(Dearest reader, the author of the piece on Ms. Harris informs me that the photograph and story are satirical. Ginandtacos.com salutes the author and admits to being duped along with my friends at Crooks & Liars. I will leave this post intact as a monument to my shame and because the portions which are not about Ms. Harris are still worth something. Sucker, I am.)
Hey, good news! Katherine Harris, star of the 2000 Election in Florida, has moved past her overwhelming defeat in the 2006 Senate race to find paying work. Doing what? Why, she's selling her services as an election monitor to foreign countries. I can prove it. Here is photographic evidence of a Fox News banner under what appears to be either an old catcher's mitt or Julia Roberts after a six-week vacation on the surface of the sun:
I'll give you a minute to recover from that image and crack up at the idea of Katherine Fucking Harris, Guarantor of Fair and Reliable Elections (for a few dollars more, Michael Vick will care for your dogs, the town drunk will drive you home from the bar, and Sarah Palin will proofread your doctoral thesis). I'm willing to suffer a few more minutes of Ms. Harris in the public spotlight to bring more attention to the booming industry of former U.S. elected officials selling their names, their reputations, and human dignity for a cold buck. The days of Jimmy Carter and the non-profit do-gooders monitoring elections in banana republics are over. Election monitoring is now a very profitable industry, as kleptocrats and dictators are more than willing to shell out cash for the stamp of legitimacy on the clusterfucks they call elections.
When Ms. Harris stopped swallowing Satan's cock long enough to choke out a verbal affirmation of the overwhelming fairness of the recent Iranian election she proved to the world that neither the truth nor principles will get in the way of profiteering when American public servants are concerned. She's far from the first. Washed-up politicos have interest groups to market their lack of shame. For example, the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress proudly advertises the availability of its members as election monitors. Cameroon dictator Paul Biya availed himself of this service in 2004, hiring former House members Michael Forbes (D-NY), Webb Franklin (R-MS), Ronnie Shows (D-MS), Andrew Maguire (D-NJ), Joe Wyatt, Jr. (D-TX), and Dick Schulze (D-PA) to lend legitimacy to his sham re-election. They obliged by breathlessly assuring the world that Mr. Biya won fair and square while a not-for-profit Commonwealth delegation led by former Canadian PM Joe Clark noted that the Americans were too busy being wined, dined, and lavishly entertained by Biya to actually monitor the registration of voters or observe more than a handful of polling places in what Clark called a "deeply flawed" election. Thus six Congressmen sold their reputations to legitimize the regime of what David Wallechinsky notes is one of the most corrupt, brutal regimes on the planet.
We expect amoral hookers like Katherine Harris to sell themselves to the highest bidder and willingly bend over for strongmen of exceedingly dubious character. That's why we're not shocked to hear Harris say that Iran's sham elections were "free and fair" and castigate the opposition with, "This is just sour grapes. The time has now come to move on." Chalk up yet another example of free markets failing; the transition of election monitoring from Moral Duty to Marketable Commodity has the predictable consequences in terms of quality and accuracy. Sadly it is now necessary for us to be skeptical and ask whether the opinions of international observers are bought and paid for. George W. liked to talk about spreading democracy and free elections to our foreign bretheren; putting the stamp of American Approval up for sale isn't furthering that goal unless the 2000 election in Florida represents the standard by which we hope to judge all others.