The Rachel Maddow Show | August 22, 2012
>>> okay. one of the side shows this year and really amped up anti-obama hysteria in right-wing politics has been this raft of efforts to try to keep president obama off the ballot in some american states this november, even though he is the president of the united states . there was the arizona republican secretary of state who threatened to keep president obama off the ballot unless the state of hawaii sent proof -- and no, i mean real proof -- that the president's supposed birth certificate was authentic. there was also the lawsuit earlier this year in alabama, the guy that was suing who asked the judge in his case to postpone proceedings until he could get some further legal assistance from -- yes, the birther celebrity lawyer dentist, orly tatiz. shockingly, the judge refused to wait for miss taitz and threw the case out. miss taitz is embroiled herself right now in another effort to get president obama off the ballot in indiana. that effort is apparently not going all that well, but i'm sure she will keep trying. so the birther stuff has mostly, i think, now been channeled into donald trump 's hair and into more or less pal. ably insane efforts. but now there is an effort to keep mitt romney off the ballot in the state of washington . and lest you think this is a case of the left going after the right the way the right has been going after the left, it's not. it's not the left. it's not democrats who are trying to keep mitt romney off the ballot. the challenge to mr. romney in washington state is actually coming from the right. and here's why. or at least, here's how. in 2010 , when democratic u.s. senator patty murray won re-election in washington , her republican opponent was a guy who looks like rick lazio there, but isn't. dino rossi . technically, though, the republican party of washington never actually nominated dino rossi to be their nominee. republicans didn't actually nominate anyone for the senate race that year. and that's because, essentially, the republican party in washington decided they were going to stay neutral in a primary fight between that guy, dino rossi , and this guy, a sarah palin -endorsed tea party guy. dino rossi , ultimately, beat the tea party guy in a statewide primary. that is how dino rossi earned his way on to the ballot to earn the right to lose to patty murray in the general election . but the republican party never technically nominated him for the seat. the republican party never technically nominated anyone. and it turns out that's really important. because the rules in washington state say, if you want to be considered an official major party in the state, and thereby earn the right to have your candidates on the ballot, just by asking, because after all, you're a major party , in order to qualify for that, you've got to have your party's official candidates running and winning at least 5% of the vote, in a whole bunch of statewide contests, including the one for u.s. senator . technically, the republicans did not have a candidate for u.s. senator in 2010 . they never technically nominated dino rossi . and so, technically, the republican party is no longer a major party in washington state . which means, technically, they are not allowed to have their presidential nominee on the ballot in november, just by asking. the republicans , because they aren't a major party , will have to do what all the other minor parties have to do, which means they have to hold a minor party convention. they have to collect a thousand signatures, and most importantly, they have to have done all that, they have to have done the convention and collecting all the signatures weeks ago. the deadline is long past, and they did not do any of that. so the libertarian party in the state of washington filed a lawsuit last week, saying the republicans blew it, by chickening out of a fight between dino rossi and the guy endorsed by sarah palin , the republicans messed up the requirement that they as a party have an official candidate on the ballot in that senate race. and by messing that up, the republicans say they messed this up too. they messed up their status as a major party . they thereby messed up getting mitt romney on the washington state ballot for president. if the lawsuit succeeds, mitt romney and paul ryan might have to run as written-in candidates in washington state . and look, nobody expects mitt romney and pall ryan to have any chance in heck at winning washington state . so it probably, in the long run, does not matter whether romney is on the ballot or not. and at or after tomorrow morning's superior court hearing on this case, some judge in washington state , i'm sure, will find a way to put mr. romney and mr. ryan on the ballot, despite the republicans really seeming to screw this thing up, according to the rules. but for every republican who delighted in orly taitz and arizona secretary of state and all these birthers, trying to kick president obama off the ballot, you can file this one under medicine, comma, taste of your own. and for the libertarians, you can file this one under neenor, neenor. now it's time for "the last word." have a great night.