Political side note, some brazen shenanigans are going down in the Republican race. Apparently in midst of the beat down Governor Mike Huckabee was given John McCain this weekend, Republicans in Washington State straight stopped counting ballots after McCain got a slight lead in the caucuses. They just, straight up, stopped the vote count with 87 percent of the precincts in and called it for McCain.

According to The Carpetbagger Blog:

By yesterday afternoon, the campaign issued a statement insisting that it “will be exploring all available legal options regarding the dubious final results for the state of Washington State Republican precinct caucuses.” It added that the campaign is “deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities,” and argued that the state GOP “disenfranchised” more than one in eight Republican voters in Washington.

Asked for an explanation, state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said he just felt confident that the other 13% of the votes didn’t need to be counted. He told reporters, “Maybe it would have been safer if I hadn’t said anything. But it was an exciting and historic day for the state and I thought if I was confident about what the outcome would be I should share that with the people who had gone out to their caucuses.”

I don’t really get this as McCain is going to get the nomination. He’s now running as the “presumed” nominee. Unless they honestly have a fear that Huckabee will win every state until the convention, why the gestapo tactics? Or does the Republican establishment have a fear that Huckabee will win just enough states to show McCain’s softness. Either way, this is bad. I don’t want the Huckster or McCain to win the presidency, but count the damn votes.

The comments after the piece are both hilarious and horrifying, summed up in this quip from Talking Points Memo comments: “Nice to know the Repubs have progressed from 2000 where they refused to count Democratic votes, to 2008 where they are now refusing to count their own votes.”

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