Former North Carolina state Rep. Gary Pendleton (R)

In North Carolina this morning, Gary Pendleton, 73, a certified Republican poll observer, was so filled with a sense of mission that he demanded he be allowed inside an early voting site in Wake Forest. Mr. Pendleton, a former state legislator and a former Wake County commissioner, became enraged when a poll worker — the site's chief judge, in fact — told Pendleton he couldn't enter the polling place until it opened at 8 a.m. So when the poll worker blocked the door, Pendleton gave him a good shove, as one does when mighty affairs of state are on the line.

Pendleton told the Washington Post that he'd been allowed inside a different polling place at 7 a.m. yesterday — the first day of early voting — so it's only natural he'd be angry at being told to wait.

Also only natural was his belief that something had to be amiss when the election judge stood in his way.

"I really got upset about it, and I said, 'Well, what are you doing up in there that you don't want us to see?'" Pendleton said.

Way to go, Mr. Pendleton! Don't let them get away with doing whatever election fraud they were no doubt planning because they wouldn't let you in early. You are clearly the victim here, especially since you were charged with assault. That probably makes you a political prisoner just like Dinesh D'Souza! But has Amnesty International so much as called? Of course not, those hypocrites.

Pendleton also came up with some other bullshit since he had a reporter to talk to, complaining that the election judge didn't maintain social distancing while preventing him from barging in to the polling place. Pendleton was right upset about that violation of public health policy, during a pandemic that Pendleton's party may or may not actually think is real.

"He was three feet from me," Pendleton said. "I don't like people up in my face with this stuff going around."

"Three feet from" and "up in my face" would seem to us rather different things, though we suppose it depends on whether the poll judge was aggressively being leaned at. The Post doesn't specify whether either gent was wearing a face mask. (Voters are encouraged but not required to wear face masks at the polls, and masks are to be offered to voters not wearing 'em; we couldn't find any details on whether poll workers or observers must be masked.)

Ultimately, though, it appears that partisanship was to blame here — but not on Pendleton's part, heaven forfend!

He said the heightened tensions surrounding the pandemic and the election likely exacerbated the situation. In North Carolina, precinct chief judges are chosen by the party of the sitting governor. This year, that's Democrat Roy Cooper.

"I think that contributed a lot to it," he said. "There's no doubt in my mind this is a partisan thing."

See, those sneaky Demmycrats got to pick the poll judge, just by winning an election that they probably stole, and that's why Gary Pendleton had to shove you, sorry not sorry. To add further to his victimhood, Pendleton wasn't merely charged with that Class 3 misdemeanor for assault, he also won't be allowed to be a poll watcher again this year. I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA.

Mr. Pendleton didn't say whether his temper might have been stoked at all by his president's frequent calls for voters in North Carolina to keep an eye out for cheating at the polls, such as Trump's insistence at a September 8 rally in Winston-Salem that supporters be poll watchers, to "Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do. This is important." As a former elected Republican, such harsh rhetoric was no doubt very far from Pendleton's mind. After all, Republicans are the party of personal responsibility.

Also too, WaPo reporter Amy Gardner earned herself some razzing for her dumb "both sides" tweet about the story:

Oh, those partisan tensions! They are indeed quite serious. But never forget: It takes one person to shove a poll worker, and a poll worker standing in the wrong place to get shoved, so clearly there is plenty of blame to go around, as CNN's Chris Cillizza is no doubt already typing.

[WaPo / Amy Gardner on Twitter]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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