that close and that much is at stake. And it is also something that we should continue to be mindful of and keep out in the open as 2008 is the most important election since, well, this past November.

I don’t trust the republicans to play fair. And I don’t trust them to throw in the towel. Something stinks here. And where there is stink, there is something truly rotten underneath.

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