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The special prosecutor's report is here.

The story, from WLWT Cincinatti, after the break:

A prosecutor's investigation into alleged widespread voting fraud last fall in one of Ohio's largest counties has turned up one case.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters subpoenaed the records of roughly 600 people who voted in the county during a weeklong window during which new voters could register and cast a ballot on the same day.

A report Tuesday by a special prosecutor appointed to the investigation found that only one voter committed fraud.

A Connecticut man in town visiting his sister cast a ballot on Oct. 4 but later told officials what he had done.

He pleaded guilty Dec. 29 to attempted false voter registration and was sentenced to one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.

This story is just symptomatic of a larger disease. We've all watched its development over the past few decades. More and more, the right makes attacks based on speculation and presented as incontrovertible fact. How many times did we hear ACORN performing voter fraud as virtually undeniable, merely waiting for the long arm of the law and the "mainstream MSM media" to investigate?

The media, as we know, investigated from the start (at least the non-joke ones). And within days, we knew the answers to the questions below. However, even knowing those answers, the Republicans willfully ignored them and continued to parrot the false talking points.

Why?

It seems all the GOP has left is attacks on reason. Not attacks based on, but attacking reason itself.

Let's parse this example:

A reporter finds that many voter registrations turned in by ACORN are fraudulent, made out for Mickey Mouse and the like. The reporter reports it.

So far so good.

Now comes the investigative, reasoning portion. A logical commentator or editorialist will ask:

  1. How were fraudulent registrations collected?
  1. Why were fraudulent registrations turned in?
  1. Are fraudulent registrations resulting in voter fraud?

The answers, as we've discovered, are:

  1. They're fake-filled by lazy canvassers, or possibly by the people they give the paperwork to.
  1. They were turned in because they must turn in all registrations by law, no matter how obviously fake. Further investigation reveals that ACORN separates fake-looking registrations into a separate pile to make it easy on the county commissioner.
  1. No, as seen by this investigation and many others.

The problem is any and every reasoning step is skipped by conservatives. They jump straight from ACORN collects fraudulent registrations to ACORN is committing widespread voter fraud.

And worse, when presented with the steps of reason, they stick their fingers in their ears and cry FRAUD! even louder.

The logical disconnect began ages ago on a smaller scale and is reaching a crescendo, I believe. The more they cry wolf, the less the voters fall for it. This is why their base is shrinking — it's being peeled away layer by layer, as reasonable people abandon them, leaving only the most extreme.

Originally posted to Lynn Catan on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 01:10 PM PST.

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